Origins and Brief History
Beagles are small to medium sized dogs that originated in Great Britain. Ancestors to the beagle can be found as far back as ancient Greece, but the modern style beagle can first be seen in the early to mid 1800s in Great Britain. They were bred from various Hound dogs as hunters of rabbit and pheasant, which may be why they are small in size. They have changed visually over the years because of breeding, but today they have short legs compared to their long body, long ears, a broad head, and a short muzzle.
Beagles are hound dogs, which are good at using their sense of smell to hunt and track. They are known to be intelligent dogs, and many times are used as police dogs to search for illegal drugs and other substances. Some farmers and hunters still use beagles to hunt for rabbits, quail, pheasants, and other small animals.
Generally speaking, beagles have an even temperament. They are known to be very gentle and relaxed as a family pet. Beagles are pack animals and crave the feeling of being part of the pack. This means that some beagles will have separation anxiety, but this also means they will be loyal to their family. But be careful! Beagles are mischievous! They are smart and curious, which can be a bad combination for the untrained beagle. They also tend to bark and howl, which may not fare well with some families.
Beagles have virtually no heavy grooming requirements. They have short hair, so they do not need regular hair trimmings. They can be brushed daily to reduce the risk of shedding, although they do not shed much anyway. Baths are needed occasionally to keep the dog clean and prevent infections or rashes that may develop. They require regular ear cleaning and nail trimming, similar to other breeds of dogs. It is best to check with a veterinarian for proper grooming and cleaning procedures.
The average life span of a beagle is similar to other dogs of that size, 12-15 years. They can grow to about 15 inches and 22 pounds on average.
A common health problem with beagles is ear infection, which is due to their long ears not allowing proper air flow into the ear. As mentioned already, regular cleaning of the beagle’s ears will reduce the risk of this problem. It is also necessary to regulate the amount of food the beagle takes in. If food is not regulated, the dog can become overweight, which is a risk to their health, as it is with any dog.
Be sure to keep all this in mind before deciding if a beagle is right for you!
image credit wikipedia.org