The Beagles

(and no, I don't mean The Beatles!)

Description: I’m almost sure your kids fell in love with beagles after seeing Cats & Dogs. Getting a beagle might not be such a bad idea, because they are nice, sweet, loving and full of energy dogs, suited for families with more that one member.
At its origins, it was a scent hound, with a very well developed smell, and it was used for hunting, in packs. It was one of the smallest hounds. Taking into account their efficiency at smelling, they prove good dogs for narcotics detection. But, unfortunately, because they do not vary a lot in size, they are also used in medical experiments.

Group: Hound.

Physical characteristics: There are two height classes, 13-15 inches (33-38 cm) and under 13 inches (33 cm).
Weight: Dogs 22-25 pounds (10-11 kg) Bitches 20-23 pounds (9-10 kg)

Temperament: The beagle is a pack hound, this is why it likes to live “crowded”. They like other dogs and lots of humans around. Life is much fun like this. They are not supposed to be the only pet in the house. They’re loaded with love and they share it with anybody nearby. Their tail never stops wagging.
Being hounds, don’t trust them too much when it comes to other pets. They may naturally chase and kill them. And don’t let them home alone. They will pick a scent and will leave, following their nose. You might not see them again because, in that big world outside, they will soon charm someone and make new friends.
Frisky and friendly, the beagle is the dog suited for every family and environment.

Health: Generally healthy dogs, but some are prone to heart conditions and epilepsy. Others might have achondroplasia, a sort of dwarfism that leads to backaches and warped front legs as well.
The most important aspect is the ear hygiene, because they might be affected by painful ear infections.

Maintenance/Grooming: The beagle has a smooth, short-haired coat and it is average shedder, this is why it has low grooming demands. Brush daily to remove dead hairs. A complete grooming interval is not needed to be more frequent than 6-8 weeks.
Bathe only when necessary and, in general, after they roll in bad smelling things. After all, they are hounds, remember? Do not forget to check the nails and ears regularly, and brush their teeth, they eat all sort of things.

Training: There are two important aspects in training beagles, both having something to do with their origins as a hound.
First of all, socialize the puppies with other animals and pets. Be sure they meet and make friendship with cats from an early age. Almost sure you won’t keep the whole litter, and the puppies might go in a home with cats or other small animals.
Then, take care of the fact that they tend to pick a smell and off they go. The scent is more important than what they were previously doing and if not trained properly, you will have a robot-like dog, sniffing all day long all over the place and loudly announcing every difference it notices. Instead of it being your watchdog, you will be the one watching it all day long, in order not to get lost.
These dogs are athletic, full of energy, bold and intelligent. Training should be firm and using different methods, because this little funny dog tends to get bored. Very active, it likes long walks (at least 1-1,5 hours) but, out of the yard, the dog should be kept in leash.
They make great dogs for search and rescue operations and you will notice them in lots of airports, working in finding illegal substances, narcotics and drugs.
A new branch for beagles is pest control, because they can find termites and other bugs from the distance. But, in order to achieve that, training must begin early.

Breeding, puppies: 2-14 puppies, with an average of 7. If you intend to keep a pair, be prepared to have a bunch of puppies cruising around the house to pick any sort of smell available. This is the way they know and map their territory.

Varieties: The beagle can have any true hound color. Black, white shades of tan or red, alone or in combination.

For beagle pictures, click here.

For beagle puppy pictures, click here.

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