You think you want a Beagle?

You think you want a Beagle?

People love them or they can do without them, (to put it politely). If you want a great companion for a bunch of kids you need a dog that is small, sturdy, happy and forgiving. All those adjectives describe a beagle!

Beagles don’t rate high on the trainability scale, but in other ways, they border on genius. Take the nose; it is packed with 225 million scent receptors. Humans, whose noses are much larger, only have 5 million. “A nose on paws” is often how the beagle is described. In hunting and tracking sports, they are almost unbeatable. They make perfect sniffer dogs, helping to find bedbugs, illegal foods, drugs, and other things that need to be found, all in a smaller package than other search dogs. Their cute looks and incredible joyous nature makes them ready for any adventure, anytime. And the non stop wagging tail; make them a great family dog.

The most famous cartoon animal is, of course, Snoopy. Snoopy happens to be a beagle. Bailey, the AKC’s mascot is also a beagle. Norman Rockwell was a huge fan of the beagle. When he wanted a dog that represented an all American companion, the beagle was his choice and is seen in many of his paintings.

Beagle ancestors have been around since the fifth century, BC. Even back then, they were used to chase hares and other small mammals. Modern day beagles descended from Talbot hounds and Irish Kerry Beagles. Queen Elizabeth I had “pocket” beagles, said to fit easily on an outstretched hand. Blunder, the beagle, was the first to be registered by the AKC. In the 1890’s the first field trails were held by the newly established National Beagle Club. Beagles have been in the top 10 most popular dog list put out by the AKC since 1953.

Purebred beagles should always have a white tail or a white-tipped tail. This trait was bred into them by hunters to be able to see the dogs when their heads were to the ground pursuing a scent. (Just thought it was interesting and may make yours easier to see in the dog park).

Beagles were bred so their coats would repel water and not attract burrs or other plants while hunting. As a result, they are easy to groom and they don’t have a “dog smell”, another attractive quality.

With such a strong ability to smell, beagles can ferret out food no matter how well it is packaged and put away. They also need lots of exercise as they tend to be on the porky side, shall we say?

Because they have been bred to hunt small mammals, you must be very careful of other small members of the household, like bunnies, gerbils and the like. They may bring you a present you don’t want.

Want more information about Beagles? Check out the Nation Beagle Club at Also check out more info at, the American Kennel Association web pages for Beagles.

Beagles Rock!