Breed GroupHound group
Life Span12-15 years
Height13-16 inches
Weight22-35 pounds
OriginGreat Britain
Best ForActive Families
beagle-portrait

Beagle Breed Guide

Beagle Overview

Dog Breed:
Beagle
Breed Group:
Hound group
Characteristics:
Affectionate, independent, robust, amusing and athletic
Height:
13-16 inches
Weight:
22-35 pounds
Life Span:
12-15 years
Coat Colors:
Over 25 different color combinations!
Area of Origin:
Great Britain
Best For:
Families who love an outdoor life/ Homes with a secure garden

Beagle Characteristics

Friendliness
Intelligence
Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Beagle

  • Friendly

  • Amazing scenting ability

  • Great family companions

  • High energy

  • Athletic

The Beagle a friendly breed with a great sense of fun. Their amazing scenting ability has made them an exceptional hunting dog but also an expert at detecting contraband at airports and borders. Their wonderful nature makes them perfect therapy dogs in convalescent hospitals and retirement homes, and most importantly, marvelous family companions. 

These are real athletes, so owners should be prepared for a high energy live wire who will need exercise every day. Beagles also haven’t lost any of their scenting ability, so it’s likely that their nose will be to the ground most of the time!

Beagle Breed History

  • Established hunting companion by the 1400s

  • Accompanied English settlers to America

  • National Beagle Club formed in the 1880s

  • Now split into field and conformation types

  • One of the most popular breeds in the USA

beagle-pup-playing

The earliest origins of the Beagle are unknown, but there are references to dogs of a similar type going back to 400BC. By the 1400s, the Beagle had become as established hunting companion across Europe. 

Despite the foxhounds’ domination as the hunting dog of choice by the gentry, farmers and small landholders continued to hunt with packs of Beagles. By the mid 19th century, the breeds growing popularity brought an increasing interest in developing a standardized appearance as well as being a utilitarian hound.

It’s thought that scent hounds accompanied English settlers in America, but very little is known about these early Beagles. In 1870 General Richard Rowett of Illinois imported Beagles from several different British packs. This resulted in a growing interest in the breed, with a huge demand developing for the General’s Beagles.

In the late 1880s, the National Beagle Club of America was established, and a breed standard adopted. As the US population moved towards urban living, the Beagle began to move away from being a “dual-purpose” breed and instead became either a field/pack hound or a conformation show Beagle. 

The breed is, however, still a very popular choice as a pet with their registration numbers bringing them near to the top of the American Kennel Club registration figures each year. 

Beagle Size & Weight

  • Medium-sized breed

  • Two height categories

  • Two types under 13 inches and 13-15 inches

  • Weight between 22-30 and 23-35 pounds

beagle-in-tan-white-and-black

The Beagle is a medium-sized breed with two different varieties based on height. The first is for those dogs who are under 13 inches at the withers. For these dogs, you can expect their weight to be between 22-30 pounds.

The second variety is for dogs who are between 13 and 15 inches. Their weight is likely to be between 25-35 pounds. 

This means that there is a pretty big variance in possible weight, going from 22-35 pounds. If having the right size of dog for your home is essential, then do look to the pup’s parents to gain an idea of how large your youngster may grow to be. 

Beagle Personality & Temperament

  • Affectionate

  • Independent

  • A persistent hunter

  • An all-weather dog

  • Unlikely to be happy when left alone

beagle-trekking

With their loving yet independent nature, Beagles make fantastic family companions. They’re a very intelligent breed and can be keen to please but do be aware that their instinctual need to follow a scent can take over! That hunting heritage can also make them very persistent, and they have a fantastic ability to work things out for themselves. 

Their happy go lucky outlook on life means they are great companions for both humans and other dogs. They’re a great choice of breed to live with children though combining raising a puppy and very young children together can be overwhelming. In this situation, the adoption of a young adult dog may be a better option.

Beagles can live in homes without a garden, but owners must then be prepared for walks in all weathers to provide their dog with the exercise they need. Their waterproof short coats mean that they will need a walk every day, no matter the weather.

The Beagle was bred to live with other dogs as a pack, but they also crave the attention of its owners. So, this may not be the right choice of breed if they need to be left alone for long periods each day. 

