Monthly Archives: December 2016

Breed of the week: Beagle


Family: Scenthound

Area of origin: England

Original function: Trailing rabbits

Average size: Ht: 13-15, Wt: 18-30

Life span: 12-15 years

Hare hunting was a popular sport in England in the 14th century, and dogs were used to chase hares.  Beagles were known for the purpose.  Hunters would follow the dogs on foot and could even carry one in their pocket when the need arose.

The name Beagle may be from Old French words meaning open throat in reference to the breed’s melodious bay, or from the Celtic, old English or old French words for ‘small’.  The name was not commonly used till the 16th century.  By the 18th century Beagles came in many sizes, but the smaller pocket-sized dogs still remained popular.  One of the considered advantages for the smaller dogs was that even women, or aged could follow the hunt as the dog made its way after a hare.

The Beagle was first mentioned in the US in 1642.  They were used in the South prior to the Civil War, but were not very similar to their English counterparts.  But by the 19th century they were popular competitors in both field and conformation exhibitions.  Soon the Beagle became America’s favorite breeds, finding its place in society as a family pet.


Beagles are known for their amiable temperament.  The dog desires and loves companionship.  It likes to socialize with humans and other canines.  It loves to explore the outdoors and is an enthusiastic trailer.  It requires adequate exercise, and is a calm and tractable house pet.  It does bark and howl quite a bit.

Care and Health

The Beagle needs daily exercise.  A walk on a leash or daily play in the garden should be daily routine.  The dog may suffer from intervertebral disc disease (CHD), glaucoma, or epilepsy.  The dog is also occasionally prone to deafness, hemophilia A, and cataracts.  Suggested tests include hip, and eye.