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Beagle, a wonderful hound

Beagle, un sabueso maravilloso

Lobo Azul |

The beagle is the hound par excellence, full of energy, extroverted and independent, giving an impression of robustness and plenty of elegance; These characteristics have ensured this canine species a privileged place throughout history.

This is a long-standing breed that fought for its survival during the world wars. Several centuries ago, beagles had been part of English royalty, when figures such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II adopted them as companion dogs , especially for their hunting skills.

Its temperament, its playful and tender behavior, its size, as well as the lack of congenital health problems, make the beagle an ideal pet . They are very active and impulsive dogs, who need families who give them enough attention and who are passionate about sports or excursions.

  • Size : Small - medium.
  • Weight : Between 10 and 20kg.
  • Hair type : Straight, short, dense.
  • Character : Stable and balanced.
  • Health : Healthy but with a tendency to gain weight
  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 15 years.

We are then faced with a dog that, with proper training, can become a great hunting companion and a great friend in the home. It is advisable to acquire it as a puppy to adapt its behavior. It is important to remember deep knowledge about dogs and especially each breed, ensuring a healthy and happy coexistence of the dog with its human family. Therefore, we will provide you with as much information as possible so that you develop a great bond with your pet , and in turn, you can maintain the physical and mental stability of your beagle.

Origin of the beagle

Beagle means “the smallest of hunters” , possibly from the French becguele “noisy person” or literally “open throat” . The origin of this breed dates back more than 2,400 years . Although there are no exact dates in this regard, as is the case with most dog breeds, its first reference is made by the philosopher Xenophon in Ancient Greece, around 400 BC, when describing a hare-tracking dog.

Some beagle-type hounds arrived in Italy from Greece and are believed to have been introduced to the British Isles during the Roman occupation. It would be there where the breed developed.

Starting in the 16th century, beagles were already a popular species. The English aristocracy adopted a variety known as "pocket beagles" (a genetic line that is now extinct), which measured between 20 and 25 cm and were functional for horseback hunting , because they could be carried in a pocket to the starting point. of the hunt and then release them to do their work. In addition, it is known about large packs raised by kings for such purposes. Beagles were developed primarily to hunt hares and rabbits.

They were ideal hunting companions for elderly people, who followed them on horseback without much effort. Modern specimens date back to 1830 due to the breeding of dozens of beagles in the United Kingdom, which in 1840 were already imported from the United States (where today they are one of the most popular breeds).

Later, in 1890, the Beagle Club of England was founded with the first exhibition of this breed six years later. The world wars, the first between 1914-1918 and the second between 1939-1945, stopped these social activities whose protagonist was the beagle, but interest in the breed managed to endure for the next decades.

Physical characteristics

The beagle is characterized by its elegant bearing , it has a muscular body and a pronounced chest. The head is elongated, generally more stylized in females. Their ears are large, rounded and droop naturally . Large, brown eyes, which usually give the impression of sadness and that is not necessarily the case. The jaw is slightly square and the nose is wide. The back is straight and long, as is its tail. The coat is quite short and smooth.

Average Height (Adult):

  • Males: 38 cm
  • Females: 33cm

Average Weight (Adult):

  • Males: 10 – 20 kg
  • Females: 10 – 20 kg

As for the colors of this breed, they are divided into tricolor or bicolor, with white tones essentially on the chest and lower part of the body; in addition to brown and black on the back, ears and tail:

  • Tricolor – Classic tri: White base, where black predominates over the entire spine and some brown spots.
  • Tricolor – Dark tri: In this combination the light brown spots are mixed with black marks, again on a white base.
  • Tricolor – Faded tri: Few black marks mixed with dark brown spots on a white base.
  • Tricolor – Pied: Mostly white base, with yellowish and brown spots without standing out, the black almost imperceptible.
  • Bicolor: Almost the entire body is white with some brown spots of various shades.

Health and Care for the Beagle

The beagle is a healthy and resistant dog, it is not usually subject to congenital diseases, although like all breeds it can have some conditions but only in exceptional cases:

  • Life expectancy is between 10 and 15 years, a typical longevity for dogs of its size.
  • Among all dog breeds, it has one of the most developed senses of smell .
  • The shape of their ears obstructs the passage of air, it is an area that remains moist, which makes it a potential source of infections if it is not cleaned regularly.
  • Glaucoma and corneal dystrophy are the most common eye conditions in beagles .
  • Being overweight as a result of a dog's sedentary lifestyle can lead to heart and joint problems.
  • Characteristic of the beagle is the condition known as “funny puppy”, in which the puppy develops slowly, with weak legs and a slightly twisted back.
  • Occasionally they may suffer from epilepsy or hypothyroidism , both of which can be controlled with medication.
  • Over the years, beagles are also prone to damage to their intervertebral discs, as a result of the constant rocking they do when they walk on their short legs.

