Could the Beagle be the right dog for you?Snoopy the Beagle was one of the main characters in the famous comic strip-Peanuts. Lyndon Johnson, the US President, owned three called, Him, Her and Edgar. But, most people when they think of the Beagle will usually picture a pack of these dapper little dogs in full cry, relentlessly hunting down their prey.
There's no doubt that the Beagles hunting abilities originally established this breed. But, nowadays their popularity is firmly rooted, in a well deserved reputation, as an almost ideal family pet.
The history of this breed is rather misty. Mention is made in early 14th century writings, notably that they were popular with the monarchy. They were probably bred down in size from English Foxhounds to hunt hare, and rabbit alongside men on foot.
Principally they are scenthounds, and their super keen nose has seen them enlisted by modern day organizations to sniff out drugs, and even detect contraband food items in luggage coming in to the US from abroad.
The Beagle was classified by the American Kennel Club in to its Hound group, and sub-divided in to two varieties: the 1st under thirteen inches and the 2nd at over thirteen but not exceeding fifteen inches. Other than this size difference, the two varieties are identical.
These dogs have distinctively large, dark brown or hazel eyes, pendulous ears, and a gentle, almost pleading, expression. The coat is short and smooth, usually tricolor combining tan, black and white, but orange, black, or tan dogs with white markings are also to be found.
Grooming is an easy, but regular task. Just run a good quality brush through his coat once or twice a week to remove dirt and loose hairs. Shedding is about average.
It's no surprise that Schultz the cartoonist, named his comic strip character Snoopy. Inquisitive, affectionate, and playful, these happy little dogs do adapt to apartment life. But you have to remember that they are an energetic and active breed, who need to burn up some of that vitality. So, he will need a fairly long daily walk, even if you've got a fair sized yard.
Allowing him off of the leash may not be a good idea. Like all scenthounds an alluring scent is enough to sidetrack even the most obedient of these dogs. You could easily find yourself calling "Snoopy", and being totally ignored in favor of the scent of a rabbit, cat or even garbage.
The Beagle can be willful, and consequently present a problem to inexperienced owners. So, if you do decide to buy a puppy check out a good dog training program. It's also a good idea to find out where your local puppy training classes are. Getting your puppy used to other dogs is important, although this breed is usually very friendly towards its own kind.
But, if you have a non-canine pet make sure that you socialize them as well, as the prey instinct is still alive and kicking in this breed. They are intelligent dogs, and with patience can be trained to a high level of obedience
Dogs are pack animals, but in breeds like the Beagle this trait is more sharply defined than in others.
Consequently, separation anxiety can pose problems in individual dogs. They also like to eat, and waistlines needs to be watched. They are clever dogs, and are quite adept at squeezing treats out of even the most vigilant of owners.
Overall this is a healthier breed than many others. However, heart disease, epilepsy and eye conditions can be a problem. Since they have a tendency to overeat, Beagles can also develop weight related diseases, such as hip dysplasia.
So, if your looking for a dog that loves family life, is cheerful and loyal, but now and then needs to be pointed in the right direction, then a Beagle could just be the right dog for you.
To get in touch with a reputable breeder--Please follow the links:
For America: The American Kennel Club
For the United Kingdom: The Kennel Club.
For Canada: The Canadian Kennel Club.