The beagle first appeared in Great Britain about 150 years ago. Since then it has grown in popularity due to its outgoing and friendly nature. Beagles work well with children and other animals. They should be good-natured but independent-minded. When picking out the perfect beagle there are several physical traits to look for.
Good Overall Appearance
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The beagle should be a small, lean dog with a body slightly longer than it is tall. The standard height is between 10 to 15 inches, with a weight of 9.07 to 13.6kg. When drawn out, the ears should reach to the nose. The ears are long and floppy. A long skull with a square muzzle is ideal. On a beagle the tail is set high with a slight curve toward the back.
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Beagles were initially bred to be hunting dogs. For this reason they are naturally tenacious and love to explore. This, however, can manifest itself to the extremes and produce a very difficult dog. Avoid a beagle that seems to have an exaggerated tendency toward boredom and independence. These dogs will be very difficult to train and housebreak. Beagles also are very high-energy dogs who require plenty of exercise. Take this into account before purchasing one.
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A healthy beagle should be naturally alert and curious. Beagles should never show signs of being timid or aggressive, as they are relatively even-tempered dogs. Some beagles may have a tendency to bay and howl, but they should not be yappy dogs. When properly socialised, the beagle should get along well with other dogs and work well with children over the age of 6.
Finding Good Pet Characteristics
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When picking out a puppy, careful attention should be paid to the environment in which it is kept. Beagles kept in cleaner environments will be easier to housebreak later on. If an option, also observe the condition and behaviour of the mother. Beagles from a clean, well-behaved litter will carry on these characteristics. The personality of the puppy is a very good indication of how it will fit in with your lifestyle. Ultimately, beagles are mischievous by nature and need plenty of attention.
Male Versus Female
When deciding between a male or female beagle, there are very few differences. The male of the breed tends to be larger and to exhibit more pronounced features. These are only important if you are looking to breed the dog or exhibit it for show. The AKC currently recognises two varieties of beagles. There is a class for beagles under 13 inches in length, and a class for those between 13 and 15 inches.The beagle should be no longer than 16 inches when grown.
- "The New Encyclopedia of the Dog"; Bruce Fogle; 2000
- "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds"; Juliette Cunliffe; 1999
- "Dog Bible"; Kristin Mehus Roe; 2005