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Beagles were made famous by Snoopy's starring turn in the Peanuts cartoon, and as a vocal dog who kept his owner on his toes and longed to be part of the gang's daily activities, Snoopy displayed most of the Beagle's characteristic traits. These excellent family dogs are lively, social companions. They are relatively small and quick-moving. Beagles weigh between 18 and 30 pounds and stand about 14 inches tall. Beagles love to live with active families who shower them with affection and attention. Because they so love to explore, play and bark, they are best suited to country living where they have plenty of room to indulge in their favorite activities.
Beagles are pack dogs. They were bred to hunt and track in large packs with their owners. They get along well with other dogs and tend to be quite sociable and friendly at the dog park and with visitors. Consequently, they really don't like to be left alone. If you spend lots of time away from home, your Beagle will be happiest with a playmate. In fact, giving your dog a canine companion is virtually the only way to cut down on the amount of baying your Beagle will do when he feels neglected. These dogs love to bark and howl, and they will do it often. Because these dogs are so vocal, they are not necessarily polite apartment dwellers.
Despite their sweet expressions and gentle natures, Beagles can be a little naughty. They are active and puppy-like throughout much of their adult life, which might make it seem impossible to stay on top of their antics. They are frisky and energetic indoors and out, and if they are left alone or unsupervised as puppies, they will develop some not-so polite habits like chewing and digging. Obedience classes and firm guidelines are incredibly helpful for young Beagles, who learn quickly and respond well to
Like many hounds, the Beagle's coat is soft, smooth and short. Beagles come in tri-color patters that are a mixture of tan, black and white with saddle markings and spots. Some are red and white with spotting patterns around the face and tail. Most Beagles have a white tip on their tails so they are easy to spot in the field.
Beagles should be brushed occasionally with a bristle brush to loosen and remove dead hairs and stimulate new hair growth and healthy skin.
Because Beagles love to explore absolutely everything, they need to be bathed a lot - more frequently than other short-coated dogs. They pick up the smells of the outdoors easily, so frequent baths will help them smell fresh.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Beagles have big, floppy ears that need to be checked for infection and cleaned regularly.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.