A Brief History of Beagles: From Hunters to Family Dogs
With big floppy ears and the signature multi-colored coat — 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 could be an excellent choice. This breed is loving, curious, and
extremely loyal — you’ll never have a dull day with a Beagle in your home.
What Were Beagles Bred For?
With a short yet sturdy body, this breed is built to be the ultimate hunting
companion. Due to their keen sense of smell, Beagles were originally bred as hound
dogs for hunting small game. Interestingly, the pups were being bred for specific
hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United
States to hunt rabbits.
History of Beagles
The history of the Beagle is not as precise as some other breeds we have profiled.
While ancient Greek documents place Beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the
breed, as we know it now, was not formally recognized until the 19th century. During
this time, Beagles were very popular in England, and it wasn’t much longer before
the breed became a favorite in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC)
started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884. Today, they are a consistently
popular choice for family dogs, appearing regularly on the AKC’s Top Ten Most
Popular Dog Breeds.
Different Beagle Breeds
While there is technically only one breed of Beagle, there are two different varieties
of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The only feature that
separates the two varieties is their size. One type stands below 13 inches tall while
the other stands between 13 to 15 inches tall. Other than the slight difference in
height, no other physical or personality traits differ between these two varieties of
Beagles. Both types can — and should — weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds.
Since this breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, it’s important
to maintain their activity levels as they age.
Beagles are black, brown, and white in color and are relatively easy to care for in
regards to grooming. A proper brushing once a week will cut down on the amount
of bathing they need unless they are used for hunting. They do, however, need to
have their ears checked frequently to help avoid infections.
Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them the freedom to
wander around. While all dogs should be microchipped, it’s very important for
Beagles because their mischievous behavior can get the best of them. Beagles
follow their noses, so if they escape the yard, they can wander further from
home in pursuit of whatever scent is enticing them. Do your best to get them
outside and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent-up energy and
keep them on their best behavior in the house.
Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at
their best in extremely social settings and typically do not like being left home
alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you
return, which can include chewing shoes and furniture.
Beagles are a smart, curious, and energetic breed that packs a lot of love and
sweetness into a small package. Caution: don’t think there won’t be moments where
you are driven utterly crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember —
purebred Beagles are popular and lucrative “products” for puppy mills. There are
many wonderful Beagle rescue organizations and animal advocates working hard to
prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding. Consider adopting from a local Beagle