This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The true beadle, like the old harrier, is now almost entirely displaced by dwarf specimens of the foxhound, or by crosses with it in varying proportions. Still there are some packs left, and a good many gentlemen also possess one or two couple which they use for covert shooting, though even here this breed is giving way to the spaniel.
Fig. 9. - AMERICAN BEAGLES
In external form the beagle resembles the southern hound, but is much more compact and elegant in shape, and far less throaty in proportion to its size, though still possessing a considerable ruff. There are three or four varieties, however, which differ a good deal among themselves in shape and make, and also to some degree in style of hunting.
The medium-sized beagle may be taken as the type of the others of the same name, and somewhat resembles a small old-fashioned harrier in shape, but with a larger body and shorter legs in proportion to it The head is very wide and round, with a short square nose, very full and soft drooping ears, good feet, and not much hair on the body, but with a slight brush on the tail. Their tongues are most musical, and their noses extremely delicate, being even more so than the harrier, but hunting in the same style, with the same tendency to dwell on the scent. In size they may be described as averaging about 12 or 14 inches.
The rough beagle is apparently a cross between the above little hound and the rough terrier, though by many people he is supposed to be a distinct breed, and as much so as the Welsh harrier, which he resembles in all but size. His origin is, however, lost in obscurity, and can only be conjectured. One chief reason why I have supposed him to arise from the above cross is, that he has lost in great measure the beagle tongue, and squeaks like the terrier, though not quite so much as that dog.
The Kerry or Laune (Irish) Beagles are distinguished for speed, strength, size, endurance, and keen nose. These characteristics admirably adapt them for deer hunting. The first of this strain, Towler, was imported to the United States by Dr. Lewis A. Sayre, of New York City, in 1879. In October, 1881, Towler died. Dr. Sayre, however, still has left Doxey and Lightfoot, which, together with Towler, were presented to him by a grandson of John O'Con-nell. The New York "Turf, Field and Farm," of Nov. 18, 1881, contains a detailed and mteresting description of this rare strain of dogs, together with engravings of Doxey and Lightfoot.
The dwarf or rabbit beagle is a very small and delicate little hound, but with an excellent nose, and much faster than he looks.
Some sportsmen have carried their predilection for small dogs to such an extent, as to use a pack of these beagles which might be carried about in the shooting pockets of the men; and in this way have confined their duties to the hunting alone, so that they were not tired in trailing along the road from the kennel to the hunting-field and back again. The average hight of these may be taken at 10 inches, but their bodies are disproportionately lengthened Patience and perseverance are still more necessary in these hounds than in their larger brethren, and without them they soon lose their hare, as they must be content to hunt her at a pace with which a man can readily keep up on foot, horses being quite out of place with such a diminutive pack.
A pack of rabbit-beagles, the property of Mr. Crane, of South-over House, England, we believe to contain the best "patterns" we have ever known. We have seen them on a cold bad scenting day work up a rabbit and run him in the most extraordinary manner, and although the nature of the ground compelled the pack to run almost in Indian file, and thus to carry a very narrow line of scent, if they threw it up, it was but for a moment. Mr. Crane's standard is 9 in., and every little hound is absolutely perfect. We saw but one hound at all differing from his companions, a little black-tanned one. This one on the flags we should have drafted but when we saw him in his work we quite forgave him for being of a conspicuous color. Giant (see portrait) was perhaps the very best of the pack, a black-white-and-tanned doghound, always at work, and never wrong. He has a capital tongue, and plenty of it. The bitch, Ringlet, has the most beautiful points we have ever seen, and is a fit companion for her mate, Giant. Damper, Dutch man, and Tyrant, are also all of them beautiful models.
We give the measurement of Damper: hight,9 in.; round the chest, 16 in. across the ears, 12 in.; extreme length, 2 ft 4 in.; eye to nose, 2 1/8 in.
Fig. 10. - RABBIT BEAGLES, GIANT AND RINGLET.