Beagle Breed Information

“Beagles are energetic, friendly, and curious dogs, known for their fantastic sense of smell, compact size, and a playful, yet gentle temperament that make them excellent family pets.”


About the Beagle

Group: Hound

Beagles, a breed that’s as endearing as Snoopy, their cartoon representative, are charming and loving dogs. Compact yet sturdy, their adorable expressive faces and dark appealing eyes make them irresistible. They’re members of the hound group, known for an amazing sense of smell, second only to Bloodhounds! These scent-driven explorers love sniffing trails during walks, so be ready for some tangential detours. Beagles possess an energetic and playful demeanor, making them excellent companions for children, and their sociable nature extends to other animals too. They crave company and don’t do well with loneliness – prolonged isolation makes them prone to destructive habits or excessive barking. Training a Beagle requires patience, as their independent and sometimes stubborn streak can make it a challenging task. Beagles are moderate shedders and prone to weight gain, so a well-monitored diet and consistent grooming regime are essential. Despite occasional stubbornness, with the right training and care, their hearty constitution, long lifespan, and loyal disposition make Beagles fantastic family pets.

Physical information

Male Female
Average Height 14-16 inches 13-15 inches
Average Weight 22-25 lbs. 20-23 lbs.
Life Expectancy 10-15 years 12-16 years

Beagle Breed Standard

The breed standard for Beagles, as defined by the American Kennel Club (AKC), outlines specific color and marking requirements for the breed.

  • Acceptable Colors: The Beagle’s acceptable coat colors according to the AKC include any true hound color such as tri-color, black and tan, red and white, orange and white, or lemon and white. The key point is the coat should be of medium length and close, hard, sleek and easy to care for.
  • Acceptable Markings: Markings in Beagles can vary and the standard does not prohibit any particular marking or pattern. However, tip of tail is usually white, which aids in visibility while they’re hunting or working in tall grass.

Personality and Ownership Rankings

Good with kids
Shedding Level
Grooming Needs
Drool Level
Energy Level

Breed Highlights

  • Lovably Cheerful: Known for their friendly demeanor, Beagles easily get along with people and animals.
  • Adventurous Spirit: Beagles are curious by nature and love exploring and sniffing trails.
  • Intelligent: They are smart dogs, capable of quickly learning new commands and tricks.
  • Energy-Packed: Beagles are high on energy and enthusiasm, keeping them always up for games and physical activities.
  • Family-Oriented: With their good-natured temperament and affinity to humans, Beagles make for amazing family pets, basking in the attention they receive.

National Breed Clubs and Rescues

Clubs and Organizations

Rescue Organizations

Care Needs

Beagles are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Maintaining regular check-ups is crucial to spot and manage any potential health problems early. They are more likely to develop issues like epilepsy, hypothyroidism, eye disorders, and certain types of heart disease. As stated in an article on Your Purebred Puppy, Beagles are also prone to obesity, so maintaining a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine is essential.

Recommended Health Tests

  • MLS (Musladin-Leuke Syndrome) DNA Test
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Exercise Needs

Beagles are energetic and require adequate levels of physical activity to keep them fit and healthy. An active lifestyle is essential for this breed to prevent obesity and boredom-related behavioral issues. As highlighted on PetMD, providing them with plenty of exercise also helps keep their mentally stimulated. Beagles thoroughly enjoy activities that involve scent-tracking, making walks and hikes exciting adventures for them.

Actionable Exercise Advice:

  • Spend at least an hour of active playtime with your Beagle daily.
  • Take them on long walks or hikes where they can enjoy sniffing around.
  • Engage them in games like fetch that can provide both mental and physical stimulation.

Training Needs

Training a Beagle can be challenging due to their independent and slightly stubborn nature but with consistency and patience, can be entertaining. Beagles respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, and training should be done in a positive, respectful manner. It’s crucial to socialize them well at an early age and make training sessions fun and engaging to keep their interest.

Actionable Training Advice:

  • Start training your Beagle at a young age and use positive reinforcement methods.
  • Make training sessions fun, short, and frequent to hold their interest.
  • Socialize your Beagle well with different pets, people, and environments to enhance their adaptability.

Nutrition Needs

Beagles have fairly straightforward nutritional requirements but they are more prone to obesity than other dog breeds. A balanced diet consisting of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats is crucial for their overall health and vitality. Monitor their portion sizes and avoid giving them table scraps, as overeating can quickly lead to weight issues. Regular vet checks can assist in customizing nutritional needs according to age, weight, and health status.

