Beagles are usually tricolour, and have a certain combination of colours in their coat; either red and lemon with white, or orange and brown with white.
Origin of the Beagle
The Beagle was originally bred to be a small hunting dog, used to root prey out of the undergrowth on a mounted hunt. However, today’s modern Beagles are slightly larger and bred to be powerful and attractive as well as hunters. Reverend Phillip Honeywood, from Essex, is widely believed to have bred the pack from which Beagles today originate. These dogs were, and still are, valued for their excellent hunting capabilities and exceptional obedience skills.
Sizes of Typical Male and Female Beagles
Male Beagles tend to be slightly larger than females, both in height and weight. Males stand between 36 and 41cm, weighing around 10 or 11kg, while bitches are smaller and lighter, at 33-38cm and weighing 9 to 10kg.
Beagles are widely regarded to be calm and gentle dogs, and especially good with children due to their patience. However, they are certainly not recommended in a house with smaller pets, such as cats, birds or rodents, as their hunting instincts will come into play faced with a fleeing small animal. They can also be stubborn and suffer from selective deafness – especially when they catch a scent and finding out what’s on the other end seems more fun than going home! It is very important to make sure you establish that you are the pack leader, or negative behaviours such as guarding and destruction when left alone can develop.
Beagles shed an average amount. Their short coats are easy to maintain – simply brush gently with a firm bristle brush and bath only occasionally. Keeping their ears clean is important, as breeds with larger, floppy ears are more susceptible to ear mites and infections.
Exercise Your Beagle
Beagles are energetic dogs, and therefore must be exercised daily. However, letting them off the leash in public, crowded areas may be unadvisable, as if they catch the scent of a small animal they are likely to vanish! They must also have a reasonably sized yard to play in, but make sure it’s secure and your Beagle cannot escape.
What Health Problems can Beagles Suffer From?
Epilepsy, heart disease, eye and back problems are all hereditary issues in certain strains of the breed, although many of these issues can be eliminated with DNA testing. However, Beagles are also prone to chondroplasia, a form of dwarfism that warps the front legs.
The Life Expectancy of a Beagle
On average, a Beagle will live anywhere between 12 and 15 years.
The cost of a Beagle
Beagles are popular dogs, and therefore puppies tend to cost between £500 and £800.
Beagle puppies must be taught that they are not the pack leader from a young age. Because of their affinity with humans, they take their place in the “pack” very seriously, and can become incredibly protective of what it perceives as the “weaker” members of the pack, i.e. small children, which should be discouraged to prevent guarding behaviour as the puppy grows up. They are high energy and love to play! They should also be socialised with cats from as young an age as possible, to prevent anti-social behaviour while out walking.
Dog Groups Related to Beagles
Similar dog breed(s) to the Beagle
Basset Hound, American Foxhound, English Foxhound