Boston Terrier Puppies For Sale In Pa

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The Beagle: History and Description

History

The beagle, while having a lengthy history, has origins that remain unclear. It is believed that they date all the way back to Ancient Greece and were acquired by Romans. Yet it is also believed that there were hounds in Britain long before the time of the Romans and Ancient Greece. There are additional claims that they descend from a variety of breeds, including setters and spaniels. Regardless, there were hounds throughout England for centuries, and they were used as sporting or hunting dogs.

In the 18th century, fox hunting became a popular sport. At the time, there were several groups of hounds used for hunting, including the Foxhound, the Southern Hound, and the North Country Beagle, all bred from various combinations of hunting breeds. The North Country Beagle was supposed to be vigorous and swift. These are the descendants of the modern beagle. Parson Honeywood, in the mid-nineteenth century, gathered pack of the North Country Beagles and gave a demonstration of their skill in sport. His pack established the breed, and gave the Beagle a place as one of the oldest breeds in history.

In the antebellum South of America, smaller hunting hounds called beagles were popular. These beagles were closer to Bassett Hounds, with mostly white coats. They were said to be steadfast, unflagging hunters. While skilled, they were not as handsome as their European counterparts.

Around 1880, a gentleman imported a pack of Beagles from England, and bred them with the American Beagle. This started a trend of importing English beagles to breed with the American version that went on for some time. Toward the end of the 1800’s, the National Beagle Club was formed, and field trials for the dogs were held. The dogs were hunted in various size packs, with varied tasks for certain age groups or sizes. These field trials continue today. Beagles are also shown in American Kennel Club shows.

 Beagles are still kept for hunting, whether as a pack or individually. Beagles that are hunted as a pack are usually set upon larger hares, as hares do not go to ground and give longer, faster runs. There are people who also keep beagles to hunt individually, going after a variety of prey. In addition to this, there are special packs recognized by the National Beagle Club that are hunted with a regular hunt staff that are dressed in proper hunt liveries and possessing their own special accessories, much in the manner it was done at the time of the fox hunt’s popularity.

Beagles are also kept as family pets. They have warm personalities, and are a gentle and trustworthy breed. They are described as “happy dogs” that are quite sociable and affectionate toward young children.

Appearance

Beagles are said to be a miniature version of a Foxhound. Beagles in the United States reach about 16 inches and grow to roughly 25 lbs. They are medium sized dogs, with short muscular backs and straight legs. The head is fairly long and full, with long, broad ears that are set low on the head. The ears are rounded at the tip. The large eyes are set far apart, and are considered to be soft and expressive. The eyes are usually brown or hazel. The muzzle is of medium length and is somewhat square. The neck rises free from the shoulders, with a slight wrinkle of skin below the jaw. Beagles feature a deep chest and strong shoulders. The feet are round and firm, and have a full, hard pad. The tail is set high on the back and carried high. It has a slight curve and is relatively short in comparison with the length of the hound.

Beagles have a short coat that is easy to take care of. The fur is smooth and sleek. It is of medium length and grows close to the skin, offering protection in a variety of weather or climates. Beagles do not come in solid colors, but are generally a combination of black, tan, orange, white, and red. They can be tri-colored or dual colored. Their different colored spots are known as “ticking.”

Showing Beagles

For Beagles to be successful as show dogs, they must meet certain standards in regards to behavior and appearance. Because of the Beagle’s reputation and long history as a show dog, these standards can be fairly strict.

A Beagle’s head should not have a flat skull that is narrow or domed. Their eyes should be wide and expressive, rather than smaller and resembling that of a terrier. The jaws should be level, and the lips smooth. A long or protruding muzzle is considered a defect, as is an upturned nose. Beagles should not have a thick neck, or a throat featuring dewlaps or folds of skin. The chest should not be wide or out of proportion. Shoulders should not be straight and the back should not be very long. Elbows and knees should not knuckle out or bend backwards. The breed should not demonstrate a lack of muscle tone or softness. The tail should not be overly long or inclined forward. The coat should be smooth and shiny. A thin or soft coat is considered a fault. Beagles are expected to possess a true hound color in any of the accepted combinations.  Beagles are shown in two groups: the 13 inch hounds and the 15 inch hounds. Any Beagle measuring over 15 inches is disqualified.

Beagles are also judged on their hunting skills and as a pack. The unified appearance of the pack is highly important, with all of the hounds being the same height, color, and weight. They are also judged on individual merit, and as manners. Beagles are expected to work together and obey all commands. They should be able to heel or stand as a group without breaking up, cringing, or avoiding. There are also specific guidelines for the hunting party, in regards to proper dress, accessories, and behavior that are judged as well.