The Beagle is a medium purebred known for being friendly, gentle, independent, intelligent, lively, loving, and sweet. The most common colors for Beagles are black and tan, red, tricolor, and white. To keep it healthy, it will need to get exercise regularly. Known to be multi-talented, the Beagle participates in a wide variety of activities such as agility, hunting, scent detection, and tracking.
Is the Beagle the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Grooming is only necessary once in a while to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed. Moderate Shedding: Expect this dog to shed regularly. Be prepared to vacuum often. Brushing will reduce shedding as well as make the coat softer and cleaner. Difficult Training: Training will be difficult, which might not be suitable for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it. Professional obedience schools can also be helpful. Great Watchdog Ability: This dog will bark and alert its owners when an intruder is present. It is not considered to be a very protective breed. Therefore, it is unlikely to scare off intruders. Medium Adaptability: It is well-suited for apartment living and is best with a small to average-size yard. This breed is able to handle most types of hot and cold weather. Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea. Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Dogs of similar size and purpose to the modern Beagle can be traced in Ancient Greece back to around the 5th century BC. Xenophon, born around 430 BC, in his Treatise on Hunting or Cynegeticus refers to a hound that hunted hares by scent and was followed on foot. Small hounds are mentioned in the Forest Laws of Canute which exempted them from the ordinance which commanded that all dogs capable of running down a stag should have one foot mutilated. If genuine, these laws would confirm that beagle-type dogs were present in England before 1016, but it is likely the laws were written in the Middle Ages to give a sense of antiquity and tradition to Forest Law.In the 11th century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot hound to Britain. The Talbot was a predominantly white, slow, deep-throated, scent hound derived from the St. Hubert Hound which had been developed in the 8th century. At some point the English Talbots were crossed with Greyhounds to give them an extra turn of speed. Long extinct, the Talbot strain probably gave rise to the Southern Hound which, in turn, is thought to be an ancestor of the modern-day Beagle. From medieval times, beagle was used as a generic description for the smaller hounds, though these dogs differed considerably from the modern breed. Miniature breeds of beagle-type dogs were known from the times of Edward II and Henry VII, who both had packs of Glove Beagles, so named since they were small enough to fit on a glove, and Queen Elizabeth I kept a breed known as a Pocket Beagle, which stood 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) at the shoulder. Small enough to fit in a "pocket" or saddlebag, they rode along on the hunt. The larger hounds would run the prey to ground, then the hunters would release the small dogs to continue the chase through underbrush. Elizabeth I referred to the dogs as her singing beagles and often entertained guests at her royal table by letting her Pocket Beagles cavort amid their plates and cups. 19th-century sources refer to these breeds interchangeably and it is possible that the two names refer to the same small variety. In George Jesse's Researches into the History of the British Dog from 1866, the early 17th-century poet and writer Gervase Markham is quoted referring to the Beagle as small enough to sit on a man's hand and to the: little small mitten-beagle, which may be companion for a ladies kirtle, and in the field will run as cunningly as any hound whatere, only their musick is very small like reeds. Standards for the Pocket Beagle were drawn up as late as 1901; these genetic lines are now extinct, although modern breeders have attempted to recreate the variety. By the 18th century two breeds had been developed for hunting hare and rabbit: the Southern Hound and the North Country Beagle (or Northern Hound). The Southern Hound, a tall, heavy dog with a square head, and long, soft ears, was common from south of the River Trent and probably closely related to the Talbot Hound. Though slow, it had stamina and an excellent scenting ability. The North Country Beagle, possibly a cross between an offshoot of the Talbot stock and a Greyhound, was bred chiefly in Yorkshire and was common in the northern counties. It was smaller than the Southern Hound, less heavy-set and with a more pointed muzzle. It was faster than its southern counterpart but its scenting abilities were less well developed. As fox hunting became increasingly popular, numbers of both types of hound diminished. The beagle-type dogs were crossed with larger breeds such as Stag Hounds to produce the modern Foxhound. The beagle-size varieties came close to extinction but some farmers in the South ensured the survival of the prototype breeds by maintaining small rabbit-hunting packs.