Beagles and Their Vocal Expression in Hunting
Before getting a beagle that will make friends with my Japanese Akita, Aslan, I spent hours researching its background. These scent hounds are descendants of dogs used in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome to detect hares. Strongly competing against the Foxhound, which rose in popularity during the 19th century, the beagle managed to come out on top and be considered one of the best hunting breeds for hares/small game.
Although I didn’t go after a small game or a hare with Mia, I am sure that she would be successful after a bit of training. Their first hunting trait is driving trails that refers to guiding the potential prey towards you as a hunter. Furthermore, this vocal breed is known for its alertness and high energy, which is just perfect if you are out hunting in the woods.
Yes, my neighbors may not be too happy when they hear Mia howling or baying in the middle of the night, but these sounds are of the utmost importance when hunting. The bay comes in between a regular bark and a howl, deep and potentially heard far in the woods. In most cases, consecutive bays suggest that your beagle has found prey and wants you to come.
On the other hand, the familiar bark is used to manipulate and harass the prey, fox, or other small game that they are after. This stimulates the mark into running away, making it much easier for your dog and you as a hunter to go after and catch it. For this reason, it is essential to teach your beagle when to bark and when to keep quiet (restricting barking/baying in total isn’t recommended).
Characteristics of a Modern Beagle
Currently, there are two different beagle types:
- Below 13 inches in the shoulder;
- Between 13-15 inches in the shoulder;
What I found, comparing my Mia, which belongs to the first group, is that both types have beautiful houndy ears, with a pleasing face, and eyes that are brown/hazel. There are a couple of combinations for the fur color, including tri-color (most popular), lemon, and red/white.