The Beagle is a child-loving and friendly dog with strong self-confidence. Find out everything about the history, nature, keeping, and care of the dog breed in the profile.
History of the Beagle
Originally, the English bred the Beagle to hunt rabbits and other small game. His task was to follow the tracks of the prey and track down the animal. The breed’s direct ancestors come from southern France, from where the English brought them home during the Hundred Years’ War. They initially named the dogs Southern Hounds and crossed them with native Talbots. How the name Beagle later came about is unclear.
All that is known is that the name was first mentioned in 1515 in Henry VIII’s household books. Already 100 years later the Briton Gervase Markhams mentioned the Beagle in the “Description of the most important hunting dog breeds”. Spotted hunting dogs were not officially recognized until 1890. Internationally, the dog breed is in FCI Group 6 “Scent hounds, scent hounds and related breeds”. The former hunting dogs have developed into family dogs and are among the most popular breeds in Germany.
Essence and Character
The Beagle is a lively, happy dog breed with a strong pack habit. Having served in pack hunting, he gets along well with his fellow dogs and shows no signs of aggression. He is also extremely friendly and open-minded towards his people and especially children. The dog is always in a good mood and adapts easily to different circumstances.
Of course, despite all this, there is still a hunting dog in him who always comes out when he has the opportunity. As soon as a good smell is in the air, the beagle activates hunt mode and follows the scent. With a good dose of consistency, however, you can get the strong hunting instinct under control. Due to its high level of intelligence, the Beagle is stubborn and likes to act independently. So you cannot expect submissive obedience from the self-assured and persistent dog.
Getting a Beagle
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
If you want to bring a beagle puppy into your home, you should be absolutely sure. After all, the little rascal will remain part of your family for 12 to 15 years. During this time he does not like to be alone and needs a lot of exercise and care. He is used to having company and should definitely come with you on vacation. Once you have decided that the breed is right for you, it is important to find a reputable breeder.
It is best to visit several breeders and pester them with questions and see the condition of the puppies and the parents. For a purebred and healthy puppy, you should calculate 800 – 1200€. In animal shelters, of course, there is always a dear beagle or mongrel in need who is looking for a new home, a little cheaper. However, these dogs can be traumatized or rather difficult, which is why canine experience is important here.
Education of the Puppy
When training a young dog, there must be no lack of consistency. It is best if you already have some experience with dogs so that you can approach things correctly from the start. You should make it clear to the puppy from an early age that you are the leader of the pack and that he must not question your authority. With a scent-driven breed like the Beagle, you’ll get the most from tasty rewards in the form of snacks and food. Praise is generally better than punishment and advances the relationship between dog and owner. Due to their breeding as hunting dogs with a high degree of independence and determination, the beagle dogs need clear rules. Since the breed gets along very well with other dogs, attending a dog school is ideal. Here the puppy can playfully socialize and learn something at the same time.
How do I keep a Beagle?
Activities with the Beagle
Because the Beagle was originally bred as a hunting dog, it will require the appropriate level of alternative activities. Of course, long walks outdoors and regular contact with other dogs are essential. As an adult dog, you can also take the little hunting dog with you on bike tours or for jogging. Dog sports such as agility or dog dancing as well as small retrieval games also keep the dog busy. The dog also likes to use its nose in search games. Professional dummy training or just hiding treats in the apartment are particularly suitable for this.
Health and Care
The dog’s short, thick coat makes it very resilient to rain, wind, and snow. In addition, it is very easy to care for and only needs to be brushed from time to time. A regular check of the floppy ears for parasites is a lot more important. In terms of health, beagle dogs are considered to be very robust and hardly suffer from breed-related diseases. However, you should pay particular attention to a species-appropriate diet and sufficient exercise. Be careful not to give your dog too many treats and keep an eye on him while you go for a walk. The beagle tends to eat anything it finds on the ground, which can quickly have a negative effect.