There is no doubt that this month’s canine featured breed is adorable. Beagles are just as fun-loving and sweet as they appear! If you are looking to welcome a new pup into your family, a Beagle would be an excellent choice. The breed was originally used for their keen sense of smell as hound dogs for hunting small game such as rabbits, but are now a top choice for family dogs.
The history of the beagle is not as certain as some other breeds we have looked at. While Greek documents place beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the breed that we now know was not recognized until the 19th century. During this time the breed was very popular in England and it wasn’t much later that the breed became popular in the United States as well. Interestingly, these pups were being bred for specific hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United States to hunt rabbit. The American Kennel Club started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884.
Weighing between 18 and 30 pounds, the two different breeds of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club stand between 13 and 15 inches tall. They are black, brown, and white in color and are easy to care for in regards to grooming. A good brushing once a week will cut down on the amount of bathing they need, unless of course, you are using them for hunting. They do, however, need to have their ears checked frequently to avoid ear infections.
Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them freedom to wander around. It is suggested that your Beagle be chipped because their mischievous behavior will get the best of them. When they escape the yard, their nose that made them so popular for hunting, will cause them to continue to wander further from home. Do your best to get them out and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent up energy and keep them on their best behavior in the house. This breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, so be sure to maintain their activity level as they mature.
Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at their best in extremely social settings and do not like to be left home alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you return…and they are probably not the kind of things you would like them occupying their time with, such as chewing shoes and furniture!
This smart, loving, energetic breed sure does pack a lot of love and sweetness into a small package, but don’t think there won’t be moments that you are driven completely crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember one thing – purebred Beagles tend to be very popular among puppy mills. There are some great Beagle rescue organizations that will prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding these sweet pups.