Have you heard of characters such as Snoopy from the Peanut comic strips, Underdog from the cartoon series, or Shiloh from Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's book? All of these are examples of the Beagle, a dog that has been in the top 10 list of most popular dog breeds in the United States for 30 years. If you have not read or seen any of these examples and are unsure what this breed of dog looks like you can read below to find the common Beagle characteristics.
You may not know what a Beagle looks like but a Foxhound looks extremely similar. Beagles are miniature versions of the Foxhounds but have broader heads, shorter muzzles, and the legs are shorter in proportion to their body. They are typically between 13 to 16 inches in length and weight between 18 to 35 pounds.
The common Beagle characteristic of the skull is that it is domed, with medium-length, square-cut muzzle and a black nose. Their eyes are large and either hazel or brown. The have long, large ears that turn toward the cheeks and round at the tips. Their upper teeth fit perfectly over their lower teeth with both set aligned square into their strong jaw.
These dogs have a medium length neck, just long enough for them to pick up a scent from the ground, and there is sometimes a dewlap in their skin. The Beagle has a broad chest that narrows to a smaller abdomen and waist. At the end of its body is a short tail that curves to a white tip. The white tip has been selectively bred as it allows for the dog to be easily seen when its head is down sniffing.
One of the largest characteristics of the Beagle is their sense of smell. These dogs have the best developed senses of smell of any dog, next to the Bloodhound. Starting in the 1950s John Fuller and John Paul Scott began a 13 year study into the behavior of canines.
Part of the research they were testing the screening abilities of a variety of breeds by putting a mouse in an acre of field and they timed how long it took for the dogs to locate the mouse. A Scottish Terrier was unable to find it, a Fox Terrier found it in 15 minutes, and the Beagle found it in less than one minute.
The problem with this breed is that they are extremely good at ground-scinging, but they are not very good at air-scenting. For this reason they are not used for mountain rescue teams and rather collies are used because they are able to use their sight in addition to their air-scinging, making them the best choice.
These are just some of the Beagle characteristics that should help you identify this breed without doubt.