Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They’re known for being great family pets, but there’s a lot that you probably didn’t know about Beagles. Here are 10 interesting facts about this beloved breed.
1. Beagles Were Bred For Hunting
Beagles are excellent dogs for hunting rabbits and hares. They have a phenomenal sense of smell and seemingly endless stamina. When fox hunting became popular, breeders created the Foxhound by crossing a Beagle with a Buckhound.
2. Their Ears Help Their Noses
According to the AKC breed standard, Beagles’ ears, when drawn out, reach the end of their nose. Those long ears actually catch scent particles and keep them close to the dog’s nose, so they can take in as much information as possible.
3. They Come in Two Different Sizes
In the U.S., Beagles are classified in one of two ways in terms of size. There are Beagles under 13 inches and those over 13 inches but at or under 15 inches. The height limit of a Beagle in the U.S. is 15 inches. In England, however, it is 16 inches.
4. Beagles Can Vocalize Three Ways
The name “Beagle” is thought to come from the French word “begueule,” meaning “gaped throat,” and Beagles can definitely live up to that namesake. The Beagle is one of the most vocal dog breeds. They can make three different sounds—a standard bark, a yodel-like sound called a bay (which they use when hunting), and a howl.
5. Beagles’ Tails Are Like White Flags
Many Beagles have white-tipped tails. This white tip was bred into Beagles so that they would be visible when they had their noses to the ground during a hunt.
6. Many Beagles Have Jobs
A Beagle’s incredible sense of smell makes them a great working dog. Beagles are often used as bedbug detectors. The Department of Homeland Security also uses Beagles in airports to find food in passengers’ luggage, in order to prevent the spread of foreign diseases and parasites. This team of dogs is called the Beagle Brigade.
7. A Beagle Named Elvis Could Smell Pregnancy
“Polar bear pregnancy detector” is a much less common Beagle job, but it does exist. A two-year-old Beagle named Elvis was actually trained to determine whether a polar bear was pregnant by smelling her poop. Elvis is a tremendous help to zookeepers who couldn’t tell whether their polar bears are actually pregnant or exhibiting pseudopregnancy. Elvis identified samples from pregnant females with impressive accuracy.
8. President Lyndon Johnson Had Three Beagles
Their names were “Him,” “Her,” and “Edgar.” There’s no explanation as to why the first two were named Him and Her, but the third one was named after J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, who gave the dog to Johnson after Him and Her died. Him also sired a litter of puppies while he lived in the White House, and the president’s daughter, Luci, took two of them and named them Kim and Freckles. Freckles remained at the White House after Luci left.
9. A Giant Beagle Float Featured in the Pasadena Rose Parade
In 1965, a massive Beagle float was part of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. But this wasn’t a true-to-life Beagle. This float measured 20 feet and wore a 10-gallon hat.
10. Snoopy Is a Beagle
You may not initially think that Charlie Brown’s beloved pet is a Beagle, but in fact, he is an AKC-registered Beagle.