Beagle Cross

It was a lovely sunny day today with a nice crisp frost on the ground. The ideal day for a bit of Beagle-cross! What is Beagle-cross I hear you ask?

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Enjoying a cross country romp…with a difference

We all know that the ideal sport for a Beagle is drag hunting – a pack of Beagles running across the countryside following an aniseed trail with humans following the hunt on foot. In the old days the pack would have been hot on the tail of a bunny, but that’s illegal now so an aniseed trail laid by a human is the next best thing.

There are two obvious drawbacks for the typical Beagle owner:

  1. Finding a farmer that’s happy to let a pack of Beagles go careering across his land is not easy (Although it has to be said that the farmer next door to us has offered. In fact the fox hunt used to meet at the end of our road!).
  2. How likely are you to get your Beagle back? Are you willing to take the risk that he’ll favour deer or sheep over aniseed?

The next best thing we could think of was to have our Beagles follow the trail whilst on lead. Sounds dull? Well actully it’s superb fun because you run with them! Here’s how it works:

  • The trail layer runs off dragging an aniseed rag behind them. Their objective is to loose the Beagles.
  • A little later the Beagles are set off to follow the trail. They’re attached to a runner via a harness, bungee line and belt. The Beagles will go full pelt and stick to the trail like glue. Through streams, mud, woodland, over walls and fences….the level of chaos depends entirely upon the imagination of the trail layer. For the humans it’s the ultimate cross country running experience! The game ends when the Beagles catch the trail layer.

We aim to make it last for about 2 kilometers. Of course a Beagle can run much further, but when attached to a human they’re pulling a heavy load. They won’t let you know they’re tired as they’re driven to hunt so for safety reasons we think it’s best to keep it short and sweet. In addition, you’ll run much faster over a shorter distance and that’s more satisfying for your Beagles!

The more Beagles in the ‘pack’ the better, but in our experience it’s best to let them hunt as a pack. That means everyone runs at pretty much the same speed. It’s not fair on a little Beagle to be left behind the pack just because he’s attached to a slow hummie. Staying with the pack is very important to a Beagle!

Warming up with a 1k cross country run

Other tips are a good warmup first – we even do a little 1k cross country run before hand to really get their blood pumping. And a nice long cooldown walk afterwards. If you try Beagle Cross with your Beagle please send us a video of the fun!!

7 Replies to “Beagle Cross”

  1. Penny & Molly

    This looks amazingly energetic and I am sure Biggles & Beanie thoroughly enjoy it, also the two of you?
    I go beagling with a pack (not Molly although I am sure she would love it!)we would still be legally allowed to hunt rabbits but they just go to ground. Beagles used to hunt hare but like you and yours we now follow a false trail but they still love it.

  2. Susan Post author

    Are you in the UK? Beagling is something I’d love to experience! Would love to hear more about your Beagling experiences! I think you could learn a lot about how to keep your Beagle happy and contented by learning more about working packs.

    Yes, we both enjoy running. We do bog-standard canicross with Beanie and Biggles but really this kind of thing is a whole lot more fun for all of us!

  3. Penny & Molly

    Yes, I live in Sussex. I beagle with the Brighton Storrington Surrey & North Sussex Beagles.Having owned beagles for over 40 years I wanted to become involved with the working side and joined 10 years ago. A beagle is a beagle working or pet despite the different environment they still have the same traits and temperment but seeing them work as a pack and the control a huntsman has with just his voice and horn is amazing particularly when you have been used to a domestic one or two who do exactly as they like. Unfortunately you do not have any beagle packs in Scotland you would have to cross the border to Northumberland.Always feel free to email me privately if I can be of any futher help.

  4. Susan Post author

    Thank you Penny! I think I will try and get in touch with the pack in Northumberland and see if I can visit. It’s something I have always been very interested in. My little beags are spoiled rotten, but I really do want to give them the best beagly life possible.

    I got in touch with a couple of packs when we first got Beanie but they were quite snooty about ‘pet owners’ and that put me off.

    I know a lady with a Beagle in Northumberland – Sara. She runs with her Beagle boy. I’ll see if she fancies going to watch a hunt.

    Having seen working packs do you think we should be able to get our Beagles off lead safely if we go about things the right way?

  5. Susan Post author

    p.s Did I tell you that we traced Beanie back to the Eton College Beagles (on her mum’s sid). We got hold of a photo of the daughter of the Eton College Beagle that Beanie descended from and she’s just like Beanie. Beanie’s ‘prettier’ like a show beagle but she has the same build.

  6. Susan Post author

    OK, found the contact details for the Northumberland pack and have dropped them a line. Will let you know if I get a reply!

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