Beagle Dogs 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Beagles

baylee and bonnie the beagles

If you want to learn all about beagles, then this blog post is for you! We’ll talk about their history, their appearance, and everything else that makes them so special. They are amazing dogs with a unique personality – let’s get started!

Do beagles make good house pets?

The beagle dog breed is a dog with a high energy level that has high exercise requirements.

Beagles who are left at home alone for long periods, or don’t get enough exercise are likely to be destructive in the house, barking at everything that moves, or chewing on anything they can reach. This kind of lifestyle is not good for your beagle and can be stressful for pet owners too!

Only consider a beagle if you can dedicate enough time for regular walks and mental stimulation for your dog. If you can provide both for your beagle then they will be very happy in your family home.

Beagles love long walks to burn off energy. Bonnie drying off after a lengthy walk
Beagles love long walks to burn off energy. Bonnie drying off after a lengthy walk

Why are beagles so bad?

Ha! Beagles are not a bad dog breed, in fact, a Beagle temperament is well suited to being a family pet! As scent hounds, they have a keen sense of smell which might get them into trouble as they chase down every scrap of food, steal cookies, or chasing down rabbits or other animals they fancy following!

They have high energy levels, and without regular exercise and walks can become bored, which may lead to destructive behavior.

The most commonly known fact about them is that they love food! If there are any leftovers on your plate or in the kitchen don’t leave them out too long or they will be gone!

Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in America, but that’s because they’re so great! They can be stubborn which makes them less than ideal for a first-time dog owner to train. But if you know what you’re getting into with this breed they are very loving and loyal with an even temperament.

bonnie decided to climb on to the window sill.jpg
Bonnie decided to climb on to the window sill

What problems do beagles have?

Beagles love food and will eat just about all food items and as a result weight gain can become a problem that could lead to health issues such as obesity.

Beagles can also get cherry eye, which is when the third eyelid in a beagle gets inflamed.

They have long, smooth ears that can sometimes pick up ear infections. Check your beagle’s ears regularly and clean with a warm saline solution if needed.

Other health issues to look out for in the beagle breed are;

  • Epilepsy – a brain disorder that can lead to seizures.
  • Meningitis – inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, causing fever and neck pain.
  • Hypothyroidism – where the thyroid doesn’t make enough of the chemical that breaks down food into energy.

Is beagle a dangerous dog breed?

Our very short answer to that is no! Generally speaking, the breed has a great temperament and is one of the most popular breeds in the United States showing high levels of friendliness.

Some people think the breed is dangerous because they were originally bred as hunting hounds that chase after prey animals and bring them back to their master or owner. While the beagle dog breed was bred for hunting, they are mainly house pets, swapping the hunt for curling up on the family sofa!

Are beagles lazy?

We answer this question with a resounding NO! Beagles are typically highly active, and require regular exercise to maintain their health. They need at least one long walk or jog per day, as well as plenty of playtime inside the home. You should be prepared to spend some time playing fetch in your yard every day if you own a beagle as they will demand your attention.

Some pet owners mistake the beagle stubbornness with being a lazy hound! Sometimes it can be a challenge to get a beagle to do what you want, give your hound a treat though and they will do whatever you want!

Do beagles like to cuddle?

Do beagles bark a lot?

Beagles are known for being one of the most vocal dog breeds, with a distinctive ‘bay’ or ‘howl’ or ‘aroo’! Some dogs bark often, and their barks can be loud to startle strangers who they feel are invading their territory. However, of the many dogs we have had we have been fortunate that none of our merry hounds barked much.

Beagles are pack hounds and with a keen sense of smell were bred as scent hounds mainly for rabbit hunting and fox hunting. The beagle pack would alert the hunters when prey was nearby, so for a beagle, barking was their way to communicate with the rest of the pack and master hunters.

If you live in an apartment or surrounded by families and are worried about having a noisy dog then it might be worth considering another dog breed.

How big is a full-grown beagle?

There are two groups of beagle sizes. Group A is below 13 inches and group B is between 13 and 15 inches.

Males are usually bigger than females. A male beagle is normally done growing by the age of 18 months.

Male adults usually grow to weigh between 18 and 24 pounds.

A male beagle will measure around 13 inches to 16 inches.

Females are smaller than male beagles. They weigh around 19 to 22 pounds.

The average height of a female beagle is up to 15 inches.

Is a beagle a small or medium dog?

Beagles are considered small to medium-sized dogs, are sturdy, solid dogs that are big for their inches.

