- AKC recognized in 1885
- Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
- Size: Small
- Energy: Medium
- Recommended Dog Kennel for Beagle: 36" dog crate*
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Table of Contents
The Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog breed and in 2014 was the 5th most popular dog breed in the United States. Early breeds of Beagle ancestors are thought to trace back to Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. The line of ancestors that led to the Beagle is thought to derive from the Talbot Hounds, which were crossed with Greyhounds to improve speed, which gave rise first to the Southern Hound and then later the Beagle.
During the 18th century, Beagle varieties of scent hound almost became extinct. That is if it weren't for some Southern farmers who kept them to hunt rabbits. The modern U.S. Beagle was imported from England as previous breeds were more straight-legged Dachshunds or Bassets. They also had weaker heads than Bassets. Although originally bred for pack hunting, Beagles are also used as detection dogs for food items coming into the United States, therapy dogs for the sick and elderly, and of course as family pets.
The American Kennel Club formally recognized the Beagle in 1885. These medium energy dogs are known as friendly, curious, and happy with a gentle disposition and even temperament. Sadly, their passive nature means that they are also a primary dog breed used in research experiments.
In the United States, the Beagle has a height limit of 15 inches. They typically weigh between 18 and 35 pounds. For its size, it is a solid breed with the build that enables it to follow its chase to the end. Its coat is short and thin, typically coming in three colors: black, brown and white.
It is recommended to provide feed formulated to small and medium-sized breeds. It is highly recommended to discuss your dog’s feed with your veterinarian and/or breeder in order to determine the size and frequency of meals in order to ensure a healthy, long life. It is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.
The Beagle has short hair that is easy to maintain. Regular brushing ensures that shedding will be managed. It is important to keep their nails trimmed to avoid cracking or overgrowth. Since their ears hang, it is also important to check regularly to ensure that moisture, debris, and wax buildup do not lead to an infection. We share more grooming tips below.
As scent hounds, Beagles require moderate exercise to stay healthy. They love to play and as such, they make great family pets.
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Pet Crates Direct recommends 36" dog crates* for most adult Beagles.
Return to the main Dog Crate Sizes Breed Chart.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.
Top 10 Fun Facts About Beagles
Dogs have been around for as long as we can remember. If we talk about in respect to the evolution, then they came into being because of the wolves. That’s why we see some of those characteristics in them, that includes their looks, the shape of their jaw and their agility and power. Most of them look furious and scary as well and there’s a reason for it.
But then there come a few dogs that look cuter than others and are perfect to keep as a pet or just a companion. Beagle is one of those cute breeds that you can find around and keep just to light up your day every time you look at it. But there’s a lot to this little one that you don’t know and we have tried to deliver you, exactly that.
Ancient, as ever
We might just look at them to be around just now or as one of the new breeds but the truth about them is that they were bred in the Roman times and they have been around ever since, the reason of breeding? Their exceptional quality of smell.
When we have talked about the smelling ability then we must amaze you here with the fact that beagles are equipped with a total of 225 million scent receptors that make them one of the finest smelling dogs on this planet. Just to give you a further idea, humans have only 5 million as compared to them.
Most Famous Beagle
Now the next question that might arise in your mind is what makes or who endorses beagles the most. Then its Snoopy, not Snoop Dogg, it is Snoopy the dog who is the most famous character and he too is a beagle.
White Tail Beagles
There’s one way of spotting purebred beagles and that is they have a white tipped tail. This makes them very prominent for the hunters who can later spot them easily when they are pursuing a scent and also easily find out the purity.
They can’t let go the smell
One of the main features of this breed that can often make them a bit of a pain for their owners is that once they get a scent in their noses they can hardly let it go and stay away from following it. That’s why they need to be kept in fenced areas or leash.
They can be a part-time doctor
Let us just amaze you by the fact that Beagles are also one of those dogs that can assist you and all around with the medical assistance when its needed. So right now we’re talking about a Beagle who was smart enough to dial 9-1-1 on the time of emergency and saved its owner’s life.
Suitable dogs for everyone
What makes beagles best of the breeds is that they are suitable for everyone to keep. They are very friendly and social and alongside that, they require a minimal amount of grooming and are of a medium size as well. However, you can’t keep them in the apartments as they bark really loud.
Male and Female have different sizes
One of the noticeable differences in them are the sizes. As the male beagles are almost larger than the females. This causes a bit of a problem because for the best pair you need to have a larger female and a smaller male dog.
Good with cats
This can be more like a surprise for most of the people but Beagles are really good around the cats. All it requires is a good introduction and then you can keep them together for a very long time and they both can become friends as well.
Bed Bug Beagles
Thanks to their exceptionally good smelling skills the beagles are found around the world to help people locate the bed bugs. And just because of this quality, they are called Bed Bug Beagles.
