Beagle Dog Breed

The origins of the Beagle Dog breed are somewhat speculative because no precise historical records about the breed exist. Nevertheless some indications point to similar dogs existing in hunting circles for centuries, possibly as far back as pre-Christian Greece.

Beagle dog headshot outside in natural terrainImage courtesy Somo Photography

According to the known facts about Beagles, serious development of the dog as we recognize it today, was started in England around the 13th and 14th century and the breed was greatly favored by the royalty at that time.

To back that up, Chaucer wrote about the breed in his Canterbury Tales in the 14th century.

Development of the Beagle

The Beagle dog breed is categorized as a scenthound very similar in appearance to a Foxhound - just a smaller and more solid-looking version. They were developed to hunt hare and rabbit and were bred down to a size more suitable for hunting with men on foot rather than horseback.

In more recent times, because of their excellent scenting abilities, they have been trained and used to detect narcotics.

Being a very popular, attractive and appealing dog has unfortunately caused the breed to be exploited by puppy mills. With this in mind, prospective owners are advised to use extreme care in finding a responsible breeder.

Presidential Humor

An amusing bit of Beagle trivia concerns the names chosen by former President Lyndon Johnson for two of the Beagles he enjoyed while at the White House: "Him" and "Her".

After these two dogs died, he was given another by J Edgar Hoover. This one he named Edgar!

Beagle puppy dog standing outsideBeagle Puppy

Characteristics of the Beagle Dog Breed

The Beagle dog breed is known for his happy disposition, high energy level and stamina. He is intelligent and curious, always in the thick of things with his family and interested in whatever is going on.

Early obedience training is recommended by someone in the family who can be a strong influence and follow through with consistency and lots of patience.

Beagles tend to be a bit stubborn, but are highly motivated by food rewards which is the best way to get their cooperation during training.

However, because they also tend to be chow hounds, training treats should be factored into their daily food requirements to avoid obesity.

On the somewhat challenging side, the Beagle does have a reputation for being hard to house train. Be sure to read our potty training advice, for help in this area.

beagle durable chew toy

Physical Stats And Care

Height Variation: 10-13 inches or 13-15 inches
Weight range:18-30 lbs.
Color variations: Commonly seen in a combination of white,tan and black, but other hound colors are acceptable.

The Beagle has similarities in its appearance to the Foxhound and very much the Harrier. During the breed's early development it is thought that North Country Beagles and Southern Hounds were involved.

The Beagle has a medium length coat that is both dense and weatherproof. A weekly brush will keep it in good condition, together with bathing when necessary. Shedding is about average for this breed.

The ears need to be checked and cleaned often to prevent infections, as is common to dogs with pendulous type ears. Make sure they are dried well to avoid leaving behind a moist environment and setting up an ideal breeding ground for mites.

Health Notes

Among the more common health problems of Beagle dogs that may affect the breed are:

Two rare diseases that may occur in the breed include:

  • Immune Mediated Polygenic Arthritis
  • Neonatal Cerebeller Cortical Degeneration

That being said, Beagle dogs are for the most part considered to be a healthy breed.

Activity Level of the Beagle

Be prepared for a very active dog and one that tends to get bored if left alone too long. When no one's around, boredom will surely lead him to barking, digging, and escaping.

A daily walk is necessary exercise for all dogs, but a walk and then some is strongly recommended for the Beagle because his high energy must have an outlet. If you're a jogger, he will be ecstatic to go along with you.

When time is limited, an excellent alternate way for your pet to get a workout is with the use of a DogPacer Treadmill.

dogPACER Dog Treadmill
Dog Fitness Treadmill

Ideal Living Space

A decent sized yard is a real asset to allow this breed to run off some of his energy.

Apartment is okay providing a good amount of regular exercise is given and he is not left alone too long. A lonely Beagle is a noisy one!

Suitability For Families With Children?

Very good with children. The Beagle dog breed will be happy to join in all their games. Also, does well in multiple dog households.

However, no matter what the breed's reputation, the best policy is to have an adult supervise activities between them because both children and dogs are not always predictable!

Do Beagles Fit With Elderly Or Sedentary Owners?

Beagles love companionship. If an elderly or sedentary owner can handle or arrange for daily exercise and perhaps has a yard where he can play, he in turn will be an ideal companion.

The Beagle dog breed has a gentle and happy disposition and does well in therapy situations.

Further Reading

beagle dog owner's guide book
Beagles - The Owner's Guide from Puppy to Old Age

Covers Choosing, Caring for, Grooming, Health, Training
and Understanding Your Beagle Dog or Puppy

Helpful Resource: National Beagle Club Of America

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