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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

My family looks after a beagle pack in the UK. Our pack was established in 1912, and we can trace all the hounds in kennels at the moment to our records of the original beagles. Looking after a pack of beagles (we have 52 currently) is certainly a lot of work, but endlessly rewarding. During the winter the pack is out every weekend taking part in the ancient sport of "beagling". During the summer the hounds are technically off duty, but we have to keep up the exercising and also participate in shows, as well as breeding between one and three litters a year. Life is never dull!

I would be very happy to answer any questions you might have about the life and work of pack beagles, as well as my understanding of the history of the breed at work. I have a particular interest in animal behaviour, and could perhaps offer some insight into the behaviour of pack beagles which might be helpful for owners of pet beagles /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif .

Is there a limit on the number of photos you are allowed to include per post? I have loads! Here are some for starters;









 

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Oh my.. I am jealous. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

It's my husband's dream to have a pack of beagles, I better not show him these photos or we'll be packing up ship and moving to the bush to have our very own beagle pack!

Would love to see more photos of them beagling!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:Originally posted by Erin & Andrew:

Would love to see more photos of them beagling!
Sure /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Here's a beagling day, from beginning to end;

Part 1













 

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WOWOWOWOW - I think I'm even more jealous than Erin.... (or Andrew for that matter).

They are beautiful, and definitely look in shape. I love those pictures of them all together in the back of the truck.

We would love stories....

One question though.... how many times a day do you perform a head count? :hi:
 

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Beautiful pictures and beautiful beagles. Thank you for sharing. I will look forward to hearing more about life with this group.
 

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Beautiful animals and great pictures! I love the b&w with the spider web and whiskers.

I’ll ask a few questions…

What would you say is the average height and weight of your adult beagles?
They look long-limbed and lean. (As would my Sadie, if she lost a few pounds.)

How would an outsider get the opportunity to observe a day of beagling? Is there a place for spectators, or a way to get invited to participate?

I love the pictures of them sleeping in a pile and eating together. My “pack” of two could never do that.
I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that pack dogs are raised that way from pups.
There must be the occasional spat. How do you deal with aggression or possessiveness in the pack?

That’s it for now.
Thanks for sharing! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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OMG! And people think I have a "large pack" - with just TEN! They're beautiful - thank you so much for sharing them with us. One thing "our packs" have in common - piling up together to sleep! Ya gotta love 'em!
 

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GREAT looking pack! :wave: 52 ! Bet your days are never boring ! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif Welcome and love the photos.
 

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OMG I am almost in tears looking at these pictures! It makes me want more.more.more. than my 3 pack!
 

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Wow, I love these pictures. So many Beagles. And so cute!!

I have a Question:

I have a male and a female. Both are now 8 years old. We live in the city and have a large back yard. Some times we have a critter to get in our back yard. Sometimes a cat, possum, or racoon. Sadie, our female is our hunter. When she goes outside she can immediately detect that a critter has been in the yard. She will run all over the yard sniffing, barking and baying. She sometimes does this for hours. Some days she would do it all day if we let her. What is she trying to tell us or what is she thinking? Why can't she just bark for a little while and then get over it quickly. Our male does not want to run the trail as long as she does. I would love to know the answer to this question. thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:Originally posted by Chloe's Mommy:

One question though.... how many times a day do you perform a head count? :hi:
A lot, is the answer! Particularly in the hunting field. At the beginning of the day, all of the hunt staff and followers are informed of how many hounds are out. We count hounds in "couples", so 40 hounds would actually be 20 couple. 41 hounds would be 20-and-a-half couple! The huntsman and staff in particular will do head counts at any available opportunity, and we lift and count the hounds into the van by name at the end of the day. The dogs and bitches are kenneled separately, so we have to do head counts when putting them to bed to ensure that none have snuck in with the opposite sex! Counting the beagles is the easy part (as my uncle says, "count up the legs and divide by four" /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif ), the tricky bit is mentally running through all 52 names to work out who's missing!

Quote:Originally posted by BeagleBabe:
Holy beagles!!!!! I couldn't imagine having that many...they're like little kids...how do you do it?!?! :lol2:

They are beautiful!
It is a LOT of work, as you can imagine. Basically, it is my relatives' entire life - they don't have a television, or the internet, which I think has a lot to do with it. The trick, as with most things in life, is routine.

