Beagle Scientific Classification
KingdomAnimaliaPhylumChordataClassMammaliaOrderCarnivoraFamilyCanidaeGenusCanisScientific NameCanis lupus
Beagle Conservation Status
TemperamentGentle and intelligent but stubbornTrainingShould be trained in obedience from an early age due to their stubborn natureDietOmnivoreAverage Litter Size7Common NameBeagle DogSloganHave become popular family pets!GroupHound
Beagle Physical Characteristics
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Beagles are energetic, friendly dogs known for their loyalty. These hounds are popular with families due to their curiosity, fun-loving personality and, of course, their sweet faces!
The history of the beagle is believed to date all the way back to 5th century Greece. These dogs hunted alongside their owners in search of foxes, rabbits, and other small prey. In the 1500s, beagles became well-known in England as they traveled out in packs with English gentlemen in search of deer, rabbits, and foxes. This dog’s persistence, excellent sense of smell and loud howling bark made it a helpful companion for hunters.
They are popular dogs for families who can give them lots of exercise and space to run. Learn more about the best dog breeds for families with children here.
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The Different Types of Beagles and Beagle Mixes
There are quite a few Beagle crossbreeds, including:
- Beagle Shepherd
3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Beagle
|An adaptable breed thanks to its small size: They rarely grow to more than 30 pounds. This small size provides versatility for a number of living conditions.||Loud: The name beagle is believed to come from the French word for “open throat,” and it’s easy to see why. They can be very loud and ‘howl’ much more than other dog breeds.|
|Playful and kid-friendly: They are one of the most playful dog breeds in the world! They’re affectionate, kid-friendly, play well with other dogs, and generally welcoming to strangers!||Challenging to train: They are a bit stubborn and this makes them challenging to train. The most challenging part is keeping a the dogs attention on you during training and not on the scents flowing around them.|
|(Relatively) easy to groom:|
While all dogs have grooming needs, the beagles short coat makes grooming much less complicated than other dog breeds.
|Exercise needed: If left alone without exercise beagles can begin acting out and destroying homes. If you’re unable to provide ample exercise for your dog, you. may want to consider alternative breeds.|
Beagle Size and Weight
A beagle is a small to medium sized dog with short hair. Male beagles grow to be about 15 inches tall while a female reaches a height of 14 inches. As an adult, a male weighs 26 pounds, and an adult female weighs 23 pounds. Puppies at 7 weeks old weigh around 4 pounds. A beagle is considered fully grown at 18 months old.
Beagles are voracious eaters and can become overweight if diets aren’t tightly controlled.
Health and Entertainment for your Beagle
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|Height (male):||15 inches|
|Height (female):||14 inches|
|Weight (male):||26 pounds|
|Weight (female):||23 pounds|
Beagle Common Health Issues
Like all dog breeds, beagles have a few common health issues that include:
- Cherry eye
- Pulmonic stenosis
We’ll explore each common health issue in more detail.
First is hypothyroidism. This condition causes an imbalance with a beagle’s metabolism. Fast weight gain, loss of fur and a lack of energy are all possible signs pointing to hypothyroidism. This condition is most common in older dogs and can shorten its lifespan.
Cherry eye is another common health issue for beagles. When the tissue containing the tear gland of this dog moves out of place it takes on a cherry-like appearance at one edge of the dog’s eye. It’s important to get your beagle’s cherry eye treated because it can lead to infection. Beagles of any age can get cherry eye.
Pulmonic stenosis, or heart disease, is another health issue faced by some older beagles. Difficulty breathing, lack of energy and a bloated abdomen are all symptoms. This condition can shorten its lifespan.
Mange is a skin condition common to beagles. It causes bald spots on a dog’s coat especially near its head.
Beagles have a friendly personality. A constantly wagging tail is one way a beagle shows love for its family. This dog enjoys being petted and fussed over by adults and kids alike. An energetic temperment means it’s always up for a rowdy playtime!
One of the most notable traits of this breed is the ability to chase a scent. These dogs seem to pick up all of the scents around them and sometimes can’t decide which one to follow first! This trait ties into the overflowing curiosity that’s a hallmark of this dog’s personality. A common behavior of a beagle is to put its nose down and push it along the ground to follow a scent.
No list of beagle traits is complete without mentioning its loud, echoing bark. This is how they alerted a group of hunters when they found a rabbit, deer, or other prey in the woods. They can also use this bark to alert owners of a stranger on the property. This makes beagles excellent watchdogs. However, the amount of howling can be a concern for families sensitive to noise or with nearby neighbors. If you’re looking to own this dog, be prepared for training to minimize howling if noise is a concern.
How to Take Care of a Beagle
A pet owner who takes in a beagle needs to understand that getting plenty of exercise is a big part of this dog’s care. They are energetic and need to stretch their legs for at least an hour each day to maintain good health.
In addition, beagles from their puppy years to adulthood are social creatures. So, playing with them, spending time with them and taking them to the dog park to visit other dogs are important aspects of their care.
Food and Diet
Not surprisingly, the nutritional needs of a puppy are different from an adult beagle. Small to medium-sized dogs like beagles can easily take on too much weight when they’re fed the wrong food, too much food, or both. Dry dog food is appropriate for both puppies and adult beagles.
