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A Beagle Or Just Dogs

by John S Rogers Jr

I have often joked that there are only two breeds of dog. Beagles and just dogs. I do think that there is no other breed as versatile as the Beagle breed.

I know all breeds have members that display characteristics that are different from the breed standard and purpose; but years of breeding for type produces a very strong tendency for a dog to exhibit the qualities of its breed.

With so many people breeding Beagles with a different type and style in mind we have what could be called sub breeds of the beagle. Beagles are bred for everything from walking a rabbit track at a Brace Trial to fast hard running for hours on a Snowshoe Hare.

Many Beagles come from a long line of dogs bred just for show. If you are looking for a hunting dog; a dog from a show bloodline would not be a wise choice. Since they are not bred for hunting and never allowed to chase rabbits there is little hope of finding any hunter instinct in them.

We have Large Pack on Hare Trials, Brace on Rabbit Trials, The Gundog Trials (SPO, Gundog Brace, and Two Couple Pack) and the Formal Pack Trials.

I can't think of another breed that has so many different types of trials. Coon Hunters don't have trials for slow dogs, fast dogs or large and small packs of dogs. Coon hunters are pretty much looking for the same type of dog whether it is a Black and Tan, Redbone, Walker, Blue Tick, Red Tick, Plott or English.

Bird Hunter's Trials are all about the same. Spaniels, Setters and Pointers are all bred for the same characteristics, hunt, point or set when game is close and retrieve downed birds.

Rabbit Hunters and Field Trialers all have different opinions of type, size, speed and style. Speed is more important in beagles because two or more dogs are run together. When you have more than one dog on a rabbit or hare track they need to be run close to the same speed and display a good sense of team work.

Speed is very important to achieve what you want your dog to accomplish. If you want him to stay glued to a track and not veer off of it at all, you need a Brace Trial type bred for track by track trailing.

To hunt rabbit or hare you need a faster dog. Depending on the terrain and conditions where you will hunt, your personal preference to size and speed you can pick from a SPO, a Large Pack or a Formal Pack Beagle.

To Trial a Beagle you have to have the type dog that is being trialed at the club you will be attending. You would be wasting your time and money to enter a beagle in a trial that is for a completely different speed and type hound.

Having different type trials and different type beagles is one of the great things about the sport of Beagling. Something for everyone is a great thing to have.

I have always had Beagles to hunt with and then got into some SPO trialing. I like the SPO Beagles, but there are differences in the speed of the dogs from club to club. I always liked the medium speed Beagles.

Since I have been having so much trouble walking and can't keep up with a good medium speed pack or can't take part in a good rabbit hunt, the slow brace dogs are looking better to me.

My son wants another dog and since there are only two types of dogs, I told him, " We don't want just a dog we want a Beagle." Besides being great hunters Beagles are the best pets and companions if trained properly.

I think I will check out one of those Brace Trials. Sometimes it isn't the speed dog you like it is the speed dog you can handle.

Note: I really like and appreciate all breeds of dogs. Even if they aren't Beagles.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).