The Beagle is a breed with such a friendly, loving nature that it’s perfect for just about any family dynamic. Because of their high energy level and need for regular exercise, they work best with active families or those that have a yard where they can have plenty of time to roam and run.
It must be said though, that when you think of Beagles, you probably picture a pack of these little guys baying at the top of their lungs as they race after a fox or rabbit. While it is true that these dogs are popular hunting dogs and have been used to hunt for several centuries, they also make wonderful family pets.
The Beagle has a keen sense of smell and a strong hunting instinct. This member of the American Kennel Club’s hound group actually comes in two sizes, under thirteen inches and thirteen to fifteen inches. Except for the difference in size, both Beagle varieties are identical. The beagle has dark eyes, droopy ears, and a long tail. Its coat is short and most commonly comes in a combination of tan, black and white colors. You can also find orange, black, or tan dogs with white markings.
Friendly, loyal, loving, and playful are all qualities that make them excellent family pets. Homes with other dogs, pets, and children can all welcome the Beagle as part of the family. They require minimal socialization and actually enjoy the companionship of other pets and their family. A very energetic breed, the beagle needs a home that will give them plenty of playtimes, exercise, and regular walks. When outside they should be in a fenced-in yard and a leash should be used for walks as they have a tendency to explore and follow scents. They make good watchdogs as they will let you know if someone is at the door by barking, but they are naturally friendly with strangers, so don’t expect them to be good guard dogs.
The history and origin of the Beagle originate in England, where this scent hound was bred for hunting rabbits and quails. They would often hunt in packs or pairs, but can also hunt well alone as well. They have an excellent sense of smell which makes them good at tracking and as narcotics dogs. Today they are mainly seen as companion dogs in the United States, but they are also used as hunting dogs.
If you are looking for an affectionate breed that enjoys family companionship and loves to play, then the Beagle is the perfect dog for you.
Different Types Of Beagle Exist Through The Years
It is a common misconception that a Beagle is a Beagle and the fact remains there are a few different types of Beagle, including one dating back to the days of Queen Elizabeth I, known as a pocket Beagle.
They typically grew to about nine inches at the shoulder with shorter legs and pointed snouts, according to paintings of this era that included pets. During the days of Henry VIII, even smaller types of Beagle, called a glove Beagle grew to about the size of a gauntlet, the metal hand covering of a suit of armor. This breed was very popular with the Royal families of the time.
Today there are very few Beagles that stop growing at about 10 inches, but dogs of this size are not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a breed. This shortness of these types of Beagle is considered to be caused by poor breeding or shortened legs, or dwarfing caused by chondodystrophy.
Another of the types of Beagle is called a patch Beagle, mainly due to its coloring, which began in a breeding in about 1880. Today, many people refer to a Beagle with lemon and white, or red and white coloring as patch Beagles. They were primarily bred to be extremely fast runners to be used in hunting. With a white-colored background with very large tri-color areas, these patch Beagles were known for their running skills.
Colors Vary Among Same Breed Animals
The color combination most people think of when thinking of the different types of Beagle is black, tan and white. Typically they will also have a black saddle marking with a spotting pattern on the legs, face neck and on the tip of its tail. Blue tick, or Red tick hounds have heavy speckling of its colors, referred to as ticking, with the ticking running throughout its coat, sometimes called mottled.
The American Kennel Club will accept any hound color as acceptable, which includes all shade and combinations of colors of white, or cream, black, tan, lemon, brown, blue or red. Different colors do not determine the breed or the different types of Beagle.
There are two main breeds recognized today as the 13 inch, which includes Beagles up to 131 inches at the shoulder. The 15-inch breed, which are Beagles between 13 and 15 inches at the shoulder. It is rare for a Beagle to grow over 15 inches tall and no breeder can guarantee the maximum size of a Beagle puppy, but by about nine months they will have reached their adult size.