A Comprehensive Guide To The Beagle Dog Breed

Bracken the beagle after eating dark chocolate

If you want to learn all about beagles, this blog post is for you! We’ll talk about the beagle breed’s history, popularity, name, appearance, sense of smell, and everything else that makes beagle dogs special. They are excellent dogs with unique personalities – there’s a lot to cover, so beagle lovers, let’s get started!

Jump to section

What is a beagle?

The beagle dog breed is a small scent hound that looks comparable to the foxhounds.

The Beagle has a smooth, dense double coat that gets heavier in the winter. However, beagles also shed moderately year-round. 

The beagle is clever. It’s a popular choice as a companion due to its size, pleasant disposition, and lack of inherited health problems.

The modern breed was formed in Great Britain during the 1830s by combining several breeds, notably the Talbot Hound, North Country Beagle, Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier dog breed, to become hunting beagles.

Beagles have been represented in popular culture since the Elizabethan era when they were mentioned in literature and art. They have appeared in films, television programs, and comic books more recently.

History of the beagle dog breed

Even though the exact origin of the beagle dog breed is unknown, it is widely accepted that the beagle was developed to hunt hare, known as beagling.

It is thought that St. Hubert and the Talbot hounds were introduced to Britain by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. In the United Kingdom, the previously mentioned strains were crossed with Greyhounds to give them speed and endurance for deer hunting.

Although smaller and slower, they’re similar to the Harrier and the extinct Southern Hound.

The modern-day beagle is the most often used breed as a detection dog for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine worldwide, owing to his excellent sense of smell and exceptional tracking abilities.

Queen Elizabeth I was said to have a breed of dog known as the Pocket Beagle, which had a height of 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm). Elizabeth I referred to her dogs as her “singing beagles,” She often entertained guests at her royal table by allowing them to frolic about their plates and glasses (how gross).

The Southern Hound and the North Country Beagle (or Northern Hound) were two hunting breeds developed in the 18th century for capturing hare and rabbit and was a tall, heavy dog with a square head and long, soft ears. It was widespread from south of the River Trent and is most likely related to the Talbot Hound.

The Southern Hound is thought to be an ancestor of the beagle (Wikipedia)

The Northern Hound was a Yorkshire-bred dog prevalent in the northern counties. It was smaller and lighter-built than the Southern Hound, with a more pointed muzzle. It had better scenting abilities than its southern counterpart but was less quick.

Owning a beagle

Owning a beagle is something that needs total commitment. At first glance, their cute, compact appearance attracts many families to get a beagle. However, they can be a challenging breed to live with and require constant attention to ensure they are well trained and kept from mischief.

If you are considering a beagle, you need to consider a few things to have a happy relationship with your beagle.


They need to be walked twice a day. They love to sniff and follow scents. Letting your beagle sniff it will help stimulate them and help tire them out. Don’t keep pulling your beagle from the scents; this is what they are bred for and is ingrained in them.

Walking off-leash

Depending on the beagle, you may not be able to let them off the leash. With training, you can teach your beagle to return on command. However, there is always the chance they pick up a far more rewarding scent to them and decide that’s far more fun than coming back to you! But, again, this is part of their nature, so you need to be prepared.

Of all the beagles I have enjoyed living with, I have not trained one to walk to heel. Their curiosity and sense of smell are just too distracting for them. So if you want a dog that will walk by your side off the leash, perhaps a beagle is not for you.

How to Stop a Beagle From Puling: Leash Training Tips for Beagles
Bonnie (left) is great off the lead but still needs to be leashed around busy roads. Baylee (right) can’t be off-leash as she has a tendency to follow a scent forever!


Beagles love food! They are perhaps one of the greediest dog breeds. They will sniff out the smallest of crumbs, pounce on unattended plates, try and get in the cupboards fridges, even steal ice cream from a baby!

With this in mind, you need to ensure that you are constantly aware that your beagle is looking for food opportunities. Don’t let them eat whatever they want; otherwise, your dog will become fat, leading to further health problems.

Beagles are great escapists.

Beagles are great escapists. If there are any weaknesses in your yard or gardens boundaries, they will find them and go off on a merry adventure. You need to ensure your outdoor spaces are secure, with high fencing; otherwise, you will be searching the neighborhood for your furry friend every five minutes!

