Interesting Fact: The origin of the breed’s name is uncertain. Possibilities include derivation from the French begueule (“open throat”), from the Old English, Welsh or French beag (“small”); or the French beugler (“to bellow”). After having a Beagle as a foster dog I tend to agree with the possibility of the breed name deriving from begele, which means to scold.
Appearance: The Beagle is a handsome, sturdy little dog that generally comes in two sizes based on shoulder height of 13 or 15 inches. He comes in a wide range of colors; most often displayed in photos are tri-color (white, brown and black). His coat needs little attention.
Personality: Energetic, friendly and lively, the Beagle is also a great family dog. Like others in the hound group she will follow her nose to great lengths and is generally deaf to recalls once she’s on a scent. Some owners may have success with off-leash explorations, but this scent hound’s powerful instincts can take over at any time. This potential drawback aside, the loyalty, love and fun of having a Beagle makes them one of the most popular dogs in the U.S. The Beagle is a “big dog” in a little package.
Size: 13-30 lbs. Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Common Health Problems: The Beagle is generally a healthy breed, but can be seen to have hip dysplasia, epilepsy, or thyroid disorders. More commonly, a large appetite combined with a charming nature often leads to an overweight dog with myriad health problems. Owners should be careful to feed the right amount and take treats into account.
Best Match: Beagles need their people to take them on daily runs/walks and can be escape artists. He can also bark if left alone all day so his best match is someone with plenty of time to spend with him. Obedience training requires patience, and this breed is best suited to experienced dog owners.
Featured Adoptable: Rosie, 11-year-old Beagle from Willamette Humane Society of Salem. Rosie and her sister, Jackie (pictured above), are looking for their new forever home together. Rosie likes to play and relax in the sun. She’s not too fond of cats so a home without is best. Rosie is a bit of a drama queen, which makes her all the more fun. The adoption fee for the pair is $200. They are both housetrained and will enjoy lots of time inside with their people. If you love them but cannot adopt you can sponsor them! Contact WHS to learn how at 503-585-5900 or willamettehumane.org.
As a foster person I go to Lane County Animal Shelter a few times a month. When I saw a beautiful yellow Lab recently, I called my boyfriend’s sister, Joanne, to let her know. Her family’s beloved Lab, Charlie, had passed away a few months before and they had been looking for a dog.
After spending time with a brood of puppies they realized they wanted an adult. So Joanne, her husband Steve, and her two boys, Mason and Spencer, drove from Hood River to meet the shelter boy I’d shared. After spending a little while with him, Steve was impressed. “I knew he would be good because you called about him,” he said to me, “but I never thought we could get a perfect dog from the shelter. The dog is a purebred Lab, great with the kids, doesn’t mind his food being taken away . . . .”
The family named him Jake and took him home. What impressed me more than finding a great dog at a shelter, which you can do most any day of the week, were Jake’s special talents. First he followed Spencer into the bathroom by turning a door handle. Then, in the middle of the night, he turned on the TV in Mason’s room and began watching it. When he turned on their outside faucet they knew for sure he was special! The boys love him, and he takes excellent care of them. Not only am I happy to home an excellent dog, but I get to see Jake on occasion and how happy he is with his new family. If you’re looking for a certain dog email me and I’ll try to connect you with a dog, a rescue, or a shelter that might have your perfect match!
Megan Mahan lives with visiting foster animals, quite a few fish, and her boyfriend in Eugene, Oregon. She is excited to now be with Spot full time, and devotes much of her free time to fostering pets and creative writing. From her high school gig as Dog Bather to her more recent years working at the Santa Cruz SPCA where she was contributing editor of the newsletter, Megan has always lived, loved and worked with animals.