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Breed Information Title

Beagles love company


| History | Appearance and Size | Characteristics and Behaviour | Food | Exercise |
| Health | Grooming | Home and Owner |

HISTORY

Beagle circa 1801
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.

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APPEARANCE AND SIZE

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.

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CHARACTERISTICS AND BEHAVIOUR

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 Beagles are great with 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 happy owner.

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FOOD
Beagle love their food

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.

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EXERCISE

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 control.

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HEALTH

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. 15 year old beagle

The average lifespan is 10 to 15 years so if you have any long term plans that will eventually affect your beagle, rethink getting the puppy.

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.

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GROOMING

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.

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HOME AND OWNER
Sniffing Around Sydney group

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.

 

Beagle running

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