Sunday, August 18, 2013

Facts about Beagles

Beagles are one of the most popular breeds available today, especially given their friendly and exuberant nature. However, there are several factors about these dogs that make owning one even more interesting. Following are some of the interesting facts about this breed of dogs.
The origin of the Beagles can be traced to Ancient Greece, where the historian Xenophon mentioned the presence of a certain hound, which uses its keen sense of smell in hunting. It was assumed that this hound was the real ancestor of the current Beagle. However, current day Beagle came to existence in the United Kingdom as early as in the fourteenth century, although the name was not yet derived.


Another interesting fact is regarding the name "Beagle", which according to many experts originated from the old French word "bee gueule", meaning loud mouth. An apt name, some would say, given the loud howling of this breed, which make it an impossible addition to an apartment. However, others suggest that this name was derived from words that meant small, like begel in Old English, beag in Celtic and beigh in French. In fact, some of the earlier Beagles were so small that they could fit into your pocket.

This breed of dogs has always been popular with royalty and politicians alike, which can be seen from the fact that the earliest Beagle was seen with Queen Elizabeth I, who loved these dogs, followed by King James I. In recent years, President Lyndon B Johnson was renowned for his Beagles, especially the pair that was named Him and Her.
It is no surprise that this breed was bred and created by crossing different breeds but what is surprising is that contrary to the common belief, these dogs were not bred from Foxhounds. In fact, if one were to quote history correctly, then the Foxhounds and Harriets were bred by crossing Beagles with other scent hounds.
It would help to remember that a Beagle will do anything for food and it is always good to leave it alone when eating. This is largely because your exuberant and friendly dog is very possessive about food and will not tolerate any interference. In fact, if you have a small child, it would be best to ensure that he or she is not near the Beagle while the latter is eating. However, while this might seem like a bad quality, it can be used for training your Beagle, as they respond very well to positive reinforcement.

Beagles have a keen sense of smell, which makes them very useful in modern days to sniff out food products in luggage at the airport. This keen ability helps them create the first line of defense against pests and diseases that cause harm to agriculture and food products.
Beagles have always had special mention in various works, literary or otherwise, over the years, the oldest mention being in 1475 where Walter William Skeat, talked about Beagles in his literary work, Squire of Low Degree. William Shakespeare has also talked about this breed in his different works. However, the most popular of all Beagles is Snoopy, who has been the most revered cartoon character for several years.

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