: Friendly but stubborn
: 12-13 years
What is small, energetic, low maintenance and good company for
children under the age of 10 years? Besides another small child, the
choice is a Beagle.
In Australia Beagles are about 30-40cm (13-16") tall and weigh
11-13kg (24-30lb). They are a small to mid-sized breed, with a short,
smooth coat usually tricoloured or tan and white.
Temperament & training
The Beagle is said to be lively, inquisitive, and tolerant of
children but most owners admit they are also stubborn and single-minded
especially if nosedown on a scent! Most people who have owned Beagles
soon realise that some skill is required to train them.
Beagles are used successfully by the Australian Quarantine
Inspection Service (AQIS) in major airports to detect illegal imports.
Steve Austin, of Hanrod Dog Training Centre, who trains the AQIS
Beagles, says of 20 Beagles offered for training only one may be
suitable. These dogs need to display initiative, independent thinking,
and respond to food rewards. He says these dogs are selected for a
specific purpose, using their sense of smell - at which they excel - but
pet Beagles may require more time and perseverance to train. A
structured training program is strongly recommended for all Beagles.
Health & lifespan
The Beagle is a tough little dog with few health problems. Main areas
to watch are: obesity - which can lead to problems such as back
anal glands - some owners report problems with blockages in the dog's
anal glands, located on either side of the anus. This is usually
indicated by the dog dragging its bottom along the ground. It can be
treated at home by squeezing out the affected area or if you are unsure
about doing this, take your dog to a vet.
Most Beagles live for 12-13 years.
Ideal owner, space & exercise
The Beagle is highly recommended as a pet for families with children
under the age of 10 years. As Beagles are adept diggers, the yard must
be well-fenced. As with all breeds, they must be on a leash when walked.
Grooming & feeding
The short, smooth coat needs an occasional wash and brush. Beagles
are said to "vacuum" up their food and must have their diets monitored.
Being a small, smooth-coated dog they suit many people as an indoor
dog, although they do develop a very "doggy" odour even when washed