They are one of America’s most beloved and popular dog breeds. Beagles are some of the most recognizable breeds as well. They are overly cute with their large floppy ears and outgoing personalities. They are great companions for adults and children alike, and while they may not be the most adaptable pets, they are very affectionate and friendly. Beagles are surely difficult to resist; they just have this appeal about them. They usually have brown pleading eyes that can probably make you do anything just to please this little animal. If you’re a softhearted pet owner, you might want to think twice about getting a Beagle for a pet because it’ll surely run your life—if you let it. If you’re not overly concerned about a Beagle running your life, then you might see past its shortcomings as a pet. Once you do, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a Beagle as a companion. They are some of the sweetest and funniest animals you’ll come across. Beagles love to socialize, and they’ll need it early on in order to grow up to be a well-rounded dog. If you happen to acquire an adult Beagle, don’t worry. You’ll still get plenty of chances to get acquainted and get used to each other. Just know that life with a Beagle is not going to be an easy one, but if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with more than you expect. Here are 20 cool facts that you probably didn’t know about Beagles:
Bred for hunting
The Beagle breed is a scent hound, a type of hound that hunts through the use of scents rather than by sight. Scent dogs are considered to have the most sensitive noses out of all canines, and Beagles certainly have that. Beagles were bred primarily for hunting rabbits and hare, which they happen to be excellent at. In addition to their incredible sense of smell, their stamina is just as incredible. As a matter of fact, when fox hunting became popular back in the days, dog breeders used the Beagle and crossed it with a Buckhound in order to create the Foxhound, which eventually became one of the best hunting dogs ever. While Beagles may no longer be typically used for rabbit hunting today, they still carry the same skills and instincts as they did ages ago.
Ears help noses
We all know that ears and noses all share the same system in the body. However in Beagles, they function together in an even more unique way. According to breed standards for Beagles, a Beagle’s ears should reach the tip of its nose when drawn out. It isn’t hard to picture because Beagle ears are typically long and large. This capability is supposed to help them with their smelling. How exactly? According to experts, the long ears of a Beagle actually catch scent particles and keep the scents as close as possible to the dog’s nose. This way, the Beagle can take in as much scent information as possible. There aren’t many other dogs that uses their ears and noses this way.
There’s a height limit for Beagles in order to be classified as part of the breed. In the United States, Beagles are generally classified into two different sizes. There are those that are stand under 13 inches, which is relatively small compared to other breeds. Beagles are generally considered to be in the category of small dogs anyway. But there are Beagles that are slightly bigger. The U.S. classifies another breed size that’s over 13 inches, but they have to be under 15 inches tall. Anything over that number will probably classify the dog apart from the Beagle breed. In England, the size classification is just a little different. A Beagle can be as tall as 16 inches high. That’s a 3-inch difference from the 13 inches that is standard for most Beagles in the U.S.
Beagles are not exactly known for being quiet animals. They’re actually known for being the exact opposites. They are loud, and they take “mouthing off” to the next level. The word “beagle” actually comes from the French word “begueule,” which means gaped throat. The reason why Beagles are so loud is actually because of a unique skill that only the Beagle can do. Beagles can vocalize in three different ways. Beagles have a standard bark, a howl, and a bay. You can probably imagine a howl, but if you’ve never heard a Beagle’s bay before, picture this. Imagine a dog yodeling. That’s what a bay sounds like. Beagles use the bay sound when they’re hunting. But when they’re aggravated or just being playful or stubborn, you might find that they use all three vocalizations to get your attention or to just get what they want.
All about the white tail
Beagles are known for their distinctive white tails, but their tails tell more stories than people generally know. The purpose of the white tail is actually practical. Back in the days when they were used more for hunting, the white tails helped the dogs become more visible to people when the Beagles had their noses in the ground while sniffing away during a hunt. Supposedly, breeders bred the white-tip tails into Beagles for this very reason. A Beagle’s tail is also an indication of whether the dog is a purebred or not. All Beagles will have some white hairs on their tails. But the concentration of hair will point to the purebred dogs. Purebred Beagles will have completely white-tipped tails.
If only a Beagle could be paid for its employment, many Beagles will be rich at this point. Because of their natural skills in hunting and smelling, Beagles are often hired as working dogs, and they are great at it too. For one, Beagles are often used as bedbug detectors. If you’ve ever had to deal with bedbugs before, you’ll know that they are difficult to see and difficult to get rid of. Beagles can easily detect bedbugs, and many hotels use these dogs to find the pests before an infestation happens. For an even more serious job, the Department of Homeland Security actually uses Beagles in airports to search luggage for various food. Illegally imported foods are one of the ways that foreign diseases and parasites are spread. Beagles that work for Homeland Security are known as The Beagle Brigade.
