Generally, dogs are man’s best friend. That explains why they are the most adored and cherished pets. However, each dog has unique personalities, loyalty levels, intellectual and social abilities that are highly dependent on its breed. All these are specifics that every dog owner will consider when determining the dog breed they’ll add to the family. Beagles happen to be among the most beloved and sought family pets in the United States. There are several types of beagles, each with very distinctive features. From different coat varieties to different eye shapes! Some have a shade of white, while others have marked color variations of black, brown, and fawn.
What to Know Before Owning a Beagle
Beagles have been hunting rabbits and foxes for more than 1400 years. Wondering what makes them the perfect dog breed for this task? It’s their exquisite sense of smell, determination, alertness, loyalty, and energy. All these traits are inborn and an excellent possession for this hunting hound. Years back, these dogs were bred for hunting, but today they’ve become a perfect family pet among many families. This article will explore the different types of beagles you can find today.
1. Field Beagle
These are the most common beagles, and you can quickly identify them through their brown and white spots. They are stocky and energetic dogs with muscular build and boast a great sense of smell. They love to run around in the open air. These features make them an optimal hunting breed as they can quickly sniff out game birds in fields and chase after them. Like all beagles, Fields are friendly with their families and wary of strangers. They have short hair and are usually born with the “dappled” (spotted) coat- a feature inherited by their offspring.
2. Pocket Beagle
Another wonderful type is the Pocket Beagle, a tiny and short-legged breed. The pocket beagle is a crossbreed of a greyhound and a Talbot hound. This beagle type was first raised in the 11th century when the Talbot hound arrived in Britain. Pocket beagles are known as “breezers” due to their sprinting techniques and abilities. They may have short legs, but their torso is long and stocky. Incredible physique, right! This crossbreed of Beagle came into the limelight for the first time during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. During hunting sessions, the pocket beagles would sit at her lap and pockets while the massive dogs were out to catch prey. If looking for an active, confident, and energetic furry friend, consider the Pocket Beagles. It will make a great companion. Besides, it’s great with kids if trained well from a tender age. Unlike large dog breeds, pocket beagles are very playful and friendly with their families. They have a docile temperament and are pretty obedient. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the pocket beagle as its independent breed. However, these dogs are considered mini standard beagles, considerably smaller than the average Beagle.
3. Show Type Beagles
These are show-quality dogs and are bred for appearance and conformation. The show-type beagles have short legs, long backs, and squat bodies, covered with very short hair on a brown or black coat. Most of them have dark brown eyes, while some have hazel eyes. Their ears are either cropped or standing upright, and they have a distinctive “button nose.” These beagles are very elegant. Those who own show-type beagles can’t get enough of this breed’s sweet personalities that can never be confused with the typical dog-aggressive attitudes.
4. American Beagle
Another type of Beagle is the American Beagle. They have their origin from show-type beagles in America. The United Kennel Club, a non-profit organization that keeps track of dog breeds, recognizes the American beagles. However, they do not recognize the show type as a separate breed but rather an acceptable variety of banded beagles. American Beagles are typically born with brown or black coats and have long or short hair. They have long ears shaped like a “basset” and dark brown eyes that depict huntsman dogs’ characteristics. Thanks to their docile temperament, these dogs are friendly and make great family pets.
5. English Beagle
The English beagles originated in England in the 19th century. They are usually born with brown or black coats and have white bellies, chest, feet, and the tip of their tail is also white. These dogs have short legs and long bodies. They may resemble field beagles, but the two breeds differ in size. English Beagles are well known for their characteristic O-shaped ears. They are amiable and affectionate dogs, but they can also be provoked easily by unfamiliar situations. The English Beagles have roots in the Talbot hound that arrived in England from Dordogne, France. (Talbot hounds work as versatile hunting dogs for foxes, rabbits, and hares.)
6. Kerry Beagle
The Kerry Beagles are also known as the Irish Beagle. These dogs are very energetic and playful. Their intelligence can’t go unnoticed as they can solve complex problems instantly. Kerry Beagles have dark brown eyes, black or brown coat shade with white feet and chest. They are English beagles’ look alike but with longer legs. You can easily recognize them by their curly tails raised when the dog is in motion. The Kerry beagle is an amiable breed and an excellent pet for families with young children. They’re also perfect companions for those who enjoy taking long strolls.
7. The Beagle-Harrier
The Beagle-Harrier is also known as the Harrier. It is a crossbreed between the Beagle and the Harrier, a hound dog. This beagle type has dark brown eyes, a rectangular body frame with a long torso, usually covered with a short, flat coat of a white, black, or brown shade. The ears are pointed and drooped like the Beagle. The Harrier is friendly and affectionate but easy to provoke. It loves to run around in an open field with its owners and is fond of chasing small animals and other dogs.
