Beagles for family pet and tracking?

TomDeer

Well-Known Member
We're currently having a debate in the family about whether to get a dog. Whilst I've always preferred larger breeds, I'm not sure I'll get away with a big one. SWMBO has decided that she likes the look of beagles - apparently they fulfill her idea of what a dog ought to look like :-|

Any dog would need to serve the purpose of being a family pet and part time tracker of runners.

Does anyone have experience of beagles as family pets and their abilities tracking wounded deer? They seem to have a following in the States but I haven't seen much reference to them here.

I know there are as many opinions on breeds as there are breeds. Any thoughts on beagles for the stated purpose would be gratefully received. Also any thoughts on dog or bitch gratefully received.
 

Rob-E

Well-Known Member
I have never owned a beagle but everyone I have known as lived to follow its nose. Be good or bad. Some result getting fat as they can sniff out food and others will just wander off as they’re on the trail of something. My only advise would be to research them thoroughly and get one with the correct drive for your purpose. Remember if you get a high drive dog but only take it deer stalking occasionally your family walks are not going to be a stroll in the park unless he’s constantly on a lead.
 

Triggermortis

Well-Known Member
From what I do know you’ll have no problem with their tracking abilities, but once on a track there is just no stopping them so if an injured beast legs it across a road, rail track or boundary fence it’s follow them or hope for the best ?
 

Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
I think it might be worth a punt. There is a world of difference between pet/show beagles and hunt beagles - the former having had a lot of spirit bred out of them, the latter happy to hunt 20 km a day - but for a family pet and occasional tracker it could work.

When Brian Plummer wanted to add more nose to his Plummer terrier he added show beagle blood from Rossut lines - strange he didn't use blood from one of the hunt packs - but it did the trick and improved nose - so the show strains probably still have it in them.

This might be of interest......Once your missus watches this there'll be no going back :)

 

Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
From what I do know you’ll have no problem with their tracking abilities, but once on a track there is just no stopping them so if an injured beast legs it across a road, rail track or boundary fence it’s follow them or hope for the best ?
Just like a dachshund :) But safe using a tracking lead.
 
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Ray7756

Well-Known Member
Think if you need a beagle to find your family, the family needs more training :D:D LOL
Cheers
Ray
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I don't know much about the show ones but I do think that the working strain have too much 'hunt' to be a good family pet. A door left open, a gap in the fence, a moment of inattention, and they're off...to return days later...

From what I hear, you will never be able to relax. :cool:

However, with a long line always attached, they'll be a great blood-tracking dog.

Kind regards,

Carl
 

Bigboab29

Well-Known Member
I had some heated discussions with the Mrs regarding getting a dog, we finally agreed on a smaller breed that could be a family pet and deer dog as well, she said a bmh was still to big and I suggested a beagle or a springer and along came a perfect cross - BMH sire ESS dam - we've called her a Bavarian springer hound lol but her nose and willingness to work is unbelievable and yet she is still semi biddable, I can call her back off a track, she wont disappear on me (touch wood) but for deer stalking and a family pet I couldn't have asked for a better dog
 

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Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
Put it this way.... I always ask the beagle owners I see whether they ever let the dog off the lead....... most do not....EVER!!
When I bought my first dachshund - a show bred standard smooth bought for my daughters as a pet - even the breeder advised not to let it off-lead saying "a loose dachshund is a lost dachshund". With a little patience I soon had him walking off the lead in all areas. My daughters could take him and his half sister for walks through woods off the lead. Our working bred dachshunds are a different kettle of fish and 100% prey driven, obedience is possible but it's a harder challenge. I would imagine the difference between show and hunt beagles is the same.
 

TomDeer

Well-Known Member
I think comments so far will be enough to put SWMBO (and me) off a beagle! Whilst they sound as though they may part fit the bill, the going walkabout when off the lead sounds like a pain.

I don't want to end up having to get 2 dogs, with the 2nd being a spare to track the 1st after it goes walkabout :)

Back to the drawing board I fear...
 

philip

Well-Known Member
My brother has one from pure working stock, lovely house and family dog and trained up to sit wait and recall

When on a scent, it’s a different animal, no recall and you need a pair of running shoes to keep up with it, it will work on a trail lead but it has a tendency to pull hard, they can pull away from you as they are pretty fleet of foot

I’ve just got a Teckel, I thought long and hard about getting and apart from the little man syndrome which he is growing out of on a daily basis, he is turning out to be a really good well grounded all round dog with his own character, loves being around people and loves the grandkids and even at 18 weeks old he recalls every time and really responsive to steady training, I’ve taken him on some small tracks so far and he’s doing great, needs at least 2 hrs a day work every day, well worth having a look at for the family

Good luck

Phil
 

Trufflehunting

Well-Known Member
Ive been involved with working beagles most of my adult life, but wouldn't consider one for stalking / tracking with.
The good old Labrador takes some beating they do relax
If you haven't got access to a lot of staling suggest you don't get a german tracking hound of the various types
 

TomDeer

Well-Known Member
Ive been involved with working beagles most of my adult life, but wouldn't consider one for stalking / tracking with.
The good old Labrador takes some beating they do relax
If you haven't got access to a lot of staling suggest you don't get a german tracking hound of the various types
A labrador was where I was thinking of heading if the beagle was eliminated.
 

dartmoordog

Well-Known Member
Can be a very delicate subject, but although I have never had a Beagle, I do know 2 people who have...........I therefore would never have a Beagle!:oops:
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
Labradors are the ones to get. They are a jack of all trades say some, being good at but not being the best at beating, tracking, pretty much everything they can do in the field to a good degree but perhaps in each area, you could possibly find a better one (peg dog aside) but where Labs ultimately excel is as pets. There's nothing more loyal, they'll take all sorts from kids or grandkids without striking back, they are protective and will be a friend for life. You simply can't go wrong (okay, ignore that last bit, but it's much easier to go wrong with other breeds). Despite all these designer dogs appearing, there are still more Labs than any other dog and there's a reason for that. Surely too, they are handsome animals who will appeal to the missus at least as much as a Beagle. Most working strains are fairly small too. (But beware, some strains, mostly show orientated can be bloody big).
 

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