By the fourteenth century, hare-hunting had become a popular sport in England, and the dogs used were probably of Beagle type. The origin of the name Beagle may be from old French words meaning open throat in reference to the breed’s melodious bay, or from the Celtic, old English, or old French words for small. The word Beagle was not used until 1475, however, but can then be found frequently in writings from the sixteenth century on.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.
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