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8 Reasons Why Beagles Are The Best Dogs

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Throughout history, the beagle has been one of the most beloved dogs. Ancestors of the beagle are believed to have existed in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. During the reigns of King Edward II and King Henry VII, extremely small “glove beagles” were popular. Queen Elizabeth, I kept a breed of the dog known as a “pocket beagle” that stood only 9 inches tall. The breed as it is known today received official recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1885. From their selective breeding as hunters, the beagle of today is a loving, loyal, friendly companion that is a bundle of energy and a source of joy to owners. Here are a few reasons why these dogs are the best to have around.

#1 BEAGLES PUT THEIR WORLD-CLASS SNIFFING TO WORK

In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began using beagles in airports to sniff out food and agricultural products being brought into the country. Because beagles possess superior scent, they can be trained to detect certain smells, even among other food aromas. Their work has helped inspectors seize 75,000 restricted agricultural products a year. Beagles have been taught to perform other functions, but they still patrol the baggage-claim areas and other points of entry at international airports across the nation.

#2 BEAGLES ARE NATURAL HUNTERS

Beagles descend from centuries of dogs that were bred for hunting, and they have a highly developed sense of smell. To give you an idea of how refined a beagle’s sense of smell is, consider that humans have approximately five million scent receptors in their noses, while beagles have approximately 220 million. Once they lock onto a scent, it can be very difficult to distract them or get them to pay attention to your commands. They pursue their target through any terrain and often get themselves into jams by not being able to focus on their surroundings. This is not a personality flaw — it is just the way these dogs are genetically wired.

#3 BEAGLES DON’T REQUIRE MUCH GROOMING

Despite having short hair, beagles do shed, though their shedding is usually easy to control. They are among the most low-maintenance breeds when it comes to grooming. Beagles need a good brushing once or twice a week to maintain a healthy coat and collect excess hairs. Brushing stimulates the oils in the dog’s skin, and helps maintain a nice sheen, which helps the dog repel water and maintain a constant body temperature. They generally do not require bathing more than once every two to six months, unless they get into something dirty. Excessive bathing can dry out their coats and irritate their skin. One characteristic that may require attention is their ears. Beagles have long, floppy ears that do not permit good air circulation, which can make them prone to ear infections. It’s important to clean your beagle’s ears once or twice a week.

#4 BEAGLES ARE VERY ATHLETIC

Beagles keep you moving. They are natural hunting dogs and love being outdoors. Their well-developed sense of smell can lead them to follow a scent and lose their ability to obey their masters. Beagles are also full of energy and can exhibit destructive behavior during periods of extreme boredom. It’s essential that beagles receive plenty of exercise, especially before bed and before being left alone for a lengthy period of time. The exercise helps keep the dog at its proper weight, and lowers the likelihood of the dog howling and getting into trouble when left alone.

#5 BEAGLES ARE GREAT WITH KIDS

Beagles can be playful with young children, though they can have a tendency to be “mouthy,” meaning they use their mouths to nip and snatch things. It is perfectly normal behavior, and is not meant to cause harm or injury. They can be trained to break this habit and become socialized. Once this happens, beagles are great with children and see them as playmates. As with any animal, children must be taught not to disturb animals when sleeping or eating, or try to take food away from them.

#6 BEAGLES ARE COMPACT IN SIZE

The beagle’s compact size makes this dog easy to travel with, especially when it comes to travel carriers. The average adult male measures between 14 and 16 inches high and weighs between 22 and 24 pounds, while the adult female averages 13 to 15 inches in height in weighs 20 to 22 pounds. This puts them in the medium-sized dog classification. The beagle’s size does not necessarily mean that it is a good breed for apartment dwellers, though they’re able to adapt to apartment-living. If the owner can provide the dog with the necessary exercise and recreation, it will thrive in most living conditions. However, a bored beagle can become destructive, and its tendency to howl can disturb neighbors.

#7 BEAGLES ARE GREAT WITH OTHER ANIMALS

Beagles have a naturally inquisitive and playful nature and are not overly defensive or territorial. Their ability to get along well with other dogs undoubtedly stems from their tradition as pack dogs, when they would spend days with other dogs during hunting excursions. They seem to have retained this tendency to get along well with other animals, as they do not see them as threats, but as companions. Put two beagles together, and they should be chasing each other and rolling around in no time.

#8 BEAGLES LOVE HUMANS

Beagles have a playful, loving, and even temperament. They seldom exhibit aggressive behavior toward little ones and love being around humans. This trait is perhaps what makes them so desirable and popular as pets. According to the American Kennel Club, beagles are the fifth most popular breed of pets in the United States. Because they love humans, they aren’t the best guard dogs, although they do make good watchdogs, since they display excitement when they sense humans approaching.

Beagles are such lovable, popular pets that several have made their way into the realm of pop culture, and possibly shaped our perceptions of the dog. Of course, the most famous beagle may be Snoopy from the “Peanuts” comic strip and TV specials. There is also Odie from “Garfield” (though he’s a dachshund-terrier mix in the live-action film), as well as the dog Gromit of the popular animated duo “Wallace and Gromit.” Other famous beagles include Mr. Peabody, the cartoon companion to Sherman on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” and superhero Underdog from the TV series of the same name. Such widespread appeal is a testament to how endearing the beagle really is.

Many people love dogs, but not all of them agree on which breed is best. Some prefer a larger, more noble type of canine.

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