Part of the volunteer work I carry out for Beagle Welfare (a UK-based Beagle charity) would require home checks for people looking to adopt from the charity. The home check would assess the garden or yard to see how secure it is. The space needed to be entirely safe, with tall solid fences, with no chance of a Beagle getting under or over and no shared access being the absolute bare minimum.

Failing to meet these standards would see the application fail until the issues are resolved.

Beagle energy level

Beagles are high-energy dogs. They were bred for hunting and tracking rabbits and hares, and they have plenty of stamina and energy. They need to be active and socialized to stay happy and healthy throughout their lives.

You can help them burn off some of the inherent energy by either using them on hunts as a working dog, regular outdoor exercise, following scents, playing tug-of-war, running off lead (with suitable recall training), or playing games of fetch.

A beagle must get daily walks. Beagles are one of the most active dog breeds, so they’ll need space and time to burn off all their energy. In addition, the beagle is a high-energy dog that requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation!

Are beagles good for first-time dog owners?

Anyone looking to get a dog for the first time will need to accept the full responsibility of dog ownership.

A first-time dog owner should research the breed they are interested in to see if it fits in with the kind of lifestyle they want. A dog should fit into your life and become part of the family.

Beagles can be challenging, with particular quirks that every owner should know. However, as long as you are prepared and carried out research, including talking to national associations and clubs, a beagle could be good for first-time dog owners.

A beagle was my first dog, and I fell in love with their personalities straight away!

Are beagles good for beginners?

Beagles can be challenging, with particular quirks that every owner should know. However, as long as you are prepared and carried out research, including talking to national associations and clubs, a beagle could be good for first-time dog owners.

A beagle needs plenty of exercise; without it, it can become destructive and difficult to live with. They are also high-energy dogs that need a lot of mental stimulation. If you are prepared to provide this, then a beagle could be a good choice for a first-time dog owner.

Beagles require a lot of time, effort, and attention. A beagle is not a dog that can be left alone for long periods of time; they need companionship and love.

Beagles are great dogs for active people who are looking for a companion to join them on hikes, runs, or other outdoor activities.

The beagle is not the best choice for a first-time dog owner if they are looking for a low-maintenance pet. Beagles require a lot of time and attention, and they are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise. If you are not prepared to commit to this, then another breed might be a better choice.

A beagle was my first dog, and I fell in love with their personalities straight away

Are beagles good with children?

The truth is, most dogs, including beagles, get along well with children and fit in well with all kinds of families.

A beagle’s compact size and affectionate personalities often make them a perfect family pet.

As with all dogs, it’s prudent not to leave a beagle alone with small children without adult supervision.

Beagles are typically tolerant dogs at home who will 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 suitable for a family with children.

If you are rescuing a beagle from a shelter, check that the dog has no previous issues with living with children.

Baylee loves children, here Baylee is happy to interact with my niece.

Do beagles make good house pets?

The beagle dog breed has a high energy level and high exercise requirements.

Beagles left at home alone for long periods or didn’t get enough exercise are likely to be destructive in the house, excessive barking or chewing on anything they can reach.

If you plan to have a beagle and are not home for most of the day, I’d think twice about getting one.

Likewise, apartment living with no access to open space is not a suitable home environment for a beagle.

Are beagles good family dogs?

Beagles make great family pets if you want an active dog and become part of the family.

They generally enjoy being around people, are friendly dogs, and happily greet anyone who comes to the house with a warm greeting and waggly tail.

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 if left for long periods.
  4. A beagle has a distinct bark or bay, which may bother some people who live in apartments or condos. 
  5. A beagle’s coat is short-haired and requires little maintenance; it often sheds dog hair.
  6. Beagles do well around children if they’ve been raised with them or used to contact with children.

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, they will be a welcome addition to the family home.

Getting a beagle dog

There are a few ways to find your new beagle companion.

A popular way is to go to a reputable breeder to buy a puppy. This is a good option as a reputable breeder will know the bloodlines of your beagle and ensure that it has been bred for good health and temperament.