Beagle Health & Grooming

  • Relatively healthy breed

  • Some genetically based conditions

  • Big appetites and may quickly become overweight

  • Minimum grooming needs

Beagles are a relatively healthy breed. Good breeders will check their dogs for hereditary problems to reduce the likelihood of the condition passing down to the pups.

Dwarfism can occur in Beagles as a genetic disorder called chondrodystrophy. This results in the cartilage being underdeveloped, which results in the dog having short legs. It can also cause early degeneration of the discs in the spine. Sadly, this can result in several problems, including pain when walking and difficulty in lifting their heads.

Dogs have three eyelids, and when the gland of the third eyelid slips out of place or prolapses, the resulting condition is called cherry eye, named because of the redness that is visible in the corner of the dog’s eye. Usually seen in dogs who are under a year old, it’s likely to cause your Beagle discomfort and will require surgery to position the gland correctly. 

Beagle Pain Syndrome, or its more formal name, Steroid Responsive Meningitis (SRM), is a combination of meningitis and polyarteritis. It does occur in other breeds, but it was first discovered in the Beagle, hence the name. 

There is a wide range of symptoms, and not all need to present for the condition to be diagnosed. These can include shaking, decreased appetite, pain in the neck area, and muscle spasms. At the moment, it’s not known what causes the condition. Treatment involves steroid medication, which may be required for the rest of the dog’s life.

Beagles have great appetites, and so they can quickly put on weight unless their owners carefully manage their daily food intake. This breed is not known for being ‘droolers’ so if your Beagle does seem to do this a lot, then a quick trip to the vets is needed. 

Grooming is nice and quick, with the Beagles short coat needing very little attention. A quick brush each week to remove dead hair and dirt is all that’s required. 

Beagle Training

  • Intelligent breed

  • Great problem-solving abilities

  • Best suited to reward-based training

  • Provide items to chew to reduce destructive behavior

  • Should only be off-leash in a secure area

beagle-at-the-beach

The Beagle is an intelligent breed who is very capable of learning a whole range of behaviors. Their problem solving and free-thinking abilities mean that they are much more suited to training techniques such as clicker training rather than punishment-based methods.

As with any dog, a bored Beagle will look for something to entertain themselves with, so exercising their minds in a constructive way will reduce the opportunities for them to find their own fun! Puppies can nip and chew, but careful redirection onto items they can carry and play with will reduce this happening. 

The hunting heritage remains strong within the Beagle, and so care is needed that they only go off-leash in safely fenced areas. Teaching your dog to use their nose and find hidden toys can be a great way to provide an outlet for their amazing scenting abilities.

Beagle Exercise Requirements

  • Intelligent breed

  • Great problem-solving abilities

  • Best suited to reward-based training

  • Provide items to chew to reduce destructive behavior

  • Should only be off-leash in a secure area

beagle-on-leash

The Beagle is an athlete who was bred to work all day long. They need daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy and out of trouble. A playful breed they will enjoy games in a securely fenced garden, and generally, they will enjoy the opportunity to meet and play with other dogs. 

If you’re considering a Beagle joining your family, you should be able to provide at least two 30-minute walks every day. 

Beagle Diet & Feeding

  • Speak to veterinarian or nutritionist for advice

  • Pick the right food for your Beagles life stage

  • Consider your dog's activity level

  • Weight the daily food allowance to avoid obesity

  • Make changes to diet slowly

beagle-eating-dog-food

If you’re looking for feeding advice for your Beagle, then your veterinarian or pet nutritionist are the first people to speak to.

Then, do consider your Beagles energy levels and age when deciding which feed to select. As mentioned, Beagles can quickly become overweight, so careful measurement of daily food will be needed. 

Most foods now come in a range of formulations suitable for different stages of your dog’s life and then tailored to their energy needs. When switching dog foods, gradually increase the proportion of the new food over a week or so while reducing the amount of their current food. This will reduce the likelihood of an upset stomach.

Beagle Rescue Groups

beagle-on-the-street

There are times when a Beagle will need a new home. We’re listed a few Beagle rescue organizations for you below, but there are breed rescues in many states across the USA.

 

SOS Beagle Rescue – http://www.sosbeagles.org/

Tample Bay Beagle Rescue https://www.tampabaybeaglerescue.org/

Arizona Beagle Rescue https://azbeaglerescue.com/

 

For further information on the Beagle take a look at the website of the National Beagle Club of America – https://www.nationalbeagleclub.org/

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