Beagle Breed Guide

Beagles are renowned for their sense of smell, tenacity and high levels of stamina. The Beagle was originally bred to be a scent hound to track rabbits, gophers and other small game.

This breed is small and stocky in stature. Distinguishing features of this dog are the big ears, dark colored brown or hazel eyes, and a white tipped tail.

Breed History

It is thought that dogs very similar to the Beagle breed have existed for around 2500 years, with it’s origins tracing back to ancient Greece. However the modern breed of this dog was established in Great Britain during the 1830’s.

Beagles as we know them today were derived from the following dog breeds:

  • Talbot Hound
  • Southern Hound
  • North Country Beagle

During the 1840’s a standard beagle type was starting to develop, and the distinctions of some of its predecessors had been lost. At this time your average Beagle came in many different sizes, subsequently there was four different types of this breed during this time:

  • Dwarf Beagle
  • Medium Beagle
  • Fox Beagle
  • Terrier Beagle

In 1885 the Beagle was accepted as an official breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

During 1890 & 1891 respectively, the Beagle Club & The Association Of Masters Of Harrier And Beagles were formed. The aim of these organisations was to safeguard the future of this breed, and the first “Standard Of The Beagle” was written.

By the early 1900’s the number of Beagles in existence had risen greatly, and this breed of dog was well on track to a secure future.

These days the Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds on earth, with happy owners all around the world. The popularity of this breed is illustrated in the AKC’s Most Popular Dog Breeds, where the Beagle ranks in the top 10 year after year.

Physical Appearance

The general appearance of a beagle is very similar to a Miniature Foxhound, with the Beagle having a wider head, and a shorter muzzle. These dogs have a muscular and powerful stance, with short legs in proportion to their bodies.

This breed are usually 13-16 inches (33-41cm) in height, and weigh between 18-35lb (8.2-15.9kg).

Beagles have large eyes, either brown or hazel in color with a distinctive expression best described as pleading.

One of the most distinctive features of the Beagle is the large rounded ears. These ears tend to make Beagle puppies irresistibly cute (see video below).

Beagles have a short & dense coat that is weather resistant and easy to keep clean. The coat comes in two-color and three-color varieties, with many different color combinations possible. There are 25 combinations recognized by the AKC, made up from the following colors:

  • Tan
  • Fawn
  • White
  • Bluetick
  • Redtick
  • Brown
  • Lemon
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black

In addition to all these possible color combinations, Beagles also have 6 possible markings (Ticked, Spotted, Brown, White, Tan, Black). All this makes for some amazing color combinations on these dogs, a blue tick beagle is a great example.

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Beagle Puppies

Beagle puppies can be very difficult to house train, sometimes taking up to twelve months. Crate training is a method that can be very effective with this breed of dog.

One thing is for certain, with those big eyes and ears, Beagles are some of the cutest puppies ever! This beautiful time lapse video shows beagle puppies growing from 1-8 weeks old:

Beagle Health

The expected lifespan for a beagle is 12-15 years.

Overall the beagle is considered to be a very healthy breed of dog. As with any breed there are some health concerns that a beagle may be more susceptible to, including:

  • Cherry Eye
  • Epilepsy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Distichiasis
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Hip Dysplacia
  • Chinese Beagle Syndrome
  • Ear Infection

Beagle Grooming

Beagles are one of the easier breeds in terms of grooming, due to their short and weather resistant coats.

Weekly brushing is recommended. These dogs will shed hair year round, but particularly during spring time. A good quality bristle brush will be needed to get through the dense coat.

Bathing every 3-4 weeks is recommended for this breed of dog. Even though at a quick glance your dog will appear to be quite clean due to their weather resistant coat, there can be body oils, dead hairs, and dirt trapped within the coat, upon a closer inspection.

This biggest grooming concern for a Beagle is the ears, as they are very prone to getting ear infections. A weekly inspection and cleaning of the ears with a veterinary approved ear cleaning solution is highly recommended.

Beagle Temperament and Personality

Beagles have a unique temperament. They’re friendly with strangers, and they tolerate other pets. Most owners describe their companions as even-tempered. They aren’t too shy, but they aren’t aggressive either. Their “happy-go-lucky” attitude is what makes people fall in love with the breed.

