Considering getting a Beagle? Makes sure you know the characteristics of the breed. We've put together the following Beagle breed information and facts to create a profile of this dog so you have the critical information necessary to make a decision.
The beagle is a medium size breed dog which is classified as a member of the hound group. It favors a foxhound but it is smaller in size and has shorter legs. The beagle is known for its keen sense of smell and is widely used for hunting game. They make good pets because of their mild temperament, their size, and their lack of dog health problems which plague other pure breed dogs.
The beagle has a pleasant demeanor with a soft expression which endears him to people. He is usually great around children and is even depicted in the comics as Snoopy, who is known as the world's most famous beagle. As a rule the female beagle is slightly smaller than the male but otherwise the looks are the same.
When beagle puppies are born they resemble little balls of fat with their chubby little feet and legs which will barely lift them off the ground. As the beagle puppies develop into adult dogs they generally will grow to be about 13 to 16 inches tall with a tail that stands up straight when they are on the trail of some type game. The body becomes muscular as they grow into adulthood and they have large brown eyes with long, soft ears.
The Beagle breed comes in a range of colors, but the most common is the tricolor which is a white dog with large areas of black and brown scattered throughout the body. Some will also have various shades of tan which is also considered to be in the brown family. Sometimes you will find one that is only tan and white and does not have the black which is so popular. Beagle puppies are almost always born white with black spots. The brown spots will develop as they grow older. Sometimes it might take up to two years before the brown appears. Often the black areas will be so dark they will appear to be a midnight blue color.
The beagle is considered to be one of the top dogs when it comes to a sense of smell. They have a remarkable ability to do ground scenting, which simply means they can easily follow a scent along the ground. They are much better at following a scent along the ground than one which is in the air. It is believed that the long ears of the beagle help trap the scent close to the nose when the beagle's head is down.
With its even temper and gentle disposition, the beagle is neither aggressive nor shy. They enjoy human company and are just as happy laying around all day without exercise, although it is best if they get regular exercise to prevent them from gaining excess weight. Because of their gentle nature, they usually do not make good guard dogs, but they are considered to be intelligent and are eager to please their master. They tend to get along well with other dogs and with children. They often have a distinctive howl that tends to draw attention to them.
Beagles have a life span of about 12 years, but because of their lazy nature they may tend to gain weight if they do not get enough exercise. As with people, dogs that are overweight will tend to develop joint problems that will cause swelling and pain as puppy weight. Carrying extra weight may also contribute to heart problems. Normally they enjoy good dog health if they are taken care of properly. When in the field they may experience cuts and scrapes but these can be taken care of by the owner and generally do not require professional medical care. Because of their long and floppy ears, the owner should keep a close watch on their ears to check for infection. It is best if the ears are cleaned on a weekly basis since this can prevent ear problems.
The beagle was developed as hunting dogs but they also make great family pets. They are known for their success at rabbit hunting but their gentle nature also lends them to be a good pet in a home where there are small children. As with any pet, responsible ownership is encouraged.