The Beagle breed or the “small scent hound” has a similar appearance to a larger foxhound. This breed was primarily born, created, and developed for hunting hares (Beagling). This breed possesses superior tracking instincts and a good ‘sense of smell’. This enables the Beagle to be the primary breed for detecting foodstuffs in quarantine and prohibited agricultural imports. The Beagle is a very intelligent dog breed and is quite popular for its soothing temper, size, and lack of inherited problems concerning health.
The average lifespan of Beagles is 12– 15 years which is a general lifespan for all dogs in this size category. Development of this modern breed took place in Great Britain in the 1830s from several different breeds which include the Southern Hound, North Country Beagle, Talbot Hound & perhaps the Harrier.
There are two separate varieties of Beagles. The first type of Beagle is considered to be a bit smaller, ranging between 13 to 15 inches. The second type of Beagle larger and ranges between 15 inches or more. These can be counted as the only difference between Beagles and their types. Both of these are recognized by the American Kennel Club and are classified on the basis of their size.
Fun fact– Both types of Beagles can be born under the same litter but they can only be classified after they reach nine months of age!
Since Elizabethan times, popular cultures have depicted Beagles in paintings and literature. Recently, they have also been picturised in comic books, films & television.
Here are top 10 Interesting and Fun Facts about Beagles:
1. Beagles are born for Hunting:
Popularly known as the “scent hound breed”, Beagles are a type of hound that use scents for hunting, unlike other dogs, who use their sight for hunting. Being a scent dog, it has a sensitive nose out of all the canines. They excel in their job for hunting hares and rabbits. You will find their stamina just as incredible as their sense of smell.
Back in the days when fox hunting became popular, breeders used a Buckhound and crossed it with a Beagle to create Foxhound. This, in turn became one of the most popular dogs ever used for hunting. Even though Beagles are no longer used typically for hunting rabbits, they still carry the instincts and skills today.
2. Beagles are skilled In Vocalization:
Beagles are not exactly known to be quite animals. Instead, they are quite the opposite. This breed is very loud and takes “mouthing off” to the next level. The word ‘Beagle’ is derived from the French word “begueule” meaning gaped throat.
Beagles are loud because of a unique skill possessed by them- the skill of vocalizing in 3 different ways. This includes standard bark, a bay & a howl. You will find their bay more like a dog yodeling. Beagles use their bay sounds while hunting. But, when they are being playful, stubborn, or aggravated, you are surely to witness all the three different vocalizations from them. They might even wanna grab your attention just to get what they want.
3. Ears Helping Nose:
Having long and floppy ears is one of the characteristics of Beagles. People who own
Beagles love playing with their ears. A fun fact about Beagles is that their long ears help
them in picking up the scent particles. While the breed is busy tracking ascent from the
ground, the ears covered with the same scent enhances their ability to trace it.
On the other hand, the nose of a Beagle is moist and cool. This feature helps in bringing the
dissolved air molecules closer to their nose. Surprisingly, the scent receptors of Beagles
work 45 times more than any human.
4. Elvis- The Beagle:
Dogs are great with their sniffing power, but sniffing out the pregnancy of polar bears is
surely an interesting and fun fact about Beagles. Elvis is a 2-year old puppy. He resides in
suburban Kansas City. He has been gifted with a special quality to sniff out the pregnancy
of female polar bears. But how does he do that?
Following the traditional pregnancy tests to detect the pregnancy of polar bears, it has been
observed that there are many tests with false-positive notifications. Even the
ultrasonography fails to work accurately as in other animals. Therefore, such situations lead
to Elvis. On smelling the poop sample, he sits down and looks at his handler and barks.
This indicates that the polar bear is experiencing pregnancy. It’s surprising how Elvis has
managed to provide us with correct responses 97% of the time.
5. Snoopy from ‘Peanuts’ is a Beagle!!
Beagles first came to be known in the 1950s. With shifting time, they even became very popular among kids, children & adults. Now, the Beagle we are talking about over here is fictional and is called Snoopy. Snoopy, the fictional Beagle comes from the Peanuts- the classic comic strip from the 1950s. This particular comic strip has a huge fan base, and was loved by all the audience. It also made Snoopy- one of the all-time favorites!
However in reality, Snoopy is an AKC- Registered Beagle. Other than Snoopy, the laziest cartoon cat Garfield has a dog as his best friend named Odie, who also happens to be a Beagle. Then there’s Gromit, from Wallace & Gromit, Underdog- which is also worth mentioning and finally “Courage” Cowardly Dog, the cartoon character also happens to be a Beagle.