Beagles are not demanding regarding care. For example, their short hair is easy to care for and does not require extraordinary grooming. With brushing 2 or 3 times a week and bathing once a month it will remain neat and with a good aroma , always taking into consideration the occasions in which it is exposed to dirt.

Caloric intake must be strictly controlled, since the beagle does not get satiated easily and will eat whenever they have food within reach. Uncontrolled eating leads to obesity , a common problem for this breed, especially in adulthood.

Physical activity is essential and has to do with what was described above. A sedentary lifestyle in their breed quickly ends in obesity. It is also about the dog's mental health, confinement and inactivity will cause anxiety. If you live in a small house or apartment, daily walks are a necessity.

Constant play works as a sporting activity, hiding objects in the ground and making them dig is one of their favorite activities , as for any hound.

Beagle Behavior

Beagles are dogs with a stable and balanced temperament , they are rarely seen irritated, although they do have a high tendency to bark in any situation. They tend to be very guttural, this means that they constantly express their emotions by making noises with their throat. Undoubtedly, they are intelligent, noble, faithful and extremely affectionate dogs.

The affection that these dogs give is expected to be reciprocated, so they demand a lot of attention from their human family and if they are not given security, they will howl every time their owner leaves the house.

Beagles need a loving and tolerant family , but at the same time they set limits and do not allow themselves to be manipulated by the beagle's capricious and measured actions. They are very determined and clear about what they want, so they tend to want to “impose themselves.”

Given their adventurous and curious spirit, it is advisable not to leave them locked up at home, as this generates anxiety and they can cause great damage. For the same reason, walking and recreating the beagle should be a routine, daily if possible . Their hunting instinct and the need to track everything within reach usually distracts them during the walk, so they are prone to accidents.

If it is a walk in places with car traffic, it is best to take them on a leash. The dynamic in these cases is that, as soon as it smells something interesting, it will pull you until it finds it. In addition, weak attention in public spaces could also make the training process difficult . Likewise, although they are obedient dogs, toilet training can be a long task.

It is a quite sociable dog, in fact it prefers to be in packs. However, its relationship with other species has to be careful; Once again, their hunting instinct is an influential factor, although if they get used to coexistence from puppies, there is no major problem.

As an adult, the beagle should go through a period of adaptation to cohabit with other species. Either way, it never hurts to supervise your relationship with cats, rabbits, birds or crawling animals. In families with children it is the ideal pet, its behavior is not aggressive and it will be more of a playmate for infants.


Beagles can be considered a “famous” breed . In past centuries, great poets and playwrights such as William Shakespeare, John Webster or William Cowper, made mention of these dogs in their works. They even appear in the famous Greek epic “The Iliad” attributed to Homer. With modernization, they appeared in comics, movies and television. The “most famous beagle in the world” is known as Snoopy, one of the main characters of the Peanuts comic strip, developed by Charles Schulz.

From stardom, beagles have moved on to field work. Their great olfactory abilities and tracking instinct, sharpest on land, put them on the list of candidates as detection dogs. To put you in context, beagles have about 220 million scent receptors in their noses, compared to about 5 million that humans have. Beagles are used by the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry , as well as the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, for the detection of prohibited agricultural imports and quarantined food products.

They are also used by the United States Customs and Border Protection to locate illicit substances. The docility of these animals also makes them functional for activities such as search and rescue or animal therapy.

On the other hand, when we talk about scientific experiments on animals, we usually think of monkeys and mice, but medical research has also made use of dogs, and the beagle breed is one of their “favorites” because they do not suffer from congenital diseases. They are docile and trustworthy .

The experimental industry claims that they adapt well to living in a cage and that feeding them is economical. Therefore, they are used for animal experimentation to test cosmetics , pharmaceutical products, household products and other scientific curiosities.

Likewise, they are subjected to multiple toxicity tests, which are synonymous with poisoning; mutagenicity, which causes genetic damage; teratogenic, which causes birth defects; toxicokinetics, to study the absorption, metabolization, distribution and excretion of chemical substances; and carcinogenicity, a physical carcinogenic agent, is applied to them. According to the Beagle Freedom Project organization , in the United States more than 60,000 dogs are being subjected to this type of studies and almost 96% of those dogs are beagles .

Standard industry practice is to euthanize the animals once the experiments have ended, so the dogs do not escape the great global pharmaceutical emporium, nor the cruelty of some humans . If you have the opportunity to make a beagle part of your family, it is not a decision you should think twice about. Remember that the only essential thing to have a pet is love and patience.

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