Dog Breeds 101: Beagle

The Beagle is a world-famous dog breed that has won the favor of countless households. It’s very easy to imagine what a Beagle looks like. Just imagine a miniature shorthaired Foxhound with shorter legs, longer ears and a compact squarely built body, and you’ll certainly picture a Beagle. Both of these dogs were bred at the same time and for the same reason; however, the Beagle is not a mini-Foxhound. [1]

There is much contention as to where the word “beagle” is derived from, but most consider the breed’s name to come from the French term “be’geule” or “begueule.” It means “gape throat” in reference to the dog’s distinctive howls when chasing game. [2] But that is just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Beagle’s vocalization ability. Their vocal cords are so remarkable that this breed can produce three different sounds. The first is its regular bark or growl, the second one is a baying howl for when it’s out on the trail, and lastly, the half-baying howl. The third one is used to alert the huntsman that his dog has spotted the game and is working to hunt it down – or just to show its boredom or to simply wake the whole neighborhood before the sun has risen!

Beagles are Scent Hounds. What does this tell you? Simple: that you may have a very hard time trying to hide this dog’s treats. The Beagle has a powerful nose equipped with about 220 million scent receptors (we humans only have 5 million of these “smell detectors”). It is no wonder that these canines are so adored by authorities in international airports and US Customs! However, this incredibly powerful nose can occasionally become problematic. Once your Beagle picks up an interesting smell, that’s that – even if it means crossing streets or going into your neighborhood’s yard uninvited! Hence, a fenced backyard is a good idea and because these pooches are natural wanderers, identification tags are also a good idea. Check out this Beagle training page.

Overall, the Beagle can make a loving and sweet pet. This dog’s friendly wagging tail and charming, upbeat personality makes it difficult to dislike this dog. Plus, they make excellent dogs for kids because they are unbelievably tolerant and cheerful.

Dog Breeds 101 - Beagle - WP
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[1] Dan Rice, The Beagle Handbook (Barron’s Educational Series, 2000), p. 7.

[2] Kristine Kraeuter, Training Your Beagle (Barron’s Educational Series, 2001), p.6:

Do you want the easiest, fastest way to an obedient dog? Watch this video:

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