Dogs in focus: the beagle
The beagle’s characteristic hazel eyes and long ears bring a smile to any owner’s face. Ranked the 7th most popular breed in America in 2019, it’s easy to see why these fun-loving dogs are such a hit with the whole family. In the article to follow, we’ll explore the breed in more detail.
Beagles have an impressive sense of smell
There’s a reason beagles are used to hunt hares – they’ve got one of the sharpest noses around. Humans typically have 5 million receptors to pick up scents. Beagles? 220 million. Take them on a walk and you’ll notice that their snout leads their feet – not the other way round. These dogs are highly trainable and very intelligent; in concert with their nose, they’re incredibly useful in law enforcement circles, often used to sniff out drugs at crime scenes and airports.
Beagles don’t emit the traditional doggy “smell”
Beagles require minimal bath time and really only need to be brushed a couple of times a week. They don’t emit the traditional “doggy” smell, either, and don’t drool like other breeds. This makes them a particularly neat addition to the home, though spring is shedding season, so bear this in mind.
Beagles are highly sociable animals
Beagles are used to operating in packs and need a lot of socialization. Bear this in mind if you don’t have any other dogs in the house, or if you’re going to be away from home for long periods of the day. When a beagle is unhappy, he’ll voice his displeasure quite vocally too. Put it this way: you’ll know about it.
Beagles require plenty of exercise
Are you a couch potato? Then the beagle isn’t for you. This hyperactive breed needs an hour of walking a day. Much of this energy can be traced back to the breed’s history. As hunting hounds, they would have spent large portions of their time sniffing out prey.
Did you know?
- A beagle isn’t a true beagle unless it has a little white tip on its tail. This is a trait that unites the breed; the signature marking helps other members of the pack find their companion as they move through woodland in search of prey.
- Beagles are one of the oldest breeds around; well known to people before even the Romans arrived in England (55 B.C.).
- The name? It’s thought to be derived from the French be-geule – a sound that hounds make while on the hunt.
- The beagle was first added to the American Kennel Club database in 1885 – one of the first to be included.