The Regal Beagle
Fun loving and floppy-eared, Beagles are a one of America’s favorite in canine companions. They are smart, good-natured and adorably cute. In fact, they are so beloved, Beagles are one of the most featured dog breeds for cartoons characters like Snoopy, Odie, Underdog, Mr. Peabody, Poochie, Gromit and tons more.
Beagles are small to medium, active, lovably cute dogs which makes them one of the most perfect household dogs ever. They are fantastic with adults, children and even other dogs. Coming in as the fifth most popular pup in the U.S., this white-tipped tailed dog couldn’t be better...well, unless he wasn’t so much of a hound, that is.
Beagles have some deep-rooted instincts due to the fact that they are hound dogs. Bred to follow scents at all cost, the Beagle can be easily distracted when he picks up on one. Furthermore, other hunting skills like determination and curiosity can easily turn into negative traits when backyard banned, often leaving them stubborn, overly independent and downright ornery.
History of the Beagle
While the exact beginnings of the Beagle are uncertain, the line is suspected to date back to Greece in the 5th century BC. The Beagle was a hound-greyhound mix. They waned in popularity then made a comeback in the 18th century. They later came to America where they were mainly used to hunt small game, like rabbits and foxes. Somewhere along the way, the Beagle was given his name which translates to “loudmouth” in Middle French and...rightly so.
It is said that the very first Beagles on the scene were miniatures. Measuring only about eight or nine inches high, they were carried in the pouches and pockets of hunters. But being so small had so many disadvantages, they were later bred into larger sized hunting hounds.
Making Scents of Beagle’s Hound Dog Behavior
Bred to track and hunt small critters with great accuracy and speed to boot, the Beagle was successful at his game. His intelligence made him the ideal companion on a hunt for he could put two and two together to track his prey. Of course, his exaggerated sense of smell (that is about five million times that of a human’s) and obsession with tracking were winning traits as well.
The Beagle’s ears are bred to perfection so he can pick up scents better. His ears actually wave scents back to his nose while on the hunt, whether for small game or a morsel of dinner that was dropped by accident.
If you’ve ever noticed that your Beagle’s paws are a bit large, well...the better to dig with. They evolved to help him dig burrowing animals out of the ground and probably to wreak havoc on your flower garden too.
Did you know that the Beagle’s white-tipped tail is that way for a reason? Hunters were better able to keep track of them when out in the field or in the woods. All they had to do was to look for “that tail”.
That insistent, throaty bark is part of the Beagle’s hunting lineage too. He uses it to alert other dogs and his human that an interesting scent has successfully been picked up on. Off trail, he tends to bark at everything from butterflies to cars, much to his owner’s chagrin.
Talk about relentless determination, Beagles, like most hounds, are not going to give up when hunting. Between barking, howling and sitting it out, the majority of the time, he is going to get his prize.
Those adorable big ole floppy ears are going to require some TLC and that you can be sure of. Check their ears often and have a veterinarian check them when you take him in for any reason. Beagles are prone to ear infections and generally don’t care much for their ears being touched or tampered with.
Sadly, Beagles are prone to a brain disorder which can lead to seizures, epilepsy. Symptoms generally surface at or around 6 months of age up until they are three years old so keep a watchful eye out. Vets can prescribe medication to help if your dog does have it.
Other medical issues Beagles are susceptible to are: itchy skin and allergies, skin tumors, eye diseases, multiple heart diseases and urinary stones. Kidney diseases and bladder cancer are other maladies to look for. Inter-vertebral disk disease is not uncommon in hounds with long backs and short legs so be sure to have him checked for it from time to time.
True to the Underdog character that happens to be a Beagle, the breed serves more purposes than just being hunting and house dog. With 220 million scent receptors gracing their noses, they are so good at trailing a scent, they are often used as contraband detectors for law enforcement agencies. The United States Homeland Security team has a full brigade of Beagles. In addition, they make excellent therapy dogs for the elderly and sick.
Can you train a Beagle? The question doesn’t lie in whether a Beagle can be trained because, of course, he can be. Beagles that were used as hunting dogs required a certain amount of training and discipline. The question is...can YOU train a Beagle. If you are loaded with patience, chances are good that you can.
Training him once a day, at least, is recommended. The Beagle is very intelligent but he will also revert back to his own choice of behavior if he is allowed to “forget”. Throughout the day, remind him of the lesson by having him sit, beg or hush...or whatever the lesson of the day entailed.
You will want to train him not to bark at will. When you have him NOT bark at a knock at the door or howl when you leave the room, be sure to reward him with a treat or with lavish affection and praise...or both. Remember, it is built into him to be vocal so when he refrains due to your command, you will definitely want to recognize his good deed and self-control.
Getting his attention is important when training him. Make it interesting and fun. You can even throw in some playtime like letting him track the scent leading to a hidden treat or something else that is right up his alley. Having his cooperation is priceless.