It will also be easier to train a beagle if you get it while still young.

Another way to get a beagle is through animal shelters or a rescue group.

Rescuing an individual dog may be a better option if you are looking for a more affordable dog and don’t mind not knowing the detailed history of your pet.

Beagles found in shelters or rescue organizations often come from homes where they were not well-cared for or were abandoned, so that they may need some additional training.

I would avoid buying from a pet store or online website. This method is likely the worst choice if you are looking for an animal companion, as there’s no guarantee that your beagle has been brought up with good care and socialization.

Buying a beagle – where should I get a beagle puppy?

When buying a beagle, it is important to make sure that you use a reputable beagle breeder to find a beagle puppy and not a puppy farm.

I would avoid using puppy farms to find a beagle puppy as they are generally environments where the animals are kept in poor conditions. Puppy farm beagle puppies are also likely to have health problems, as they are usually bred with the intention of making money and take little notice of the bloodlines they are mixing.

A reputable breeder will have all health clearances for the beagles that are being bred. They should also show you their registration papers, to prove that the beagle puppies’ parents were registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) or other national breed clubs.

It is also important to make sure that the beagle has been well-socialized and has had plenty of exposure to different environments. Adult beagles that have not been well-socialized may be nervous or scared in new surroundings.

Reputable breeders will know the health history of both of the puppy’s parents and will be able to give proof that they are healthy. When buying a puppy, it is important to find out if his or her parents were tested for genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, heart disease, and eye problems.

healthy beagle puppy taking a snooze
Baylee back when she was just 9 weeks old.

Adopting a beagle

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.

Read our article about beagle rescue organizations in the US and UK.

Beagle appearance

The beagle has a similar appearance to the Foxhound, but its head is broader and its muzzle shorter, its expression is distinct, and its legs are proportionally shorter.

Some of the more prominent features include;

  • The large eyes are brown or hazel and have a hound-like pleading expression
  • Beagle’s ears are long, delicate, and low-set, leaning towards the cheeks somewhat and rounded at the tips..
  • Beagles have a long, white-tipped tail (also known as the “stern”) that is slightly curved.

The white tip, or flag, was developed selectively since the dog’s head is down after a scent, and the tail is readily visible. The tail is held upright when the dog is active.

The beagle is a muscular dog with a medium-length, smooth, hard coat.

The front legs are straight and positioned beneath the body, while the rear legs are powerful and well bent at the stifles.

How big is a full-grown beagle?

The American Kennel Club recognizes two beagle varieties under 13 inches at the withers and those between 13 and 15 inches and in England 16 inches

A standard adult male beagle weighs between 18 and 35 pounds (8.2 and 15.9 kg), whereas female beagles are slightly smaller than males on average.

The Kennel Club in the UK and FCI affiliated clubs 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.

Beagle colors

Beagle colors according to American Kennel Club

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

DescriptionStandard colorRegistration code
Black & Tan018
Black & White019
Black Fawn & White023
Black Red & White027
Black Tan & Bluetick029
Black Tan & White030
Black White & Tan034
Blue & White045
Brown & White063
Brown White & Tan066
Lemon & White115
Red & Black141
Red & White146
Red Black & White147
Tan & White197
White Black & Tan219
Blue Tan & White291
Black Tan & Redtick292
Breed Colors as specified by the American Kennel Club (link)

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 complete AKC list of colors for beagles.

baylee and bonnie the beagles
Baylee (left) is classic tri-colored while Bonnie is Lemon & White

Beagle breed standards

The Kennel Club UK have its own dog breed standard.

The desirable minimum height for a beagle at withers is 33 cms (13 ins), while the desirable maximum height at withers is 40 cms (16 ins).

The kennel club UK has a different list of colors to the AKC.

Standard colors in the UK breed include:

  • Tricolour (black, tan and white)
  • Blue, white and tan
  • Badger pied
  • Hare pied
  • Lemon pied
  • Lemon and white
  • Red and white
  • Tan and white
  • Black and white
  • All white

You can read the full UK breed standard here.

Beagle mix-breeds

Beagle mix-breeds make great dogs because they are typically very friendly and good with children. They are also relatively easy to train and tend to be quite intelligent. Additionally, beagle mix breeds tend to be fairly low-maintenance, which is another reason why they make great pets.

