As a breed of dog the Beagle has its ancestry in the hunting dogs of Europe, particularly in the hunting of rabbits and hares in England in the 16 th century. Adopting a Beagle was not a priority for my family, until a stray appeared in our yard around six months ago. Our dog, now christened Maddy has become a member of the family, with a few teething problems of adapting on both sides.
When a Beagle appeared in our yard over a sunny weekend in January we took some time to carefully entice the dog away from the road and into safer areas of the garden. Making signs and posters looking for the owners of the dog proved fruitless, more advertising failed and after a few days we got Maddy checked out and given fresh shots. Our first battle was not over the health of our new family member, but with the infestation of fleas that led everybody to believe she had been living wild for a long period of time. The flea infestation led to flea baths, powders and flea treatments, taking around two months to find us completely free of fleas. Regular vacuuming of our house is a good way of ensuring fleas do not breed in carpets and on animal beds.
The Beagle is a descendent of larger hunting dogs, and as a result are filled with large amounts of energy. Long walks, mixed with times where the dog can roam free to release its energy are vitally important in maintaining a happy, well behaved dog. Mixing with small children has proved easy as Maddy is small enough to not intimidate children, in most cases the dog is more scared of the children than she is of them.
Although each Beagle is different, a character trait of the breed is the requirement of large amounts of attention and love from the rest of the family. When left alone for a long period of time Maddy is always happy to see our family upon our return. One thing that should also be remembered is that the Beagle is a pack dog, meaning long periods of time outside alone are not always appreciated by the dog. When she has roamed free Maddy has often returned wet, muddy and often with small animals she has tracked and killed in the woods surrounding our home.
The only real problems we have faced with adapting to Maddy’s arrival have been working out a routine that suits all the family. Finding the right time for a last walk to avoid accidents around the house during the night has been important, along with making sure somebody is at home throughout the day to keep Maddy company.