Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 12-15 years
Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches
Height: 13-15 inches
Origin of Name: The beagle is a scent hound, developed primarily for hunting hare (beagling).
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The origin of this ancient breed has been the subject of conjecture for centuries. Even the name of the breed is shrouded in mystery. Some experts say that it derives from the Gaelic word beig ("little"), while others point to the French word for sound when hunting: in particular.
Small pack-hounds were reported to hunt rabbits and rabbits in England long before Roman legends arrived in 55 BCE. An English official called the Beagle "the foothills of our country, indigenous to the soil". By the 1500s, most English gentlemen had packets of large wounds that tracked deer, and small wounds that tracked deer. Smaller, more compact hounds were the ancestors of our modern beagles.
The phrase "foot hound" is important for understanding the broad appeal of the beagle to hunters in England, the continent, and North America. Unlike large pack hunters such as foxes or harriers, beagles could be hunted on foot - no horse was necessary. Those who cannot afford to feed and stabilize a mount, and even ladies and gentlemen spend the old days on horseback in a thunderstorm across the country, can easily keep up with a packet of beagles on foot.
Beagles began importing into the Americas in the years following the Civil War and their popularity among American rabbit hunters was immediate. The AKC registered its first beagle in 1885 under the name Blunder. To this day, "Beaglers" in the woodlands of North America still swear by their breed's great nose, musical voice, and enthusiastic approach to rabbit hunting.