They have had centuries of practice
The Beagle has had a lot of experience honing their hunting skills. They have been at it for hundreds of years. Once you let them go, they will follow their nose till they find the source of the scent they were following.
That is bad news for the snowshoe hares, deer, cottontail rabbits, stoats, coyotes, bobcats, wild boars, and even foxes and other small animals the Beagle hunts.
Then while the dog keeps its head low to the ground, they usually stick its tail straight up so its masters can see where they are. While you may not hunt small game, you can keep that hunting instinct alive by hiding toys and food around your home and letting your Beagle ‘hunt them down’.
Are Beagles Hunting Dogs?
There are some people who claim that the Beagle is not a true hunting dog. But that is misinformation as this dog breed has been bred to be a hunting dog. Their excellent sense of smell helps them find a hidden game with ease.
Then their boundless energy has them going and going until their mission is accomplished. Plus, their long ears hang down to their noses. When that happens those ears trap scent particles and keep them close to the dog’s nose.
This feature helps your Beagle stay on track and follow that game no matter where it went. Their hunting reputation is so respected, that they are used in airports to detect different items in passengers’ bags.
They may not hunt much game anymore but they are still hunters and officials use their skills to protect the country. These dogs are great hunters as some organizations use them to sniff out bedbugs.
Very little gets by a Beagle’s nose when they are prepared to hunt. One other fact about a Beagle. There is a dog that was trained to smell the poop of polar bears to see if the polar bears were pregnant or not. It is a successful hunt when he indicates that they are.
What Animals Do Beagles Chase?
This is just a short list of animals that the Beagle will chase- snowshoe hares, deer, cottontail rabbits, stoats, coyotes, bobcats, wild boar, and even foxes. There are other small animals that your Beagle may show interest in.
They are great hunting dogs to get birds as well as squirrels, chipmunks, and so on. They may even chase a cat or two if it is smaller than the Beagle. Most hunters may not use a Beagle to hunt deer, moose, elk, and so on unless the hunter has a pack of Beagles helping.
Beagles like to hunt in packs and it gives them an advantage over those larger animals. What makes the Beagle such a great hunter is not that he likes having his friends along but that he has a great nose.
Not only does the Beagle have 220,000,000 scent receptors in its nose, but the Beagle can also track up to 50 scents and remember them in the future. Plus, he or she is very intelligent and won’t be easily fooled when the prey starts to weave or hide.
Keep in mind that the Beagle’s hunting heritage goes all the way back to at least the 6th century BC. The breed has lots of hunting practice under their belt.
Can Beagles Hunt Squirrels?
Yes, they can, and most likely, they will not distinguish a squirrel from a rabbit. But the best way for a Beagle to hunt squirrels would be to have a hunting partner along to help out.
That hunting partner, ideally, would be another Beagle. The two can team up and prevent the squirrel from escaping into a tree. This will make the squirrel easier to catch.
But since the Beagle is primarily a scent dog, you may have to introduce the squirrel scent to your Beagle before they may hunt the small animal. If you have an older squirrel hunting Beagle, then it would be a good idea to pair that older dog with a younger one.
The younger dog will learn from the older one how to hunt squirrels and other small animals. Once the Beagle gets the scent they rarely let themselves be distracted by outside influences.
Some final words
Beagles come from a long line of hunting dogs. They were bred because some of their ancestors were deemed too slow to catch the targeted game. The Beagle has lots of energy and excellent speed making them a perfect dog breed to hunt smaller game that is quick and elusive
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