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History of the breed
In many historical legends, beagles are mentioned as indispensable participants in the hunt of the knights of King Arthur, accompanying the owners even in search of the Holy Grail. It is impossible to verify the truth of this statement, but the earlier sources are quite reliable. The earliest mention of the breed dates back to the 4th century BC – the ancient Greek writer Xenophon described in detail the appearance and features of these hunting dogs.
The Romans took over the baton and started breeding the breed. With Roman warriors, hunting dogs came to the territory of modern Great Britain, where they interbred with other breeds. It was from here that several breeds originated: Foxhounds, Otterhounds, Harriers and, in fact, Bigley.
The following centuries did not leave descriptions and mentions of this hunting breed, but from the 14th century the Bigley became a real symbol of the English ruling house. The royal family, generation after generation, used beagles to hunt. The breed was praised and described by the behavior of hounds by many contemporaries – with reference to the crowned person, of course. Beagles were the favorite dogs of Edward II, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and George IV. Dogs were smaller than modern ones, they were transported in special pockets on hunting suits or in baskets. Miniature beagles weighed no more than 8 kilograms, and reached 25 centimeters in height.
There are two versions of the origin of the name of the breed, and both are similar to the truth..
- One by one – the breed owes its name to the Celtic word “small”, which corresponds to the description of these dogs.
- According to another, the name is derived from the French word “cry”. A clear voice is one of the constant characteristics of beagles. They are even called “singing beagles”. Among high-born hunters, a selection of dogs in a pack by voice was considered the highest chic – so that all together they would form a choir in which high and low notes would be present.
In the 18th century, the breed appeared in Russia – the Russian ambassador, Prince Shcherbatov, bought more than 60 pairs of beagles in England. But the domestic highbred did not like the breed.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the breed developed and changed chaotically – each owner contributed something of his own. As a result, the beagles were close to complete extinction – the game they hunted was practically over, the place in the kennels decreased. The breed did not disappear only thanks to the farmers of the southern regions of England: they continued to hunt rabbits and hares using beagles. The preserved specimens have become an invaluable source of genetic material for further development..
The Encyclopedia Britannica states that there were several types of beagles in different parts of England. In the south, the dogs were heavy and massive, and in the north, they were light, with shorter ears.
Northern Beagles had a stiffer coat, stronger muscles, and powerful joints. Such dogs are able to work even in dense thickets of thorny bushes, but they are not enough for a long time: the payment for massiveness is a decrease in endurance. Their southern counterparts did not possess such strength, but endurance is their strong feature. Modern Beagles are the result of a cross between northerners and southerners, combining the strengths of both species.
Philip Honeywood contributed to the revival of interest in these dogs. It was his pack, made up of the descendants of the northern and southern beagles, that gave rise to the now known breed. In documents dated 1845, his dogs are described in detail: white fur and a height of about 25 centimeters, excellent hunting skills.
His colleague Thomas Johnson tried to improve the breed’s appearance by developing beagles with short and long hair. The history of long-haired beagles ended in the second half of the 20th century – there are no more such dogs.
At the end of the 19th century, sincere fans of the breed appeared. Beagles began to be shown at hunting shows and exhibitions, universal criteria for the size and parameters of the dog appeared. But the first “Beagle Club” was created only in 1890, and the approved breed standard was born in 1895. The presented dogs that meet the standard were on display in Birmingham. Members of the club bred beagles participating in sport hunting competitions and specialized exhibitions.
Two types of dogs have been approved:
- Medium – up to 33 centimeters tall
- Large – up to 40 centimeters.
For more than 70 years, the Beagle Club remained the only organization representing the breed.
At the moment, there are two types of beagles – European and American.
- Americans – taller, more muscular, more angular skull.
- Europeans – lower and tighter.
Description of the breed
It is not recommended to have a beagle for inexperienced dog lovers – freedom-loving and independent character of a dog requires experience and cynological skills. [/color-box]
It is vitally important to undergo a general training course before puberty, otherwise, under the influence of hormones, it will become uncontrollable and disobedient.
For training beagles, separate programs are made, as varied and rich as possible – if the dog is bored, he simply will not respond to commands.
Beagle is very interested in who is the boss in the house, so you need to be prepared for provocations from the side of the dog trying to take the highest place in the hierarchy. In this case, you need to calmly and confidently put the provocateur in place.
Dogs of this breed cannot stand screaming and rudeness.
Disposition to disease
The breed is distinguished by its good health. And the ailments pass quickly – the body effectively copes with them. Diseases to which dogs of this breed are predisposed:
- Vertebral disc problems.
- Skin diseases.
To this list, you can add diseases that are less common:
- Eye diseases.
- Hearing problems.
A beagle puppy, depending on the region of the country, pedigree, indicators and age, costs from 20,000 to 30,000 rubles.
List of nurseries
- Siberian fairy tale Krasnoyarsk – www.beagle-ss.ru
- BEST-DOG-CLUB IKU Moscow – www.alvas.ru/bdc-iku-beagle.htm
- Simonaland Moscow – www.beagle-simona.narod.ru
- Magnifique Meute, Domodedovo – meute.ru