The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog.
It is a hound-dog breed popular as both a pet and a hunter.
Beagles are mostly developed for hunting and finding hare, rabbit, and other kinds of game.
They possess a great sense of smell and superior tracking instincts.
Beagles are popular as pets because of their good size, sweet temper, and health.
They are also used as detection dogs for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world.
The typical lifespan of beagles is 12–15 years, which is a common lifespan for dogs of their size.
Males are from 36 to 41 cm (14 to 16 in) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 10 and 11 kg (60 and 80 lbs).
Females are from 33 to 38 cm (13 to 15 in) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 9 and 10 kg (55 and 70 lbs).
The beagle has large brown eyes, hanging ears, and a short coat, usually a combination of black, tan, and white.
Alongside the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, the beagle has one of the best developed senses of smell of any dog.
Beagles are known for their tendency to vocalize, especially with their signature “bay,” which is much like a howl. Some beagles vocalize out of boredom, but many bay just because they want to, no matter how much activity they get.
Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed came from Great Britain around the 1830s.
From medieval times, beagle was used as a generic description for the smaller hounds, though these dogs differed considerably from the modern breed.
The modern breed was developed from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.
Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a beagle pack in Essex in the 1830s.
Beagles were in the United States by the 1840s at the latest, but the first dogs were imported strictly for hunting and were of variable quality.
The Beagle Club was formed in 1890 and the first standard of the Beagle was written.
In the 20th century the breed has spread worldwide as a very popular dog.
As purebred dogs, beagles have always been more popular in the United States and Canada than in their native country England.
In the United States the beagle ranked 4th most popular breed, behind the Labrador Retriever (1), German Shepherd (2) and Golden Retriever (3) breeds.
The largest single-breed dog walk involved 1,029 Beagles and was organised by Beaglelandia (UK) in Cheshire, UK, on 22 April 2018.
The most balls caught by a dog with the paws in one minute is 14 and was achieved by Purin and her owner Makoto Kumagai (both Japan) in Sakura, Chiba, Japan, on 22 March 2015.
The 11-year-old beagle Purin and her owner Makoto Kumagai first set the record for the Most skips by a dog and a person in one minute – single rope back in May 2016 with a total of 51 successful jumps.
According to data from online statistics monitor Social Blade, the most viewed animal on YouTube is Maymo the Lemon Beagle (www.youtube.com/user/crackrockcandy), with 695,332,916 views as of 13 March 2018.
Beagles have been included in popular culture since the times when Queen Elizabeth began to rule, in literature and paintings, and more recently in movie, television and comic books.
Snoopy of the comic strip Peanuts has been picked as “the world’s most famous beagle”.
The ship on which Charles Darwin made the voyage which provided much of the inspiration for On the Origin of Species was named HMS Beagle after the breed, and, in turn, lent its name to the ill-fated British Martian lander Beagle 2.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first mention of the beagle by name in English literature dates from c. 1475 in The Squire of Low Degree. The origin of the word “beagle” is uncertain, although it has been suggested that the word derives from the French begueule – meaning “noisy person,” literally “gaping throat,” from bayer “open wide”.