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Bigui, Beagle

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Bigui (Beagle).

 

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Els orígens del Beagle són confusos i remots. L'any 350 a. de C. Jenofonte ja descrivia a uns gossos de tipus sabueso (hound en anglès)que coincideixen en la majoria de detalls amb el Beagle. Segons es creu van ser els romans qui els van dur a Anglaterra com caçadors de conills i una vegada allí van ser creuats amb gossos de tipus sabueso del lloc. Els Talbot Houndson són considerats els ancestres del Southern Hound, el Beagle, i el Foxhound. Entre el 1300 i el 1400 els Beagles van arribar un elevat grau de popularitat entre els monarques britànics. Eduard II i Enric VII ja tenien gossades de Glove Beagles, anomenats així per la seva reduïda grandària, fins i tot cabien en un guant. Isabel I tenia Beagles que amidaven fins a 22 centímetres. Les gossades de sabuesos eren populars en gairebé totes les grans propietats campestres. Cap al 1400, els Beagles ja s'havien estès per Gran Bretanya, Itàlia, Grècia i França augmentant així la seva popularitat. Sobre el 1700, existien dos tipus de sabuesos especialitzats en la caça del conill: el Southern Hound, i el més veloç North Country Beagle. A causa del gran auge que estava experimentant la cacera de la guineu, els Beagles anaven perdent terreny en favor dels Foxhounds. Afortunadament per a l'existència del Beagle, els grangers a Anglaterra, Irlanda i Gal·les van seguir mantenint gossades amb les quals sortien a caçar.

 

A principis de la dècada del 1870, els Beagle donen el salt als Estats Units. Norman Elmore de Nova Jersei i el general Richard Rowet, de Illinois van importar Beagles anglesos d'excel·lent tipus i pedigrí i van donar inici a la idea de dur registres dels aparellamments i ventrades per a un major control de la raça. Fins a aquest moment, el Beagle anglès havia estat ensinistrat principalment per a perseguir guineus, i havia estat criat per a arribar a una altura de 37-42 centímetres dedse la creu.

 

El reverend Phillip Honeywood criava la seva gossada d'Essex (Anglaterra) potenciant les seves habilitats caçadores sense importar-li l'aparença, mentre que el seu compatriota Thomas Johnson s'encarregà de criar línies de Beagle que poguessin tant caçar com ser atractius. A Amèrica, no obstant això, el Beagle va ser criat amb la finalitat de reduir la seva altura. Actualment, no és difícil trobar Beagles d'una altura de només 25 o 30 centímetres desde la creu. Durant tot aquest temps, el Beagle era vist estrictament com a un gos de caça, sent criat i ensinistrat exclusivament a tal efecte. No ha estat fins a més tard quan el Beagle va començar a popularitzar-se per les seves qualitats com animal de companyia, tot i que sempre ha estat i estarà molt unit als caçadors.

El nom que rep la raça té dues possibles orígens. D'una banda es considera una derivació de la paraula cèltica beag que significa petit, mentre que per un altre se sosté que prové de la paraula francesa begueule que significa boca oberta, potser en referència al fragorós clam que produïxen en el grup.

No són gossos especialment cridaners, solen bordar durant les caceres per a avisar als caçadors que es troben sobre la presa. A més dels sons comuns a tots els gossos. Es caracteritzen per un udol típic de la raça, una 'cant' barreja de bordar i udolar. Generalment, emeten aquest so quan detecten una olor que crida la seva atenció. L'udol d'un beagle és més aviat fort a causa de la seva gran capacitat pulmonar però no arriba a un to molt greu.

 

English

 

The Beagle is a medium-sized dog breed. 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, and other game. They have a keen tracking instinct and an excellent sense of smell, which has seen them employed as detection dogs for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world. They are popular as pets because of their size, even temper, and lack of inherited health problems. These characteristics also make them the dog of choice for animal testing.

 

Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound and possibly the Harrier.

 

Beagles have been depicted in popular culture since Elizabethan times in literature and paintings, and, latterly in film, television and comic books. Snoopy of the comic strip "Peanuts" has been called the world's most famous Beagle.

Dogs of similar size and purpose to the modern Beagle can be traced back to around the 5th century BC. Xenophon, born around 433 BC, in his Treatise on Hunting refers to a dog that hunted hares by scent and was followed on foot.[1] Dogs of this type were taken to Rome and may have been imported to Roman Britain. Small hounds are mentioned in the Forest Laws of Canute which exempted them from the ordinance which commanded that all dogs capable of running down a stag should have one foot mutilated.[2] If genuine, Canute's laws would confirm that beagle-type dogs were present in England before 1016, but it is likely they were written in the Middle Ages to give a sense of antiquity and tradition to Forest Law.

In the 11th century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot hound to Great Britain. The Talbot was a predominantly white, slow, deep-throated, scent hound derived from the St Hubert Hound which had been developed in the 8th century. At some point the English Talbots were crossed with Greyhounds to give them an extra turn of speed.[4] Long extinct, the Talbot strain probably gave rise to the Southern Hound which, in turn, is thought to be an ancestor of the modern day Beagle.

 

From Medieval times, beagle was used as a generic description for the smaller hounds, though these dogs differed considerably from the modern breed. Miniature breeds of beagle-type dogs were known from the times of Edward II and Henry VII, who both had packs of Glove Beagles, so named since they were small enough to fit on a glove, and Queen Elizabeth I kept a breed known as a Pocket Beagle, which stood 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) at the shoulder. Small enough to fit in a "pocket" or saddlebag, they rode along on the hunt. The larger hounds would run the prey to ground, then the hunters would release the small dogs to continue the chase through underbrush. Elizabeth I referred to the dogs as her singing beagles and often entertained guests at her royal table by letting her Pocket Beagles cavort amid their plates and cups.[5] Nineteenth century sources refer to these breeds interchangeably and it is possible that the two names refer to the same small variety. In George Jesse's Researches into the History of the British Dog from 1866, the early 17th century poet and writer Gervase Markham is quoted referring to the Beagle as small enough to sit on a man's hand and to the:

 

little small mitten-beagle, which may be companion for a ladies kirtle, and in the field will run as cunningly as any hound whatere, only their musick is very small like reeds.[6]

 

Standards for the Pocket Beagle were drawn up as late as 1901; these genetic lines are now extinct, although modern breeders have attempted to recreate the variety

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Taken on December 19, 2011