Beagle art

Beagle in history and art

Beagles are charming and upbeat and pretty much everything you want in a dog. As a bread, they are recognised by their unique colour pattern, black, white, and fawn or by the famous beagle known as Snoopy or in Wallace and Gromit. They have also over the years been one of the favourite breeds around the globe and considered multifaceted dogs because they suit everybody's needs one way or another.

The fifteen-century saw the beagle dealt with a thrilling life where hunting was there the main task. Later on, larger hound breeds, like greyhounds, took over the beagle’s jobs for having more speed, size and a tenacious smell to track.

Now, beagles are one of the most beloved breeds out there. They are hunting companions, show dogs, and family pets.

How did beagles become so popular?

In 1901 a purebred beagle won Best in Show title, slowly increasing its popularity in the United States and Europe. In 1928, purebred beagles won several prizes at the Westminster Kennel Club's show. Today beagles are the third most popular dog breed in America and the breed that has held top positions for every year on the American Kennel Club.

Figure 1: Early images of beagles from the 19th centuries
Source: Anecdotes of Dogs By Edward Jesse; The dog, in health and disease, by Stonehenge, The Field Book: Or, Sports and Pastimes of the United Kingdom by William Hamilton Maxwell

Canines have been man's most reliable companions from the very begging of history. Carved caves seem to demonstrate the domestication of the fierce wolf to what we know now as dogs. In early history, dogs were favoured as pets for royalty, hunters for huntsmen, and loyal companions.

When dogs are portrayed in paintings, they signify faith guidance, protection, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness, alertness, and love. Dogs were often painted in marital portraits where they symbolise the closeness between the newlywed couple. On the other hand, beagles were portrayed as hunters, in medieval art, the representation of dogs portrayed the status held by aristocrats, the richer and most fortunate.

Beagles in media

Beagles have been portrait on various types of media, painting, comic strips, writing, and even tv. We are starting with our all-time favourite beagle, Snoopy! Snoopy was first shown in 1950 in a comic strip created by Charles Schulz. Snoopy portrayed the real bond a human and a dog can have, thus Charlie Brown and Snoopy being the best of friends. To this day, Snoopy still appears in numerous specials and comics, taking the title as the World's most famous beagle.

Other famous cartoon beagles like Snoopy is Odie from Garfield Comic Strip; this cute pooch portrays the energetic and loving side of beagles. It encourages viewers to love beagles even more. In 1964 Underdog was aired. Underdog was a super beagle named Shoeshine with Superman-like powers, a hero who never fails! Remember Wallace and Gromit? Gromit is also a beagle! A beagle with an engineering degree, Gromit is the smart guy in this bunch of worthy mentions. Thanks to these guys, many of us were influenced and shaped to love and care for dogs. Naturally, we developed sympathy toward them an believe they make great companions in our life.

Beagles were also mentioned in various books, and they are often the main characters for stories. Famous writers have referred beagles like William Shakespeare, John Webster, and John Dryden. These writers often took unique characteristics that describe beagles to portray the good qualities of their characters.

Custom Dog Bed with a beagle art in sketch form.
Courtesy of

These small hounds packed with lots of energy have a long history of service, hunting, and entertainment. Their playful personalities are what we love most about them, and the rating doesn't lie! It is no wonder their hunting spirits and stubborn characters make these dogs the third most popular dog in the World.

Today with the advent of print on demand products, artists are creating even more intricate images and objects depicting beagle art. You can find them in pop art portraits depicting an Andy Warhol motive, carved form a CAD image in a 3D sculpture, or customised on canvas in a watercolour motive.

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