Beagle mixes such as the beagle corgi mix, are popular among first-time dog owners and families because of their loyalty, easygoing personalities, and low-shedding coats. This guide will introduce you to some of the most popular beagle mixes so that you can find the perfect pup for your home.

Some of the more popular mix-breeds include;

Is a beagle a small or medium dog?

Adult beagles are considered small to medium-sized and are said to be sturdy, solid dogs that are big for their inches.

A beagle is quite a compact breed. Beagles don’t generally take up much space and 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.

Beagle personality traits

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 being 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!

They are known to be stubborn and willful but are also very loving. The breed responds well when training is used consistently and rewards are given.

Beagle temperament

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.

Do beagles bark a lot?

Beagles are one of the most vocal dog breeds, with a distinctive ‘bay’ or ‘howl’ or ‘aroo’!

Beagles are pack hounds, bred as scent hounds for rabbit and hare hunting. The 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 are surrounded by families and are worried about having a noisy dog, it might be worth considering another dog breed.

Bored beagles can be noisy hounds.

While rabbit hunting, beagle packs would continuously communicate with the other dogs by its distinctive bark, bay, and howl, helpful when tracking its prey. However, as most Beagles are now family pets, this constant ‘baying’ or barking is not welcome. A dog that barks constantly is not much for anyone, especially your neighbors.

So why do they bark when at home? After all, they are no longer hunting hounds? They are communicating with you or to anyone that might be listening. If your beagle is bored, left home alone for long hours, or under-stimulated they may ‘reward’ you with constant barking.

Sometimes they bark to let you know of a bird they have seen or alert you someone is at the front door.

To a Beagle, it’s pretty natural to communicate this way, so don’t punish them. Instead, understand the reasons: stress, boredom, or are they trying to manipulate you to do something (like feeding them). Once you know the cause of the excessive barking, you can act accordingly.

Can Beagles be left alone?

Beagles are pretty resilient animals that can do well on their own. However, they’re not designed to be left alone for extended periods of time, but if you live in a small apartment or work long hours you have to ask yourself is that kind of life fair for a high-energy hound?

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 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, access to other dogs for socialization, 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, with you or other dogs.

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 stimulated and 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.

Are beagles a dangerous dog breed?

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 might be dangerous because they were originally bred as hunting hounds. However, while the breed has a strong hunting instinct, a modern beagle finds itself as a family pet, swapping the hunt for curling up on the family sofa!

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.

Not all beagles are aggressive dogs and they typically do not attack humans unprovoked. Despite being a rather loud dog that can get bored easily. However, it would be very unlikely that a beagle would try or be able to seriously harm you!

Are beagles lazy?

Some pet owners mistake the beagle’s stubbornness with being lazy! Sometimes it can be a challenge to get a beagle to do what you want unless there’s something in it for them! However, beagles love food, give your hound a treat, and you can pretty much get them to do what you want.

Positive reinforcement training with highly rewarding treats such as cheese, training treats, meat, kibble will make training a beagle so much easier and fun.

Do beagles like to cuddle?
Beagles love to snooze yet they are also a very energetic breed

Beagles can be a challenge to train.

I hear it often said that Beagles are challenging to train. However, while Beagles can be stubborn and wilful little hounds, they can also respond well to training. 

You can use a Beagles love of food as a great way to ‘persuade’ your dog to do certain things your way. A bag full of tasty (healthy) treats will undoubtedly grab your beagle’s attention. We use dried fish skins, purchased from most pet stores, as a training aid. We always carry treats when out for a walk, too, ready to reward our Beagles when they recall, stay, or any other command we have taught them.

A new scent or the site of a rabbit is often enough to persuade them to forget all of their hard-earned training. Therefore, training should be ongoing, constantly reminding your dog that you have tasty rewards ready in exchange for their good behavior.

How to Stop a Beagle From Pulling on a leash
Reward-based training is the best way to train your beagle

Bored Beagles can be destructive!

Beagles are active and social dogs. If your dog is alone all day and without the chance to exercise, with little mental stimulation, your beagle will become bored and frustrated. 