Quote:Originally posted by Karebru:
Beautiful animals and great pictures! I love the b&w with the spider web and whiskers.

I’ll ask a few questions…

What would you say is the average height and weight of your adult beagles?
They look long-limbed and lean. (As would my Sadie, if she lost a few pounds.)

How would an outsider get the opportunity to observe a day of beagling? Is there a place for spectators, or a way to get invited to participate?

I love the pictures of them sleeping in a pile and eating together. My “pack” of two could never do that.
I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that pack dogs are raised that way from pups.
There must be the occasional spat. How do you deal with aggression or possessiveness in the pack?

That’s it for now.
Thanks for sharing! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
The maximum height of a registered beagle is meant to be 16 inches, and anything over that is technically a harrier. However, our beagles are particularly tall and some are a few inches over 16. I'm afraid I'm terrible with weights so I wouldn't have an average. In the pictures of them beagling they look particularly lean because a) it's the hunting season and they muscle up pretty quickly! and b) they aren't fed on the morning of the hunt. I don't know if you find this with pet beagles, but you can ALWAYS tell when our beagles have had a meal! After breakfast they look pregnant, if they skip breakfast they look half starved /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

To go beagling in the UK you would be best off approaching your local pack, which can be found here. They will probably invite you along for the day if you express a keen interest /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif . There is definitely place for spectators - "the field" is very important as they pay the subscription that keeps the pack going! It is a lot of fun being a follower and chasing the beagles through fields and streams, over fences and under hedges.

In the USA you could check this page and see if there are any packs nearby - there are much fewer in the US than the UK though. You might have to start your own! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Generally our beagles are peaceful in kennels, although incidents do happen from time to time. We obviously tailor our breeding programme so that only biddable, co-operative hounds are bred from, which helps. Some hounds have grudges with one another, and we have to try not to 'house' them together. Meadow, pictured below, is a particularly grumpy hound who rubs a lot of the others up the wrong way;



She's currently living with the boys, as the girls can't stand her! If a hound really doesn't work out with us, we look to either 'draft' them (move them onto a different pack) or rehome them as pets. You will get the occasional grumpy type who doesn't like bedding down with the others at night, but that is pretty rare. There is no time to be possessive while feeding, because in a few moments the food is all gone! You will hear growling every once in a while, but never anything more serious.

Quote:Originally posted by Marley's Mommy:
How beautiful!!!! Please excuse my ignorance but what is the day of beagling for? Hunting? Sport??
Beagling is, or was, the pursuit of the hare. Beagles actually follow the scent of the hare, unlike sighthounds - so they may be following a scent which is many minutes old, while the quarry itself is several fields away. In 2004 the hunting of live animals with hounds was banned, so packs in the UK are now legally obliged to hunt drag trails.

Quote:Originally posted by Mom of 2 Beagles:

I have a male and a female. Both are now 8 years old. We live in the city and have a large back yard. Some times we have a critter to get in our back yard. Sometimes a cat, possum, or racoon. Sadie, our female is our hunter. When she goes outside she can immediately detect that a critter has been in the yard. She will run all over the yard sniffing, barking and baying. She sometimes does this for hours. Some days she would do it all day if we let her. What is she trying to tell us or what is she thinking? Why can't she just bark for a little while and then get over it quickly. Our male does not want to run the trail as long as she does. I would love to know the answer to this question. thanks!!!
This is a very important trait in a beagle. When the hounds are quiet, it means that they can't find the scent of the trail they are following. As soon as one of them catches the scent, they will let forth a throaty 'BAROOO!', which lets the rest of the hounds and the huntsman know that they are onto something. The rest of the pack will come to investigate, pick up the scent themselves, and then the chase will be on! By constantly speaking on the scent, the beagles are letting the huntsman know that they're on the right trail, allowing the followers to keep track of where the pack are and allowing the huntsman to catch up with them if he gets left behind and loses sight of them! So beagles have been selected to speak on scents for as long as it takes to track down the quarry - which in the case of beagles, can indeed be hours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some more pictures;



Playing in the paddock



Puppies playing chase



Puppies onto a scent /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif





Poor little beagles who have NEVER BEEN FED IN THEIR LIVES and one little crisp would make it all better /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif



Bismarck and Bulrush
 
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