Loving, curious and friendly, Beagles are rarely aggressive. But they are known for their loud voice and howls, which can give other dogs and people the wrong idea.

Beagles are the singers of the dog world. They’re known for “howling” along with outside noises, like sirens and even musical instruments.

Because Beagles were originally bred to be hunting dogs, they naturally get along well with other dogs. When other dogs aren’t in the picture, they consider their human family and friends their pack.

Because of their friendly demeanor and laid-back personality, Beagles aren’t the best guard dogs. They can easily be won over by people, even if they are reluctant to greet them at first.

While they may not be great protectors, they can be excellent watch dogs. Their boisterous howling can be heard far and wide.

Beagles love to use their noses, so outdoor time is critical to keeping this breed balanced. But their extraordinary sense of smell and hunting drive can get them into trouble. If a Beagle catches whiff of something interesting, you’ll have a hard time getting his attention. His determination will set him off on pursuit of whatever his nose picks up. For this reason, it’s pretty risky to let a Beagle run off-leash in an unsecured area.

While gentle and friendly, Beagles bore easily and are prone to developing canine separation anxiety. If left alone for too long, they may just destroy everything in the house.

Beagle Training

Training a Beagle can be challenging. They can have “select deafness” at times. That’s great for when the dog needs to be focused on a scent trail, but it can be a frustrating trait when trying to go through training exercises.

It’s important to keep this in mind when training your pup. It’s in his nature to be easily distracted, and give in to his innate need to hunt and track. While frustrating, it is not his fault.

Like with any other dog, it’s best to start training as early as possible. Don’t wait until adulthood to start training your Beagle. Their independent, stubborn nature can make it more difficult to train new things at an older age.

Early training also helps establish a strong bond.

When training a Beagle, the key to success is making everything fun. These are dogs that bore easily, so making training sessions fun will help keep their attention.

Beagle Mix Breeds

As with any popular breed of dog, there is many varieties of mixed breed. Here are five of the most common Beagle mixed breeds.

1Puggle

A Puggle is a mix between a Pug and a Beagle. This mix breed loves to indulge in fun and games, and are great with kids. Puggle’s are very prone to problem barking, and can be difficult to train.

 

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2Beabull

A Beabull is a cross between a Beagle and a Bulldog. This breed will generally have the wrinkles and under-bite of the Bulldog, with the floppy ears and long muzzle of the Beagle. Beabull’s are known to be friendly and patient, loyal, and not very active. The Beabull is very likely to portray some of the stubbornness that Bulldogs are well known for.

 

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3Peagle

The Peagle is a small dog resulting from crossing a Beagle with a Pekingese. Peagles are known to be highly social, fun, and attention seeking. The dogs love crazy attention seeking behavior, and are sure to keep their owners entertained.

 

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4Malteagle

A Malteagle is a mix between a Beagle and a Maltese. Malteagle’s are small, easy going dog, and very much love to be the center of attention. The cute and cuddly appearance of this breed is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who comes near.

 

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5Borkie

Another small breed of dog, the Borkie is a Beagle crossed with a Yorkshire Terrier. The Borkie will generally have the coat of the Yorkie, with ears and feet like a Beagle. This breed make a great family dog, but can be a little noisy at times.

 

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Beagle Names

Looking for the perfect name for your Beagle?

Here are 20 of the most popular male and female names for Beagles.

 MaleFemale
1
BubbaAlex
2
AxelCoco
3ArgosSophie
4BaxterPixi
5ElvisLola
6HunterBoots
7BuckBobo
8WinchesterHalla
9ColtHarley
10SnoopyElecktra
11BanjoHavana
12BusterIvy
13CopperBella
14SamGinger
15JakeAbby
16BaileySadie
17ArthurBea
18BarneyBodacious
19BrimleyChiclet
20BudNikki

Beagle Pros And Cons

Pros

  • The puppies are simply irresistible
  • They are highly intelligent
  • They are low maintenance in terms of grooming
  • They are very sociable
  • They are kid friendly
  • They make great hunting dogs

Cons

  • They can be very noisy
  • They need to be well fenced
  • They can be difficult to train (house training in particular)

Beagle Resources

The National Beagle Club Of America
AKC Beagle Information
Beagle Pro – A great website for all things Beagle