INTRODUCING THE BEAGLE
It is pleasing to know you are interested in the Beagle. Here is some information about the breed prepared by Marion Watson and the West Australian Beagle Club.
The Beagle is one of the oldest of pure bred hounds, his ancestors being traced back to Greece in about 400 BC. In Britain it has been mentioned in early literature such as Chaucer's 14th Century Canterbury Tales and it was a favourite of several monarchs such as Henry VI & VIII, Charles II and Elizabeth I. Also in Britain it has been used as a hunting hound since the 14th century and packs of them are still used to hunt hare. However, the Beagle has been domesticated very successfully during recent years and is now a very popular pet and show dog.
In appearance the Beagle is a lively, sturdy looking hound having several colours. The most common is the tricolour, a combination of black, white and tan, but there are other combinations such as black and tan, tan and white, and lemon and white which are extremely attractive and are becoming more popular. The stern (tail) should always have a white tip and the eyes should be dark. Its coat is short, dense and waterproof, making it easy to groom and keep clean. It is of medium size, being between 13" and 16" high, measured from the top of the shoulder vertically to the ground, thus it can fit easily into most households and cars. The pocket Beagle, which should be under 10" high, is virtually extinct.
The Beagle is a merry hound, full of stamina. He should be bold, alert and have an even temperament. Even though he has been domesticated he still retains the instinct to hunt by scent. A Beagle likes the company of people and other dogs and is good with children. He should therefore not be kept in a household where he is going to be left alone all day.
For a normal healthy Beagle this should be no problem as he will eat well on most easily obtainable dog foods, whether they be fresh, tinned or dehydrated. Indeed, it can be a problem preventing him from eating too much, so a regular meal schedule should be established with no extras in between. A reputable breeder will provide a diet sheet.
All dogs require exercise, the Beagle no more or less than any other hound, gundog or terrier. But he is not a lap dog and will require more than an occasional wander around the block on a lead. A regular 30 minutes a day free running is the ideal minimum.
If all breeds were as healthy as the Beagle many vets would go out of business. Providing they are looked after, they will rarely need veterinary attention. They will of course, require their vaccinations against disease and regular anti-worm treatment.
A naturally clean animal, the Beagle is easy to groom, requiring only a few minutes brushing daily and an occasional bath.
From the foregoing, it can be seen that the ideal home for a Beagle is not a small flat in a busy built up area. He is best at home in the country or suburbs where he can be freely exercised. Although he will make himself at home in the house, an outside run in the garden is the ideal. His owners should be prepared to devote time to him, especially as a puppy being trained. In return, the Beagle will prove to be a fine companion on walks, exercising himself and his owner. Ownership of a Beagle can lead to a more interesting social life
Without doubt go to a reputable breeder. If you do not know of one, either the Beagle Club of W.A. or the Canine Association of W.A.) or a vet can put you in touch with one in your own area. A Beagle Club recommended breeder will always be concerned where his puppies go. He will provide a diet sheet and pedigree form and will always be willing to help a new Beagle owner with problems which may occur. In other words, he will offer an "after sales" service which puppy farms and pet shops will not do. This is why it is strongly recommended that any prospective buyer go to a recommended breeder rather than a pet shop or puppy farm, where possibly a high price will be paid for poor quality and possibly unhealthy stock.
A reputable breeder will spend some time finding out if the prospective buyer and his home are suitable for a Beagle, so please do not object to a lot of questions which are to satisfy the breeder that his puppies are not being purchased for re-sale to research or vivisection.
It is always difficult to predict as prices of kenneling, feeding and veterinary fees etc are constantly spiraling. A potential show dog could cost considerably more than a pet or family companion. Prospective puppy buyers should ensure that the price includes the first needle and that the puppy has been started on a worming program and is possibly Micro chipped..
Some W.A. Beagle Club activities are grooming and show training classes, fun events, members competitions and social activities.
It is hoped that this information has provided you with sufficient information about the Beagle enabling you to decide whether or not you wish to be owned by one!
Beagle Breed standard
GENERAL APPEARANCE: A sturdy, compactly-built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.
CHARACTERISTICS: A merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following a scent. Bold, with great activity, stamina anddetermination. Alert, intelligent and of even temperament.
HEAD AND SKULL: Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from frown and wrinkle. Skull slightly domed, moderately wide, with slight peak. Stop well defined and dividing length, between occiput and tip of nose, as equally as possible. Muzzle not snipey, lips reasonable well flewed. Nose broad, preferably black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds. Nostrils wide.
EYES: Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild appealing expression.
EARS: Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to the end of nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to the cheeks.
MOUTH: The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
NECK: Sufficiently long to enable the hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.
FOREQUARTERS: Shoulders well laid back, not loaded. Forelegs straight and upright, well under the hound, good substance, and round in bone, not tapering off to feet. Pasterns short. Elbows firm, turning neither in nor out. Height at elbow about half height at withers.
BODY: Topline straight and level. Chest let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Short in the couplings but well balanced. Loins powerful and supple, without excessive tuck-up.
HINDQUARTERS: Muscular thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.
TAIL: Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over the back or inclined forward from the root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.
GAIT MOVEMENT: Back level, firm with no indication of roll. Stride free, long reaching in front and straight without high action, hind legs showing drive. Should not move close behind nor paddle nor plait in front.
SIZE: Desirable minimum height at withers (shoulders) 33 cms. (13ins.). Desirable maximum height at withers 40 cms. (16ins.).
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.