Puppy beagle diet: Puppies need dry food containing calcium and phosphorus to help develop strong teeth, bones, and joints. DHA is an essential fatty acid that helps a puppy to develop good eyesight and increase brainpower. Healthy fats also help in maintaining a beagle’s coat which can prevent skin issues such as mange. Fish, whole meats, and poultry provide protein helping puppies gain the right amount of weight and develop muscle. Puppies should eat 2 cups of dry food per day (one cup in the morning and one in the evening). See our top choice for puppy food here.
Adult beagle diet: A poor diet that’s high in fat can contribute to hypothyroidism and Pulmonic stenosis (heart disease) in aging dogs. Food for adult pets should contain a balance of protein and essential fatty acids such as fish oil and sunflower oil. Brown rice in adult dog food contributes fiber to an adult beagle’s diet. Avoid dog foods with cereal and meat by-products. These are fillers that contain little to no nutrients and can add excessive weight to your growing dog. Adding grated carrots or pumpkin to your adult pet’s mix of dry food is enticing and can help to prevent eye issues such as cherry-eye. An adult dog should eat one cup of dry food per day (1/2 cup in the morning and ½ cup in the evening).
Maintenance and Grooming
How much do beagles shed? They shed an average to above average amount of hair. Plus, they shed more during certain seasons. Maintaining a good grooming routine can help a family to reduce the amount of hair on the sofa in their house.
Brush your pet every other day using a pet brush with natural bristles. Be sure to press firmly with the brush to remove loose and dead hair from your beagle’s coat. Start at your beagle’s head and brush in the natural direction of your dog’s coat ending up at its tail. A grooming glove is another item that’s effective at removing loose hair. Most grooming gloves and brushes are available for an inexpensive price. Grooming your dog every other day can help to keep its coat healthy while preventing skin conditions like mange. As a note, most beagles love to be brushed and it’s a chance to build trust with your new pet.
Cleaning a beagle’s ears should be included in its grooming routine. Use a cotton ball to apply an ear cleaning solution made for dogs to the inside of each ear. Be sure to get a fresh cotton ball for each ear to avoid spreading bacteria.
Brushing a beagle’s teeth should be another step in its grooming routine. A regular toothbrush can be used but it’s necessary to purchase toothpaste designed for dogs. Toothpaste used by people has ingredients harmful to dogs. Many dogs are uncertain about this process, but if you talk softly to your dog while gently brushing its teeth it is likely to become accustomed to the process. There are dental chews you can give your pet to clean its teeth. Most beagles like them because they’re tasty!
Beagles are smart dogs, but they can be challenging to train. The challenge is keeping a beagle’s attention on you during training and not on the scents flowing around them. They can be stubborn during training if they are focused on a scent. By contrast, a Border collie is easy to train because it’s able to focus on its owner without being distracted by the scents around it. Using delicious treats as incentive during training can help keep your beagle’s attention. Finding something that keeps your beagle’s attention is going to make obedience training a lot easier.
Your dog needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy. They should receive at least an hour of outdoor exercise time each day. These social dogs so they can be taken to dog parks to run around with other dogs. They are ideal dogs for families with a fenced-in yard. A fenced-in yard is important because this breed of dog has a tendency to wander especially while following an interesting scent.
They can live in an apartment, but it’s not an ideal living arrangement. An owner would have to take their pet out to walk or to a park to run instead of simply letting it outside into a fenced yard. Plus, beagles have a tendency to bark loudly and even howl. This could present an issue with neighbors in other apartments.
Beagles are happy to romp and play all sorts of games with family members. They like to play chase, fetch, and go for walks in the woods.
Puppies need exercise just as adult beagles do. Puppies are even more curious than adult beagles so it’s best to allow them to exercise in a fenced-in area where you can monitor their activities to ensure they’re safety.
Getting your puppy on a regular feeding schedule as well as feeding them in the same place can create a foundation for continued obedience training.
Beagle and Children
Beagles are considered to be good dogs for families with or without children. They are friendly and energetic, so they make great playmates for active children. Of course, there are always exceptions but for the most part they are good with kids of all ages.
Dogs Similar to Beagles
Dogs that are similar to this breed include the Basset Hound, Bloodhound and Afghan hound.
- Basset Hound: Basset Hounds share a lot of the same colors as beagles. They can be a mix of black, brown, and white though beagles usually have three colors while Basset Hounds have two. Basset Hounds also have an excellent sense of smell.
- Bloodhound: Bloodhounds are loyal and affectionate like beagles. Also, they are social dogs and have a loud, echoing bark.
- Afghan Hound: Look at an Afghan Hound and a beagle and it’s difficult to see any similarities. But both of these dogs are similar in temperament because they can be difficult to train due to a lack of focus and stubbornness. Afghan Hounds can be effectively trained with the help of incentives (treats) just like beagles can.
Popular Names for Beagles
Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in America, routinely ranking in the 10 most popular breeds tracked by the American Kennel Club. Thanks to that popularity, there have been a number of “famous” beagles thought the years.
- Lyndon Johnson owned two pet beagles named “his” and “her.”
- The cartoon character Snoopy was a beagle!
- Celebrity beagles: Barry Manilow owns a pair of beagles named “Biscuit” and “Bagel” while Jack Gyllenhaal owns a beagle mix!
U.S. President Lyndon Johnson kept two beagles named “his” and “her.” The beagle duo became well-known throughout America in the 1960s as they were featured in pictures with LBJ throughout the press!
The most famous non-living beagle was none other than Snoopy! While Snoopy may not look entirely like the breed, he was inspired by one named ‘Spike’ that was the pet of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.