Thursday, May 17, 2018

Beagle Dog Breed: Scent Hounds Of Hare Hunting

Beagle Dog Breed: Scent Hounds Of Hare Hunting

The Beagle Dog breed has been around for centuries, droopy ears, large round eyes and the infamous tri-coloured patches on their coats make this Dog breed one of the most recognizable breed on the streets anywhere. With facial expressions that look like they're always pleading for something, its tough to say no to these puppy-dog eyes.

But are you suitable for a Beagle?

Beagle Dog Breed

Another extremely ancient Dog breed, the ancestral origins of Beagles can be traced back almost 2500 years ago. They were first developed during the 11th century, when the sport of Hare-hunting was at its peak of popularity. A cross-breed of the Talbot Hound (known for their innate scenting instincts) and the Grey Hound (for extra speed), resulted in a breed named the Southern Hound, which is believed to be one of the Beagle’s ancestoral breeds.
Beagle Characteristics
During the 1300’s to 1500’s, Kings of England owned packs of miniature Beagles, which were fondly nicknamed Glove Beaglesit was said that these Beagles were so tiny, they could fit into gloves. Even Queen Elizabeth I owned a Beagle so tiny, it was known as a Pocket Beagle. How tiny? These Beagles were only approximately 23 cm tall! The name Pocket and Glove Beagle also loosely referred to how these miniature Beagles could fit into saddle bags for a hunting trip. Their tiny physiques made them perfect for a chase in thick bushes. Unfortunately, the miniature Beagle did not continue its lineage. 

Northern and Southern Hounds — By the 18th century, there were two separate types; Southern Hound, and the Northern Hound. Northern Hounds were smaller in size and speedier, but less inclined to picking up scents as compared to the Southern Hound. 
Beagle Dog personality
Fun Fact #1      Did you know, the Beagle breed was once on the brink of extinction due to the introduction of Fox-hunting? Since Beagles were best at hunting Hares, they were almost rendered obsolete with the decline in popularity for Hare-hunting.

New developments were made by cross-breeding with larger Stag hounds, birthing a type more suitable for Fox hunting. The original Beagle standards for Hare-hunting was maintained by farmers in the South, for their own Hare-hunting purposes— Beagle Club of England and the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles were formed in the year 1890 and 1891 respectively, setting the standards for Beagles. Packs of Beagles in England began increasing from 18 to 44 with the guidance of these groups, preserving the standards and lineage of Beagles we see today! Beagles were introduced to America during the 1840’s and recognized as a breed by AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1885.

Beagle Dog Breed Appearance

Features — A squarish muzzle coupled with strong jaws, large brown eyes and a head that sits on a neck of an appropriate length— just long enough for them to pick up scents from the ground.  Another recognizable feature of a Beagle are their long soft ears, usually hung forward, reaching their jawlines.
Beagle Puppies
Colour — As we have mentioned earlier, there’s no mistaking the appearance of a Beagle, they are easily recognizable by their tri-coloured coats of mainly White, Black, and Tan or Brown.

Fun Fact #2      As puppies, Beagles are born with a coat of White with Black patches. Throughout their aging process, some of these Black patches fade to become Tan or Brown.

Size — Beagles have a relatively muscular body and it ends off with a long tail with a signature white tip. Standing at an average of 30 to 40 cm tall from the withers, an adult Beagle can weigh from 8 to 16 kgs, Female Beagles are usually of a smaller size.

Grooming A Beagle

Beagles do not require trimming or clipping of fur. Their medium short coats only require brushing one to two times per week. These easily-maintained coats do shed all year round, so keeping a vacuum in your household comes in extra handy. A bath should only be necessary when they've been in contact with dirt outdoors, or simply to keep their coats clean and smelling fresh.
Puppy Beagle
Check those large hanging ears for build-up and clean them out with a Vet-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing their teeth with a Vet-approved toothpaste. Nails should be trimmed whenever necessary, long as they're not clacking on the ground, they're doing fine!

If you are unsure how to perform these tasks, approach a trusted Groomer or Veterinarian for professional help!

Beagle Dog Breed Personality

Mischievous, joyful, and outgoing, Beagles may even alert you when there are intruders or strangers within your premises. However, they can also be easily won-over with food (or anything that smells delectable really). Additionally, their friendly nature makes them unsuitable as guard Dogs. Training is said to be quite a feat, due to their keen sense of smell, rendering them easily distracted.

Fun Fact #3      Beagles are ranked one of the top breeds for their abilities to trace scents, alongside Bloodhounds and Basset Hounds. This was proven through copious research over 13 years!
Beagle Personality
 Since Beagles are naturally pack animals, they do not thrive on being alone for long periods of time. The lack of attention and ample exercise may result in destructive behaviour, much like Siberian Huskies. Early socialization and training can prevent such behavioural issues. You can expect your Beagle companion to enjoy a good run with you alongside their joyous demeanor
Hot Tip: Training a Beagle can be made more effective by positively rewarding treats, thanks to their excellent sense of smell! Trust them to sniff out a great snack, way more than other breeds!

Fun Fact #4      Did you know, the well re-known cartoon character Snoopy, is actually based on a Beagle Dog? 

You might also be interested in these:

Dog Behaviour And Body Language: What Is My Dog Trying To Tell Me?

Dog Life Hacks: Ten Useful Tips For Every Dog Owner

Dog Obedience And Training: Classes And Schools To Attend In Singapore!

*UPDATED* Dog Boarding In Singapore: The Largest List Of Dog Hotels And How To Pick One!

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