Beagles are small dogs of the hound group. Beagles or their ancestors have been used in Europe (especially Britain) for hundreds of years to hunt small game on foot. In fact, although most people think of the beagle as a miniature foxhound, it is actually the reverse – the foxhound is a newer breed that is essentially a giant beagle! Beagles are generally used to hunt cottontail rabbit and hare, although many people in the US hunt deer with them. They are ‘scenthounds’, which means that they track their quarry using their excellent sense of smell. They keep the huntsmen informed of the progress of the hunt with their beautiful and penetrating vocalization, called a bay. Hunting beagles are generally kept kenneled together and hunt together as a pack.