Beagles belong to a family of dogs called hounds. They are scent hounds and widely recognized for hunting rabbits. They love to follow their noses. Some of them are trained to hunt in packs.
The origins of the beagle breed are rather vague. Dogs that resembled beagles have been found in Greece, as early as 400 BC. During the 16th century, beagles were known to have hunted in packs, for rabbits in England. In 1876, beagles were imported to The United States. In 1884, the American Kennel Club recognized them as an official breed. Today they are one of the most popular family dogs.
In modern times, beagles are often chosen for pets. They are known for their friendly, happy demeanor. They are particularly fond of children. Left in a room full of people, they will instantly gravitate to children. They love to play and particularly enjoy outdoor sports. Boating or riding on a 4 wheeler with their owner seems to delight them. They are very devoted to their family and do not enjoy spending time alone.
Beagles are also chosen for hunting rabbits today. They love the thrill of following their noses. They bark with excitement at squirrels and raccoons. The outdoors delights them.
Beagles function quite well as outdoor dogs, as long as, sufficient time is given for human companionship. They love spending time with their families. If left alone for extensive time periods, they will be bored and chew or dig destructively. They respond really well to other pets, even cats, if socialized early on. They enjoy the company!
Beagles can also make excellent house pets, provided they are given ample opportunity to explore the great outdoors. Several hours in a fenced yard can fulfill his energy requirement.
Beagles are known to bark when they are excited. Squirrels, raccoons, unknown people tramping in his yard will almost always bring this reaction. Some beagles bark more than others. Beagles have a very unique bark, more like a howl or baying.
Training your beagle is very important. I strongly recommend a little kindergarten class. They respond very well to food incentives! They can develop a mind of their own, so consistency is important. For housetraining, I recommend crate training to provide incentive to hold their bladders.
The coat of a beagle is very easily cared for. A bath once or twice a year should be sufficient. Ear care is crucial. Those long floppy ears need to be checked regularly for ear mites. If they are itching or flopping the ears excessively, they need to be treated. We use ivymac here once or twice a month applied inside the ears to prevent this situation. Ivymac can be obtained at your veterinarian. Shedding can be extensive. To keep it from becoming a problem, I recommend vacuumming the dog with a light weight attachment, a couple of times a week. This should keep hair from accumulating on the floor of your house.