The Beagle is a sturdy, hardy little hound dog which looks like a miniature Foxhound. The body is squarely-built and the skull is fairly long and slightly domed. The square muzzle is straight and medium in length. The large eyes are brown or hazel and are set well apart. The wide, pendant ears are low set and long. The black nose is broad with full nostrils. The feet are round and firm. The tail is set moderately high and never curled over the back. The coat is of medium length, close, hard, sleek and easy to care for. Any hound-type of coloring is acceptable including lemon, tri-color, black and tan, red and white, orange and white, or lemon and white, blue tick and red tick. Beagles have a distinct howl / bay of a bark when they are on the hunt. Video Clip of a Beagle's Baying Bark.
The Beagle is loving, sweet and gentle. Happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail. Sociable, brave and intelligent. Excellent with children and generally good with other dogs, but because of their hunting instincts, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets, unless they are socialized with cats and other household animals when they are young. Beagles have minds of their own. They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. It is important you are this dog's pack leader and that you provide the proper amount of mental and physical exercise including daily pack walks, to avoid separation anxiety. With enough exercise they will be calm. You can also purchase animal scents and play tracking games with your beagle to help satisfy their instinct to track. The Beagle does not have a normal sounding bark, but rather a loud bay cry, that almost sounds like a short howl. Beagles are curious and have a tendency to follow their own noses. If they pick up a scent they may wander off and not even hear you calling them back, or not care to listen, as they will be too busy trying to find the critter at the other end. Take care when letting them off leash that you are in a safe area. Beagles who are allowed to be pack leaders over their humans can develop a varying degree of behavior issues, including, but not limited to, guarding, obsessive barking, snapping, biting, and destructive behaviors when left alone. These are not Beagle traits, but rather behaviors brought on by lack of leadership and or exercise, from their humans. The behaviors can be corrected when the dogs instincts are met.
Beagle Height, Weight
Height: Dogs 14-16 inches (36-41cm) Bitches 13-15 inches (33-38cm)
There are two height classes, 13-15 inches (33-38cm) and under 13 inches (33cm).
Weight: Dogs 22-25 pounds (10-11kg) Bitches 20-23 pounds (9-10kg)
Beagle Health Problems
Some lines can be prone to epilepsy, heart disease, eye and back problems. Also prone to chondroplasia, aka dwarfism (warped front legs, like a Basset's). You can see an example of chondroplasia in a dog.
Beagle Living Conditions
Beagles will do okay in an apartment if they get plenty of chances to be outdoors. They are very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.
Energetic and possessing great stamina, the Beagle needs plenty of exercise, including a brisk daily walk. It should have a fenced yard of reasonable size to romp in. Always use a lead when walking this breed or you will be running the risk of it disappearing in search of wild game.
Beagle Life Expectancy
About 12-15 years
Beagle Litter Size
2 - 14 puppies - Average 7
The Beagle's smooth short-haired coat is easy to look after. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe with mild soap only when necessary. Dry shampoo occasionally. Be sure to check the ears carefully for signs of infection and keep the nails trimmed. This breed is an average shedder.
The first Beagles date back to the 1500s. English hunters would take packs of these dogs out on the hunt tracking rabbits, hare, pheasant, quail and other small animals. The breed probably originated as a cross between the Harrier and other types of English hounds. The dogs have since become one of the most popular breeds in the USA. The breed can hunt alone, in pairs or in packs. The name "Beagle" may have come from the French term "be’geule," which means “gape throat,” referring to the dogs baying voice. The name may also have come from the dog's size, stemming from the French word “beigh”, the Old English word “begele”, or perhaps the Celtic word “beag”, which all mean "small". He has also served as an excellent narcotics detection dog and makes a fine family companion. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1885.
Hound, AKC Hound
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR, DRA