Beagles belong to the hound dog breeds and are small to medium-sized.
They were initially developed for hunting purposes to help in chasing and tracking small game, especially hares and rabbits.
They possess a strong sense of smell thus, even to date they are still largely used as hunting dogs. However, after several changes in the breed, their small size, cheerful and friendly nature, Beagles also serve as companion pets for many families.
History of Beagles
With the history of the origin of Beagles being shady, they are known to have existed from the last hundreds of years.
However, it is believed the current beagle dog breed was developed in England in the mid-1800s after breeding several hound breeds to improve on their hunting abilities. Also, English breeders such as Thomas Johnson breed beagles to possess great hunting skills and also look attractive.
In the late 1800s, beagles were introduced into America from England as imports by American breeders to help improve on their dogs’ qualities.
As a result, the Beagles formed a footing of American Standard Beagles. Beagles’ popularity grew thanks to their ability to run fast. In the year 1884, the American Kennel Club (AKC) started recognizing and registering Beagles.
Over the 20th century, the breed gained popularity and has been used by hunters as companions with other people preferring them as family pets.
Key Facts about Beagle Dog Breed
Personality of Beagles
The beagle breed is intelligent and is considered gentle and friendly.
Being pack dogs, they mostly get along well with other dogs and animals. Also, Beagles appreciate and love companionship from their humans, especially their owners.
Beagles are energetic and have a great sense of smell, thus naturally possessing huge hunting instincts that make them good trackers. Therefore, they offer great companionship and assistance on the trail.
They don't like being left alone for long for they enjoy being active. Exercise and attention are what Beagles need. When left alone for long, they get bored and are likely to develop certain dog problems such as digging and unnecessary barking.
With supervision and ample socialization, Beagles are good with kids hence nice family dogs.
However, due to their friendly nature, they can’t be trusted as guarding dogs as they easily get along with strangers and other animals.
How to Care for Beagles
Attention means a lot to Beagles and prevents them from suffering from anxiety. If left alone for too long, they tend to be naughty as they try to self-entertain themselves with unsought habits like howling and chewing.
As hunting dogs, their natural vocalization is barking, howling, and baying. It's good to train the dog on necessary vocalization by avoiding practices such as yelling that would encourage negative behavior.
This breed is not the easiest to train, but with patience and good reinforcement, the dogs can be house trained. Beagles master obedience and discipline, starting from their puppyhood. Praising the dog often will help the dog-like what you are trying to teach.
Being emotional dogs avoid rebuking the dog as this will destroy the relationship between the dog and the owner.
Developed as hunting dogs, this breed needs to be regularly exercised to avoid build up energy. On average, at least an hour of exercise is good for the dog. Engaging the dog in your daily exercises would be great. Alternatively, you can walk or run along with your beagle preferably on parks.
A trail is also good for the dog as they are naturally hunting dogs and would even enjoy more for the chance of roaming around freely.
Also, with their love for exploring and chasing, sometimes Beagles follow the scent and can easily be led by their nose. Therefore, a well-fenced compound would be better for this breed to restrict it from wandering around.
It's hard for beagles to show aggression unless given a good reason. Therefore, it's advisable to teach people around the dog on how to treat the dog, especially children.
Proper feeding and grooming are necessary for beagles to enhance their overall health.
Are Beagles Good with Kids?
With their friendly nature, beagles love being around people especially kids, as they make a good match for both are playful, cheerful, and energetic. However, this is after proper training of the dog and a lot of socialization with the child.
Though Beagles demand much effort and prolonged training period compared to other breeds, eventually they learn to be gentle and sweet thus becoming great companions for kids.
It is also advisable to teach the kid how to respect and handle beagles, to avoid deeds that would provoke or hurt the dogs.
Grooming a Beagle Dog Breed
This breed is a light shedder but brushing the dog weekly keeps his skin healthy and reduces the hair that could have been shed across the house.
One bath per month using a dogs’ conditioner and shampoo is enough except when the dog gets into an unbearable situation.
For Beagles, their drop ears make them prone to ear infections. Therefore, ensure regular cleaning of the dog's ears to prevent bacterial and fungal infections, and to keep them dry.
Just as it is with humans, be sure to regularly brush the Beagles teeth and clip their nails if need be.
How to Feed a Beagle Dog Breed?
Compared to other breeds, this breed loves eating, and if their meal measures are not properly regulated, it could lead to excess weight, a condition that could lead to various health problems.
For Beagles, good nutrition is key for proper growth, good health and energy.
Therefore, carefully choose the best quality food for the breed guided by age, size, health status, and levels of activities.
Health Concerns for Beagles
Beagles are susceptible to several health conditions, some of which are genetic while others are caused by fungi and bacterial infections, for instance, rubies and parvo.
Some common health problems for beagles include Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), glaucoma, cherry eye, bladder cancer, obesity, allergies, hemophilia, Cushing's disease, and hip dysplasia.
To keep the dog healthy, take him for regular checkups, provide the dog with quality vet care when ill, offer quality diet to the dog, and also ensure regular exercise and grooming for the dog.