8. 13 inches and 15 inches Beagles
There are also two popular beagles, defined by their size. The 13 inches’ beagle, a more petite breed in size that can reach the height of 35-39 centimeters at the shoulder, and the 15 inches’ beagles, a bit taller than the 13 inches’ beagles, which can reach up to 50-55 centimeters at the shoulder. The two are standard beagles. Interestingly, most people don’t know that these breeds have four different coat colors. They are either yellow, white, lemon, or tricolor. Some puppies of the same litter may even have different colors, for example, one color at the head and a different color on the body. Of course, they also come in other distinctive colors like chocolate or cream, though rare.
9. The Peagle
The Peagle is a hybrid between a Beagle and the Pekingese. The American Kennel Club recognizes the Beagle, but the Pekingese doesn’t possess its own AKC recognition. There is no clear information on how the first Peagles came about, but it’s thought that a female pug mated a male beagle giving birth to two puppies instead of one. Instead of putting them up for adoption like other dog breeds, their owners kept the first puppies as pets. These dogs have a small, compact body and a tiny tail. There isn’t a lot of color variation in the Peagle breed. They are primarily white or yellow with black spots on their back and bottom. The Peagle makes an excellent companion for owners who want to walk their dogs on leashes. It’s small in size and has a friendly demeanor.
10. The Labbe
The Labbe is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Beagle. It has a short coat like the Beagle but, its coat color differs from that of a pedigree beagle. The Labbe is likely to have a yellow coat with brown or black spots like its parent breeds. These dogs are energetic and friendly, making them great candidates for families with active kids. They may also be longer than typical Beagles.
You should ensure that these curious and energetic hounds are active throughout. Start by developing a playtime schedule for your dog, defining what activities to partake in daily and at what time. For instance, you can plan to take your furry friend to the dog’s park every day to play around with other dogs. Alternatively, be an active playmate for your dog for a specified time. Remember, Beagles demand their owner’s attention, so have something to do with your Beagle during your free time. These dogs get bored quickly if confined in their kennels. They are hunting dogs by nature; hence get aggressive when locked indoors for an extended time.
Your beagle’s diet must meet the dog’s needs. Considering this is a very active breed, their bodies demand high-energy diets. Ensure to feed your dog enough portions regularly. The meals should contain protein, fat, and carbohydrates, the highly recommended ingredients of an active dog’s diet. Like humans, dogs love delicious and flavored foods and lose appetite if fed on the same meal repeatedly for a prolonged period. So, always keep track of your dog’s feeding and make changes if needed.
Beagles are very active in the house and often run back and forth for no reason. It would be best if you give your Beagle enough exercise. It can be a walk around your neighborhood, around your home, or walking to the shopping center instead of driving—the best thing is finding a dog activity center that offers different games and activities for dogs. If your dog is a puppy, consider dog training classes. Here the puppy can exercise as they learn how to act and behave with other dogs.
Like most dogs, Beagles shed their hair. though, they have short hair, which makes their shedding hardly noticeable. Nevertheless, have grooming sessions for your dog. Bath and brush its coat regularly. Nature has a way of protecting dogs during winter. Expect your Beagle’s coat to get thicker during the cold seasons and shed this extra hair in the spring. Meaning, you should brush the dog’s coat more regularly during the spring season. Trim your dog’s nails each month, but get it done by a professional dog groomer or a vet if you lack the skills. Dogs have blood vessels on their toenails, and trimming the nails too far can trigger bleeding and cause pain to the dog. Examine your dog’s ears for wax build-up or infections every two weeks. Also, check inside its mouth regularly. If you notice any potential health problem, get the dog checked by a certified veterinary.
Beagles are brilliant dogs, meaning they can learn new tricks and commands faster. Besides, their level of motivation is impressive. So, start training your dog from a tender age, maximizing its abilities and strengths. However, your Beagle might get bored at some point, but it’s your job to spice up the training sessions. For instance, you can choose the right entertainment, exercise, and training activities for your dog. Breeders usually recommend using clicker training with beagles and other dogs.
Beagles are generally healthy dogs. However, they develop some problems with their joints and eyes as they age. Counter these health problems by feeding your dog a high-quality diet and adhering to regular physical examinations at the vet’s office. Also, beagles often suffer hip dysplasia, so if you notice any stiffness in your dog’s hind legs, seek the vet’s help right away.
Planning to get a beagle? First, consider all the factors that affect this breed before visiting the kernel. The beagle is a highly energetic dog that thrives on socialization and exercise. These two are the beagles’ basic needs, and you should make sure that your dog gets enough of both. Considering they are high-energy dogs, they’ll demand a lot of activities to compensate for their energies levels. If possible, enroll the dog for training sessions and take it to a dog’s park more often. The whole family should work together to ensure the Beagle is well socialized and healthier.