BeagleThu, May 09, 2013,
While Beagles are one of the smaller dog breeds, they’re big in notoriety. After all, Snoopy the Beagle may be one of the most famous fictional dogs of all time! It’s no surprise that the breed has garnered attention. After all, one look these loveable pups and anyone’s heart would melt. But before they were making people laugh in the newspaper funnies, Beagles have a long history.
Historical records of dogs with similar descriptions go back as far as Ancient Greece before popping up in Anglo texts from the Middle Ages. In these times the term Beagle was, in fact, used. Although then it was to describe any sort of smaller hound dog. Pretty quickly, Beagles became a popular breed for royals such as Edward II and Henry VII.
Beagles as we know them know were developed in the 1830s in Essex by Reverend Phillip Honeywood. It was there that a rough size was standardized (about 10 inches at the shoulder) and the tricolor appearance became most common, with white, black and brown fur.
The breed was being produced specifically for hunting and was exported to the United States where their popularity exploded. Alongside the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, the Beagle has the best sense of smell of any dog breed. They was often used to hunt rabbits and hares, and was known for their great stamina.
These days Beagles are known for being even-tempered and gentle. They can be easily won over by strangers, which can make them poor guard dogs. They are intelligent dogs, but training them can be difficult, due to their single-mindedness (they were bred for long hunts). Since they are so good with children, they have become popular family dogs, but as pack animals they can suffer separation anxiety. It is advised not to leave them alone for long periods of time.
Long a favorite in the media, Beagles have shown up often in media. From the plays of Shakespeare to the TV show The Wonder Years, Beagles are as popular as ever. It’s no surprise, this is a very likeable dog.