Beagles are small hound dogs that were originally bred for hunting rabbits. Today, many people have these dogs as pets without ever taking them hunting. Beagles are friendly, social and excited dogs, and they are good with children--making them popular pets among families. Beagles come in a variety of colors, from black and white to brown, black and tan. The average price of a beagle puppy is between $100 and $200. You may find one cheaper at an animal shelter.
According to the American Kennel Club, the development of the beagle breed began in Great Britain in the year 200. These dogs were bred to hunt rabbits by scent. The original name of the beagle is unknown. However, some people believe it derived from the French word "be'geule," which means "gape throat." This word refers to the voice of the beagle when it is in pursuit of game.
Beagles come in a variety of colors, such as white and cream; black, tan, and white; blue and gray; or brown and red. The most common of these color combinations is the black, tan, and white combination. Many beagles have white bellies and chests. Most beagles stay small in size, ranging from 10 to 16 inches in height. Occasionally, a beagle will exceed 16 inches in height, but this is rare. Most healthy beagles do not weigh over 30 pounds.
Beagles are very friendly and gentle dogs. These dogs are tolerant with children. Due to their hunting instincts, beagles must be trained at a young age to live with other animals. If you put an adult beagle who has never been around other animals in a home with other animals, it may feel the instinct to fight. Beagles can live indoors, but should be taken out regularly for exercise. If beagles are left alone, they may chew on things to cure their boredom. Having other animals in the home for them to play with can sometimes cure this problem. If put through training, beagles respond well to obedience. These dogs have a very loud whine and bark. If you have neighbors close by, they might not like this.
Beagles eat about two cups of food a day. Since beagles enjoy eating, it is easy to overfeed them--causing them to become overweight. Adult beagles are often lazy, and don't require as much action as younger dogs of this breed. Adolescent beagles should be taken out to exercise every day. Consistent training should be done at a young age. Beagles have short attention spans, but since they love food, treats may help train them. Beagles should visit the veterinarian once a year for vaccinations and a health exam.
When beagles grow old, they become susceptible to certain health conditions, such as heart disease, epilepsy, back problems and vision problems. Occasionally, a beagle will be born with dwarfism. Dwarf beagles will have warped front legs like a basset hound. A healthy beagle can live up to 15 years. The average litter size for beagles is seven puppies, but many times they can have up to 14 puppies.