Archives for January 2018

The Varieties Of Beagle Size

Beagle SizeThe Beagle is one of the most popular and well-known dog breeds. It was the inspiration for the character Snoopy and featured in the works of William Shakespeare. They are part of the Hound Group. Not everyone knows this, but the purebred Beagle actually comes in two size variants. This guide will look at the differences between Beagle size as well as the general standards for the breed.

Breed Origin

Dogs resembling the Beagle breed have been around for well over 2,500 years, as far back as Ancient Greece. Their ancestors were brought to England with William the Conqueror and were very popular in medieval times. The modern breed was developed in the mid-1800s in England.

The Differences In Beagle Size

Beagles come in two different size categories. These are commonly known as the 13-inch (or 33 cm) Beagle and the 15-inch (or 38 cm) Beagle, with height measured at the withers. The American Kennel Club recognizes both size variants, although any Beagle over 15 inches will be disqualified from official AKC shows. The UK Kennel Club and some other organizations only recognize one type of Beagle, with a height of between 13 and 16 inches (or 33 and 41 cm).

Historically, Beagles were larger than their modern breed, though they have since shrunk to their modern, smaller sizes. There were also Pocket Beagles, which had breed standards as late as 1901 and were kept by Queen Elizabeth I. They stood 8 to 9 inches (or 20 to 23 cm). It was said that sometimes hunters would carry this diminutive variant in their coats as they hunted on foot. Some modern breeders have attempted to recreate Pocket Beagles, although this variety is not recognized by any official kennel club.

The Differences In Beagle Weight

The 13-inch Beagle size generally weighs less than the 15-inch Beagle size due to the simple difference in stature. Males are generally larger and heavier than females. The AKC standard is under 20 pounds (around 9 kg) for the 13-inch Beagle size, and 20-30 pounds for Beagles between 13 and 15 inches.

Breed Standard

The breed standard between the two sizes is otherwise the same. The standard and what is or is not acceptable in a show animal obviously varies slightly depending on the organization running the show. Physical characteristics of the Beagle include large brown or hazel eyes and a smooth, domed skull.

A variety of colors are acceptable. The so-called tricolor Beagle, which is white, black and brown, is the most common and well-recognized. Tricolored Beagles can come in a variety of shades. For two-colored Beagles, tan and white is the most common combination. Other colors a Beagle can be include lemon, red, blue and a reddish brown that is almost orange. Liver is possible but not common, and the color is not accepted in some standards. There are also ticked or mottled varieties.

For Owners Considering A Beagle

Because of their smaller size, cute appearance and charming personalities, the Beagle is an extremely popular dog breed – ranked fifth in popularity by the AKC. Beagles are happy, friendly, curious dogs. Like most hounds, they are rather vocal and known for their trademark bay. They also have one of the most advanced senses of smell of any breed, after the Bloodhound and the Basset Hound.

They were bred to hunt. Because of this, they are high energy dogs and need significant amounts of exercise. Many owners do not give them the exercise they need and so they become overweight, which is a common issue with the breed and leads to health problems. Beagles need a fenced-in yard they can run around in, and because they are little escape artists the enclosure must be very secure.

While spaying or neutering a dog is still the recommended practice for most owners, more veterinarians are agreeing that it is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. For example, it may be best to forgo alteration for Beagles that will hunt or participate in canine athletics. Dogs that will participate in official shows also cannot be altered.

As a smaller breed of dog, Beagles tend to live longer than larger breeds, at around 12-15 years. As with most purebred dogs, the Beagle has a few known health problems although it is a generally healthy breed. Deafness, patellar luxation, epilepsy and glaucoma are some of the more common ailments to watch out for. Finding a reputable breeder is paramount to ensure a Beagle pup has been responsibly bred. The National Beagle Club is the official club for this breed in the United States.

Pocket Beagles

pocket beaglesSmall dogs are growing in popularity as companions, and more miniature versions of your favorite breeds are becoming available including Pocket Beagles. These feisty miniature versions of Beagles have the same attributes but are more suitable for apartment living for those who don’t have a lot of land. They are friendly and easy to groom and make a great family pet.

Pocket Beagle Characteristics

These little pups have the same personalities of their larger relatives, but range from 7 to 15 lbs. They were bred as early as the 13th century as tiny hunting companions before larger Beagle breeds became popular. Pocket Beagles are considered hound dogs, and their small stature made them an ideal choice to track small prey like rabbits.

These little dogs are very friendly and love everyone they meet. They are gentle and personable dogs who make very good companions, and prefer not to be alone. Their sociable nature also makes them a good fit for families with children and other pets. They are smart and energetic, so keep them entertained so that they don’t get into mischief.

Their coats are relatively short and easy to keep groomed without requiring frequent baths and brushing. Pocket Beagles have soulful eyes and floppy ears, and they can have fur in a variety of colors and combinations just like standard beagles.

Things to Be Careful Of

Beagles of all sizes love their food, which means they aren’t good at cutting themselves off when they’ve had enough. It’s important for owners of Beagles to carefully portion out meals so that their dog doesn’t become unhealthy and overweight. Another thing to keep in mind about Beagles is that they were bred to follow scents while hunting. With that in mind, be sure not to leave them unsupervised in a yard that isn’t fenced because if they catch an enticing scent they will follow it wherever it leads. That finely tuned nose could lead them to unsecured food or trash in the house as well.

