In this month’s Dog Breed Corner, we take a look at the dog who inspired Snoopy. Check out the Beagle’s origins, personality, trainability, living needs, and more!
Quick Facts ✔
Height – 33 – 41 cm
Weight – 9 – 11kg
Lifespan – 12 – 15 years
Country of origin – United Kingdom
Breed type – Hound Dog
- Families with children
- Households with other pets
- Active Owners
Breed History ♜
Due to their popularity as a pet, cartoon character, and sniffer dog, the Beagle is a fixture around the world. However, the origins of the Beagle as we know it today lie in 19th century England. Prior to this, records suggest that Beagle-like dogs existed all across Europe – dating as far back as 400 B.C. Greece. The reason this type of dog breed has been popular for so long is chiefly due to its nose. Thanks to their keen sense of smell and manageable size, the Beagle was historically trained to hunt foxes and rabbits. These days, however, humans keep Beagles more for their happy-go-lucky natures than their skill at tracking a scent.
Personality Traits, & Trainability ★
Combine the playful energy of a puppy with the stubborn inquisitiveness of a hound, and you have yourself a Beagle. In the spirit of full disclosure, it’s only fair to say that the Beagle can be difficult to train. However, if you’re up for a challenge, this floppy-eared darling will bring you a world of joy.
Before we delve into their more charming traits, let’s begin with the cons. The Beagle loves to bark, so you’ll need to train them out of the habit if you value your serenity. They also take longer than most breeds to housetrain; a crate will be crucial in keeping your floor pee-free.
Finally, their greatest asset can also be their greatest curse. You remember that scent-tracking super nose that made them so invaluable to fox hunters? It also takes them on all manner of adventures whenever they catch a whiff of something interesting. And once they settle on a scent, no amount of fetch or walkies will distract them from their sniffy investigations.
Now that their problems are out of the way, we can focus on why the Beagle is such a gem. For starters, you’re not likely to find a more affable dog. If you socialise them early, the Beagle should befriend your partner, your friends, the pizza delivery person, and total strangers. Regardless of if you have no children or a horde of little ones, the Beagle will warm to your family. The same goes for other pets. Whether you have a cat, dog, or ring-tailed lemur, your Beagle will willingly join their pack.
At times, the Beagle can test their boundaries by misbehaving. As they often think with their stomachs, the fastest way to deter bad behaviour is with treats. When they start acting up, hover a treat within their eyesight – then remove it until they stop what they’re doing. Once they’ve calmed down, offer them the treat as a reward. Repeat several times, and they’ll learn that the fastest way to a treat is by following your commands.
Living Conditions ⌂
For such an inquisitive dog, the Beagle adapts surprisingly well to apartment living. Having said that, their fondness for barking can irritate neighbours who live in close proximity.
As we mentioned earlier, most Beagles will live well alongside children and other pets. However, this social streak has a flipside: if you leave them on their own for too long, they’ll become distressed. You can then expect them to chew furniture, dig holes, and make a mess. More importantly, though, they’ll carry their disquiet long after you’ve returned home. For those who can’t remain with their Beagle during the day, we recommend looking into Doggy Daycare.
In terms of exercise, the average Beagle requires around an hour of walking per day. However, once you’ve bonded with your furry friend, you’ll enjoy every minute of it.
As their eyes can often be bigger than their stomach, the Beagle can succumb to weight gain. To keep your pooch trim and taut, monitor the amount of food in their bowl – and never overfeed them!
Fun Fact ♥
While they have no issue chasing after carnivorous foxes, the well-socialised Beagle would rarely hurt a human. In fact, they’re considered one of the worst breeds for home guard dog duty. The reason? They’re too friendly – even towards burglars!
Even so, law enforcement still employ them at airports; their noses are perfect for sniffing out contraband.