Other Names: English Beagle
Country Of Origin: England
Dog Group: Hound
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Maintenance Level: Low
Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, loyal
Recommended For: Families, couples, single owners
Good For First-Time Owner: Yes
Good With Children: Yes
Good With Other Animals: Yes
Good With Strangers: Yes
Good For Apartments: Yes
Exercise Requirements: Daily walking
Can Live In Hot Weather: Yes
Can Live In Cold Weather: Yes
Can Tolerate Being Left Alone: No
Beagles are a popular companion pet and make great family pets.
Beagles are very affectionate with their owners, and make excellent company for children.
They were originally bred in the UK as scent hounds to be used for hunting, but have long been kept for fun too.
Beagles are a great dog for beginners because they’re reasonably low maintenance, and very easy to look after.
The breed is prone some genetic health conditions however, and these can become expensive to treat.
Beagles do sometimes like to bark, and beagles have also been known to howl in the right situations.
Color: White and tan, white and brown, tricolor
Height: 13-16 inches (both males and females)
Weight: Males – 22-25lbs, Females – 20-23lbs
Personality and Temperament:
The beagle is a well-known and incredibly popular breed of dog, mainly because of its great personality.
The breed is affectionate, quite intelligent, and loves human attention. Beagles form very loyal bonds with all members of the family, although their intelligence can make them stubborn.
Beagles make great family pets, and are safe to have around children. It’s worth introducing them to children as early as possible, and ensuring the dog has learned at least basic obedience commands.
The likelihood of anything bad happening is very low, but at least this will help lower the chances even more.
Beagles are very easy to train, and can learn the necessary commands quickly. Although their intelligence means they can learn fast, it also means beagles can be quite stubborn.
They can be easily distracted by interesting smells, and owners might find it difficult to recall the dog.
Beagles are very sociable dogs, mainly because they were originally kept as pack animals.
This means they get on very well with other dogs, and although they can be kept as an only pet, many beagles would appreciate the company of at least one other dog.
The breed is fine to be kept around other pets, but they might chase a cat or a rabbit on occasions. The chances of them being dangerous are quite low though.
Although beagles originate from England, where the climate is very mild, their general good health means they can be kept in both hot and cold climates.
Owners in very warm areas should just be careful with what time of day they choose to exercise the dog, and should keep time outside to a minimum in summer.
When it comes to exercise, beagles need walking every day. However, it doesn’t have to be a particularly long walk; about 30 minutes is probably the minimum.
Beagles will also be able to take much more exercise than this though, and would benefit – mentally and physically – from occasional longer walks.
Beagles do enjoy being outside, but are suitable to be kept in apartments. They’re not a very large breed, and so can be kept in smaller spaces.
Beagles are just as happy curled up in their bed as they are outside, and will happily sleep for most of the day.
One downside to this is that beagles are known to bark, especially at unknown sounds or people.
This could obviously be a bit of a problem living in an apartment, so bear this in mind if you’re thinking of getting a beagle.
Beagles can be very wary around strangers, but usually warm to them in a short time. They obviously don’t make very good guard dogs for this reason.
Overall, beagles are a very good choice for first time owners. Beagles are very easy to look after, and are quite low maintenance.
They make ideal pets and are a great choice as companion animals because they’re so affectionate.
Beagles do have an issue with being left alone, however. This is mostly because they were bred as pack animals, and because they appreciate human attention so much.
If they need to be left alone, it’s best to start training from a young age, ideally using a crate.
Although this might seem unfair it’s actually a very good way of helping the dog to understand it’s going to be left alone.
In the long run this is generally for the best because it reduces anxiety.
Beagles have a short, dense coat that is pretty easy to look after. Beagles do shed quite a bit though, and this isn’t limited to seasonal changes.
To minimize the loose hair in your house, use a slicker brush or grooming mitt to brush out the coat.
A normal brush won’t pull out the loose hairs in quite the same way, and many will be left behind.
You should still use a normal soft-bristle brush on your beagle however, as this will help to distribute oils and keep the coat soft and shiny.
Do this once every week or two, depending on how often you use the slicker brush.
Beagles can be bathed as often as you like, but it’s best to keep bathing to a minimum.
The beagle’s short coat means it doesn’t really collect dirt or debris like a longhaired dog, and so baths should be saved for only the most necessary occasions.
Beagles aren’t generally a smelly breed, so there’s little other need to bathe them.
Owners should check beagle’s ears several times a week and clean with solution whenever needed.
Their floppy ears can catch debris and wax builds up easily, both of which can lead to infection.
It doesn’t take long to clean their ears, just make sure you don’t put Q-tips into their ears.
Other than that, owners should trim the dog’s nails regularly, as long nails can be painful for the dog to walk on.
Their teeth should also be cleaned several times a week, and the dog should be given chew toys that promote oral health.
Common Diseases and Conditions:
While beagles are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to several health conditions.
One of the common conditions is epilepsy, which can either be present at birth or develop in later life.
It is treatable with medication, but can be a difficult condition to manage.
Beagles are also prone to two unique developmental conditions, both of which present from birth.
The conditions don’t affect the dog’s overall health massively, but can result in underdeveloped legs and feet.
Obesity is another common problem for beagles, so owners have to be very strict with their diet.
They should be exercised enough to keep their weight down, and portion sizes should be as small as possible.
Obesity can obviously lead to a range of expensive and harmful conditions for the dog that are completely preventable.
Beagles can trace their ancestry all the way back to 11th-century England, but the dog would look nothing like the one we know today.
The most recognizable ancestor would be the Southern Hound, which is now extinct, but was essentially a larger version of the beagle.
The modern beagle first came about in the early 19th century, and served as a scent hound for rabbit and fox hunts.
The Southern Hound, which had been around since the 17th century, began to decrease in popularity and the beagle took over as the hunting dog of choice.
Beagles were introduced to America in the 1840s, also for hunting, but grew in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic as a family dog and companion pet.
They have been used in dog shows of all kinds since the mid-19th century, and still do very well in them today.
The beagle was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, and has always been a popular breed in the country.
In both 2012 and 2013 it ranked as the 4th most popular breed in America. They’re not as popular in their home country however, ranking only 28th and 30th in the same years.
Beagle Facts & Figures:
Did You Know?
- The name beagle is believed to come from Middle French, and essentially means “loudmouth.”
- Snoopy – the comic book character from Peanuts – is meant to be a beagle. This makes him probably the most famous beagle in the world.
- Barry Manilow had a beagle, which he called Bagle, and it can be seen on several of his album covers.
- Beagles are used as sniffer dogs by US Homeland Security, often being employed in airports and by police.
- Beagles have even been in the White House, with President Lyndon Johnson having two. He imaginatively named them Him and Her.
- Odie from Garfield was also a beagle.
- A beagle’s distinctive color was meant to help it camouflage in the forest, but it has a white tail tip to make it easier for their owners to spot in the undergrowth.