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Facts About Beagles

Abhijit Naik Mar 12, 2020
There is no questioning the fact that Beagles are quite popular, which makes it all the more surprising that there exist some facts about the breed that even those who keep them as pets are not aware of.
Of the numerous Presidential pets, none were perhaps as famous as President Lyndon B. Johnson's Beagles, Him and Her.
The Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog breed, known for its amazing sense of smell and tracking instinct. It is one of the most popular dog breeds all over the world, including the United States. While there is no questioning the popularity of Beagles as pets as of today, very few people know that the breed was primarily used as a hunting dog to track rabbits, hare, and other such animals; courtesy, their amazing ability of tracking scents.

Beagle Facts that You Need to Know

Generally, Beagles sport a white coat with large black and brown patches. While this combination of colors is most common, other combinations also exist. On an average, a full-grown Beagle can be anywhere around 13 - 16 inches tall and weigh 18 - 35 lb.
The breed is classified into two types on the basis of their shoulder height. Beagles have an average lifespan of 15 years. They have a short, water-resistant fur coat. More importantly, they are not hypoallergenic in nature.
Beagles are scent hounds, i.e., hunting dogs which rely on scent instead of sight. Their nose is equipped with 220 million smell receptors.
To put that in perspective, human nose has 5 million smell receptors. Their legs are short in proportion to their body. Besides this, they have a medium-length neck, which helps them bend to reach the ground and pick scent with ease. Their ears and large lips help them trap scents close to their nose.
These physical features play a crucial role in making them the dog breed with the best sense of smell, second only to the bloodhound.

Do Beagles Make Good Pets?

Even though Beagles are quite gentle in nature, you need to be a bit careful when keeping them in the house with other small pets around. You shouldn't forget that they are primarily hunting dogs and thus, are likely to chase other pets and even hurt them.
They are quite curious as well, and if you don't pay attention, they might just pick up some scent and follow it, even leaving your premises. Their temperament is best described as gentle, but stubborn, with some Beagles even getting along with cats.
As they have a short coat, grooming becomes a hassle-free task. Similarly, their small size makes them ideal for apartments. When training Beagles, you need to make sure that you subject them to regular exercise, or else their tendency to overeat is bound to turn them into couch potatoes.
You will also have to make sure that you adhere to their tendency to socialize, as lack of socializing can make them aggressive. While incessant barking is an issue, it can be dealt with during the training phase. The same applies to housebreaking.

Interesting Facts about Beagles

Did you know that the act of hunting rabbits, hare, foxes, and other small animals with Beagles is known as 'beagling'. Discussed below are some more facts which will add to your knowledge about this hound dog breed.
➠ The white-tipped tail of purebred Beagles is a trait which makes it easier for the hunters to spot them while their head is down at the ground level pursuing the prey.
➠ The Beagle was introduced in the United States in 1870s. By the 1950s, it had become the most registered dog breed in the country according to the American Kennel Club.
➠ The United States Department of Agriculture has a team of Beagles, the Beagle Brigade, which is trained to inspect luggage at the airports to search for agricultural products.
➠ Beagles are used as surrogates for direct human testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test the toxicity of food additives and contaminants.
➠ Over the time, this dog breed has become an important part of research programs in various fields, including fundamental biological research and applied human medicine.
➠ Beagles are trained to sniff out explosives, illegal drugs, natural gas leaks, and are even used in search and rescue operations. In Australia, in fact, they are even used to detect termite colonies.
➠ The Pocket Beagle or Miniature Beagle is actually a Beagle-type dog breed which has now become extinct. It was so small that it could fit in the pocket or saddlebag, and hence, the name.
➠ When President Lyndon Johnson lifted his Beagle named Him by his ears at the White House lawns, all animal lovers went up in arms against him.
➠ Everybody knows Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution. What people don't know is the fact that the ship on which he sailed during this study was named the HMS Beagle.
➠ At the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), a two-year old Beagle, named Elvis, has been trained to detect polar bear pregnancies.
Other than being amazing hunting dogs and good pets, Beagles are quite popular in popular culture as well. Who can forget characters like Snoopy―'the world's most famous Beagle'―from Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts and Odie from Jim Davis' comic strip Garfield. In fact, it is perhaps the only dog breed which has made it to the silver screen, television, novels, cartoons, comic strips, and some of Shakespeare's works as well.