The beagle is a breed of small hound originally bred as scent hounds to help hunters. They are well-known (and loved) for their soft brown eyes and big ears similar to that of the basset hound’s. They are also pack dogs and crave companionship making them great pets. With these adorable qualities, beagles clearly aren’t difficult to like. Still, here’s 9 cool facts about beagles to make you like them even more.
1. Ancient roots
The beagle’s exact origins aren’t known today but they are said to be descended from hounds during the time of the Roman empire or even earlier. They were used as ascent hounds for hunting by people living in what is today’s England.
2. Nose with feet
Due to their original purpose as scent hounds, the modern-day beagle can be trained to learn a wide variety 50 different scents. Thus, earning them the distinction of being ‘noses with feet’. The American government even has a ‘Beagle Brigade’ which sniff out airport luggage for contraband products. This brigade of beagles is said to help seize thousands of contrabands a year.
3. Pocket-sized furballs
There was a time when beagles were bred to only grow to up to eight or nine inches in height making them small enough to fit into pockets. These smaller versions were known as pocket beagles or miniature beagles. Just imagine an adult beagle forever the size of a small puppy!
Eventually, the breed was transformed into larger, hunting hounds similar to what they are today.
4. Name origins
There are two theories which seek to explain where the beagle’s name came from. The first theory traces the breed’s name from the Middle French words, ‘bee gueule’ meaning ‘wide throat’ or ‘loud mouth’. Not a far-fetched theory as beagles are known for their baying and howling. A second theory says that the name beagle comes from a Celtic word, ‘beag’, which means small. The latter theory matches the pocket-sized versions of beagles.
5. Royal favorite
Speaking of pocket-sized beagles, did you know that Queen Elizabeth I owned and loved these smaller beagle versions which were said to be small enough to fit in the palm of a hand? Even royalty is not exempt from this breed’s cuteness and charm!
6. Snoopy, the most popular fictional dog, is a beagle
Need we say more? But in case you didn’t know, Snoopy is a character from Charles M. Schulz’s famous comic strip called Peanuts. The comic follows the story of a young boy, Charlie Brown, and his adopted dog, Snoopy, who is a beagle.
7. Needs lots of exercise
If you’re an active person, then you and the beagle are a perfect match. Beagles, perhaps due to their original purpose as hunting dogs, needs plenty of regular exercise daily.
8. Born black and white but turns tri-colored
Beagles are usually born black and white as puppies. But a third color of hair appears gradually as they grow into adult dogs with some even losing their black color. The most common tri-color combination is a mixture black, white and tan.
9. Sign of a ‘true’ beagle
Breeders say that the white-colored tip on a beagle’s tail is a sign of a true beagle. The white tip is a result of selective breeding which makes the beagle visible to hunters even when it’s nose is stuck on the ground while following a scent during hunts.
Beagles are truly amazing dogs which have plenty of great qualities that every dog owner will appreciate and love.