Special Considerations For Pet Beagle Owners
Beagles are happy loving dogs that have a long relationship with man as a hunting companion. Although no one knows for sure where these dogs descended from, there are records of small hunting dogs that go back to the 13th century and it is no secret these dogs are quite successful for hunting fox and rabbit. Their great nose not withstanding, beagles are also fun companions that can adapt easily to family life. However, you will have to keep in mind that the Beagle does have strong instincts for the chase and you must never let him loose or walk him without his lead. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884, this popular breed is muscular with long droopy ears, dark eyes, a short coat and a keen sense of smell.
The breed comes in two sizes - one under 13 inches and one between 13 and 15 inches. He can be any color but typical beagles show tan and black on white. Along with his propensity for chasing small animals, the Beagles voice can be another one of his less lovable traits. The beagle has a rather loud howl which is great for helping hunters find them when they are on the trail of prey, but not so good when they are waking you up with it in the middle of the night. Beagles do tend to bark when they hear strange noises and can bay loudly when left alone for long periods of time so if you are considering a Beagle for apartment life then you might want to think twice. Beagles are very active dogs and need to be exercises regularly.
You shouldn't leave them out unattended though so be prepared to walk them daily and take them to the park on weekends. Beagles are very social and will not like being left alone for long periods of time or they can become destructive. Although Beagles are fairly easy to groom with their short coat, you should plan to brush them once a week to remove dead hair. They can take to rolling in icky stuff so you be prepared to bathe him at times as well. The long droopy ears can become infected easily and must be examined frequently to be sure no infection is brewing. One thing to watch for in your pet Beagle is overeating.
Beagles like to eat and are not finicky at all about what they put in their mouths. In fact, you might find your Beagle rummaging in the trash for a snack shortly after dinner. Since Beagles are small dogs, you do need to be sure your pet does not overeat as this can cause him to become overweight which will bring on health problems. Beagles can live to be around 15 years of age if cared for properly.
Some diseases to be watched for in this breed in particular include epilepsy, glaucoma, cataracts, invertebral disk disease, hypothyroidism and retinal apathy. Getting your beagle from a good breeder with healthy lineage is key to avoiding these kinds of disease.
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.pet-breeds.com/beagles/ where you can learn more about caring for and training your pet beagle.
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