The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog. A member of the hound group, it is similar in appearance to the foxhound, but smaller with shorter legs and longer, softer ears. Beagles are scent hounds, developed primarily for tracking hare, rabbit, deer, and other small game. They have a great sense of smell and tracking instinct that sees them employed as detection dogs for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world. Beagles are intelligent but single-minded, and popular pets because of their size, even temper, and lack of inherited health problems.
Although beagle-type dogs have existed for 2,500 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.