Elvis the Beagle
No, this particular Beagle can’t sing. The talent of Elvis the Beagle is something more particular and lucrative in the business of animals. Elvis the Beagle is a resident of the Denver Zoo, and he has one job: to detect whether the zoo’s resident polar bear is pregnant or not. How does Elvis do this? Zookeepers give Elvis a sample of the polar bear’s poop, and Elvis will simply sniff the truth—whether the polar bear is actually pregnant or is just exhibiting pseudopregnancy. This is a tremendous help for zookeepers who can’t pick up on pregnancy just by looking at polar bears. Elvis has an accuracy rate of 97 percent when it comes to identifying polar bear pregnancy. That’s more than impressive.
Presidents and their Beagles
There’s actually just one former president worth mentioning in this case. President Lyndon B. Johnson was known for his love of Beagles. He actually had three Beagles during his time at the White House. His Beagles were named Him, Her, and Edgar. Him and Her were silly names, and no one knows for sure why the former president named these two Beagles as such. But the third Beagle was named after famous FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover gave President LBJ the third pet when Him and Her passed away. While Him was alive, he had a litter of puppies, two of which were kept by the president’s daughter Luci. The two Beagles were named Kim and Freckles. Even after Luci left, Freckles remained and lived out the rest of his days in the White House.
Remember Barry Manilow? He was a big hit back in the days, and he made sure that his beloved Beagle shared the spotlight. He called his Beagle Bagel, and this famous pet can be found gracing the covers of many of Manilow’s albums back then. It isn’t unusual for pet owners to be so proud of their pets, and Manilow was just another proud Beagle owner. In fact, Manilow has been seen and photographed wearing a shirt that said, “I LOVE BEAGLES.” We think that the album covers were enough of a declaration, but we completely understand. To this day Manilow still professes his love for the breed and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
The most famous Beagle of all
This Beagle first became known in 1950 and has since become the most popular Beagle for adults and kids of all time. This Beagle happens to be fictional, and it is none other than Snoopy from the classic comic strip Peanuts. Many people love the characters from the comic strip, but Snoopy is easily one of the favorites. To this day, people discover and rediscover the comic strip without even realizing that Snoopy is a Beagle. As a matter of fact, Snoopy is more specifically an AKC-registered Beagle. While Snoopy may be the most famous Beagle of all, he isn’t the only cartoon Beagle. Garfield, the laziest cartoon cat there is, has a dog best friend named Odie. Odie also happens to be a Beagle. There’s also Gromit from Wallace and Gromit, and of course, we can’t forget to mention Underdog. Courage the Cowardly dog is also a Beagle.
Did we mention that Beagles are small? They sure are, but at one point in time, Beagles were much smaller compared to their modern versions. The earliest Beagles were even referred to as “Pocket Beagles” because of how small they were back then. Back then refers to the 14th and 15th centuries when the maximum height of Beagles would only go up to about 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulders. We’re all very much aware that all breeds change over time for various reasons. In the case of the Beagle, the reason why the original Pocket Beagles no longer exist is simply because they just sized up. Over time, breeders just kept breeding Beagles with larger sizes, possibly to assist and enhance their hunting skills. This grew the Pocket Beagles larger and larger until they were pocket-sized no more.
Most experts disagree on the specific timeline when Beagles first appeared, but they all agree on one thing: Beagles are old. Some experts say that the Beagle roots can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. Others say that evidence of Beagles can be traced back to 5th century Greece, where dogs of similar size to Pocket Beagles were used for hunting. No one really knows for sure what the exact origins of the Beagle are, but the modern American Beagle can be traced back to a more recent time and place. The American Beagles we know today were bred from various strains of the English Beagle back in the 1860s. Of course, breeders picked out most of only attractive strains, and that’s how the American Beagle came to be what beautiful animal it is now.
There’s history written somewhere that claims Queen Elizabeth to be the first person ever to own a Beagle. Some experts believe that Pocket Beagles came about during the time of the Elizabethan period. Again, this is just another speculation as to what the true origin of the Beagle is. No one may know for sure, but it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine Queen Elizabeth with a Beagle. Royalty is known for their hunting traditions, after all, and if Beagles were used for hunting during that time, we’re sure that Queen Elizabeth got her hands on one of those cute little puppies to have as a pet. Even if she weren’t the first person to actually own a Beagle, she can still claim stake at the title just because she had the most coveted title of it all—Queen of England. She probably could’ve rewritten history if she wanted to.
