Gentle natured, highly intelligent, and playful – It's no wonder the Beagle has been firmly positioned as one of the top-ten most-popular breeds in North America for the last 30 years. These canines have a long history of serving as human counterparts, hunting companions, and beloved pets that dates all the way back to Ancient Greek times. These little dogs have a small frame and playful personality, but a hugely adventurous spirit that is led by stubborn determination because of their genetic need to track and hunt. Check out these five fun facts you didn't know about Beagles.
1. The Beagle's Nose Knows All
Unlike humans who have only about five-million scent receptors, Beagles have about 220 million. These dogs are sometimes referred to as "a nose with feet" because their nose tends to lead the way to whatever is picked up. The Beagle's nose is so perceptive at differentiating between scents, it can actually be trained to recognize as many as 50 different smells. Because of this, Beagles are commonly used in security and law enforcement to track prohibited or illegal materials, such as drugs or explosives, at crime scenes and airports.
2. The Beagle Is a Pop Culture Icon
You don't have to dig around much to find a Beagle or two in pop culture history. These friendly companions have been involved in everything from cartoons to politics. Odie from the Garfield comics was a Beagle, Snoopy from Peanuts was perhaps the most famous Beagle, and Shiloh was a hit 1990 film about a Beagle and his boy. This canine breed has also been in The White House alongside President Lyndon Johnson and was a beloved pet of Queen Elizabeth I. Shakespeare even once mentioned a Beagle in his work.
3. Beagles Are One of the Most Vocal Dog Breeds
Most dogs make different sounds, but Beagles are known as being one of the most vocal dog breeds there is. Your Beagle won't hesitate to speak when asked, and may even be so vocal that it can be a bother at times. In fact, the word Beagle actually is believed to be translated from the French term 'bee gueule,' which means wide throat or loud mouth.
Telltale baying, which you probably will catch them doing during a chase or if they get on a scent trail, is the trademark Beagle sound. However, these dogs also bark, yap, and howl a great deal. They will whine and whimper to get your attention or communicate what they want. Some Beagles are even trained to let out specific sounds according to what scent they recognize.
4. Beagles Have a White-Tipped Tail for a Reason
Beagles are small dogs that look a lot like the smaller Foxhound or even its larger cousin the Coonhound, with its coat usually boasting patches of either black, shades of brown, or white. However, there is one tiny little physical trait that a true Beagle must have: a white-tipped tail. Breeders of Beagles know that a true Beagle must have this trait, even if it is just a few hairs immediately at the point. This white tip is there for more than just physical appearance quality; the white tip makes the Beagle easier to track through the woods, tall weeds, or brush because it is easier to see compared to the rest of the dog's body.
5. The Beagle Has a Pack Mentality
Beagles are highly social creatures and often hunt together or track together to achieve a common goal. This means that your Beagle will probably get along very well with other dogs, and will likely prefer some canine companionship. Unfortunately, this pack mentality also means your Beagle may not take too kindly to being left alone for long periods. Some Beagles are known to display anxious tendencies when left alone, such as destroying furniture or tearing down window treatments in an effort to get out of the house.