History and utilization
Beagle is the oldest hunting-dog breed and belongs to the smallest boodle hounds. Name "beagle" is deduced from a word "small" (celtic "beag", oldenglish "begle", oldfrench "beigh"). There are notations in books about so-called dwarfish beagles, which used to be carried by hunters in haversacks on horses.
In England was beagle used from 15th century for small animals hunting, especially hares and rabbits. Large packs of beagles were very popular among aristocracy for beagle´s technique of work at courses. Hunts were characteristic for their slowness as well as loud course of animals. In our country is beagle favourite especially as a company and a family dog suitable for children. It is used for a drug-detection for his good nose. Customs-officers on Australia borders have very good experiences with this breed. Furthermore, beagle is used in hunting for battues of wild boar, it is very talented for tracking hoofed or predatory animals. It is unfortunately shaded by another hunting breeds in my opinion because of "fable" about its character. One who will be patient with a training will surely be satisfied with its dog.
CHARACTERISTICS - A merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following a scent. Bold, with great activity, stamina and determination. Alert, intelligent and of even temperament.
GENERAL APPEARANCE - A sturdy, compactly-built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.
TEMPERAMENT - Amiable and alert, showing no aggression or timidity.
HEAD AND SKULL - Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from frown and wrinkle. Skull slightly domed, moderately wide, with slight peak. Stop well defined and dividing length, between occiput and tip of nose, as equally as possible. Muzzle not snipy, lips reasonably well flewed. Nose broad, preferably black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds. Nostrils wide.
EYES - Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild appealing expression.
EARS - Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to end of nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.
MOUTH - The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
NECK - Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.
FOREQUARTERS - Shoulders well laid back, not loaded. Forelegs straight and upright well under the hound, good substance, and round in bone, not tapering off to feet. Pasterns short. Elbows firm, turning neither in nor out. Height to elbow about half height at withers.
BODY - Topline straight and level. Chest let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Short in the couplings but well balanced. Loins powerful and supple, without excessive tuck-up.
HINDQUARTERS - Muscular thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.
FEET - Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.
TAIL - Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over back or inclined forward from root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.
GAIT/MOVEMENT - Back level, firm with no indication of roll. Stride free, long reaching in front and straight without high action; hind legs showing drive. Should not move close behind nor paddle nor plait in front.
COAT - Short, dense and weatherproof.
COLOUR - Any recognised hound colour other than liver. Tip of stern white.
SIZE - Desirable minimum height at withers: 33 cm (13 ins). Desirable maximum height at withers: 40 cm (16 ins).
FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
NOTE - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.