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The Beagles are scenthounds, which means they use their super nose to hunt their prey. They are medium-sized with a short coat, makes for easy and minimal grooming. It is not advisable for beagles to be cooped up in small city apartments. Beagles are known explorers and chasers, prone to escape if not given enough physical stimulations. They are stubborn and have selective hearing, so they seldom come back when called. Beagles also love to eat and may be found looking into the trash for food. The average lifespan of a Beagle is 10 – 15 years.
Regardless of their oddities, Beagles are sociable, sweet, gentle, funny, and friendly dogs. Are you thinking of getting a Beagle? Here is a brief background of this small hunting dog.
The origin of Beagles is a bit complicated since there are a lot of claims but reliable documentation is lacking. Even the name Beagle is being debated over whether it is a French or German word. Some say that there have been hunting dogs of similar appearance and size in Greece in the 5th century BCE. Others believe it came from the Talbot Hound, created from the documented St. Huber Hound in the 11th century. Talbots, which were slow hunters, were crossed with Greyhounds to increase their speed.
The earliest Beagles were the smallest British pack hounds established in England in the 15th century. Miniature ones were created and Queen Elizabeth even kept “Pocket Beagles” in saddle panniers. The UK does not breed the miniature version anymore but the US has kept it and currently has two varieties.
The Beagle stands 33 to 41 centimetres at the withers and weighs between 18 and 30 pounds. It resembles a miniature Foxhound, with broader head and shorter square-cut muzzle. It has a domed skull and long round-tipped ears. It has a black nose with wide nostrils with a developed sense of smell.
Beagles are known for their distinctive tricolour coat that is short, dense and weatherproof. It comes in variety of colour combinations, usually in black-tan-white, blue-white-tan, hare pied, lemon pied or badger pied. It is generally a clean dog so baths can be done as needed especially when it has that “doggy smell.” Brushing can be done once a week to remove dead hair. It sheds minimally in certain times of the year especially in the spring. As a drop-eared dog, it is prone to ear infections so it should be checked at least twice a week.
Since the coat does not require much grooming, you will have more time giving a Beagle a thorough cleaning. Take care of its teeth and gums, brushing them at least twice a week. Also ook out for ticks, fleas and other abnormalities. Regular grooming appropriately done will help in the early detection of health problems. Abnormal findings during grooming must be consulted with a veterinarian so that they can prescribe proper treatments and medications.
Beagles are sociable, sweet, gentle, funny, and naughty dogs. They are not good guard dogs as they are friendly to everybody. They can also be stubborn and house training can be very challenging, which can take a year for some. Obedience training at a young age is needed, which would require positive reinforcement and plenty of treats.
Beagles can be great family pets. However, since they are high spirited, they can be rowdy when playing and are “mouthy.” They may grab your child’s hand for fun so they must be trained to stop doing this. When they are left alone, they are prone to howling, digging and destructive behaviours. They also love escaping so make sure that aside from being microchipped and they have collars with your complete info.
Certain pre-dispositions may create a bias to first-time pet owners. However, it is crucial to be aware that despite its genetic makeup and predisposed temperament, Beagles are shaped based on early socialisation and training.
A typical serving for an adult is 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Since each dog has distinctive needs, the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Not only should you consider its nutritional requirements as a breed, you should also pay attention to its individual characteristics.
Typical calorie needs of adult Beagles per day:
Beagles are active dogs that require a bit more protein, with experts recommending an average 25% of their overall diet. The breed can easily gain weight so owners should opt for complex instead of simple carbs. Avoid wheat, corn and soy, and choose brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes instead. You may also feed them pumpkin and carrots, which contain nutrients for anaemia. Make sure they get good fat from fish and flaxseed for a healthy and shiny coat.
Beagles are generally healthy but prone to certain medical conditions especially eye-related ones such as Glaucoma, Cherry Eye and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Other diseases are anaemia, Hip Dysplasia, Intervertebral Disk Disease Distichiasis, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Beagle Dwarfism, Chinese Beagle Syndrome, and Patellar Luxation.
As very active dogs, Beagles require plenty of exercise. They will happily go on daily walks with you. To make their exercise regimen more interesting, you can also include hunting and fetching games in a secured yard.
Before purchasing a dog or puppy, it is essential to consider the cost of raising it. One requirement to become a responsible dog owner is to be financially stable, enough to provide for your dog, at the least.
In owning a Beagle, there are necessary costs you need to add to your budget, other than food. Let’s start with food and dog treats. The price of food will vary depending on the size of the dog. However, this does not seem to apply for Beagles because they’re big eaters. Prepare to spend at least £30 – £40 a month. Dog supplies or equipmentsuch as collars, leashes, beds, and toys will cost around £200 and up, provided that Beagles don’t destroy them as often.
You’re lucky if you come upon free veterinary consultations for a simple health check. There are tons of online pet websites offering free vet services for a basic consultation. Other than regular consultations, you also need to consider initial vaccinations (£100 – £120) and annual boosters (£50 – £60).
Are you sure the Beagle is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Do you find the Beagle a handful dog breed? If you’re not sure it’s the right dog for you, feel free to take our Pet Finder for more suggested dog breeds.
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