beagle head

LEARN – History Of The Beagle Dog Breed

The Beagle dog breed is one of the most popular breeds for households. They are known for their energetic and carefree nature; however, they sometimes become stubborn. The Beagle that we get to see today is a mix of different breeds, such as the Talbot Hound, the Southern Hound, the Northern Hound, and the Harrier.

Getting to know The Beagle

The Beagle dog type is a small hound, and its appearance is almost like a large foxhound. Initially, this breed was bred in England for hunting hares or rabbits. Nowadays, these dogs get engaged in detection due to their excellent tracking instinct and superior sense of smell.

History Date Timeline

A beagle dog
History of the Beagle dog

Have you ever wondered where the Beagle breed came from? Well, the exact origin of the Beagle is still not entirely known. However, a few centuries back, the Beagle dogs appeared in paintings and literature. However, only in the 1830s this breed was developed in Great Britain.

Beagle dog
Beagle dog

5th- 8th Century

To start with the Beagle history, one needs to go back more than a thousand years and start with the dog’s ancestors. Its ancestor’s origin is Ancient Greece. Dogs like the modern-day Beagle could be seen during the 5th Century.

In the 8th Century, St. Hubert Hound appeared. A new breed: Talbot Hound, was created from the St. Hubert Hound. The barking of the Talbot Hound was intense, but they were very slow in running.

11th Century

Later, during the 11th Century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot Hound and St. Hubert Hound to Britain. These strains of dogs were crossed with Greyhounds to get good speed and high endurance levels, and they are helpful for deer hunting. The beagles are somewhat like the Harrier breed. Some say that they are like extinct Southern Hound.

A beagle dogs head
A beagle – Medieval Times

Medieval Times

During medieval times, the Beagle was referred to as the smaller hounds. Still, they differ significantly from the modern breed that one gets to see now. The miniature breeds of beagle-strain dogs were evident during Edward II and Henry VII. Both used to keep Glove Beagles fit on a glove easily. Queen Elizabeth-I also kept one breed, known as the Pocket Beagle. This dog was tiny in size, and it could easily fit in a saddlebag. Even 17th-century poet and writer Gervase Markham mentioned the Beagle to be very small to sit on the hands of a man.

The 1700’s

 During the 1700s, two breeds were developed for hunting hares and rabbits. These were the Southern Hound and The North Country Beagle.

Compared to the modern-day Beagle, the Southern Hound was a bit bulky and tall. In addition, it came with long and soft ears. On the other hand, the North Country Beagle was slightly smaller from the Southern Hound but had a pointed muzzle.


Reverend Phillip Honeywood of Great Britain, in the year 1830, started a breeding program. It is being assumed that this forms the base of the modern Beagle.

 The first Beagle that one saw was the Honeywood’s Beagles with a fine white coat and small size. Thomas Johnson carried on refining the breeding procedure. He soon came up with attractive dogs as well as good hunters. One of his breeds came with a smooth fur coat and the other with a rough fur coat.

The 1840s

During the 1840s, a new standard for the Beagle type started to appear. The difference between the North Country Beagle and Southern Hound soon faded. Still, there remained a large disparity in size and character.


During this period, one got to see four different types of Beagle: the medium Beagle, the fox Beagle, the dwarf Beagle, and the terrier Beagle.


By 1887, only 18 packs of Beagle’s were left in England. However, those who loved this breed were determined to prevent the Beagles from becoming extinct.


To protect the Beagle breed from extinction led to the formation of ‘The Beagle Club’.

1891 -1902

In 1891, the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles was formed. Like the Beagle Club, it also wanted to develop a standard type Beagle. Both worked for the best interest of the breed. The number of packs increased to 772 by 1902.

A Beagle dog in America
Beagle dog arrived in America.

Exported to America

During the 1840s, Beagles were already exported to the United States. The first dogs that were shipped to America were for hunting purposes only. It can be said that the dogs that were imported during this period were not a representation of the modern breed of Beagles and, Instead, their references as the high straight-leg Dachshunds.

During the early 1870s, attempts were made to develop good quality Beagles. General Richard Rowett from Illinois started breeding after importing some dogs from England. The beagles bred by Rowett were regarded as the first American standard Beagle. This breed was well-accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

It was only during the 20th Century that this breed became famous worldwide.

Recommended Read: LEARN – History of the Great Dane

Modern Day Beagle

The modern-day Beagle is one of the popular breeds throughout the world. A great majority of people own this breed. Even today, they are used for hunting rabbits. However, they are known for their intelligence, affectionate nature, and lack of aggressiveness.

The popularity of this breed is not only limited to history. During the 1950s, it even got featured in comic strips. Now, they are becoming popular as pet dogs worldwide for various reasons. They are not only cute but require a low level of maintenance. In addition, they are very friendly with the children.

Sharing is a good thing to do!

2 thoughts on “LEARN – History Of The Beagle Dog Breed”

  1. I absolutely love beagles. I’ve had 4 of them during my lifetime and wouldn’t have any other type of dog.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top