As country show season begins, we’re seeing some of the UK’s top working beagles on this episode of Dogs with Jobs.

Eleven packs are competing in the South of England Hound Show, which takes place each year under the auspices of the South of England Show near Ardingly. It’s a timeless scene – show officials wear bowler hats and white coats and the event observes customs that have changed little in centuries.

10 or so beagles look expectantly at their handlers
The beagles are eliminated from the competition one by one until the winner remains.
The handler, dressed in jodhpurs and green jacket and cap, throws treats so the beagles' movement can be observed by the judges, who wear bowler hats and suits, as is traditional at country shows
The judges are assessing the beagles’ movement and conformation in the show ring.

Lifelong beagle enthusiast Matthew Higgs chats to Dogs with Jobs presenter Kate Fairweather from a shady spot by the side of the show ring.  

Matthew talks us through the classes. He explains what the judges look for and the qualities required to win a coveted winner’s rosette.

Matthew discovered beagles as a teenager and has never looked back. His entire family are involved in beagling, and they all “puppy walk”.  This means hosting two or more beagle puppies in much the same way as assistance dog pups spend time with a family to find themselves as individuals, before they start their working lives.

Kate’s cheering on our local pack, the Palmer Marlborough Clinkard Meon Valley Beagles.  Listen to find out more.

Connected episodes:

  • Hear from kennel huntsman Danny Allen of the Palmer Marlborough Clinkard Meon Valley Beagles on life working, and to all intents and purposes living, with 51 beagles
  • Browse through a fascinating range of dogs with interesting jobs in the twice-monthly show and podcast, Dogs with Jobs here or search “Dogs with Jobs” wherever you get your podcasts.

Do you work your dog or dogs?

Kate is always interested in dogs with interesting jobs. Get in touch via