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The beagle is a scent hound, which means it uses its super nose to hunt its prey. It is medium-sized with a short coat, which makes for easy and minimal grooming. It is not advisable for a beagle to be cooped up in a small city apartment. The beagle is a known explorer and chaser, prone to escape if not given enough physical stimulation. It is stubborn and has selective hearing, so it seldom comes back when called. The beagle also loves to eat and may be found looking into the trash bin for food. The average lifespan of a beagle is ten to fifteen years.
Regardless of its oddities, the beagle is a sociable, sweet, gentle, funny, and friendly dog. Are you thinking of getting a beagle? Here is a brief background of this small hunting dog.
The origin of beagle 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 fifth century BCE. Others believe it came from the Talbot hound created from the documented St. Huber hound in the eleventh century. The Talbot, which was a slow hunter, was crossed with a greyhound to increase its speed.
The earliest beagles were the smallest British pack hounds established in England in the fifteenth 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 33–41 centimetres at the withers and weighs 18–30 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 and a developed sense of smell.
The beagle is known for its distinctive tricolour coat that is short, dense, and weatherproof. It comes in a 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 at 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 look 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.
The beagle is a sociable, sweet, gentle, funny, and naughty dog. It is not a good guard dog as it is friendly to everybody. It 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.
The beagle can be a great family pet. However, since it is high-spirited, it can be ‘mouthy’ and rowdy when playing. It may grab your child’s hand for fun, so it must be trained to stop doing this. When it is left alone, it is prone to howling, digging, and destructive behaviours. It also loves escaping, so make sure that aside from being microchipped, it also needs to have a collar with your complete info.
Certain predispositions may create bias to first-time pet owners. However, it is crucial to be aware that despite its genetic make-up and predisposed temperament, the beagle is shaped based on early socialisation and training.
A typical serving for an adult beagle is 3/4–1 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, but you should also pay attention to its individual characteristics.
Typical calorie needs of an adult beagle per day:
The beagle is an active dog that requires a bit more protein, with experts recommending an average of 25 per cent of its 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 it pumpkin and carrots, which contain nutrients for anaemia. Make sure it gets good fat from fish and flaxseed for a healthy and shiny coat.
The beagle is generally healthy but prone to certain medical conditions especially eye-related ones such as glaucoma, cherry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Other diseases include anaemia, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, distichiasis, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, beagle dwarfism, Chinese beagle syndrome, and patellar luxation.
As a very active dog, the beagle requires plenty of exercise. It will happily go on daily walks with you. To make its exercise regimen more interesting, you can also include hunting and fetching games in a secured yard.
A beagle puppy can cost anywhere from £250 to £900. Expect to pay more for a well-bred pedigree puppy from a KC-registered breeder. Dog supplies and equipment such as collars, leashes, beds, and toys will cost around £200. As beagles are big eaters, prepare to spend £30- £40 a month on high-quality dog food and treats.
Expect to pay £800 per year for the dog’s medical care, including initial vaccinations (£100–£120), boosters (£50–£60), and regular check-ups. The monthly pet insurance premium is about £20 for basic coverage and £50 for a lifetime policy.
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 that it’s the right dog for you, feel free to take our Pet Finder for more suggested dog breeds.
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