Actionable Nutrition Advice:

  • Feed your Beagle a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • Monitor your pet’s weight and adjust feeding portions as necessary to prevent obesity.
  • Avoid feeding your Beagle table scraps and too many treats, as this can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
  • Ensure your Beagle has constant access to fresh, clean water to stay well-hydrated.

Beagle Breed History

The Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog breed with a rich history that runs deep, beginning from its origins and ancestry in England. Dating back to the time of Ancient Greece, beagle-like dogs were used for tracking and hunting small game. However, the breed as we know it today was developed in the 1830s when Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles in Essex, England, focusing on hunting abilities rather than appearance. The modern Beagle’s looks owe largely to the efforts of Thomas Johnson, who further refined the breed to be as good-looking as it was functional. More about this can be read on Britannica.

The breed’s standardization occurred in England with the formation of The Beagle Club in 1890 and subsequent creation of the breed standard, which remains largely unchanged till today. The breed gained popularity in the United States in the second half of the 1800s, where it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885.

Despite its earlier popularity, the post-World-War-II era saw a decline in the number of Beagle packs in England, owing to factors such as shrinking countryside and the introduction of legislation relating to animal welfare. Preservation efforts came to pass when several hunting packs were combined, preserving the lines of working dogs. Much of the Beagle’s rich lineage that faced near extinction was accurately chronicled on Your Purebred Puppy.

Modern Beagle characteristics retain much of the breed’s original traits. They are still known for their compact size, distinctive coloring, and exceptional sense of smell. Beagles today are well-loved for their intelligence, energy, and friendly nature, making them popular as both working dogs and family pets.

Beagle Fun Facts

  • Their Name Has French Origins: It’s believed that the name “Beagle” comes from the French word “be’geule,” which means “open throat,” reflecting their distinctive hound’s bark.
  • Superior Sense of Smell: Beagles have an excellent sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound, and can pick up a wide range of scents, making them exceptional tracking dogs.
  • A Breed of Many Firsts: The first canine to orbit the Earth was a dog named Laika, but the first to safely return was a Beagle mix named Miss Baker in May 1959.
  • Presidential Pet: Beagles have found their way to the White House. Former US President Lyndon B. Johnson owned three Beagles named Him, Her, and Edgar.
  • Famous in Pop Culture: Beagles have been popular in Western culture, with famous characters like Snoopy from Peanuts and Odie from Garfield comics being Beagles.
  • Sing the “Beagle Blues”: Beagles tend to vocalize quite a bit and have three distinct sounds – a standard bark, a yodel-like sound called a “bay” when they’re on the hunt, and a howl/cry when they’re bored or sad.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Beagles good family pets?

Yes, Beagles make excellent family pets due to their friendly nature, and they get along well with kids and other pets.

2. How much exercise does a Beagle need?

Being an energetic breed, Beagles require at least an hour of exercise daily, including walks, playtime, and mental stimulation.

3. What health issues are common in Beagles?

While Beagles are generally healthy, they can be prone to certain conditions such as obesity, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and some eye disorders.

4. Can Beagles be trained easily?

Beagles are intelligent but can be a bit stubborn, so consistent, patient training using positive reinforcement methods works best.

5. What kind of diet is best for a Beagle?

Beagles benefit from a balanced diet of high-quality dog food, and their portions should be monitored to prevent obesity, as they can put on weight easily.

Breeds Similar to the Beagle

  • Basset Hound: Just like Beagles, Basset Hounds have a phenomenal sense of smell and are also friendly and good with families. Their calm demeanor but alert nature can make them a good choice for those who admire the Beagle’s tracking abilities.
  • Harrier: Harriers are similar to Beagles and excel in trailing. They are energetic, friendly, and are known to enjoy the company of humans. If you love the Beagle’s friendly nature and energetic personality, a Harrier might be a great fit.
  • Dachshund: Although physically quite different, Dachshunds have a similar temperament to Beagles. They can be stubborn yet outgoing and friendly. Their devotion to tracking scents and prey can make them a suitable pet for a potential Beagle owner.
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback: This breed may not come to mind right away when thinking of Beagles, but Rhodesian Ridgebacks share some key traits: they are both good with families, intelligent, and have high energy levels. If you’re looking for a breed similar to a Beagle but larger, a Rhodesian Ridgeback could be an optimal choice.