September's Featured Breed: The Beagle

The Beagle is the smallest of the true scent hounds—a group of dogs bred for their ability to track their prey by scent. Although hunting for food is no longer a necessity for most of us, these dogs still have a natural enthusiasm for pursuing a scent along a trail. The Beagle is able to distinguish a human from an animal and can often tell the humans apart. He is able to read us because we give off scent continuously. This scent is caused by flakes of dead skin cells that are sloughed off, carrying our unique odor. This odor is determined by many factors, including our soap, perfume, the food we eat, our personal hygiene, and even our genetic makeup. Today, Beagles are still considered a very useful breed, and they continue to help humanity in various capacities from search and rescue to service animal work, and even patrolling international airports in the “Beagle Brigade,” which is a team of sociable beagles who greet passengers and sniff out illegal items and contraband.

Beagles generally weigh 22 to 35 pounds and stand 13 to 17 inches in height. They are seen as merry, intelligent, and even-tempered breed. Like all hounds, they are highly social and gets along well with other dogs. Beagles are considered highly intelligent and is generally very obedient. However, training can sometimes be difficult due to the dog’s strong hunting instincts. Born with its nose to the ground, the Beagle was bred to be single-purposed, patient, and persistent. While these are all important qualities to the breed, they also cause the dog to easily lose focus if an interesting scent is found. Because of this tendency, reward-based training is the most effective method for the Beagle. While extensive exercise is not required for this breed, routine exercise is recommended to avoid excessive weight gain.

Want to learn more about the Beagle? Click here for the full breed standard.


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