A bored and frustrated beagle could start to become destructive. Taking his boredom out on whatever he can chew and uses his space to poop or wee. When this happens, some people think that the best way to resolve destructive behavior is to crate their dog. This makes it worse.

Can you imagine being alone all day, frustrated, and locked in a crate with barely enough room to turn around? Crates can be helpful in Beagles, but not to be used as punishment or to keep your dog from being destructive. 

Only have a Beagle if you can provide the time and commitment to ensure your dog has a healthy, stimulating life.

Beagle life span

The typical life expectancy of a beagle is 10-15 years, a typical lifespan for dogs their size. A healthier dog will likely live a long and happy life.

What health problems might beagles have?

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease.

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.

They have long, soft ears that can sometimes pick up ear infections. So check your dog’s ears regularly and clean with a warm saline solution if needed.

Other health issues to look out for in the 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.
  • Cherry eye when the third eyelid in a beagle gets inflamed.
  • Reverse sneezing is common in beagles but also in other breeds. It is not a life-threatening condition but can be alarming to owners who’ve never witnessed it before.

What do beagles eat?

Beagles were bred as hunting dogs to chase and track small animals, such as rabbits and hares, usually part of a large, competing pack of dogs. Hunting rabbits is hard work and as food would be hard to come by, a beagle would scavenge for whatever it could while hunting.

The modern-day beagle breed is much more likely to be a family pet and fed at regular intervals. They are also prone to becoming overweight if their diet isn’t carefully measured.

One of the most important things when raising a beagle is maintaining a healthy weight. It may be tempting to give your beagle scraps and treats as they look at you with pleading eyes, but you must resist and stick to a strict diet with treats used for training only.

What diet to feed a beagle?

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

  • Raw food diet, consisting of 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 mixed with dry kibble.

If you got your dog from a reputable breeder It is a good idea to stick with the diet recommended by them, providing the dog responds well to the food and is healthy.

With their insatiable appetite, it’s essential to give your beagle a measured diet, ideally a whole, raw food diet. Limit the extra treats they get too. It’s effortless for a Beagle to become overweight, which can lead to all kinds of issues, so be kind to them and keep their weight under control.

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

Beware of hazardous food

Beagles are greedy, opportunist hounds. If food is within their reach, be assured they will try and eat it, even if it is your hand, on a table, in a picnic hamper, a bag, or anywhere else they can get!

They will eat anything, including foodstuff they should stay well clear of, chocolate and grapes, to name just a couple. So be on your guard whenever food is around.

Once, we had friends over from Holland to stay with us. They had bought us a gift, some of the finest Dutch dark chocolate.

Not knowing how food motivated our Beagles (our fault for not explaining), they left the chocolate unguarded in their room. Bracken, my eldest beagle at the time, sniffed out the two large bars of chocolate and ate both, wrappers too. I quickly realized what had happened and rushed her to the vets as I knew chocolate, especially quality dark chocolate, could be fatal for a dog.

The vet gave her something to make her sick up everything in her stomach. She recovered just fine if a little shaken from the ordeal. As this happened out of vet working hours, it was a costly exercise for us. The moral of the story is don’t leave ANYTHING lying around when a Beagle is around!

Please read our article about why Beagles eat so much here.

Most Beagles eat really quickly.

I’ll never forget when we fed our first Beagle, Bracken. We placed her carefully measured food in her bowl and set it down on the floor.

No sooner had her bowl hit the kitchen floor than she was devouring her meal. Then, in a blink of an eye, it was gone. My wife and I wondered what had just happened. Had we given her enough food? It turns out Beagles generally eat quickly. 

Eating their food fast is probably an intuitive thing. Beagles, bred to track and hunt, would have to compete with the rest of the pack for food, so eating quickly before someone else got in was vital to a Beagle.

It’s possible to slow down the speed at which they eat; slow feed bowls, feeding by hand, or feeding whole raw meat will also slow down your hound at mealtimes.

Similar dogs to beagles

Many people mistake foxhounds and harriers for beagles, which is understandable because they look very similar.

Technically beagles, foxhounds, and harriers are of the same ancestry but were bred for different purposes (mainly fox hunting). 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.

