The first time that the word 'beagle' was used in English literature was back in 1475. Although the exact origin of this word is not certain, some believe that it originated from the French word begueule, which means 'Open Throat', which has been derived from the word bayer, which means 'open wide' and guele, which means 'mouth'. Another supposed origin is the Gaelic word beag, which means 'little'. Other possibilities are the French word beugler, which means 'to bellow', and the German word begele, which means 'to scold'.
It is said that the Talbot hound (which is now extinct) is the most recent ancestor of this dog. The Talbot hound was brought to England in the seventh century by William the conqueror. Another hound that played a significant part in the forming of this breed is the black and tan Kerry Beagle. These dogs have an excellent sense of smell, so it is believed that the Beagle inherited its sense of smell from the Kerry Beagle of Ireland.
This is first and foremost a hunting dog, which is what it was born and bred for. Beagling (a poor person's foxhunting) is done on foot. Anywhere from 1 to 32 dogs can be used in the hunt. Now of course, there are several different techniques used to bring down the prey.
One of these techniques is to simply bring the dogs and let them find the trail and start tracking the animal that is to be hunted. They should not be followed when they run. They circle and come back. Different animals have different-sized territories that they do not normally leave. They eventually come to the point where the hunter is.
This dog is used as a sniffer to detect import of illegal foodstuffs or for such other purposes due to its excellent sense of smell. However, it is only good for ground sniffing, not air sniffing. This is the reason why this dog is not used in rescue operations. A popular choice for this purpose being the Collie, which uses air sniffing and sight for the same.
The average height for this dog is 13 to 16 inches (33 to 41cm). The average weight for males is 22 to 25 lbs (10 to 11 kg) and for females is 20 to 23 lbs (9 to 10 kg). The coat is short and hard, and does not require excessive grooming. The life expectancy of this dog is 12 to 15 years, as it is a small breed.
It has big eyes, which are hazel or light-brown in color. Its ears are long and rounded at the bottom. The coat of the dog can have a variety of colors that are normally present in hound dogs. Tri-colored coats have three varieties. The classic-tri, where the dog has a black back, the dark-tri, which is a combination of darker-black and lighter-brown markings, and the faded-tri, which is a combination of lighter-black and darker-brown markings. In the two-colored coat, tan and white is the most common combination. However, other colors such as reddish-brown, light-tan, and dark-brown or black, can also be present.
Health and Maintenance
Grooming this dog is really easy. The main problem is its ears. Due to their length, warm and moist air gets trapped in them, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which makes this dog prone to ear infections. A good preventive is regular cleaning of the ears and just being careful when you are giving the dog a bath.
Another common problem with this breed is obesity. This breed love to eat, and will finish whatever is given. This causes older or sedentary dogs to put on a lot of weight. Due to this, an eating schedule should be set up or the owner should keep a proper check on the dog's diet.
Hypothyroidism, dwarfism, hip dysplasia, arthritis, glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, and back problems are some health issues found in this breed.
This is the perfect pet to get if there are small children in the house. It is a gentle, loving, and loyal breed that will even take care of a toddler. Although it has a reputation for being loud and boisterous, there are some individuals who have a calm and quiet nature. This is not a suitable breed as a guard dog, but can make a good watchdog as it tends to bark a lot. It has an even temper, and has been described as 'merry' in many breed standards. It gets along well with other dogs.
This dog is generally not very demanding when it comes to exercise. Due to the purpose for which this breed was developed, this dog does not tire very fast. However, it does not need to be exhausted to rest, and can sleep easily at any time. However, since it is prone to obesity, regular exercise is important.