Dating back to the 1300s, the beagle was first bred as a hunting companion for small game. His compact, muscular body, bold attitude and hardy bearing come from a blend of various ancient hounds. In America, the beagle dates back to colonial days, when they were imported for hunting rabbits. A weekly brushing helps to keep their short coat in condition. Smart, independent and easily bored, they will get in trouble when unsupervised, and that includes barking. Beagles come in two varieties: Not to exceed 13 inches, and over 13 inches but not to exceed 15 inches.