Tip of the Month

8/25/2009 Breed Spotlight - The Beagle

The Beagle

BEAGLE - Breed Spotlight

According to the AKC Registration Statistics, the Beagle was the 5th most popular dog breed in the United States in 2008. The Beagle is a hardy, squarely built, small hound. They make great family pets due to their friendly and curious dispositions. The Beagle is also favored for his compact size. The Beagle belongs to the Hound Group, which means he will be easily distracted by his surroundings. Your Beagle will benefit from regular dog obedience training.

History

The Beagle originated in England as a hunting dog. Beagles were used to hunt small game like rabbits and quail. They hunted in packs, pairs, and individually. The Beagle was one of the more popular hunting hounds due to his willingness and sweet temperament. Today you can find Beagles doing scent work for police and narcotics units. There is some controversy over where the name originated. Some think it came from the French word “be’geule,” meaning “gape throat,” which refers to “the baying voice of the hounds when in pursuit of game.” Some think the name originated from the small stature of the dog. The name could have been derived from the Old English word, “begele”, or the French term, “beigh,” or possibly even the Celtic word “beag” all of which mean “small”. The Beagle comes in two acceptable sizes, 13 inches and 15 inches. The Beagle also comes in a variety of colors, including tri-color, red and white, and lemon. Typically, any true hound coloring is acceptable. The Beagle enjoys the company of humans and other dogs, because he has lived in a pack for hundreds of years.

Beagle Training Tips

Your local dog trainer will advise you to be a strong leader with your Beagle. Since the Beagle is a member of the Hound Group, he will have an independent nature about him. Hounds are bred to work independently, making their drive to please much lower than other dogs. Even though the Beagle is a friendly companion, he may become easily bored with little activity and get into trouble. Always make sure to provide your Beagle with daily physical and mental stimulation. Because the Beagle bark can be somewhat irksome to neighbors and family members, remember to reward your pooch for an alternate good behavior. It is necessary to begin obedience training at an early age. You can work on teaching your Beagle scent games to keep him entertained. One book you may want to check out is “Fun Nose Work for Dogs” by Roy Hunter.

Beagles as Pets

If you are looking for a friendly family companion, the Beagle is the dog for you. The Beagle requires daily exercise and minimal grooming. The Beagle is best suited with a small yard, however if he is walked daily, he will be well-suited to apartment living as well. The Beagle has been a favored companion for hundreds of years and will continue to be for many more.

References:
http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/

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