Dog Group Kennel Club: Hound (AKC, KC)
The Beagle is one of the smallest members of the hound group. they are sturdy dogs who have long ears and a long tail.
(Note:In America the Beagle is recognised in two different sizes, 13inches at shoulders and 15 inches at shoulders.)
They have a short, dense, hard and water resistant coat. Colours include: white, black, tan, red, lemon and blue mottle.
Weight: 18 – 30 lbs.
Average Life Span: 12 – 13 Years
Beagles are loyal, trustworthy, affectionate, friendly and eager to please. They are also independent and have a definite mind of their own. Beagles are especially good with children making them ideal family pets. As they were originally bred as a pack hound they get along well with other dogs. Not suited for families with smaller non canine animals due to their natural hunting instincts. Beagles being hounds have a great sense of smell and will bark if something is amiss, making them excellent watchdogs. Beagles are known to bark and howl when left alone for long periods of time, so would not be suited if you were at work all day.
Beagles can be stubborn and difficult to train so need firm and consistent training from early puppy hood. Early training should let you keep their barking under control.
Beagles have minimal grooming requirements and should be brushed weekly to keep their coat healthy. Their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly as they are prone to infection.
Beagles need a lot of of daily exercise to meet their energy requirements and to help them keep fit and healthy. They should be kept on a leash as once loose, they have a tendency to wander off and get lost. At home the back yard/garden must be well fenced
Beagle Health Issues
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma: is a leading cause of blindness in dogs. It is the result of increased fluid pressure within the eye. If the pressure can not be reduced, there will be permanent damage to the retina and optic nerve resulting in visual impairment. Treatment: surgery.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a family of diseases all involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by a retinoscopic exam or by means of an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs become nightblind and lack the ability to see in dim light; later on daytime vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs adapt to their handicap very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Certain breeds are affected early in life, whereas in other breeds, PRA develops much later in onset.
Hypothyroidism: an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.
Epilepsy: is a seizure disorder which has been found in this breed. Seizures vary between a far-away look or twitching in one part of the face to your pet falling on his side, barking, gnashing his teeth, urinating, defecating and paddling his limbs. Seizures usually appear suddenly and end spontaneously, and can last from seconds to minutes. The disorder has no known cause, however it is important for your veterinarian to determine your pets general health and make sure there is no underlying disease that may be causing the seizures. Treatment can include anticonvulsant medications. Always ask your vet for advice.
The Beagle has been found to date back to the times of Ancient Greece. It is said to be the closest breed to the original hound. They were used to hunt game such as hare and pheasant. Exactly how the beagle got its name is unclear. Some say the name refers to the Old French word for “open throat,” an obvious reference to the beagle’s baying call. Other believe the name comes from either the Celtic, Old English or Old French word for “small.”The Beagle first became popular during the days of King Henry VII of England. The breed’s popularity further increased during the reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I was alleged to have a pack of so-called pocket beagles that stood about 5 inches tall, and many of the pack could ride comfortably in a saddlebag. This pocket-sized variety was popular into the 1800s because hunters could easily carry them across rough country in a coat pocket.In mid-1800’s, Rev. Phillip Honeywood of Essex, England, established a pack of what is thought to be the precursor to the modern Beagle. A dog with very strong hunting skills. A fellow Englishman, Thomas Johnson, took Honeywood’s dogs, and bred them to have looks as well as hunting ability.
Today’s beagles are recognized in three heights: 13- and 15-inch tall varieties are recognized in America, and a 16-inch tall dog is also recognized in Great Britain.