Most historians agree that the Beagle can trace its origins to Ancient Greece, around the 5th century BC. This is based on several references to small hounds that hunted their game by scent, and were followed on foot by hunters. Small hounds were also mentioned in early Roman literature, being omitted from an ancient law that all dogs which could out-run a stag should have one foot mutilated. Queen Elizabeth I had several ‘pocket’ beagles, which she often used to entertain guests. The standards for the modern Beagle were first founded in the 1830’s, when Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles in Essex, England. In the 1840’s, Beagles began appearing in the United States.
Beagles are commonly said to be of the appearance of a miniature Foxhound, though with a shorter muzzle. In proportion to its body, the legs of a Beagle are relatively short. Most Beagles are from 13 to 16 inches tall, weighing from 18 to 35 lbs when full-grown. A Beagle’s skull is domed, with as square-cut medium length muzzle. A Beagle’s eyes are usually hazel or brown, appearing to be slightly large in proportion to the face. Most Beagles are selectively bred to have a white-tipped tail, also called a ‘flag’. This ‘flag’ is how hunters are able to see a Beagle when they are hunting in long grass. A Beagle’s tail is straight, held completely upright when the Beagle is participating in activities. Beagles can be seen in most any hound color, though are most commonly seen with brown, black, white and tan markings.
When looking at beagle care its important to know that beagles are very gentle in temperament, having a generally upbeat demeanor. Beagles are not known for being aggressive, though they are also not characterized as being timid dogs. Though Beagles are very appreciative of human companionship, they tend to be slightly wary of strangers. Beagles are not very good guard dogs, due to their lack of aggression. However, most Beagles make good watch dogs, since they tend to howl or bark when confronted with unfamiliar things. Though Beagles are very intelligent, they have also been bred to be very determined, which may result in some resilience against training programs. Beagles require constant interaction, and can easily become distracted or bored.
Beagles are short-haired dogs, and are not known for excessive shedding. However, it’s still important to groom a Beagle on a regular basis. A gentle grooming brush, available in the dog care section of most pet care supply stores, should be sufficient for weekly grooming.
Most Beagles are trained to be hunting and tracking dogs, though may also be trained to be good family pets. The training of a Beagle is slightly difficult due to their single-minded nature (which was a trait bred into them for hunting). However, the most effective method is to use patient encouragement of training concepts, combined with positive reinforcement. With these methods, Beagles can be trained to obey both basic and complicated commands in a fairly reasonable amount of time.
For more information on Beagle Training please visit: http://petcareeducation.com/beagle-training/