Dog Review: Beagle


The Beagle shares its name with many other notable people, places, and things in history, most notably the ship on which Charles Darwin made his journey to the Galapagos Islands to research naturla selection, but this breed is not associated with any of them.  This breed is one of the oldest dog breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.  It was officially registered in 1866.  Their ancestors are thought to be the Southern Hound, which can be traced all the way to Ancient Greece  around the 5th Century BCE.  They are also thought to have been descended from a cross between the Talbot Hound and a Greyhound.  However these dogs came about, there is no one who can say that these dogs are not amazing.

These dogs weigh between 22-25 lbs. or 20-23 lbs. depending on if they are male or female, respectively. Both male and female  grow to be about 13-16 inches in height.  They either have short or medium hair. Beagles have a lifespan of 12- 16 years.  The color of their coat can either be white with black and tan or brown and tan.  They are classified as part of the hound group as they have a greta sense of smell which has been used by hunters for centuries.  They are now utilized as detection dogs to sniff out illegal substances that are trying to be imported or exported.

The Beagle has been recognized as having one of the best senses of smell of any dog, third only to the Bloodhound and the Basset Hound. John Fuller and John Paul Scott are two researches who undertook a 13-year study of canine behavior. As part of this research, they tested the the tracking abilities of all of the traditional hunting dogs by putting a mouse in a one-acre field and timing how long it took the dogs to find it. The Beagles found it in less than a minute, while other breeds took as much as 15 minutes and breeds  failed to find it at all! Beagles are better at ground-scenting (following a trail on the ground) than they are at air-scenting, and for this reason they have been not been included in most mountain rescue teams in favor of border collies, which use sight in addition to air-scenting to locate survivors.

This breed would make a great pet for any family looking for a dog because it is a good size, is very intelligent, has a good temper, and has a lack of inherited health problems.  Because it is such an old breed, there has not been much inbreeding among Beagles which make them one of the healthiest dogs behind mutts.  As long as you don’t mind the howling that comes with owning a hound, a Beagle may be the dog for you!