Beagles look like small Foxhounds—solid, sturdy and muscular. A typical Beagle has a small, rounded skull with a square muzzle and wide nostrils. Their dark brown eyes have a “begging” look, and their pendant (hanging) ears are wide and long. Their tails are usually raised, but don’t curl over the back. Beagles are widely known for their tricolor coat (black, white and tan), but they can come in any hound color including red and white, yellow and white or orange and white.
Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli, as captured at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Beagles are happy, gentle, energetic dogs that fit in well with any family. They love to feel like “part of the group,” needing an ample amount of attention and playtime. They also love children, and vice versa, proving to be vigorous but gentle playmates.
Beagles are bursting with energy and stamina. Though they tend to have issues with other dogs, having another Beagle in the house—if you can stand all the happy wagging tails—can be a great source of fun and activity.
Protective of their environments without being aggressive with strangers, Beagles will bark until the cows come home if a suspicious person approaches the house, making them an excellent guard dog.
If you like dogs that talk, you’ll love Beagles. Instead of intelligible language, however, their sounds consist of “baying,” which is a kind of loud, gurgling howl. You’ll just have to get used to it.
Beagles need regular exercise to maintain a healthy state of mind, and they shouldn’t be left alone for too long. They have also been known to steal food, whether from the garbage, the table or wherever they can find it.
Some Beagles can be stubborn and tough to train. They love being complimented and getting treats, but need a somewhat firm/friendly hand to learn the ways of the household.
Their incredible sense of smell is always working. This means that they may pick up a scent and follow it relentlessly. If you live in a house, make sure you have a fenced-in yard. During walks, always keep your Beagle on a leash.
A healthy Beagle can live as long as 15 years. Common health problems include epilepsy, eye problems and dwarfism. Be sure to clean your Beagle’s ears regularly to avoid ear infections.
Though hunting hounds have thrived in England since the Roman occupation, Beagles probably appeared in the 18th century as a mixture of several hounds. Hunters found them handy as relentless chasers of foxes and rabbits. The breed standard was made in the 1860s, coming from a particularly good strain of Beagles, and in 1888 the National Beagle Club was formed to hold agility and obedience contests. Beagles to this day are celebrated hunters, sporting dogs and pets.
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