The beagle looks like a small foxhound. The muzzle is shorter, and the expression is different. The legs are shorter in proportion to the body. Dogs are between 13 and 16 inches (33 and 41 cm) tall at the withers. Females are a little smaller than males, but not by much.

A beagle is quite a compact breed. Beagles don’t generally take up much space and can easily fit into most family lifestyles. Most modern family cars will happily accommodate 2-3 dogs, and a single, good-sized crate will accommodate two beagles.

Bonnie fits comfortably in the rear of our mid-sized SUV.
Bonnie fits comfortably in the rear of our mid-sized SUV.

Are there different size beagles?

Miniature breeds of beagle-type dogs were known from the times of Edward II of England and Henry VII of England, who both had packs of Glove Beagles, so named since they were small enough to fit on a glove, and Elizabeth I of England kept a breed known as a Pocket Beagle.

As you would expect from the names, these early beagles were quite small. Since those early days, the breed has evolved and grown to become the compact hound we know and love today. However, they are still quite small and not as large as other members of the hound family, such as the closely related foxhound.

The American Kennel Club recognizes two beagle varieties: the 13-inch for those less than 13 inches, and the 15-inch for those between 13 and 15 inches.

The Kennel Club in the UK and FCI affiliated clubs all recognize a single type of dog. The height of these dogs ranges from 13 to 16 inches, which is between 33 and 41 centimeters tall.

The English and American Kennel Clubs have different standards. Dogs that meet the English Kennel Club’s standard can be more than 15 inches tall. The American Kennel Club’s standard doesn’t allow dogs to be over 15 inches tall.

Pocket Beagles are sometimes advertised for sale. The UK Kennel Club originally specified the standard for Pocket Beagles in 1901. However, they are no longer recognized by any Kennel Club.

What Colors Can Beagles Be?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists the colors approved by the breed standard as:

  • Black and tan
  • Red, white and black
  • Bluetick, tan and black
  • Black, tan and white
  • White, tan and black
  • Blue, tan and white
  • Brown and white
  • Tan, white and brown
  • Lemon and white
  • Red and white
  • Tan and white

In addition to these standard mixed colors, beagle color variations can also include blue, black, tan, white, red, lemon, red and brown.

You can see the full AKC list of colors here https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/

The kennel club UK have a slightly different list of colors to the AKC

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Standard colours in the breed include:

  • Badger Pied
  • Badger Pied Mottle
  • Black & White
  • Black & White Mottle
  • Blue White & Tan
  • Blue White & Tan Mottle
  • Hare Pied
  • Hare Pied Mottle
  • Lemon & White
  • Lemon & White Mottle
  • Lemon Pied
  • Lemon Pied Mottle
  • Red & White
  • Red & White Mottle
  • Tan & White
  • Tan & White Mottle
  • Tricolour
  • Tricolour Mottle
  • White
Baylee (left) is a classic Tri-color while Bonnie is a Tan and White
Baylee (left) is a classic Tri-color while Bonnie is a Tan and White

What size is a beagle considered?

The Reverend Phillip Honeywood first established a beagle pack. He did this in Essex in the 1830s. The modern breed is believed to have been started by this pack. Honeywood Beagles were small, standing 25 centimeters at the shoulder, and they were pure white.

In 1856, John Henry Walsh, writing under the pseudonym of “Stonehenge” in the Manual of British Rural Sports said that the beagle could be grouped into four types: the medium beagle; the dwarf or lapdog beagle; the fox beagle; and the terrier beagle, which he said was as a cross between any of the other varieties and one of the Scottish terrier breeds.

Stonehenge also gives the start of a standard description: In size the beagle measures from 10 inches, or even less, to 15. In shape, they resemble the old southern hound in miniature, but with more neatness and beauty; and they also resemble that hound in style of hunting.

The modern beagle now has a standard height limit for an adult beagle of 15 inches in the United States, and 16 inches in England.

Beagle life span

The typical life expectancy of a beagle is 12-15 years. This is a common lifespan for dogs their size.

What are the leading causes of death In beagles?

The Veterinary Medical Databases is a place where you can find information about animal diseases. They have been collecting data since 1964 from North American veterinary colleges.

Researchers from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine did a study on how many dogs died in North America.

The researchers found that beagles, who are younger than 2 years old, most often die because of trauma and infections.

Cancer is the first cause of death for beagles. This disease can happen to many other dogs, too.

Trauma is the second most frequent cause of death in beagles (16% of the time). The leading cause of death for this breed is accidental injury or trauma, but it can be mitigated.

Neurological causes are the third most common cause of death among the beagle breed.

Are beagles a good family dog?