Beagles are extremely smart animals. They are in constant search for adventure, and sometimes, this might mean that they’ll have to go beyond the fence in order to find it. This is the reason why Beagles are known as the great escape artists among the canine species. They are very talented when it comes to jumping fences or digging through under a fence just to get out. Even though Beagles are small, you’ll probably have to invest in taller fences just to keep them in. Don’t even think about getting chain links for enclosures because Beagles can easily climb those. You’ll also probably need to incorporate some sink wire with whatever fencing you have to prevent digging. And if you think that a lock will fix all your escaping issues, make sure you have a quality latch because a Beagle can learn to open flimsy latches.
It might not be a secret that Beagles are difficult to train. More specifically, Beagles are difficult to housebreak. As smart as they normally are, they’re particularly slow when it comes to picking up housebreaking skills. You’ll have to train them for months before they can grasp the concept. You’ll have to be patient and dedicated with training as well; otherwise, they’ll never pick it up. Your Beagle will fight you and whine about being made to go in one spot, but as soon as you let it know who’s in charge, they’ll get the picture eventually. You wouldn’t want poop or pee all over your house, so this is probably one of the first things you’ll need to concentrate on when training your Beagle.
Beagles are smart and they’re also difficult to train. These are the very same reasons why they need a lot of discipline as pets. First off, if you’re looking to have a Beagle for a pet, make sure you take into consideration the temperament of both parents. Beagles are considered to be unreliable when it comes to having a more generalized temperament, and they typically need discipline either way. Without discipline, your Beagle can become quite disastrous. You’ll want to make sure that you get your point across to your Beagle. If not, your pet will think that everything is just a big game and that you’re not being serious. You’ll have to lay some ground rules with this pet.
Some people may think that Beagles are the perfect apartment or loft pets just because of their size. This thought could never be more wrong. Remember that these animals were bred to hunt. This is why they need more running and exercise than the average dog. Beagles have to run a lot, and they have a stamina that can outlast yours at any given day. They’ll have to be walked daily, and if they don’t get their walk and run time, they’ll figure out ways to do it in your house—no matter how small or big it is. Beagles who don’t get the exercise they need tend to get bored and destructive. Not getting enough exercise also tends to put stress on their bodies.
Besides the overall stress on the body, Beagles generally have other issues as well. They’re actually considered to have very poor health because they are prone to contracting many health problems. Some of these may include skin conditions, ear infections, eye disease, diabetes, and heart disease among many others. They also can get osteoporosis, especially if they don’t get just the right amount of exercise they need. While Beagles may have poor general health, it is possible for them to live a long and healthy life. You’ll have to put in the work as the pet owner in order to make something like that happen, but if you care for your dog, you’ll do whatever it takes anyway. Make sure that they get the walks also since they have a tendency to gain weight quickly.
Beagles gain weight easily. That’s a fact. It may be because they just don’t get the amount of running that they need. If you think that you’re giving your Beagle enough running space and activity, you’re probably still not giving it enough. But there’s another reason why Beagles might gain weight easily. That’s because they have a tendency to overeat. Remember how Snoopy always worried about his food bowl? Beagles are actually like that in real life. If given the chance, they will eat way more than they actually need or can handle. Besides monitoring the food that you give them during mealtimes, you should also make sure that you put all food away where your Beagle can’t access them. Your Beagle will sniff out all the foods that it likes and it wouldn’t matter if the foods were in the refrigerator, the cupboards, or the trash bin; it will find a way to get to the food—so lock your food away.
As cute as these animals can be, they can get quite smelly. Ironically, being that that they’re scent hounds themselves, Beagles actually produce their own very distinct dog odor, and it isn’t the most pleasant smell. Beagles are not necessarily high maintenance dogs, but they will shed quite a bit. Even though Beagles are shorthaired dogs, they still manage shedding as much as the usual shredder. If you’re not up to cleaning up after a lot of dog hairs or if you’re not down with doggy odor, you might want to think twice before getting a Beagle for yourself. Otherwise, if you hardly care and are willing to work your hardest to have one of these energetic animals to be your companion, a Beagle will definitely make it worth your while.