LEARN – History of the Beagle Dog Breed

The breed Beagle is one of the most popular breeds at present for households. They are known for their energetic and carefree nature; however, they can become stubborn sometimes. 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 […]

A beagle dog

The breed Beagle is one of the most popular breeds at present for households. They are known for their energetic and carefree nature; however, they can become stubborn sometimes. 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 work due to their excellent tracking instinct and superior sense of smell.

Are you interested to learn about the history of this breed? Read on.


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

Beagle dog

5th- 8th Century

To start with, the history of the Beagle, 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, one gets to see that during the 11th Century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot Hound and St. Hubert Hound to Britain. These strains 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

Medieval Times

During medieval times, the Beagle was referred to as the smaller hounds. Still, they differ to a great extent from the modern breed that one gets to see now. The miniature breeds of beagle-strain dogs were evident during the times of Edward II and Henry VII. Both used to keep Glove Beagles as they would easily fit on a glove. 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 1700s

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

In comparison, to the modern-day Beagle, the Southern Hound was a bit bulky and tall. It came with long and soft ears. On the other hand, the North Country Beagle was slightly smaller in size 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 got to see 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 began to fade. Still, there remained a large disparity in size and character.


During this period, one got to saw, 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. Those who loved this breed were determined enough to prevent the Beagles from becoming extinct.


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

1891 -1902

In the year 1891, the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles was formed. Just, like the Beagle Club, it also wanted to come up with 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

Exported to America

During the 1840s, Beagles were already exported to the United States. The first dogs that were exported 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.

Only during the early 1870s, attempts were made to come up with the good quality of Beagles. It was General Richard Rowett from Illinois, who 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 popular worldwide.

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 a pet dog worldwide, for various reasons. They are not only cute but require a low level of maintenance. They are very friendly with children.

 Dog Friendly Scene

Why not take your Beagle on a fantastic holiday? Here at the dog friendly scene, we have plenty of dog-friendly accommodation listed to choose from. All properties welcome dogs with their arms open.

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. Qualified Dog Groomer and currently studying Canine Behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016



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