Other names: English Beagle
The Beagle is a hunting dog (prone chase small prey, with a special taste for hares) of average size. However, he has also become a perfect companion dog for dynamic masters who can fully meet his needs in terms of exercise and attention. This dog is both intrepid and affectionate. In fact, he will be able to appease anyone with his drooping ears and his soft, sad and mischievous stare.
Key facts about the Beagle
Origins and history
The Beagle is a dog from Great Britain, recognized in the 16th century under the reign of King Henry VIII and particularly appreciated by his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, who possessed a whole pack of Beagles. Their lineage is rather vague: some say the beagle’s ancestor is the Artois Hound, others the Foxhound. The most likely theory is that this dog is the result of a cross between the Harrier and other British standard dogs. It is a breed originally developed for hunting; specifically, hare hunting. Since the 17th century, Beagles have been crossed with Beagle-Harriers to make even faster dogs, resulting in the ones you know today.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Beagle
Female : Between 13 and 16 in
Male : Between 13 and 16 in
Female : Between 26 and 37 lb
Male : Between 29 and 40 lb
This dog usually has a tricolour coat: white, black and tan or blue, white and tan. However, it is not uncommon to see a bicolour Beagle: lemon and white, red and white, tan and white, black and white, badger pied or hare pied.
With the exception of all white, all the above mentioned can be found as mottle. No other colours are permissible.
Type of coat
This dog has short hair.
The coat is particularly dense.
An adult Beagle’s eye colour is dark brown or hazel.
A medium-sized dog and scent hound, the beagle is relatively short-legged unlike his cousins the Harrier or the Foxhound, but this doesn’t make him less quick or powerful.
Good to know
This dog was nicknamed the Singing Beagle by Elizabeth I because he barks so insistently and musically.
This dog is an affectionate animal towards his social group since it has a kind and jovial temperament. The Beagle puppy is particularly alert and constantly demands the attention of his pet-parents. The adult Beagle behaves better but remains a very enthusiastic companion when in contact with humans or other dogs.
This dog is very alert and playful, especially when he is still a puppy. His almost insatiable need to work hard and spend all his energy, on a daily basis, makes him a perfect playmate for the young and old.
The Beagle dog breed is not known for being calm. If you want a quiet dog that sleeps on the couch all day long, do not adopt a Beagle. This four-legged companion always needs to feel stimulated, both physically and mentally.
However, when his needs are fulfilled, he will be sleepy and quiet.
Like any good working dog, he is a very intelligent companion, with the capacity to use his skills for work or play. The beagle is not averse to directing his intelligence towards acts of bad behaviour, but may also concoct small acts of folly to entertain his peers.
Moreover, thanks to his intelligence, this dog is often appreciated by masters who wish to teach tricks to their pets. It is a question of channelling his high energy levels and providing suitable motivation to capture his attention and maintain his concentration.
He is a hunting dog by excellence, and has very well-developed hunting instincts, which are sometimes difficult to harness.
And even if this hunting instinct is controlled, this dog will by nature always want and need to follow tracks. Training this dog from a young age will teach him to confidently investigate smells while keeping an ear open for the call to return to heel.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is a very sociable dog who needs consistent contact. This dog will not be fearful or aggressive towards strangers. He will charm all passers-by and visitors with his irrepressible enthusiasm.
Despite a certain level of attachment towards his social group and significant emotional needs, this dog remains a hunter, so he will act independently on occasion if he finds tracks that he believes should be followed. As such, the beagle is prone to masterminding and executing escape plans when his investigative urges outweigh, in an instant of madness, his needs for proximity to the pack.
Behaviour of the Beagle
This robust little dog needs to live surrounded by people, he hates loneliness and largely prefers the company of dogs rather than complete loneliness which can be harmful to him.
However, if he is habituated to solitude from an early age, this will allow him to cope with it in the absence of his masters.
Easy to train / obedience
This is not an easily trainable dog, and he is not particularly docile. His very energetic and determined temperament can be a hindrance to his education. However, a firm and early education along with the development of a strong relationship between him and his master will likely make him more cooperative.
If the needs of this dog are met and a relationship based on trust is built upon, he will cooperate without great difficulty and even learn fun tricks for the delight of young and old companions.
Barking is a trademark of this breed. Beagles bark to express excitement rather than frustration. This dog will attract the attention of everyone in his surroundings with his very insistent barking.
This aspect of his personality can quickly be considered as a defect, but you must never forget that barking is a strong means of communication for this dog, especially during the hunt.
Nonetheless, a good education can lead to increased control over his barking.