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Why Beagles Love To Hunt

26 10:39:16

Though Beagles today are known primarily as great family pets and lovable lap dogs (even if they're far too big for you lap), they were bred for another purpose entirely. This is not uncommon; many breeds were initially developed to help in one line of work or another, but have since been bred into the wonderful companions we know and love today.

The skill Beagles were originally bred for was their tracking ability. This breed possess one of the best senses of smell in the entire canine kingdom, and the dogs once excelled at tracking and foraging. Because of this, Beagles were originally used as tracking dogs to aid hunters, hence their trademark howl. Today, Beagles are often used for different types of tracking.

Beagles are often used on search and rescue missions, trained to follow the scent of a missing person or seek out living victims in wreckage after building collapses, fires, or natural disasters. Beagles are also used as cadaver dogs after they have been trained to pick up the scent of decaying human flesh. When used for any of these purposes, Beagles' impeccable sense of smell helps them to succeed at finding their subjects. Beagles have saved many lives working on rescue missions with their handlers.

Beagles are used to track undocumented and illegal smuggling of agricultural items. This can be more difficult for other breeds, as the smell of fruits and vegetables is not an uncommon smell, even in an airport. However, the properly trained Beagle can sniff out and indicate a smuggler with the greatest of ease. Beagles are so successful at this task that the USDA developed a party of contraband-sniffing dogs called the USDA Beagle Brigade!

Besides detecting illegal plants and foodstuffs, Beagles are frequently used as drug sniffing dogs, sneaking out substances such as marijuana or cocaine on international airline passengers. The Beagle's highly sensitive nose can lead their law enforcement officer and handler right up to the criminal, without arousing as much fear or suspicion as a larger and more menacing dog like a German Shepherd might.

The Beagle's sense of scent is so particular and exact that they can pick out the presence of certain kinds of insects. In less glamorous work than law enforcement or rescue missions, Beagles are today and just recently being used to seek out the presence and location of termites in homes. Can you imagine being able to pick out a termite by smell? That is one powerful nose!

Beagles do not only have a fantastic ability to sniff out contraband items or pesky bugs. They are also intelligent, loving, food-motivated dogs that are eager to please. This makes training worlds easier, even training as detailed as coaching a dog to sniff out a tomato from over the border.