Beagles have been a recognised breed in England since the 1830s and came about from breeding a number of breeds including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier. Before then the name Beagle was used as a generic term to describe several small hound breeds.
Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a Beagle pack in Essex in the 1830s and it is believed that this pack formed the basis for the modern Beagle breed. Although exact details were never recorded, it is presumed that the mix included North Country Beagles and Southern Hounds as well as Harriers.
By the 1840s Beagles were introduced into the United States, where the import of the breed was strictly controlled and dogs were only imported for the purposes of hunting. It is unlikely though that these dogs were repesentative of the modern breed based on their description as a “straight-legged Dachshund with a weak head”.
In the early 1870s General Richard Rowett from Illinois imported some dogs from England and began breeding. Rowett’s Beagles are believed to have formed the model for the first American standard, drawn up by Rowett, L. H. Twadell, and Norman Ellmore in 1887. The Beagle was accepted as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1884. In the 20th century the breed has spread worldwide.
The Beagle resembles a miniature foxhound, with a broader head and shorted muzzle. The dog’s trademark are it;s long floppy ears. The coat is short and close to the body. The tail stands straight when the dog is active, (never curls upward) and has a white tip. Eyes are brown or hazel and set far apart. The body is muscular for its size.
The Beagle has a loving, sweet, and gentle disposition and greets everyone with a wagging tail. A perfect family dog, it bonds well with children. They should only be allowed to be around cats and small animals if they are socialized with them at an early age. Being a scent driven hound, it is important to be patient and firm with their training. You must be assertive and establish your self as the pack leader. Daily physical and mental exercise is also very important otherwise they will suffer separation anxiety.