Beagle Temperament: Gentle and loving souls with an extraordinary sense of smell
If you're debating whether or not to enrich your life with a Beagle, you've sniffed out the right place. This post will help you decide if this hound breed is the right fit for your lifestyle.
They are one of the friendliest dog breeds and see hoomans as friends. Beagles have a lovely and outgoing temperament but are sensitive dogs as well. However, they do come with some challenges as well. We'll break down everything from their personality to their exercise needs so that by the end of this post, you'll have a good idea if the Beagle is right for you. So, without further ado, let's get started!
History of the Beagle
The Beagle has been bred for hare hunting and is one of the best scent hounds, only rivalled by the Bloodhound or Basset Hound.
Beagles have 220 million scent receptors in their nose, making them extraordinary scent trackers. In comparison, the average Dachshund would have around 125 million. Beagle's short legs keep them close to the ground, and their necks are built perfectly to pick up scent trails. This way, they can continue sniffing without needing to stop—their long floppy ears attract scent particles directing them towards their nose.
The foundation of the Beagle we know today was laid in the 1820s from various hunting dogs, including but not limited to the Talbot Hound and the North Country Beagle. Hunting with a pack of Beagles was called "beagling" in the 1820s. We can all imagine the importance of Beagles in hunting at that time. Once they picked up a smell, they howled to communicate with the pack and their hooman.
Queen Elizabeth kept a pack of Beagles so small that they could fit into a saddle or a pocket. The height at the shoulder wouldn't exceed 13 inches. They were called Pocket Beagles.
Today, Beagles are most used as sniffer dogs at airports or border controls to sniff out explosives or drugs. Their advantage is that they're cute and don't intimidate people at airports whilst still performing the job to the highest standards. Furthermore, they have conquered the heart of many people and made the perfect companion dog.
The UK Kennel Club recognises 19 standard breed colours. The most common out there are probably the Beagles with the tri-coloured markings. During hunting sessions, a white tip on top of their tail helped keep them visible in higher grass or bushes.
In 2021, the Beagle ranked the 17th most popular dog breed in the UK and 2,491 Beagles were registered with the UK Kennel Club. The numbers have fallen since, and only 375 Beagles have been registered in Q2 2022.