Beagle Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Beagle is a good-looking small hound, bred down from the Foxhound to hunt as part of a pack, with men on foot, usually after the hare. He can be in any of the hound colours, except liver, with a white tip to the stern (tail). The Beagle is an athletic, sturdy and purposeful hound and generally has a superb temperament, cheerful and equable. The Kennel Club Breed Standard describes him as ‘a merry hound’, and he makes an excellent family dog; however, in common with all hounds he is intelligent and active and needs to be exercised both mentally and physically.
If given sufficient stimulus he will thrive in a city environment; however, a bored hound, whether in town or country will certainly be miserable, possibly destructive and probably noisy. Hounds are pack animals and need company, so if you are in a position where you may have to leave your Beagle for a part of the day, then two could be a solution.
It is said that Queen Elizabeth I owned a pack of “Pocket Beagles”, which were under 25cm (the current standard indicates a height of 33 – 40cm). They were evidently small enough to be carried in the pocket of a hunting jacket, hence the name. It is claimed that instead of the current short and dense coat they could be wire-haired.
As a scenthound the Beagle can become distracted when being exercised, so it is wise to choose a safe area away from traffic when he is being exercised off the lead. As with all hounds, it is essential to ensure that your garden is dogproof; some dogs will dig under a fence, some go over and some squeeze through gaps or dart through open gates. Once they have learned to escape you have an uphill battle so it makes good sense to keep one step ahead.
The Beagle’s coat is easily manageable; a quick brush will remove loose coat and a rub with a chamois leather will bring up a shine. Add a teaspoon of boiled linseed oil (from a saddlers) to his feed each day to really make his coat gleam. Avoid bathing unless absolutely necessary as it leaches the waterproofing out of the coat. One of the many dog deodorising sprays now available will make him fit for company (if necessary) and chalk will brighten up the white coat. Check the ears regularly, using a proprietary ear cleanser if necessary. If nails are not worn down by exercise on a hard surface then a good pair of clippers should be obtained.
The Beagle is a sturdy, medium-sized dog, measuring between 33 – 40cm (13 – 16in) at the withers and is not exaggerated in any way; his weight is proportionate to his size and he is not prone to any hereditary defects. He is a smart, classy little dog who makes a great pet for the right family.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.