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Beagle - Breed Profile

There is not much that is cuter than a Beagle puppy, with its long floppy ears and fun loving character. It is very easy to get carried away with buying a cute puppy without first considering its needs as an adult dog.

Small, energetic, low maintenance, the Beagle makes a great family pet as long as you know what you're in for.

History

The Beagle is one of the oldest of purebred hounds, his ancestors being traced back to Greece in about 400 BC. In Britain it has been mentioned in early literature such as Chaucer's 14th Century Canterbury Tales and it was a favourite of several monarchs such as Henry VI, Henry VIII, Charles II and Elizabeth I. 

The Beagle was originally bred as a scent hound (as opposed to a sight hound). In Britain it has been used as a hunting hound that was run in packs to chase down small game such as hares and rabbits.

The Beagle is now a very popular pet and show dog. It's worth remembering that it is the breeding that makes the Beagle what it is today, which directly influences its pluses and minuses in a domestic situation. 

Appearance

In Australia, Beagles are about 30-40cm (13-16″) at the shoulder and weigh approximately 11-13kg (24-30lb). They are a small to mid-sized breed, with a short, smooth, weatherproof coat.

There are many variations but the most common is Tricolour (black, tan and white); blue, white and tan; badger pied; hare pied; lemon pied; lemon and white; red and white; tan and white; black and white; all white. 


The Beagle's eyes are dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild appealing expression.

Because of their correct dog shape, they are generally free of the genetic faults that plague many other breeds. 


For the full Breed Standard, please visit the ANKC Website 


Temperament & Training

The Beagle is said to be lively, inquisitive, and tolerant of children but most owners admit they are also stubborn and single-minded especially if nose down on a scent! 



Are you prepared to put some time and effort in training your new dog? 
Are you prepared to walk your dog on a lead at all times?

Beagles have been bred with a mild, even temperament, and being hounds, they have a high level of intelligence, which means that given good care and attention, they make wonderful companions.


Because the Beagle was bred as a pack animal, it is important that they receive plenty of company. This can be from their human family or from other dogs. 

If your family and lifestyle is one where nobody is home for long periods during the day then the Beagle is not for you. If you are regularly away from home for long periods and must have a Beagle, then we highly recommend you get another companion dog. 
If left on their own for long periods of time, they will tend to wander or get into mischief, i.e. excessive barking, taking clothes off the line, trying to escape – these are but a few avenues of entertainment for a bored dog.

A Beagle must be able to roam free in a securely fenced backyard and / or in the house.  The yard must have a jump proof, dig proof and chew proof fence that is at least 5 feet high! Wire mesh fences may be climbed, so good solid timber paling fences are suitable. If you can’t provide an escape-proof backyard, then DON’T BUY A BEAGLE

Beagles are adept diggers so will be you be happy to live with a back lawn which may resemble a lunar landscape, covered in craters and pot holes?

Are you prepared to make sure all your shoes, toys and anything else you don't want chewed are not left within Beagle range? 

Health & Lifespan

The Beagle is a tough little dog with few health problems
However, they can still develop health conditions. These are some conditions to watch out for:
  • Epilepsy: A neurological disease that causes seizures.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition caused by insufficient thyroid hormones.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): A condition that occurs when the discs between vertebrae bulge and press on nerves.

Beagles have an immense food drive and are often fed more than they need. As a result, it is often common see an overweight or obese Beagle which will significantly affect their health (it can lead to problems such as back strain) and reduce their lifespan.

Be sure to keep their floppy ears clean to prevent ear infections. Also, remember to trim the dog's nails regularly to prevent overgrowth, which can affect the gait.

Most Beagles live a long and healthy life, the average age being around 12-15 years.

Grooming

Their short, smooth coat only needs an occasional wash and brush. This breed is known to be a seasonal shedder and during that time will require weekly grooming.

Being a small, smooth-coated dog the breed will suit many people as an indoor dog, although they are said to develop a “doggy” odour, even when washed regularly.

Recommended for:

If you are have young children and are looking for a family dog, the Beagle is highly recommended as a pet for families with children under the age of 10 years. 

The Beagle is an ideal breed for active households
Photo: Jaroslaw Knapek on Unsplash

For more information on the Breed, please contact one of the local Clubs:

The Beagle Club of NSW Inc.
Beagle Club of Queensland Inc
Beagle Club of Victoria Inc
Beagle Club of South Australia Inc
Western Australian Beagle Club Inc

Most Clubs also have their re-homing service and may have dogs available for adoption.

Temperament: Friendly but stubborn
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Recommended for: Families, Active Households
Maintenance: Low
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