The Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog of the hound type (scent hound) originally bred to hunt hares through its phenomenal sense of smell. The Beagle is one of the cutes dog breeds. The modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s by several breeds and it has since been represented in popular culture through literature, paintings, television and comic books (we all know Snoopy of the Peanuts comic strip!).
The Beagle is generally between 13 and 16 in (33-41 cm) high at the withers and weighs between 18 and 35 lb (8.2-15.9 kg). Beagles were used for hunting purposes and were raised in packs which made them sociable and always on the search for companionship. This breed is very active, friendly and playful which makes it the perfect dog for both families with children or other pets. A short, smooth coat and beautifully expressive eyes are just more reasons why people are so attracted to this type of dog.
So you’re thinking about welcoming a young Beagle into your home? This is when you should start to research the breed and its traits making sure it will suit your lifestyle. Only contact professional breeders who will help you pick the right pup for you.
Once your puppy is ready to come home, be prepared and have a safe environment ready for your pet. Make sure you have the right dog food: puppies need to follow a specific diet to sustain their growth. You may wish to consult the vet or continue with what the breeder was feeding your Beagle. Purchase a cozy bed, chew toys to help your pup get some relief during the teething process, an adjustable collar and a good leash. Remove any dangerous objects that your dog could reach and choke on.
Give your pup plenty of affection and gradually introduce it to the new environment. Pay attention to how it behaves and begin to learn its temperament.
The Beagle is a very sociable breed that has a strong sense of independence (sometimes seen as stubbornness!) that makes it a pet with a balanced nature: your pup will enjoy playing with you and the other family members but it is also able to entertain itself for a few hours. This behavioural trait can be an advantage for owners that may be out of the house for work during the day.
As all puppies, Beagles are very playful and curious: they love exploring the outdoors and obviously, their great sense of smell will guide them to follow the scent of a hidden toy or food scrap. Because of their hunting nature, Beagles will always be by your side in discovering new territories which means they will be great out on a walk where they can run around freely. While your dog is still young, teach it to use its senses inside the house and play hide and seek or any game that will require your pup to sniff.
A Beagle's coat doesn't require frequent rimming and it doesn’t require the same level of care as a long-haired breed. However, it is advisable to brush your pup’s coat at least once a week to help it maintain smooth and shiny. Should you wish to keep your Beagle’s fur nice and neat, a professional groomer can trim the hair every 2-3 months using electric clippers.
Get your pup used to being handled on a regular basis and clean its eyes, ears and teeth.
Due to large hanging ears, it is essential that you inspect this area with care and keep it clean to avoid infections. The Beagle is equipped with extra-long eyelashes so make sure to check their length and clean the eye are with the same frequency as the ears. You can ask for your vet’s advice on which products to use. Check that your Beagle doesn’t grow long nails and have them frequently clipped. If you establish a good routine, you won’t need to bathe your dog too often.
As for any other dog breed, the best way to keep your Beagle healthy is to feed it a balanced and healthy diet based on its age and activity level. Be sure not to overfeed your pup as this breed has a tendency to obesity.
When you first bring your puppy home make sure you ask the breeder or rescue shelter about the kind of diet it was following. It is important not to change its food suddenly to avoid upsetting its digestive system. Any change should occur gradually over 7-10 days by slowly introducing the new food with increasing amounts. Moreover, puppies require more protein, fibre and vitamins as their bone and muscular structure will keep growing at least until 12-14 months. Make sure you keep plenty of water and refresh the bowl every day. Clean the food and water bowls daily to prevent bacteria from polluting them.
As mentioned, the Beagle is quite an active breed that enjoys playing with both humans and other pets. Especially while it is still young, you will need to spend some time interacting with your pet whether it be inside the house or outside. Make sure you take your pup for at least two short walks every day. Remember, dogs under 12 months shouldn’t be over-exercised as this could damage a proper growth of their bone structure. Mix it up a bit and play at home: you can work on training your pet and teaching it new commands, playing fetch and socialising your Beagle around other dogs and people.
The average lifespan of the Beagle is 12-15 years which is common for a dog its size.
This breed is prone to few health issues like epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and different kind of infections mainly affecting their long floppy ears and big eyes.
Overall, Beagles are considered to be fairly healthy dogs throughout their life provided that they are regularly monitored by their owner and checked by an experienced vet.
Make sure you research your puppy's background before adopting or buying: ask the breeder to see the parents and about its family history, have all the necessary vaccines and deworming done by the vet. If your pet spends lots of time outdoors, remember to inspect its coat for parasites particularly in the more sensitive areas like the ears, eyes and tail.
Once your pup is fully grown, be sure to keep it physically and mentally active through exercise and training. This will only help your Beagle to live a long and happy life as your best friend!