This little puppy is a real heart throb. His gorgeous floppy ears are so soft and his eyes seem to light up with all the joy and innocence of the world. His breed is known for their beautiful temperament and funny personalities and he is no exception, a rolly-polly puppy who always seems to be getting into the funniest situations. He is so happy to be a part of a loving family but is so tempted by the delicious smells they have on the bench. He’s not sure if he can contain himself...
Incredibly popular and full of energy, beagles are an adorable hound with a hilarious personality. Their breed goes back to 16th century in England where they were bred for the use of their fantastic nose. Being scent hounds, their nose is particularly good and was an asset to the Englishmen who hunted smaller prey such as rabbits. The hunters would have packs of beagles who, with nose to ground, would vigorously sniff away until they found their target. They also kept smaller breeds called glove and pocket beagles, small enough to fit in your glove or pocket (fancy that!). They would ride along in the pocket of their human while the bigger dogs ran along on the ground. When the bigger dogs sensed the prey, the human would release the pocket beagle who would chase the prey through the underbrush. Royalty such as Queen Elizabeth I were big fans of pocket beagles and she referred to them as her singing beagles because of their signature ‘bay’ or howl.
As well as a hunting dog, beagles are now a popular choice for sniffer dogs, used in places such as airports to detect contraband food in the luggage of travellers. A slightly less happy use is for animal testing, yet this is getting less common with a complete ban in most of the European Union. Thankfully they will now more commonly be found as a loving family pet. They are a particularly gentle breed making them fantastic with children. They are very active dogs and need a lot of exercise even though they are very good at pretending to be couch potatoes. This coupled with their ability to sneak food off any surface makes them at risk of becoming very fat if not given the exercise they need. What makes it even more difficult is their stubborn nature meaning proper training is essential to keeping them happy and healthy.
Beagles are beloved around the world and are seen time and time again in popular culture. The most famous example is in the Peanuts comics by Charles Schulz, the lovely Snoopy. They have also been seen at the White House when Lyndon Baines Johnson was living there, lended their name to the famous ship, the HMS Beagle which Charles Darwin made his legendary voyage which inspired ‘On the Origin of Species’, and was the pet to the captain of the Star Trek: Enterprise.
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