When it comes to hunting skills, the Beagle is unquestionably top dog. The breed's talent was developed over centuries of hunting gopher, rabbit, and small game. In the 1800s, the Beagle's popularity began to dwindle as fox hunting became popular and the Foxhound stole the limelight. But determined and passionate breeders kept the Beagle breed alive. Today, this beloved hound is still one of the most popular breeds for hunting small game.
What makes the Beagle a prized hunting dog?
Driving trails: When hunting rabbit, a dog is expected to direct the prey towards the hunter. The Beagle has a knack for doing this effortlessly.
Scenting: The Beagle has full nostrils ideal for scenting (sniffing out scents). He is almost always found with his nose to the ground. Sometimes a Beagle's keen sense of smell can even lead him to uncover things on his own.
Baying: The Beagle is recognized by hunters for his unique bark which is called a bay. This distinctive sound can be heard deep within the woods.
Determination: Drive is an important trait in a hunting dog. In some cases climate conditions can make a hunting dog's job that much more difficult. The Beagle's perseverance in tracking game makes him a great companion for hunters in the field.
Energy: Hunting trips often start very early and last until the sun goes down. A hunting dog must have the energy to keep up the pace. Beagles are almost always ready to run.
Alert: When out in the field, a hunting dog must know what is going on at all times so that other hunters don't mistake him for a game animal, such as a deer. They must also avoid potential danger with larger animals. Beagles are not only alert, they are intelligent—the perfect combination for a good hunting dog.
Beagles are loyal, energetic little dogs that hunt intensely with all their heart. But your Beagle can be just as happy in the backyard as long as he has regular exercise and a loving owner.