Pocket 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.

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

Pocket Beagles are sometimes advertised for sale, but they are not the original pocket beagle as they no longer exist as a sub-breed.

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

Beagles need daily physical and mental exercise

To avoid becoming bored and frustrated, a Beagle must have plenty of opportunities to stretch his legs and stimulate his senses. Without daily exercise and stimulation, you will find your beagle quickly becomes bored and frustrated. A frustrated Beagle is much more likely to howl, bark, be destructive and look to escape as he searches for things to do to stimulate himself. 

Your beagle will love learning new tricks, especially (usually only) if treats are involved. Keep his mind stimulated with regular training sessions; it may surprise you how tired they become after 15-30 minutes of simple training!

Walk your hound twice daily. A minimum of 30-60 minutes each time will ensure your beagle has the opportunity to burn off at least some of that energy and curiosity.

Beagles can be unreliable off the lead.

A Beagle’s instinctive behavior is to seek out an interesting scent and follow them. However, even beagles that have had off-the-leash training and a good recall will occasionally succumb to a tempting smell or chase sheep or rabbits. 

While I have had Beagles that can be let off the leash in parks and open spaces, I have had some that are just so ‘fizzy’ that being off the leash is not an option. Additionally, I have never had a beagle safe to be off-leash anywhere near road traffic; they have no road sense whatsoever.

We learned the hard way that a Beagle can not always be trusted off the lead. My wife and I were out hiking. It was winter, and there was a light scattering of snow on the local peak we were walking.

Bracken was off the lead as I presumed that all the sheep that usually graze the area in the summer were lower down in the valley. I presumed wrongly.

She picked up the scent of the sheep, which we couldn’t even see, and set off in pursuit. I was frantic. I knew the landowner had every right to protect his herd and would shoot Bracken if he saw her bothering the sheep.

I ran after her, literally falling down the hillside, shouting her name in vain. I was almost near the bottom of the hill, and no sign of Bracken.

Then, out of nowhere, she casually trotted around a corner, wagged her tail, and sat down in front of me! 

We look back and laugh at how funny this must have looked, but it was a valuable lesson we learned. If in doubt, keep your dog by your side on a lead, and only let them run free if you are sure it’s safe to do so.

We wrote an article about leash training. You can read it here.

Facts about beagles

Below is a list of things that they are best known for;

  • They are known for being loving and affectionate dogs.
  • They have lovely soft, long floppy ears!
  • They are often used as hunting dogs because they have an excellent sense of smell and can follow the scent very well.
  • The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885.
  • Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoons is probably the most famous beagle and reflected the breed’s popularity at the time Charles Schulz began to draw the comic strip in 1950.
  • The breed is very food-driven with a tendency to eat everything!
  • They are part of the hound family and are a compact dog size
  • They have a tendency to be stubborn and mischievous dogs
  • Beagles have been widely popularized in cartoons, comics, and other media.
  • 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.

Related questions

Beagle reverse sneezing, what is it and why do they do it?

Reverse sneezing in beagles (and other dogs) is actually a fairly common occurrence. It may look alarming, but it’s usually not a cause for concern.

So, what is beagle reverse sneezing? It’s basically when your dog inhales sharply and rapidly through their nose. This can happen multiple times in a row and can last for a minute or two. It’s often accompanied by a honking noise.

Reverse sneezing is caused by irritation of the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth) and/or the throat. This irritation causes the dog to spasm, which forces air rapidly through the nose.

There are a few things that can irritate the soft palate and cause reverse sneezing, including:

  • Allergies
  • Dust or other irritants in the air
  • Excitement or exercise (especially after drinking water)
  • Pulling on the leash

Beagle reverse sneezing is usually not a cause for concern. However, it’s worth talking to your vet if it happens frequently or is accompanied by other symptoms (like coughing or difficulty breathing). They can rule out any other potential causes and give you peace of mind.

So, there you have it! Now you know what beagle reverse sneezing is and why they do it but if you want to know more read our post why do beagles reverse sneeze?


Beagles make great family pets because they are compact, hardy, gentle, and affectionate. They also have an even temperament, so your children will be safe with them around. With proper care and training, beagles make wonderful companions!