Beagles: Interesting Facts
Thanks to their friendliness and cuteness, these hunting dogs with the skills of a hound have earned their place as one of the most popular house pets.
The beagles are medium-sized dogs that are known for their elegance, lively and docile nature, and powerful sense of smell. Although they come from England, these dogs are some of the most popular canines in the Americas, especially in the United States. Continue reading to find out some curiosities and interesting facts about this dog.
Little is known about their exact origins
Although the standard of this breed is attributed to Great Britain, little is known about their exact origins. The first known record of these hounds is in “On Hunting” by Xenophon. According to the description that this Greek philosopher and soldier, these records could correspond to the ancestors and origins of today’s beagle.
Also, there are very diverse records that allow us to understand that the modern beagle’s ancestors have been around humans since very primitive times. Since the eighteenth century, people began to breed them more selectively to standardize the breed’s traits.
In the nineteenth century, around 1840, the Beagle arrived on the American continent. At first, it was a hunting dog. However, due to their charismatic nature and remarkable beauty, these dogs have quickly gained enormous popularity as pets.
Queen Elizabeth I and the “pocket beagle”
In the eighteenth century, the beagle undersent miniaturization in order to become “pocket-sized”, so that new beagles would be smaller than the traditional hounds.
Although they are now nearly extinct, pocket beagles or “dwarf beagles were very popular. Among their most noticeable admirers was none other than Queen Elizabeth I.
As is often the case, that type of breeding process negatively affected the health of these dogs by producing dwarfism, genetic malformations, fertility problems, immune system weakness, etc.
For these reasons and other situations in their history, the pocket beagle is rare. Today, the standard-sized beagles are the most popular ones.
The beagle is a very intelligent, sensitive dog
Beagles are really smart and have very developed senses. Plus, they respond well to positive reinforcement training.
Thanks to their powerful sense of smell, these animals have an incredible tracking ability. That explains their enormous success in hunting. Their energetic personality and willingness to work have facilitated their adaptation to hunting in packs. Nowadays, they also serve successfully as detection dogs.
Snoopy, the most famous beagle in the world
Surely everyone knows the cute, funny Snoopy, created by Charles M. Schulz. What many people don’t know is that Charlie Brown’s charismatic companion was inspired by beagles. If you look at Snoopy’s ears and body, you can immediately see the trademark characteristics of this beloved canine breed.
Beagles usually have excellent health
Beagles are very strong and resistant to disease, so they usually have excellent health. However, they’re prone to obesity and need special care for their ears. Also, they show a low genetic predisposition to most degenerative diseases common to other canine breeds.
When they receive proper care and preventative medicine, these dogs rarely get sick and live long lives. Currently, the estimated life expectancy for this breed is between 12 and 15 years.
A Beagle’s ears need special care from their owners
Because they have long, droopy ears, beagles can accumulate moisture and dirt in their ear canals. They are especially prone to developing otitis, which is why they need special care.
In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to completely dry their ears inside and out, especially when the dog goes swimming or gets wet.
Remember it’s really important to check a beagle’s ears on a regular basis. You must check with your veterinarian whenever you find an anomaly, such as redness, an unpleasant odor, or swelling.
The beagle has been used in experiments throughout history
Unfortunately, its great character and excellent health have also made this breed one of the breeds that were used the most for dermatological and cosmetic product research.
Gradually, many brands are eliminating animal testing. All of us can help by choosing products that have already stopped conducting experiments on animals.