The Beagle’s saving grace where training is concerned is the fact that he adores attention. When you reward him for his cooperation, you’ll get more of the same. He will be quite proud of himself and will love being praised and loved on by you too.
Beagles have short, fine hair so they don’t require the high maintenance grooming that some breeds do. You might be surprised, though, how those fine little hairs can attach to your sofa, carpet and car seat, almost like porcupine quills. Regular brushing can help prevent shedding and if you can get him to sit still for the pampering, is a great way to bond too.
The same is true with regular bathing. Although the Beagle is not a smelly breed, he will need a good shampooing from time to time. It will not only keep him clean but will help keep his shedding to a minimum too. Be careful not to get water in his ears though. They are prone to get infected and water in them can aggravate the issue.
Beagles love to dig. Be sure to keep his nails clipped to avoid tears, chips, and overgrowth in them. If your Beagle has a conniption when you clip them or refuses to sit still for the session, have the vet tend to them.
Be sure to keep your Beagle’s eyes clean. Eye issues are common in the breed. Wipe them regularly when tears or gook build up and take him to the vet at the first sign of a problem.
Not only are many canine cartoon characters of the Beagle breed, but many famous people also love them too. Queen Elizabeth l adored Beagles and owned a pint-sized version that she carried around in her pocket.
Lyndon B. Johnson owned two Beagles while in the White House. What did he name them? “Him” and “Her”, of course. Many a photo was taken of the President and his beloved hounds.
Barry Manilow is crazy about Beagles too. Bagel the Beagle was Barry’s companion in the 70’s during the height of his career. He was even seen wearing his “I Love Beagles” t-shirt on occasions.
Walking the Walk
Beagles need exercise. A twenty-minute walk twice a day is the minimum standard for a dog of his energy. In fact, even longer is better.
For such a small guy, Beagles have a surprisingly strong pull. And...they will not hesitate to use it when out on a walk. It’s not that they necessarily want to be unruly, it’s just that their innermost hunting skills come alive in the great outdoors.
The number one problem with walking a Beagle is that they are nosey. They will pick up on every scent from dogs and other critters that have passed by to the roast beef your neighbor has in his crockpot. Curiosity will get the best of them. They are hounds and that is what they do - they pick up on scents and follow them with great determination.
Don’t give up though. Your Beagle needs the exercise and the discipline of a structured walk that incorporates the use of a leash. It will make all the difference in the world - for both of you.
Start walking your dog daily the minute you bring him home. Beagles who begin walking behind a leash at an early age do much better. He will get the hang of the rules and will become a pro at it.
Another sound piece of advice is to establish your role as the pack leader. Don’t let him sniff at every scent he comes across or attempt to chase small animals that might cross your path or you will never even make it around the block. Set the pace and insist he keeps walking, no matter what distracts him.
Do not allow leash tugging. You may even want to use a walking harness for him if he has a strong tendency to pull. If he pulls too hard in one direction, turn and go the opposite way. Be sure to keep him walking at your side or slightly behind rather than in front of you. He is not the leader. You are.
Be sure to reward him for a job well done after a successful, guided walk. It’s not easy for a Beagle to be disciplined while outside where there are so many sights, sounds, and smells. Let him know he is awesome for being obedient and he will lap up the attention.
Beagles bark and that is a well-known fact. But did you know that they have different barks for different reasons? As obnoxious as their insistent barking can be at times (for you...and your neighbors), it is somehow helpful to know there is something more behind it all.
There are three main barks the Beagle has. His standard bark is for everyday things like a car driving past, a knock at the door or you bringing him home a new play toy. The notorious yodel, or baying, is throaty. It is used when he is on the hunt and has picked up on something of interest. And then, there is the forlorn howling. Just as you would think, it is to communicate his sadness or the fact that he is bored or even lonely.
Is the Regal Beagle a Good Fit for You?
Being pack animals, Beagles are great with humans and with other dogs. But...they are not a good match for just everyone. There are certainly some important factors to consider before bringing the floppy-eared furbaby into your family.
Can you tolerate the vocals? If your nerves or short of if you have a new baby or irritable neighbors, you might reconsider bringing a Beagle home. He is going to bark, howl and sometimes yodels too. Of course, with training and patience, he can be taught to keep it at a minimum. But a Beagle’s minimum far surpasses that of many other breeds.
Beagles are very strong-willed and independent when they want to be. Although they are very loving, they are like young children who are determined to get their own way. They are highly curious too so the combination of the two characteristics can be overwhelming.
You are going to need to make sure your Beagle gets some exercise, mentally and physically. They tend to bore easily and are medium energy dogs so leaving them in an apartment all day just won’t cut it. You will know he is bored when you come home to your entire house having been turned upside-down. A good, long walk before you leave him can help to prevent that type of destructive behavior.
Beagles require time and energy. If you are up for the challenge though, they are adorable, loving and fun. They are super smart too. They know just how to worm their way right into your heart and make the best family dog ever...or not.