Does the beagle dog breed make family pets? Yes, if you want a dog that is active and social. Beagle dogs are happy to live in an apartment with their family as long as they get to spend time outside too and fulfill their exercise requirements! They love people (and other animals) so will happily greet anyone who walks through the door.

Beagles are loving, happy, and companionable. These qualities make them good family dogs!

Six things to consider before getting a beagle

  1. Beagles are very friendly and social
  2. A beagle needs lots of physical and mental exercise, so they’re not ideal for apartment living
  3. Beagles are prone to separation anxiety, which can be alleviated with ample toys and attention from their owners
  4. They have a tendency to bark more than other dogs, which may bother some people who live in apartments or condos 
  5. A beagle’s coat is short-haired and requires little maintenance; it does shed quite often though 
  6. Beagles do well around children if they’ve been raised with them or used to contact with children
Beagles make great family pets
Beagles make great family pets and get on well with other dogs

What do beagles eat?

As hunting dogs, beagles were bred to chase and track small animals, such as rabbits. Beagles usually hunt in large groups, using their strong sense of smell to track down prey. Hunting is very hard work for a beagle. As dog food would be hard to come by a beagle would eat whatever it found while out hunting to keep a high energy level.

The modern-day breed is much more likely to be a family pet. Although a beagle can make wonderful pets, they are also prone to becoming overweight if their diet isn’t carefully assessed.

One of the most important things when raising a beagle is maintaining a healthy weight. It may be tempting to give your beagle puppy scraps and treats, but make sure they still get an appropriate diet as they have a tendency to become overweight. A fat dog isn’t healthy either!

There are three main different types of foods you could choose to feed your beagle, these include;

  • Raw food diet – a diet of only raw meat, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Dry food is usually the most popular type of dog food.
  • Some people buy canned foods, such as wet tinned food, that are mixed with dry kibble.

If you have a beagle puppy, it is important to stick with the feeding regime provided by the breeder. If the diet is good for your dog, you might be wise to keep it. If it is not broken, then don’t fix it.

As pet parents, it is our responsibility to monitor the size of our dogs, watch for health problems from overeating to ensure maximum life expectancy for our lovable hounds.

You can read our complete guide to what to feed a beagle here.

Raw dog food
A bowl of raw dog food – the best diet for a beagle

Are beagles good with children?

The answer to that is yes. In fact, beagles love being around children and playing with them all the time which makes them a great family pet to have.

The truth is, most beagles get along well with children and fit in well with all kinds of families. Their compact size and affectionate personalities often make them a perfect family pet. Just make sure to always supervise your beagle when he is around kids because they can sometimes have a lot of energy.

Beagles are typically very docile and tolerant dogs when at home who will just want to cuddle up close or lay on their back for belly rubs while you play with your kids in the living room. Their temperament makes them perfect for kids, and in fact, they will be the best playmate your child has.

just make sure your kids are willing dog walkers as they are a dog breed that needs plenty of dog walks to keep them from getting bored with a tendency to be destructive.

So are beagles good with children? Yes!

Baylee loves to play with our niece
Baylee loves to play with our niece

Top 10 beagle rescue groups to find beagles for adoption

Beagle rescue groups are a great way to adopt beagles in need. If you live in the US, it will be easy to find a professional Beagle breeder. However, adopting from a rescue might be the best option for many people.

Not only will you save yourself a lot of money, but you’ll also be giving an animal who has been in need someone to care for them and give them a forever home.

After doing a lot of research, I compiled a list of the finest beagle rescues from all over the US and UK.

If you are looking for a Beagle, consider these organizations that specialize in rehoming beagles:

The United States beagle rehoming organizations

1. Beagle and Buddies – California

Established in 1992, Beagle and Buddies, an animal sanctuary based out of Southern California was founded to help dogs in need.

Beagle and Buddies Information and Details:

Website: Beagles and Buddies

Address: 23430 Highway 18, Apple Valley, California 92307

Phone: (626) 444-9664

Email: beaglesandbuddies@gmail.com

2. Southeast Beagle Rescue – Florida

Southeast Beagle Rescue is a small organization comprised of experienced volunteers who are well-trained in animal rescue and transport.

Southeast Beagle Rescue Information and Details:

Website: Southeast Beagle Rescue

Address: PO Box 270631, Tampa, FL 33688-063

Phone: (855) 422-3245

Email: saveabeagle@SEBR.org

3. Safe Hounds Beagle Rescue, Inc – New Jersey

Karen Philhower founded Safe Hounds Beagle Rescue in 2005 to save homeless, abused, and neglected beagles.

