The Big Guide To The Beagle Dog Breed
How can you not adore beagles?
They have ever-wagging tails, soulful eyes and sausage-like bodies that’ll make you go ga-ga over them in no time.
And it’s not just their looks that’ll win you over. Beagles are playful, hardy and fun companions whose sparkling personalities will make you smile.
Want to know more about these cool canines? Read on.
A Basic Overview of the Beagle Dog Breed
You probably already know what beagles look like: floppy ears, a tan-black-white color combo, and a stocky body supported by four short legs.
But did you know that the beagle has one of the most sensitive noses in the dog world?
Beagles are scent hounds, meaning that once a smell piques their interest, they won’t stop until they find out where it comes from.
Having around 220 million scent receptors, their noses are almost 50 times more sensitive than that of the average human. (Humans have about 5 million scent receptors.)
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes two varieties of beagle: those that are less than 13 inches in length, and the ones that fall between 13 to 15 inches.
Some have even suggested that there are English and American varieties, though no kennel club actually recognizes this distinction.
Regardless of which variety you pick, one thing’s for sure: Beagles have a unique charm that makes them one of the most popular pooches in America.
What is the Personality of the Beagle?
Most beagles have fairly balanced personalities.
Although they can be rather stubborn about chasing scents, they’re also up for anything that has “FUN” written all over it. Wave a flying ribbon in front of them, and they’ll only be too happy to chase it.
Beagles are also what you’d call “social butterflies.” They easily get along with other dogs and are rarely aggressive — if at all.
Because they’re so friendly, they don’t do well as guard dogs. But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about scaring friendly neighbors away!
It’s also worth noting that beagles don’t like being left alone for long periods of time.
They have a tendency to bay and howl loudly, which can cause problems with neighbors who aren’t as fond of dogs as you are. Luckily, it is possible to train beagles to not make too much noise.
Those hiccups aside, beagles can jibe with almost anyone who loves dogs. They’re happiest when they have a large space to let off their excess energy.
But don’t fret if you have to make do with a cramped apartment. They can roll with that too, provided you give them at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
History and Background of the Beagle
There’s some debate on where the beagle got its name.
Some say it’s named after the Old English word beag, meaning “small.”
Others say it’s from the French words begueule (“open throat”) and beugler (“to bellow”). Still, others say that the beagle was named after the German word for “scold” or begele.
No one’s really clear on where the beagle came from either. The breed, as we know it today, didn’t exist until the 1800s.
Granted, there were beagle-like dogs described in Greek documents dating back to 400 B.C. Even so, we’re not really sure whether those are related to the pooches we know today.
What we do know is that, in the 1700s, beagles nearly became extinct partly because of the rising popularity of foxhounds.
Luckily, Reverend Phillip Honeywood revived the breed by raising his own pack during the mid-19th century, and beagles have flourished ever since.
Are Beagles Playful and Fun?
You might as well ask, “Is the ocean blue?”
Beagles live and breathe fun. They won’t think twice about literally giving you a run when a scent catches their attention.
If you want to play with a beagle, prepare to follow him until he tracks down the source of a scent.
When they’re not following scents, they’re probably looking for ways to ease their boredom. As soon as you notice that your beagle seems restless (e.g. always walking around the house for no reason), have those treats and toys at the ready.
You’ll never have a dull day with a beagle. If you can keep up with this pooch’s energy and zest for life, you’re all set to be his lifelong companion.
How Much Exercise Does A Beagle Need?
Despite their small size, beagles need plenty of exercise.
Beagles tend to eat a lot, so you’ll want to balance that with at least 30 minutes of activity each day.
If you don’t have a large fenced yard where they can run around without wandering off, you can tag them along for a brisk walk down the block. Or you can go the classic route of having him play “fetch” or — as mentioned earlier — chasing after flying ribbons.
Since beagles like to go after interesting smells, they’re happiest when they’re playing games that test their scenting skills.
You can play hide-and-seek with them, or have them look for an object (preferably a tasty treat!) tucked somewhere in your yard.
It’s important that you exercise your beagle as much as possible. Beagles have short attention spans, so if they get too bored, they will wreak havoc in your house.
Still, beagles are some of the most cheerful and energetic dogs you’ll come across. If you don’t mind having that kind of pooch around, why not add one more sunny presence into your life?
What are the Grooming Needs of the Beagle?
Beagles have a water-resistant double coat. That means dirt and debris slide off of it easily, minimizing the need for frequent baths.
On the other hand, beagles need to have their coats brushed at least once a week. Use a hound glove or medium-bristle to gently remove any “dead” hair, as well as make way for the growth of a healthy new coat.
You’ll also want to brush their teeth twice or three times a week. Better yet, give their pearly whites some TLC every day to prevent tartar from accumulating on their teeth.
Give their ears a regular checkup as well. Because beagles have floppy ears, they’re more prone to infections in that area. Look for signs of ear infection or wax buildup, such as constant scratching.
Don’t forget to trim their nails at least once a month. If you’re not sure how to do this, hire a professional to help you.19 Of The Most Popular Dog Breeds In 2018
Are Beagles Easy to Train?
As with most dogs, the golden rule for training beagles is, “The earlier, the better.”
Without proper training, beagles can grow into stubborn, independent dogs that are more likely to follow their nose than their owners. Even when your beagle is just a pup, you’ll want to be crystal-clear about what it can do — and cannot do — around the house.
One way to train them is by taking advantage of their scenting skills. For example, you can have them sniff a piece of sausage, crush it under your feet, and have them follow you around.
Every few feet, drop a piece of sausage. When you only have a couple of sausages left, drop an item that you want your beagle to find at the end of the line, like a piece of cloth. Then, drop another sausage on top of that item.
If your beagle does everything you want them to, say “Good dog!” and hand them the last piece of sausage as a reward.
Aside from scenting, you also want to teach your beagle the basics, such as “sit,” “stay” and “fetch.” Consider crate training them as well, so they won’t get too lonely when you’re not around.
How Much Does a Beagle Puppy Cost
Prices for beagle puppies depend on a lot of factors, like where the puppy came from, what papers it comes with, and how old it is.
Assuming you’re buying from a reputable breeder, expect to pay around $800 to $1,500 for a puppy. This ensures that your dog has the right papers, and has none of the temperament problems that come with improper breeding.
You’ll also want to account for the annual cost of keeping your beagle for the next 12 to 15 years since that’s their average lifespan.
For grooming, vaccinations, food, supplies, unplanned emergencies and the like, you may want to budget around $500 to $700 per year.
Beagles are playful, free-spirited pooches whose noses always know. With the right training, exercise, and care, these dogs can be one of the best friends you’ll ever have.
What do you think about beagles? Sound off your thoughts in the comments!