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The Love of a Beagle

By Beka Garris

Once in a lifetime. That’s how often you will experience the best dog you’ll ever own. You may own many good dogs, but there will always be one that’s is special, that stands out, that no other will ever quite live up to.

For me, that was my beagle Dixie.


Beka's dog, Dixie.

I got her at a rough time in my life, where I wasn’t really sure which direction I should go or what I should do. She went through a lot of ups a downs with me, and was still with me when I met my husband and later got married. When I had my first daughter however, Dixie was no longer my dog; she belonged to my daughter and everyone knew it.

I had to put Dixie down this past Fall due to health complications from old age, and I still miss her every day.

And while Dixie was the best dog I’ve ever owned, she wasn’t my first beagle – or my last beagle. I’ll probably always own a breed of hound, as they hold a special place in my heart.

If you’ve never rabbit hunted with a beagle, it’s something that I highly recommend doing at least once in your life. It’s an experience that every small game hunter should have, and likely an experience that will get you hooked. Watching the dog work, getting on a scent trail, witnessing the excitement of the barks, and the rush of a rabbit racing from underneath the brambles with a dog in hot pursuit. You’ve got to be paying attention for a shot, and it’s an adrenaline rush whether you get anything or not.

After your first hunt, you’ll find yourself googling “beagle puppies for sale near me” at 3 in the morning in the dead of winter. (Use caution – that’s how we got our current beagle pup.)

The breed is underrated in my opinion.

My first experience with beagles was with our family dog, Pal. He was a big boned tri-color beagle who loved escaping from his outdoor run and disappearing into the woods. We would hear his loud long bark as he trailed a rabbit, and would have to go find him and drag him home – until he escaped again. Beagles are notorious for running off to hunt, something I can relate strongly to.

But the pros outweigh the cons. If you enjoy small game hunting and went to get your first hunting dog, a beagle would be my first recommendation. They have a sweet nature, and are extremely friendly and love to play; they make a great family pet and are great with kids. They’re adorable, especially as puppies with their soft floppy ears, big brown eyes, and the ever wagging white tipped tail. Their smaller size make them convenient to have if you don’t have a lot of space, and they don’t require any special grooming.


Want a dog for your kids?

Want a dog to hunt with?

Just want a dog in general?

A beagle is the answer.

Most are content to hang out in the house with you on a rainy day and simply enjoy your company. Yet, as soon as they see that you’re gearing up for a hunt, they have a one track mind. They have a true hunters heart.

They make a great best friend, and a stellar hunting buddy.

Once you’re in the field, beagles are extremely fun to watch. A good hunting beagle will have their nose to the ground almost constantly, always smelling for rabbits or something interesting. And while most beagles will naturally pick up on a rabbit trail and follow it, they can be a multi purpose dog and be trained for a number of other things including flushing pheasant, shed hunting, and blood trailing. They can be stubborn, but beagles are incredibly smart, and (usually with the help of an ecollar) can be trained to listen very well.


Every year when deer season ends, and spring is no where near, I looked forward to running my beagle and shooting a few rabbits. It’s something my daughter’s have grown to enjoy as well, as they enjoy watching the chase.

The perfect day consists of a light snow and a thermos of coffee, and the sound of a beagle baying on a fresh cut rabbit track.

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