Beagles are also bred to alert their hunting companions when they’ve found prey. As such, barking and baying can become excessive. Be prepared to put in the work to train them not to be too noisy. Giving them plenty of attention and exercise will help greatly with their obedience. Since they are considered a pack dog, firm leadership is required to keep them in line.

Training Beagles

Beagles can have stubborn personalities, and training them takes a lot of patience and creativity. However Beagles are very motivated by food, so positive reinforcement with treats will entice them to obey. Just be sure not to go overboard with treats, since Beagles don’t know their limits and will eat until they make themselves sick if given the chance.

Since house training Beagles can be a lengthy process, crate training is recommended as a useful tool. They are also a lively breed with a lot of stamina, so it’s helpful keep them entertained and exercised so that they are less prone to find entertainment on their own terms. They are a loving and playful breed, so aggression shouldn’t be a concern. However, properly socializing them with other animals and small children will help them to know their limits and play gently.

It also helps to remember that even with strict training, food and enticing smells will always be a weakness for this breed (they were bred to follow scents, after all). For their own well-being keep garbage and food securely out of reach. Also be sure to keep your dog on a leash during walks. While underground fences will deter them, they may decide to ignore the shock if something enticing is on the other side. Keep that in mind when deciding how to secure your yard.

Final Considerations

Pocket Beagles are adorable and friendly dogs, and make a great addition to any family. They are a very lovable breed and if you are willing to put the time and patience into training them they will make a very pleasant pet. Their love for food can get them into trouble, but the perk of such a small dog is that it is relatively easy to keep temptation out of reach.

Beagle Training Tips for Novice Pet Owners

beagle trainingThere are many reasons to adopt a beagle. The breed is friendly, energetic and loves to be around people. In contrast to all of these positive traits, beagles tend to be a bit stubborn. The best way to minimize this headstrong tendency is by implementing beagle training methods immediately after adopting your dog. Here are some breed-specific tips to help eliminate common inappropriate behaviors.

Destructive Behaviors from Separation Anxiety

While no dog likes to be left alone all day, beagles thrive on the company of their owner. This may be due to their high level of energy and extremely loving disposition. If home alone, they often become bored or overly anxious. When this happens, unwanted behaviors including constant barking and destructive chewing usually occur. In order to quell these bad habits, you need to make your dog feel safe, content, and comfortable while you’re away.

To create a calming environment, choose a space that is the right size. Letting your pet explore the entire house while you are gone is a sure recipe for destruction. Instead, select one room to leave your beagle in by securing it with a pet gate. This allows him to see outside the room while still providing a sense of security. While a
crate will keep your dog confined, the inability to move about may also cause excess stress.

Playing music is another great way to calm an anxious pet. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow found that classical music promoted an immediate decrease in stress levels among kennel dogs. While the reduction in stress may be temporary, it’s a great way to keep your pet calm until your return. For dogs that aren’t into Beethoven, try leaving the TV on instead for a little auditory stimulation.

Beagle Training Commands

Teaching your dog some basic commands is necessary for several reasons. It allows you to establish yourself as the pack leader, which is crucial for gaining your beagle’s respect. It also provides structure and order for a breed that is sometimes easily excitable and distracted. Ensuring your dog remains focused while training is the key to success. While treats may be used initially for positive reinforcement, toys work well too and don’t lead to excess pounds.

Some of the basic training commands include sit, stay, down, wait and come. After your dog recognizes these five cues, it’s time to teach additional words such as leave it, watch me, and look. When your dog recognizes your voice signals, it is much simpler to prevent problems like begging, digging, and excessive barking or baying.

House Training a Beagle Pup

When it comes to house training, this breed is sometimes a challenge, especially male beagles. To overcome their strong-willed personality and indoor territory marking habits, your beagle training routine needs to be firm and consistent. Regular feedback helps your dog to learn the difference between acceptable and undesirable actions.

During the day, many pet owners prefer to train their dog using the tether method. This involves using a short cable or leash that is around 4-feet long. Dogs are able to move around a little but aren’t likely to do their business in such a confined space.

At night, crate training is acceptable because it provides security and a cozy place to sleep. The right sized crate should provide enough space to sit, stand or lie down. Never place a water dish inside the crate because younger dogs may have trouble controlling their bladder until morning.

Daily Exercise Encourages Good Behavior

Like most high-energy breeds, beagles need plenty of exercise. A daily walking schedule helps increase the bond between you and your pet while also relieving boredom, stress and anxiety. Whether you walk your beagle at the park or around the neighborhood, try to add some variety to your routine. Beagles are greatly influenced by their sense of smell and unfamiliar environments provide an abundance of new sniffing opportunities. To ensure your pet still receives a good workout, limit sniffing stops to a couple of minutes each.

Another important tip is to establish good communication with your beagle while walking. Beagles that are receptive to commands are less likely to pull or chase after squirrels and rabbits. Teaching your dog to obey helps prevent accidents and makes walking a pleasurable experience.

With the right beagle training methods, first-time pet owners can establish a good relationship with their dog. Proper training makes pet ownership more enjoyable, resulting in a healthier living environment for both you and your beagle.