British Columbia

Beagles are lovable, but not very trainable, says dog expert

The triumphant win by a beagle from B.C. at the Westminster Kennel Club may be shining light on the beloved breed, but before you rush out to get yourself one, a dog breed expert says you should consider their personalities.

Miss P may be best in show, but a dog breed expert says beagles may not be for everyone

Miss P, a 15-inch beagle is shown in the winner's circle after taking Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

The triumphant win by a beagle from B.C. at the Westminster Kennel Club may be shining light on the beloved breed, but before you rush out to get yourself a beagle puppy, a dog breed expert says you should consider a few things about their personalities.

Miss P, owned by Enderby residents Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire, became America's top dog on Tuesday after winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Stanley Coren, a University of British Columbia psychologist and author of The Modern Dog, says beagles are "already in the top 10" in terms of popularity among dog lovers.But he warns that people bedazzled by Miss P's success should consider whether a beagle's personality would suit them before they bring one home.

They're great for kids

Coren says beagles are sociable and have big, study bones, meaning they're lovable and kids can't hurt them.

"They're not very large. Let's say you have a 110-pound rottweiler or something like that — even if the dog is very sweet, if he spins around quickly, he's going to knock around your two-year-old and maybe hurt him," Coren said in an interview with B.C. Almanac's Gloria Macarenko. "Whereas a beagle — the big ones will run maybe 35 pounds."

They're great for crime prevention and bug detection

Beagles have an incredible sense of smell, so not only are they used at airports to detect food and drugs, they're also used to sniff out insects like termites and bed bugs, said Coren.

"The Hilton Hotel chain has a pair of beagles which go around the country and check out the hotels for bed bugs and they're being used to find mildew and mould and that sort of thing."

But...they're not very trainable

"If you look at working, obedience and intelligence in dogs, they're seventh from the bottom, which basically means that the chair you're sitting on is more trainable than a beagle," said Coren.

To hear the full interview with Stanley Coren, click on the audio labelled: Things to consider before bringing home a beagle.

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