By Terri Estes
Let’s hear it for the BEAGLE! The beagle was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. They come in two sizes: the first being 13-15 inches long and weighing 20-30lbs and the second being less than 13 inches long and under 20lbs. Their average lifespan is 10-15 years. The beagle is a member of the hound group. It is believed that the modern beagle originated in Great Britain in the 1800s and was primarily used for hunting rabbits. The beagle’s keen sense of smell ranks among the highest in the dog world.
Beagles are great hunters and even greater companions and family dogs. Known for their adorable face with soft, expressive, big brown eyes, this easy going, happy-go-lucky dog loves to be with their family. Beagles are pack dogs and do not like to be left home alone and may suffer from separation anxiety. I happen to have first-hand experience in this matter and would suggest the companionship of another pet if they are to be left alone for extended periods of time. The good news is that beagles get along with other dogs and usually cats, too.
Although beagles sometimes appear lazy, they actually need a good romp once a day to help keep their weight in check and keep them out of mischief. A tired dog is a good dog.
A beagle’s coat is relatively low maintenance, but they do shed. Their long, pendant shaped ears need regular cleaning to avoid potential infections. If allowed, beagles are notorious overeaters and can become overweight. Their amazing sense of smell can sometimes get them into trouble. Scent driven, they will follow their nose, so keep food in cupboards, not on countertops. Growing up, my family had a beagle who figured out how to open the refrigerator and would routinely help himself to a midnight snack.
The most famous beagle is Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon. Snoopy’s character accurately depicts the smart, loyal, happy nature of the beagle. If you are looking for an adorable, sweet, upbeat, four-legged family member who will love you and your family unconditionally, then the beagle may be the breed for you!
FUN ANIMAL FACT
The Howler Monkey is the loudest land animal. It can produce sounds that reach 140 decibels. That is as noisy as a jet engine on takeoff and can be heard up to three miles away.