Safe Hounds Beagle Rescue, Inc Information and Details:

Website: Safe Hounds

Address: PO Box 515, Blairstown, NJ 07825 USA

Phone: (908) 362-5313

Email: info@safehounds.com

4. Hound Rescue – Texas

Hound Rescue is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to rescue and adopt out beagles.

They operate out of Texas and cater to Waco, San Antonio, Austin, Bastrop, and Lockhart.

Hound Rescue Information and Details:

Website: Hound Rescue

Address: PO Box 28087, Austin, TX 78755 USA

Email: info@houndrescue.com

5. SOS Beagle Rescue, Inc – New Jersey

As one of the first Beagle rescue organizations in the country, SOS Beagle Rescue has been working to find loving homes for beagles since 1991.

SOS Beagle Rescue, Inc Information and Details:

Website: SOS Beagle Rescue, Inc

Address: 814 Judith Lane, Atco, NJ 08004

Phone: (856) 336-2520

Email: NJsosbeagles@googlegroups.com

6. Arizona Beagle Rescue (AZBR) – Arizona

Arizona Beagle Rescue is a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who rescue beagles and educate the public about them.

Arizona Beagle Rescue (AZBR) Information and Details:

Website: Arizona Beagle Rescue (AZBR)

Address: PO Box 61193, Phoenix, AZ 85082

Phone: (623) 977-1355

Email: info@azbeaglerescue.com

7. Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue, Inc – Florida

The history of Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue is long, dating back as far as 1999 when founder Betty Roberts decided to start helping out beagles in need.

Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue, Inc Information and Details:

Website: Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue, Inc

Address: PO Box 271772, Tampa, FL 33688-1772

Phone: (813) 446-9663

Email: info@tampabaybeaglerescue.org

8. Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) – California

One of the most popular rescue organizations in the world is the Beagle Freedom Project. The Beagle Freedom Project is a non-profit animal rescue and advocacy organization that rescues animals that have been used in experimentation. BFP is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals, including those that are subjected to abuse or neglect.

Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) Information and Details:

Website: Beagle Freedom Project (BFP)

Address: 4804 Laurel Canyon Blvd. #534, Valley Village, CA 91607

Phone: (818) 382-6500

Email: info@bfp.org

9. Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation (SNBRF) – Nevada

Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation (SNBRF) is a non-profit foundation that’s committed to rescuing purebred and mixed beagles and hounds of all kinds. They mainly operate in Henderson, Las Vegas, and areas near Clark County.

Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation (SNBRF) Information and Details:

Website: Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation (SNBRF)

Address: 285 Irvin Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89183 USA

Phone: (702) 493-9779

Email address: snvbeaglerescue@gmail.com

10. Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland (BBRH) – Nebraska

Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland (BBRH) rescue, rehabilitates and rehomes the beagle dog breed all across Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland (BBRH) Information and Details:

Website: Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland (BBRH)

Address: PO Box 554, Boys Town, NE 68010

Phone: (402) 490-4938

Email address: bbrh@bassetandbeagle.org

The United Kingdom beagle dog breed rehoming organizations

Beagle Welfare

Beagle Welfare was formed in 1979 to give help and advice on the beagle dog breed and to re-home, those whose owners, for whatever reason, are unable to keep them.

Website: https://www.beaglewelfare.org.uk/

Address: Coulters Hill Cottage, Pipey Lane, Burton Upon Trent, DE13 8SJ

Phone: 01283 575175

Email: info@beaglewelfare.org.uk

What are beagles best known for?

Below is a list of things that beagles are best known for, good and bad!

  • They are known for being loving and affectionate dogs.
  • They have lovely soft, long ears!
  • They are often used as hunting dogs because they have an excellent sense of smell and can follow the scent very well.
  • Snoopy is a beagle!
  • The beagle dog breed is very food-driven with a tendency to eat everything!
  • Beagles are part of the hound family and are a compact dog size
  • They have a tendency to be stubborn and mischievous dogs
  • Beagle puppies are the cutest dogs!

What is a fact about beagles?

  • Beagles have been widely popularized in cartoons, comics and other media. They first appeared in classic strips such as The Peanuts comic strip starring Snoopy and Courage the Cowardly Dog comedy horror television series during the 1950s.
  • Former United States President, Lyndon B Johnson was criticized for picking up a beagle by its ears in public.
  • Canadian bred, 15-inch female Beagle Gr Ch Tashtins Lookin’ For Trouble(aka “Miss P”) won the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Can a beagle kill you?

The beagle breed is friendly and affectionate toward humans as well as other animals. However, anxiety or severe pain can trigger sudden aggression from the beagle which extends to attacking other people.

