Breed of the Week: Beagle
The Beagle is bred to be a smaller version of a foxhound and comes in two varieties based on size: 13 inches and 15 inches (dogs between 13-15inches fall into the latter group). These dogs cannot exceed 15 inches at the shoulder and are most commonly tri-colored with a white “flag” or tip to their tail. A short tight coat makes this breed easy to groom though they do shed heavily each season.
Beagles are designed to be very outgoing and friendly and were initially bred to live in large groups so they are dog friendly by design. An active scent hound, the Beagle can be difficult to leash train and should never be trusted off leash as they will follow a scent. The Beagle has a very distinctive hunting bay, or howl, and often does not do well in urban environments due to neighbor proximity.
The most common health concerns for Beagles are hyperthyroidism, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, and epilepsy. They are also prone to joint injuries and skin allergies.
- Beagles were originally used to hunt smaller animals such as rabbits who could evade larger Foxhounds.
- President Lyndon B. Johnson had two Beagles in the Whitehouse named “Him” and “Her.”
- The beloved cartoon Snoopy is modeled after a Beagle.