The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog. A member of the Hound Group, it is similar in appearance to the Foxhound, but smaller with shorter legs and longer, softer ears. Beagles are scent hounds, developed primarily for tracking hare, rabbit, and other small game. They have a great sense of smell and tracking instinct that sees them employed as detection dogs for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world. Beagles are intelligent, and popular pets because of their size, even temper, and lack of inherited health problems.
Beagles come in two sizes: 13-inch and 15-inch. The smaller variety includes Beagles who are no taller than 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh 22 to 30 pounds, while the larger variety includes Beagles who are taller than 13 inches but not more than 15 inches and weigh up to 35 pounds.
All Beagles sport a short, clean coat that�s usually some combination of black, white and tan. Their small to medium size is a plus for families � they�re the perfect shape for a child to hug � but the Beagle has no idea that he�s anything but a full-sized hound, and he has the loud bay of a full-sized hound to prove it!
Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.