Beagles are not aggressive dogs and they typically do not attack humans unprovoked. Despite being a rather loud dog that can get bored easily. However, they do not typically attack humans unprovoked and it would be very unlikely that a beagle would try to kill you!

Bonnie looking all cute, does she look dangerous to you?
Bonnie looking all cute, does she look dangerous to you?

Can Beagles be left alone?

Beagles are pretty resilient animals that can do well on their own. They’re not designed to be left alone for extended periods of time, but if you live in a small apartment or work regular hours they’ll probably still want some love from you, but you have to ask yourself is that kind of life fair for your merry hounds?

Beagles are at their happiest when they’re around people or with other dogs, and it’s essential for them to be in a social environment as much as possible. If left alone for too long a beagle can become bored or anxious, which can lead to destructive behavior.

Beagles are social animals and need people or other dogs around the majority of the time for them to be happy. They’re not designed to live alone in an apartment while you work regular hours so make sure that if you want a merry hound then it’s something you’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to.

As pet parents, if you do have to leave your dog for long periods, make sure your beagle has access to plenty of fresh, clean water, consider hiring a dog sitter or dog walker, and perhaps pop home at lunchtime to give your hound the chance to go to the toilet in the yard and have some company.

Are beagles high maintenance?

Beagles are pretty low-maintenance dogs, but they require a lot of attention. They are smart animals who need to be challenged. You can find many ways for them to engage their minds by taking up dog sports or games with you like fetch and tug-of-war.

When it comes time for grooming, the breed is known as “low shedders” so they won’t be shedding loads of hair around your home.

Do beagles shed?
Beagles are moderate shedders

What are big beagles called?

Many people mistake foxhounds and harriers for beagles, which is understandable because they look very similar. However, beagles, harriers, and foxhounds are both the same breed, are all the same ancestrally, but were developed for a different purpose.

Foxhounds and beagles mainly differ in size. Beagle dogs tend to range between 13-17 inches tall at the shoulder or 44-50 centimeters, while a Foxhound dog can reach up to 27 inches (68 cm).

The Harrier was right in the middle. The Harrier is the oldest of the three and is thought that the Penistone Pack was formed in 1260 in England and lasted for more than five centuries.

Are there large beagles and what are the dogs that look like big beagles?

Technically foxhounds and harriers are of the same ancestry but were bred for different purposes. Both harriers and foxhounds are taller than beagles, with foxhounds the taller of the three.

All three breeds have short coats, with the varying coarseness of the hair being the difference.

A funny description of a Harrier is that it’s “a Beagle on steroids,” even though its appearance resembles an English Foxhound. It is a powerful hunting dog with a small, hard coat. The harrier has large bones for stamina and strength, is slightly longer than tall, with a level topline. The tail is medium-length, carried high, but is not curled over the back. 

What are beagle personalities like?

Beagles are curious, fun, and eager to please and have a reputation for being “big-hearted” have an even temperament, not too aggressive or too timid.

Beagles are often described as one of the most accepting, friendly, and sociable breeds. They’re also known for their intelligence, having lots of energy and are naturally curious, but they’re so cute that people can’t help being drawn to them.

The breed is very food-driven. They’ll do anything for a treat!

How to Stop a Beagle From Pulling on a leash
You can train a beagle to do almost anything with treats

They are known to be stubborn and willful, but they also have an eagerness to please their owner. The breed responds well when training is used consistently and rewards are given.

The National Beagle Club of America says that the beagle temperament makes them an excellent family pet. Their low maintenance cost and their affectionate, yet independent, temperament make them an ideal pet for many families.

Summary

Beagles make great family pets because they are gentle and loyal. They also have an even temperament, so your children will be safe with them around. Beagles need some time to adjust when new owners come into the home, which is something that pet-owners should keep in mind before adopting one from a shelter or breeder. However, once they settle in you’ll find their affectionate nature makes up for any initial adjustment period. With proper care and training (which we can help you with) beagles make wonderful companions! 

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About My Beagle Buddy

My Beagle Buddy is a Beagle resource created by my husband, Simon and myself, Theresa and our two Beagles, Baylee and Bonnie.

For over 12 years, we have had the pleasure of experiencing life with many loving Beagles, sharing our joy through the ups and being steadfastly by our side through the tough times.

We have learnt a lot in those years, about ourselves and our Beagles. We love to write about our Beagle experiences so that others may find some use in our learnings and experiences.

Read more on our about us page

Me and my Beagle

Important legal information

My Beagle Buddy is owned and operated by Progressive Website Development Ltd. This site does not constitute pet medical advice; please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

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