If you’re wondering what it might be like to own a Beagle or whether or not a Beagle might be the right dog for you and your family, you’re in luck!
Because in this…
Article, we’re going to discus some of the pros and cons of owning a Beagle so that any “perspective” new owners might have a better idea if this particular dog breed is going to be the right one for them.
The last thing that you want to have happen is for you to regret your decision to adopt a Beagle simply because he or she is behaving EXACTLY the way that he or she is expected to behave as a Beagle!
So without further ado…
Let’s being our discussion of this fantastic dog breed by first learning about where they came from and what purpose they originally served since this will often times give us the best idea on how a particular dog will behave.
Beagle Fast Facts
Country of Origin: England
Original Purpose: Hunting small game including rabbits.
Height: Shoulder Height of 1 ft, 1 inch to 1 ft, 3 inches
Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 15 years
Dog Breed Classification According to the American Kennel Club (AKC): Hound Group
Origins of the Beagle
The Beagle has his origins in England dating back to the 15th century where he was originally used as a hunting dog in Britain where his ability to pick up a scent (scent hound vs sight hound) and not give up, no matter what, made him very popular with the aristocrats of that time. Hunting was after all the #1 sport in England those days.
But it should be noted that…
The Beagles of that period were very different than the Beagles we know and love today. Back then, the breed was much more agile, stronger and faster than the typical Beagle we see today.
Over the years, as the Beagles were brought from the rough terrains of Scotland and Northern England to the Southern England countryside, they became more domesticated – a bit slower and less aggressive. Mainly because their “primary” purpose wasn’t to hunt and track rabbits all over the countryside anymore, instead, because of their friendliness and loyalty, they slowly began to transition from a working/hunting dog to more companion animal.
The Beagle breed was brought to the United States from England in the 19th century where they slowly grew in popularity eventually becoming the personal pet for President Lyndon B. Johnson and everyone’s favorite dog in America…. Snoopy!
And even more recently…
A Beagle by the name of Uno was widely covered by the media in 2008 and won several prizes in a show held by the Westminster Kennel Club.
Which is all fine and dandy…
But none of this really tells us whether or not a Beagle is going to be right for you, so let’s not discuss some of the characteristics of the Beagle breed so that you can get a better idea of what it would be like to own a “modern day” Beagle.
Physical Characteristics of a Beagle.
In general, Beagles are of a short or medium sized dog that will typically have shoulder Height of 1 ft, 1 inch to 1 ft, 3 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 18 to 30 pounds.
Will typically be some type of mixed black and tan combination on top with a white underbelly. The fur will consist of hard “brissley” fur that will only require minimal care making their physical upkeep pretty simple.
They’ll also have…
Wide rounded ears that will hang well below their jaw line and have a slightly curved tail that will usually stand erect when at ease.
Personality of a Beagle
There’s a reason why Charles M. Schulz the creator of the Peanuts comics chose to use a Beagle as his main character of Snoopy, and it’s not because these are “unfriendly” dogs!
So needless to say…
Beagles have a very good disposition and are great family pets. They’re very good with kids, extremely loyal and small enough to be hugged by a child. What more could you want?
But don’t be fooled….
While a Beagle is no doubt a cute little guy, at his “core” – he is still a really good hunter. He can follow any trail by the scent. Which is why, you’ll need to understand that if your Beagle has to make a choice between listening to you or following that UNBELIEVABLE scent on he or she can smell, we’ll guess what?
“If your Beagle isn’t on a leash, you’re probably going to need to get in your car to chase him down!”
Which can be a problem….
Unless you fence off your property, or have him on a leash, there is a risk of the Beagle getting away from the house while following an enticing scent.
Another problem is obesity – Beagles love to eat and they eat a lot. If you indulge your dog (no pun intended), that could lead to obesity and make him incapable of even climbing up the stairs.
They can also get….
Bored easily. And as we all know, bored dogs can often time cause a LOT of problems. This is why one of the first things any new Beagle owner is going to want to do is immediately enroll in an obedience class.
Despite the fact that Beagles are great family pets, and are super affectionate with their owners (and even cats if socialized early on), they’re also notoriously difficult to train. It’s not really their fault, it’s just the natural hunting and tracking instinct that has been breed into them over the centuries.
Now if you…
Have a large yard with a VERY secure fence around it, or you live in the wide open country, it’s quite possible that a Beagle might be the right dog for you.
That said however…
If you live in an apartment, or in a city where your Beagle won’t have plenty of opportunities to run and explore, chances are, choosing to adopt a Beagle puppy would be a terrible decision for you.
In addition to requiring a lot of exercise to be truly happy, Beagles also tend to bark a lot which is just another reason why Beagles aren’t always the best pet for those living in an apartment or in close proximity to their immediate neighbors.
Is the Beagle Breed a Health one?
The Beagle breed can suffer from a wide variety of health conditions such as:
- Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a spinal issue that leads to severe neck pain. When your Beagle is affected by this condition, even the tiniest neck movements become really difficult for him.
- Ear Infections, and when not treated on time, these infections can lead to severe damage to the ear canal and could lead to hearing loss.
- Hip displasia, which is a genetic condition leading to the malformation of the hip socket,
- Luxating patellas, where the kneecaps get out of place, are other common conditions that affect these creatures.
- IgA Deficiency, causing blood clotting issues,
- Beagle Pain Syndrome (Meningitis),
- And Demodectic Mange.
So needless to say…
If you do chose to purchase a Beagle puppy from a Beagle breader, your definitely going to want to make sure that the breeder that you choose is a responsible one that is willing to guaranteed the health of your new puppy and/or puppies.
Working with a reputable dog breeder is always a great way to avoid purchasing a “sickly” animal, another great way an one that we prefer is to just “skip” the whole puppy thing and simply adopt an adult dog from a rescue center or kennel!
You’ll get a much better idea of what you’re getting right from the start. For more information on where you might be able to find a Beagle rescue kennel we would encourage you to seek out a local Beagle club in your area. If one is not available, you can also seek out the National Beagle club which is a great resource for information particularly when it comes to beagle training programs.
Lastly, we don’t want to suggest…
That all Beagles have medical issues, however due to the fact that this has been a very popular breed for many years within the US, over breeding has led this particular dog breed to have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, conditions which can be really expensive to treat on your own and are very difficult if not impossible to diagnoses in newborn puppies.
For more information about how much it would cost to purchase a pet insurance policy, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.