6. Beagle Work & Jobs:
If Beagles were paid for their employment, they would have been nothing but rich at this point. Their natural skills in smelling and hunting has led them to be hired as top working dogs. It appears they are rather good at it!
For starters, Beagles are most often used to detect bedbugs. Bedbugs are difficult to see and get rid of but they can easily be detected by Beagles. Several hotels use them for inspection of pests before an infestation takes place. The Department of Homeland Security uses them for a more serious reason, like in airports. “The Beagle Brigade” or so they call them, are used to sniff pieces of luggage for various food items. Because of illegally imported food items, many foreign parasites and diseases are spread. Fortunately, Beagles can help in stopping that.
Beagles are small, but at one point they were much smaller than what they are in their modern versions. Earlier Beagles were referred to as the “Pocket Beagles” because of their small size back then. In ancient times, around the 14th & the 15th century, the maximum height a Beagle would reach is about 8 – 9 inches tall (shoulder-wise).
The characteristics of a breed changed over time for multiple reasons. This is also the reason why Pocket Beagles don’t exist anymore. The breeders kept on breeding Beagles with larger sizes over time, possibly to assist and enhance their skills in hunting. Gradually, they grew larger & larger over time until they were no more Pocket Beagles.
8. Beagle Needs, Discipline, Exercise & Training:
Beagles are smart dog breeds and are difficult to train. As pets, they need a lot of training and discipline. Before considering the Beagle as a pet, you should analyze the temperament of both their parents. It has been observed that Beagles are unreliable if it comes from a generalized temperament. Either way, they need to be established in a discipled manner. Without discipline, a Beagle can become disastrous. Some ground rules will help you train your pet or it can become very difficult to get your point across to a Beagle.
Some may think that Beagles are loft dogs or perfect apartment pets. But they can be wrong. Since they are hunting dogs, they need a lot of running & exercise , compared to that of an average dog. Beagles need to run a lot to burn out the surplus amount of stamina they possess. They need constant exercise to shed off the stress from their bodies. If they are not taken on a walk daily, they might also tend to figure out ways on how to run throughout the house- no matter what their size is. They need regular exercise as a part of their regime. They often get bored very easily and can become quite destructive.
9. Beagles have a mysterious white-tipped tail:
The white tail of a beagle is different, compared to any other dog breed. Guess, they have it for a reason. Being born hunters, these dogs helped their owners during hunting. Their white tails helped their owners track them, in case they found a prey. While they are busy sniffing the prey with their nose, their owners can see the white tail sailing in the distance.
Surprisingly, the tail also indicates purebredness of a Beagle. Every beagle dog is bound to have some white hair on their tail. But, the congregation of white hair determines the purebred level of the dog. Those dogs who are completely purebred will have completely white-tipped tails.
10. Even President loves Beagles!
Dogs are loved by everyone, even if he is the President. You will be surprised to know that President Lyndon B. Johnson owned three beagles during his time at the White House. Two of his dogs were named His and Her. These names are indeed unattractive and odd, but for his third dog, he named him after a famous FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Later, the beagle His also gave puppies. Two of these puppies were kept by the President’s daughter Luci. They were named Kim and Freckles. Freckles even started living in the White house for the rest of his life. After ‘His’ passed away, Hoover gifted the President with a new pet.
Even though Beagles are cute, sometimes. they can get “quite smelly”. It’s ironic how being a “scent dog”, they can have their very own “distinct odor”. Mostly, it’s not very pleasing. Beagles generally have poor health, but they can live a long, healthy life. As an owner, you would have to put in some amount of work towards your Beagle to prevent health problems from occurring. They need proper care, nurturing, exercise, and a lot of running in their daily routine.
They are not typically high-maintenance dogs, but being short-haired dogs, they tend to shed quite a bit. Their shedding requires a good amount of time towards management. It is wise to think twice before owning a Beagle. If you are willing to put in the care, work & effort towards training and nurturing your Beagle, you can surely have one of the best companions as your dog, as this breed will most definitely make worth your while.
Q. What are the common health problems of a Beagle?
The common health problems associated with Beagles are hypothyroidism, cherry eye, allergies, epilepsy & obesity. Fortunately, all these conditions can be treated by your local vet.
Q. Does a Beagle Love to be cuddled?
Yes, they do and they love to be around people and are known to have separation anxiety if they are kept separate for a brief period from their owner.
Q. How long does a Beagle sleep?
They like to sleep for 10- 12 hours a day. However, the puppies tend to sleep for more than 18 hours a day. An active Beagle requires more energy so they need more sleep.