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In the 1500’s, most English gentlemen had packs of hounds. Larger hounds tracked deer, while smaller ones went after rabbits. These were the first Beagles. The origin of the name “Beagle” may have been derived from the French term “be’ geule”, referring to the baying voice of the hounds when in pursuit of game, or possibly the diminutive size of the hound.
Beagles are happy-go-lucky and friendly, making them a wonderful family pet. They are also favored for their compact size and short, easy to care for coat. Since they lived in packs for hundreds of years, they naturally enjoy the company of other dogs and humans. Curious and comedic, they often follow their noses which can lead to some mischief if they are not provided with daily activity.
The popular Beagle is a small, pack oriented hunting hound. Although its natural instinct is to hunt, it is highly adaptable and adjusts happily to a suburban back yard, as long as it has regular exercise to keep it fit while providing it with a change of scene and scent, and company; either human or another Beagle.
Friendly, playful and eager to please, the Beagle can be will-ful. Possessed of great stamina, determination and a definite mind of its own, this picturesque and personality-plus little hound has a tendency to roam. Beagles require a well fenced yard and firm, patient handling.
The Beagle is lively, active and extemely intelligent, making a devoted friend and companion. Hardy and resilient, it can be happily kept as either a house or a kennel dog. Beagles have a short, dense, weatherproof coat which comes in many attractive colorings, and requires very little grooming. Beagles tend to keep themselves extremely clean.
Good-natured and steady in temperament, the Beagle has an engaging demeanor which endears it to children and adults alike. A handy size for almost all households, with a handsome appearance and musical voice, the Beagle has something to offer just about everyone!
The Beagle has an even temper and gentle disposition. Described in several breed standards as “merry”, they are amiable and generally neither aggressive nor timid. They enjoy company, and although they may initially be standoffish with strangers, they are easily won over. They make poor guard dogs, for this reason, although their tendency to bark or howl when confronted with the unfamiliar makes them good watch dogs.
In a 1985 study conducted by Ben and Lynette Hart, the Beagle was given the highest excitability rating. Beagles are intelligent, but as a result of being bred for the long chase, are single-minded and determined, which can make them hard to train. They are generally obedient, but can be difficult to recall once they have picked up a scent and are easily distracted by smells around them. They do not generally feature in obedience trials; while they are alert, respond well to food-reward training, and are eager to please, they are easily bored or distracted.
Beagles are excellent with children and this is one of the reasons they have become popular family pets, but they are pack animals, and can be prone to separation anxiety. Not all Beagles will howl, but most will bark when confronted with strange situations, and some will bay (also referred to as “speaking”, “giving tongue”, or “opening”) when they catch the scent of potential quarry. They also generally get along well with other dogs. They are not demanding with regard to exercise; their inbred stamina means they do not easily tire when exercised, but they also do not need to be worked to exhaustion before they will rest, though regular exercise helps ward off the weight gain to which the breed is prone. There are two varieties:
- Thirteen Inch (Otherwise known as Pocket Beagles) – which shall be for hounds not exceeding 13 inches in height.
- Fifteen Inch – which shall be for hounds over 13 but not exceeding 15 inches in height.
Origin and Purpose:
The Rottweiler was developed from the dogs used by the Roman legions to herd and guard the cattle brought by them to feed their legions. The butchers of Rottweil, Germany, developed the dogs to drive cattle to market and to protect their money bags which were tied around the dogs’ necks. It was an arduous task to drive the cattle and a strong dog with staying power, full of self will and physical strength was needed. In the beginning of the 20th century these dogs were found particularly well suited as a police dog, a function they still fulfill especially in Europe. The build up to World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler. During the First and Second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.
The ideal Rottweiler is an above medium-sized, robust, and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rich tan markings. His compact build denotes great strength, agility, and endurance. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine in appearance.
Males 24 – 27 in. (60 -68 cm). Bitches 22 – 25 in. (55-63 cm).
The Rottweiler should possess a fearless expression with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. He has a strong willingness to work. In examining a Rottweiler, one should bear in mind that this dog reacts with alertness to his master and his surroundings, and in performing his function in life, the Rottweiler is not expected to submit to excessive handling by strangers. Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. As with any breed, potentially dangerous behavior in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training. However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected. It is for this reason that breed experts recommend that formal training and extensive socialization are essential for all Rottweilers.
According to the AKC, Rottweilers love their people and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are also protective of their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialization are musts. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
As with any breed, hereditary conditions occur in some lines. Because of recent over breeding, cancer has become one of the leading causes of early death in Rottweilers. For unknown reasons, Rottweilers are more susceptible than other breeds to become infected with parvovirus, a highly contagious and deadly disease of puppies and young dogs. Parvovirus can be easily prevented by following a veterinarian’s recommended vaccine protocol.
If overfed or under exercised, Rottweilers are prone to obesity. Some of the consequences of obesity can be very serious, including arthritis, breathing difficulties, diabetes, heart failure, reproductive problems, skin disease, reduced resistance to disease and overheating caused by the thick jacket of fat under the skin.