Kennel Club standards: FCI, The Kennel Club I Size: Medium I Average lifespan: 12+ years I Temperament: Gentle and friendly I Coat length: Short-haired I Origin: United Kingdom
The Beagle is a gentle, affectionate, cheerful, and playful dog.
The origins of the Beagle: an English hunting dog
In the 5th century BC, historians found evidence of small hounds. They were used to hunt hares and looked a lot like the Beagle we know today.
Although no documents have been found to date to support this theory, according to researchers, the Romans brought these dogs into what is now Great Britain.
England: birthplace of the Beagle
We owe our thanks to the English for the Beagle’s current appearance. Their goal was to create a dog breed that would be a perfect miniature version of the hound. They wanted to combine all its qualities into a smaller format. This is how the Beagle was born.
Because of its size, it was perfect for rabbit and hare hunting.
It wasn’t until the second half of the 19th century that the true standardization of the breed began. In 1890, the Beagle Club was created and in 1891, the Association Masters of Harriers and Beagles.
During the First World War, the breed suffered heavy losses and in the early 1920s, the majority of the packs were dispersed. Nina Elms’ breeding allowed the breed to become well-known again by winning numerous awards in the 1930s. Thanks to this, the number of Beagle breeders multiplied in the following years.
Across the English channel
The first Beagles arrived in France via Normandy in the 18th century after the French Revolution, however, the Beagles did not spread throughout France until the 19th century.
The breed was popular for its speed and resistance. Similar to England, they were valued for their hunting skills.
The beagle is one of the most popular dogs in France, but the breed is even more popular in the United States.
The Beagle’s personality
The Beagle’s qualities
Although they are recognized as a hunting dog, they have also become a companion suitable for all families. They are friendly and affectionate dogs that are gentle and playful with children.
Intelligent and lively, they maintain a stable temperament and will be ready to follow you wherever you go. They are also active and dynamic.
Are there downsides to having a Beagle?
Although intelligent, they can also be stubborn at times. Their training will not always be easy and it’s necessary to know how to be firm with them so as not to be swayed by their charming gaze.
It is also necessary to watch what they eat because they are foodies. Their weight should be monitored regularly.
Physical characteristics of the Beagle
The very first standard was set in 1896. Before then, it varied according to the regions and the nature of the hunting grounds.
The Beagle belongs to the medium-sized hound category. They are vigorous and robust animals without any rough features. They must respect a certain number of important proportions.
Zooming in on the Beagle’s head
The breed’s skull is slightly domed and of moderate width with a slight crest. The nose is broad and preferably black, but lighter pigmentation is permitted in lighter colored dogs. The nostrils must be well opened. The breed’s lips are reasonably well defined and the nostrils should be open. The jaw must be strong and have a perfect, regular, and complete scissor bite. The upper incisors overlap the lower incisors in close contact and are implanted in line with the jaw.
Their eyes are quite large, set wide apart, dark brown or hazelnut in color. They are neither sunken nor prominent and they have a soft and endearing expression.
The ears are long and the tip is rounded. If stretched, they can almost reach the end of the nose. They are set low and their texture is smooth. They hang gracefully against the breed’s cheeks.
The neck is long enough to allow the dog to easily put its nose on the ground.
The Beagle’s body
The Beagle has a firm horizontal back. Their chest descends below the elbow and their ribs are well sprung, extending backward. Their belly is not overly tucked up. The elbows are solid, turning neither out nor in.
Their thighs are muscular and the hocks are firm, well developed, and parallel.
Their tail is strong and of moderate length, it is set high and carried cheerfully. It is not curled over its back, nor is it tilted forward. It is well covered with hair, especially on the lower part.
Coat, color, and grooming
The Beagle has a short and dense coat.
Colors of the Beagle
The Beagle’s coat is tricolor. It can be black, brown, and white, but it also comes in other colors such as:
- blue, tan, and white
- red, white, and black
- black and tan
The tip of the tail is always white.
Beagle grooming tips
It is important to regularly monitor your dog’s ears. Some parasites and foreign bodies can become trapped in the ears and cause problems such as ear infections. Remember to clean them regularly.
You can also give your dog a bath from time to time. Just make sure to use a suitable dog shampoo.
Lastly, brush them once a week to leave the fur shiny and check for the possible appearance of fleas. After each walk, check their body for ticks.
Fun facts about Beagles
- Did you know that the character Snoopy from the Peanuts was a Beagle?
- Lyndon Johnson, 36th president of the United States, owned several Beagles.
The Beagle at a glance
Size: The Beagle is a medium sized dog measuring between 33 and 41 centimeters (13 and 16 inches).
Weight: between 8 and 14 kilograms (18 to 35 pounds).
Health: The Beagle is a robust breed. However, the breed is subject to diseases such as glaucoma or hypothyroidism.
Are Beagles good with children? The Beagle’s gentle and playful personality makes it a perfect dog for families with children.
How easy are Beagles to train? Although intelligent, the Beagle is also very stubborn. When training a Beagle, you must be firm and patient.