The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Dog show leads to rise in beagle popularity

Looking for a beagle to add to your family? Good luck. The “Uno” craze has taken over the country and the puppy business.

Uno was the first beagle in 132 years to win the Best in Show prize at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. K-Run’s Park Me in First, the beagle’s full name, took the title in February, surprising many and starting an adoption frenzy.

The Texas branch of the SPCA no longer has any beagles available for adoption. Einstein Beagles in Rowlett has no available puppies. Throughout the country, “beagle breeders have experienced a remarkable interest in beagles since Westminster,” said Carrie Davis of Talbot Hill Beagles located in Covington, Wa., in an e-mail interview.

PetSmart employee Burke Schmollinger expects the price of beagles to increase.

“Last year when the English Springer Spaniel won the Westminster, the prices immediately went up,” he said. He predicts over time the price of a beagle will go up as a result of the dog show.

The Westminster show was originated for gun dogs in 1877. The event is televised annually and displays both the winners for Best in Group and Best in Show. The dog show features more than 150 breeds and about 2,500 dogs.

Uno joins Snoopy and Underdog on the list of celebrity beagles. The beagle is a hound dog from England and was originally used for hunting rabbits and other game. The dogs usually have a timid and sensitive personality, with a great sense of smell.

“The beagle is an outstanding breed because of the loyal, lovable and intelligent personality,” said Elaine Nichols of Caulderwood Kennels in Greeneville, Tenn., in an e-mail interview. Many beagle lovers claim their calm personality makes them great family pets.

While walking his beagle in the Plano dog park, Jonathan Scott says his dog, Gui, is “super smart” and a real “lover.” Gui sits patiently at Scott’s feet while he describes adopting the dog when the it was five weeks old. Scott, who isn’t a trainer or a breeder, potty trained Gui in two days and has since taught him every trick in the book.

But some beagle breeders are beginning to fear that the sudden interest will lead to the abandonment of the dogs. There is a fear that many beagles will be adopted to homes without proper research into the breed.

“Their nose can get them into trouble,” says Ms. Davis. She explained that beagles need a home with a very securely fenced yard to keep them from running away.

Davis also stressed that beagles are by nature a social breed. Beagles need attention, and a lonely beagle will often “develop negative behaviors such as barking or destructive tendencies.” As with all pets, an interested buyer should research the breed.

Only two weeks after the dog show, Cristie Maure, founder of Lonestar Beagle Rescues, said there was already a growing number of abandoned beagles. She said the amount of e-mails from beagle owners wanting to surrender their dogs has tripled. She says many people think that since the beagle is popular, now is a good time to get rid of the unwanted beagle.

Many beagle breeders will not give their puppies to homes unless they meet certain requirements. Many require secure fences for their beagles’ new homes, which means no apartments. But many city shelters do not take the time to carefully inspect the adopters’ homes for what a beagle needs.

Beagles are not the only animals that people abandon. Many pets are purchased under what experts call impulse buys. After the movie “101 Dalmatians” came out, there was a sudden increase in adoption of the dogs. After the attention died down, many dalmatians were left without shelter or food.

“We don’t sell bunnies or chicks during Easter time for fear that they will be abandoned a week or two later,” said Petco employee Bridgette Cox of Plano.

Beagle breeders suggest that the dogs make great family pets, when the time is right. “Adding a puppy to the family is like adding a child; the decision should be just as thought through,” Cox said.

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