| History |
Appearance and Size |
Characteristics and Behaviour
| Food |
| Health |
Home and Owner |
Beagle c 1801
The beagle is a very old pure bred,
first records of it can be found more than 2000 years ago in
Ancient Greece. In Britain it has been used as a hunting hound
since the 14th Century and packs of them are still used to hunt
hare. However, the beagle has been domesticated very successfully
during recent years and is now a very popular pet and show dog.
In appearance the beagle is a lively, sturdy looking hound
having several colours. The most common is tri-colour, a combination
of black, tan, and white, but there are other combinations, such
as tan and white, and lemon and white, which are extremely attractive
and are becoming more popular (See photos on the right).
The stern (tail) should always have a white tip and the eyes
should be dark. Its coat is short, dense, and waterproof, making
it easy to groom and keep clean.
It is of medium size, being between 33 cm (13") and 41cm (16")
high, measured from the top of the shoulder vertically to the
ground, thus it can fit easily into most households and cars.
One of their greatest attributes is their extremely good temperament.
They are bold, with an even temperament, and a merry disposition.
For this reason they make an excellent family pet, and are one
of the few breeds that can be recommended for children
Because the beagle was bred as a pack animal, it is important
that he receives plenty of company. This can be from his human
family or from other dogs (preferably beagles, of course!). If
your family and lifestyle is one where nobody is home for long
periods during the day, or if you want the dog outside and you
inside, then the beagle is not for you. If you are regularly away
from home for long periods and must have a beagle, then it is
highly recommended that you get two. This is not meant to be a
sales pitch to sell another dog - if he has company of a friend
while you are away, he will be much more settled, dig far fewer
holes, bark a lot less and won't get as fat.
A beagle must be able to roam free in a securely fenced backyard
and or in the house. Chaining a beagle to a kennel for long periods
is cruel. They are not adapted to this form of living. The yard
must also be escape proof. If you cannot provide an escape proof
backyard without having to chain your dog up,
DO NOT BUY A BEAGLE.
Beagles were bred to hunt regularly over long periods of time
and have developed a high level of stamina which needs regular
exercise. Regular walks on a lead are important, especially for
the young beagle. A beagle is a scent hound, and once on a scent,
he focuses only on this. It is almost as though his ears and eyes
are closed to the world as he works diligently on the scent before
him. For this reason, for his own safety walks on a lead are a
necessity, as is a well enclosed back yard.
Your beagle puppy must be handled with firmness and with love
or you will find that your lovely puppy has grown into a disobedient
and unruly dog. A little extra time spent with your puppy, teaching
it what it can and can't do will lead to a happy beagle and a
For a normal, healthy beagle this
should be no problem as he will eat well on most easily obtainable
dog foods, whether they be fresh, tinned, or dehydrated (make
sure the label states it is BALANCED). Indeed, it can be a
problem preventing him from eating too much, so a regular
meal schedule should be established with no extras in between.
A reputable breeder will provide a diet sheet.
All dogs require exercise, the beagle , no more or less than
any other breed. He will normally exercise himself if allowed
to run free in an enclosed yard, but will certainly appreciate
a regular walk on the lead. Extendable leads are excellent as
they allow your beagle to run freely but they are still kept under
Provided they are looked after, beagles will rarely need veterinary
attention. They will of course, require their annual vaccinations
against disease and regular anti-worm (including heartworm) treatment.
Of course, as with humans, completely unexpected complaints can
appear from time to time. Our club has ongoing research into these
and so far incidences have been minimal. Reputable breeders will
not knowingly breed with an animal that has a problem.
The average lifespan is 10 to 15 years so if you have any long
term plans that will eventually affect your beagle, rethink getting
If your beagle has been purchased as a pet, it is advisable
to have it desexed. Not only does this stop unwanted puppies being
born but also attracts a discount on the lifetime registration
fee with your local Council (NSW Companion Animals Act). Some
breeders may ask you to sign an Agreement that you will desex
your puppy at 6 months age.
A naturally clean animal, the beagle is easy to groom, requiring
only a few minutes brushing daily and an occasional bath.
The big floppy ears of the beagle can lead to ear problems
as there is very little air flow into the ear canal. Regular cleaning
with a proprietary ear cleanser should eliminate most problems.
From the foregoing, it can be seen
that the ideal home for a beagle is not a home unit in a busy
built up area. He is best at home in the country or suburbs
where he can be freely exercised. Although he will make himself
at home in the house, he is just as happy to be outside in
the yard. His owners should be prepared to devote time to
him, especially as a puppy being trained. In return, the beagle
will prove to be a fine companion on walks, exercising himself
and his owner. Ownership of a beagle can lead to a more interesting
social life as he can be walked with other Beagle Club members
or taken to shows at which other dog owners from all walks
of life participate and join in various social activities.