Beagles are one of the most recognizable breeds in the United States and are the most popular hound dog among Americans. Known for their loving and companionable attitudes, they make great family pets. Before arriving in the U.S. following the Civil War, Beagles were known for their hunting abilities, particularly when it came to tracking rabbits. While they are not as frequently used for hunting in the U.S., their strong noses and curiosity keep them busy even today. If you are considering adding a Beagle to your family, here are some things you should consider.
Beagles are highly active and loving dogs, making them great for families with children and other pets. Because of their active nature, they require a lot of playtime, so they are best suited for families who have time to devote to their pup. They are also outgoing, inquisitive and determined, and being a scent hound, are driven by their nose. Crate training is highly recommended for this reason. If you are looking for a guard dog, a Beagle may not be the best bet due to their friendly nature, but they are sure to love any owner who is willing to give them the attention they crave.
Beagles, like most breeds, are generally healthy, especially when purchased or adopted from responsible breeders and shelters. Although there are not major health concerns to worry about, it is still important to look out for conditions such as Intervertebral Disk Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Cherry Eye, Glaucoma and other similar conditions. Routine trips to the vet and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent these conditions from affecting your pet. Most beagles live an average of 10 to 15 years, stand 13 to 15 inches in height and weigh 30 pounds or less.
As with all dogs, early socialization and puppy training classes are important to ensure your Beagle is well-behaved. Due to their loving and inquisitive temperament, Beagles do not respond well to harsh training and require patience and positive reinforcement to learn. While they are highly intelligent dogs, they also have a curiosity that can distract them, making them more difficult to train than other breeds. They also have a tendency to bark and howl, something that must be confronted early on to adjust. Although they require a little more attention, with the right patience and enough time, Beagles can be well-behaved companions.
Beagles are active, energetic dogs and need at least an hour of exercise every day. Because they are pack dogs, however, they prefer to have company when doing so. If left alone, they tend to become destructive, so they play best with a human or canine companion. In addition, Beagles are escape artists, so a tall fence is a must if you plan on having play time outside and leashes are necessary if going for a walk.
If you are looking for an energetic and loving companion, a Beagle might be a great fit for you. They love to play and are great around children, but they also require a lot of attention. If you have the time to dedicate to training and socializing a new puppy, it might be worth your time to research Beagles further.