Anyone who knows about Charles Schulz animated canine character ‘Snoopy’ from Peanuts will probably agree that he is one of the liveliest, cutest most adorable, intelligent and useful dog around! He is a personality who far surpasses – and very often outshines – his owner Charlie Brown. For years I’ve wondered where Mr. Schulz got his inspiration for this dog. After reading about Beagles, I found that ‘Snoopy’ is simply an exaggeration of the REAL thing!
If you’ve followed the evolution of Snoopy’s looks, you will notice that, in the original drawings, his head was wide and round, has ears long and wide, his body, short, sturdy and squarely built; and his coat was black and white. This description is exactly how beagle puppies start out. They develop more colors as they mature.
Ahhh…The Great Outdoors!
Snoopy loves to sleep ‘outside’ of his doghouse on the roof and real beagles don’t fall far from this mode. They are mainly outdoor dogs who get bored if they have to stay inside and usually take up to a year to train for indoor habitation. Keep your beagle on a leash when outside. Unlike Snoopy, these are natural hunting dogs and will pick up the scent of small animals, ignoring all else until they find what they trail.
Everyone who knows Snoopy knows he is a lover of food; so any one with a beagle knows they are chow hounds! They will smell out food even if it is hidden. You have to lock your cupboards and barricade your trash cans from them. You must also respect their feeding bowls as they take them very seriously. If you have children, don’t let them tease these dogs while they eat, or tease them with food.
Independence and Instincts
If you watched Race for Your Life Charlie Brown, you will remember how Charlie Brown was left behind when he missed the bus to camp, so Snoopy came to his rescue by driving him all the way there – on a motor cycle! Beagles are loving, gentle and friendly, but sometimes they display the same streaks of stubbornness and independence. You have to train them to be obedient and not take off the way Snoopy did!
One irritating trait about beagles is their baying howl. To curb this expression of freedom exercise your dog regularly. When you do let it run loose monitor it closely. These dogs are very friendly and are no protection against strangers as they will go to anyone. Be sure to register your pet; they are easy targets for thieves
Understand your beagle’s instincts; if given too much independence they will take on a wild streak and will bark excessively, be destructive and even bite; all traits that are foreign to Snoopy who once gave a rare display of this wild side in It Was a Nightmare Charlie Brown.
Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S.A. if you’re thinking of getting one as a pet take it for regular check-ups, keep it in a spacious yard, walk it for exercise and most of all, give it plenty of loving care – Snoopy would deserve no less!
Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.