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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
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- Height at withers – from 33 to 40 centimeters.
- Weight – from 8 to 14 kilograms.
- Life span – 12-15 years old.
- Addition – stocky.
- Wool – smooth and short, close to the skin.
- Head – long, medium width, pronounced occipital protuberance. Ears – rounded, drooping. The eyes are large. Lips droop a little.
- Front limbs – straight, parallel, located under the body. Muscular shoulders and strong bones.
- Hind limbs – well developed thighs and legs, hocks pointing downwards, fingers crowded.
- Tail – medium, straight, with a white mark on the tip.
- Color – there are several types of color. The main one is tricolor: a combination of white, black and red shades. But there are also two-tone specimens – the main combinations are: white with red, chestnut, red. Let’s say the speck is badger-motley, hare-motley or lemon-motley. For any color, a red mask on the face is required. Dogs of white color or with a black and white combination are extremely rare. No less rare are specimens in which the spots are mixed.
Bigley – loving communication and contact dogs. Strive to establish close relationships with the whole family in which they live. Suitable as a pet for families with children.
Kindness and activity will make the beagle a constant partner in games for children. He will not offend a small child and will gladly participate in the games of older children. “Puppy” behavior is present in beagles to a ripe old age. For these reasons, it is impossible to use them for protection – the breed is not adapted to perform such functions.
Hunters are acutely aware if the emotional situation in the family is tense, and they try to defuse it by drawing attention to themselves and arranging pranks. The dog with all his behavior is trying to convey to the owners that the negative is not needed, you need to love each other and enjoy life.
They do not show aggression towards dogs, but other domestic animals can be regarded as prey. It is not recommended to have another pet if you have a beagle.
Dog activity and determination require training to correct behavior. Beagles are intelligent animals, learn easily and with pleasure. Adapting to new conditions is at the highest level. Socialize your puppy as early as possible.
Loud barking was developed in the breed for a long time, as a necessary quality when tracking down game, so that the hunter could navigate along it, in which direction to move. When keeping a dog in an apartment, this quality is rather negative. Beagles simply do not know how to bark “quieter”. The neighbors will express their just grievances. Of course, you can teach a dog not to bark, but it is a difficult and long process.
An attractive scent can make the beagle forget about everything and get on the trail. The traveler beagle can travel a fair distance. When walking, a leash is required.
The most suitable housing for a beagle is a private house with a securely fenced area. But even here he needs constant supervision – a sharp mind can tell the dog how to get behind the fence.
In the room, the beagle feels great – it does not need a lot of space. If the dog has the ability to spend a lot of energy on walks, he will be calm at home..
Care and training
Good endurance and ebullient energy are essential qualities of beagles. They need to move a lot and constantly explore new places. “Just walking” is not appropriate. The best way to walk is to go for a run with the dog – and keeping it fit, new places, and good for the owner. You should not start a beagle if hours of sitting at the computer or watching TV are considered rest. But with the love of outdoor activities – the beagle will become a faithful companion and constant companion.
- Smooth beagle hair does not need serious maintenance – brushing once a week is enough.
- You can bathe your dog as it gets dirty or once a month, as a preventive measure and cleaning the coat. Shampoo for the corresponding type of coat is used for all parts of the body, except for the head – it is wiped with a wet sponge. You do not need to use a hair dryer to dry wool.
- It is necessary to monitor the condition of the claws and trim them in time, especially if the walks are not particularly long and the claws do not grind on their own. Only the tips of the claws need to be cut off – blood vessels are located closer to the base.
- Periodic testing for infectious diseases and parasites.
- Brushing your teeth is required once a week. During the procedure, you can check the condition of the mouth.
- Regular bone and dry food are used to prevent dental diseases.
- Eyes do not need constant care – just wipe them with a soft cloth as needed.
- Laziness and the desire to lie down have nothing to do with this breed. The constant curiosity and thirst for activity are inherent in beagles. Any movement is a joy: running, walking, swimming.
- The dog does not require a special diet. You just need to make sure that the food is not excessive – excess weight negatively affects both the health and the quality of the animal. At the same time, in the absence of the proper load, beagles quickly gain weight.
- Beagle needs the feeling of a big family. The more people constantly live together, the more joy the dog has. Communication is not limited to one owner – the dog will devote its attention to all household members.
The number of feedings and the portion depends on the age of the beagle..
- 3-5 months – 4-5 times a day.
- 6-12 months – 3-4 times a day.
- From 1 year old – 2-3 times a day.
It is better to check the required portion and brand of food with the breeder when buying a puppy – recommendations may differ. It is preferable to keep the companion dog on premium dry food. In this case, no other foods and vitamins are required. But breeders can also use combined nutrition – when based in the form of dry food, “live” products are also added to the diet: meat, vegetables, dairy products.
Special attention should be paid to the satisfaction of the beagle’s hunting instincts – he cannot live without pursuit and search. If the dog is not being used for hunting, it is necessary to enter Hidden Object Games. They will help the animal to fulfill its needs and will entertain the whole family. An ordinary tennis ball will be an excellent toy for a beagle – you can hide it and throw it.
The requirements of all household members for a dog should be the same – if someone demands not to voice, and another family member is delighted with the sonorous barking, the beagle will be at a loss, not understanding what requirement needs to be fulfilled. An animal needs unambiguous rules that must be followed.
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