Beagle

The Beagle is an energetic, affectionate, medium sized dog, with a well deserved reputation for being a fantastic family dog.

Beagle breed group

The Beagle forms part of the popular hound group category.

Size of the Beagle

Medium. A compact, lean and athletic dog.

Country of origin

Great Britain

Time of original development

Beagle type dogs have been recorded in ancient Greek history as far back as the 5th century making it a very old breed.

Moving on in history, Beagle types were a popular choice of dog with royalty, with famous regal owners such as Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. The breed was much smaller than the Beagle we know today. In fact some beagles were small enough to be placed in a pocket or glove, giving this small Beagle the appropriate name of ‘pocket beagles’ Pocket Beagles are now extinct, but quite often seen for sale, alongside the numerous small ‘tea cup’ type dogs that are highly sought after. These ‘designer’ puppies are probably the result of poor breeding, with the real possibility that serious health problems are responsible for the small size, and not selective breeding.

Today’s modern and larger Beagle was developed in 1830 in Essex by Revereand Phillip Honeywood. Its careful development has produced a balanced, healthy and hardy dog, with few inherited health problems.

The Beagle through history

The Beagle was primarily used for hunting, mostly on rough shoots, on foot alongside his master, tracking scents and hunting a variety of animals including game birds, rabbits, hares and even deer. The Beagle is believed to have one of the best senses of smell in the entire dog world, along with the 2 other scent experts, the Bloodhound and Basset Hound,

Today the Beagle is mostly kept as a companion pet, and has proved itself as a great all-round family pet. However the talented Beagle can still be found working throughout the world, making good use of its amazing sense of smell in specialised areas such as search and rescue missions and as a proficient detection dog, sniffing out illegal foods and substances. The sweet natured Beagle also excels as a therapy dog, working to improve the lives of many elderly, sick and disadvantaged people in care homes, hospitals and nursing homes etc.

Beagle Breed introduction and overview

The Beagle is an intelligent scent hound, that boasts one of the best senses of smell in the entire dog world.

The Beagle has been a popular choice of dog breed in recent years, In fact it proved to be the third most popular choice of dog in the hound group in 2015, with only the Whippet and Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund proving more popular. The reason for the popularity of this dog is partly due to the trusted reputation it’s established for being a wonderful family pet. It’s a medium sized dog, making it a practical choice for many modern family homes where space is limited.

The Beagle loves attention and is not a dog to be left alone for long periods. Separation anxiety is common in this breed, and can occur quickly and without warning if the dog’s activity and stimulation levels are not met.

The Beagle is often confused with the Foxhound.

Beagles love their food, and portion sizes should be monitored to avoid the risk of obesity, that can be a problem in the breed.

Beagle temperament

The Beagle is an enthusiastic, alert dog that exudes an air of happiness and fun around the home. It thrives on the hustle and bustle of active family life, and forms strong and loving bonds with family members.

The adaptable Beagle mixes well with children of all ages, other dogs, and with good socialisation and training from an early age, may be perfectly content living with cats and even smaller pets under strict supervision.

The breed can be stand offish and suspicious of strangers, but never aggressive. It’s a fairly bold dog around the home, but not a good guard dog, although likely to bark to warn of potential perceived threat!

Colour Varieties of the Beagle

The beagle comes in a wide variety of colours and markings including:

  • 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

Size and weight of the Beagle

Height bitch 33-41cms

Height dog 33-41cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 9-10kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 10-11kgs

Exercise requirements of the Beagle

An energetic and athletic breed that requires at least 2 hours of vigorous exercise daily off the lead. The breed is driven by scent, and distracted Beagles can quickly forget or ignore recalls from owners and disappear for lengthy periods into the distance. Walking areas should ideally be safe and secluded, and away from busy roads.

Gardens should be spacious, escape proof and secure, with plenty of space for exercise and play for this athletic dog.

Is the Beagle a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No. The Beagle’s reputation for roaming and poor recall may prove frustrating to the inexperienced owner of scent hounds such as the Beagle. Training should be ongoing from an early age and form part of the regular daily routine for these instinctive hunters.

Beagle coat length and grooming requirements

The coarse, short coat is dense and low maintenance.The short no-fuss coat requires little grooming, although a regular brushing with a good quality bristle brush or chamois leather will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

The breed is an ideal all-weather dog to walk, as the dense weather-proof coats acts as a barrier from water and mud, and the dirtiest, wettest dog soon dries and mud simply vanishes!

Hypoallergenic?

No. The Beagle sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Beagle

The Beagle has managed to avoid many of the health problems that are common in many similar breed types. Speak to your breeder about the known health issues in the breed:

  • Epilepsy
  • Ear problems
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable breeder where you can be guaranteed that it has beenbred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed. Always ask to see both mum and dad, when viewing a litter of puppies.

Average lifespan of the Beagle

A healthy Beagle can expect to enjoy an expected lifespan of between 12-15 years.

Approximate Beagle pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £1,000 for a puppy, and litters are normally available. Litter sizes are unpredictable and variable, with litters of just 2 puppies, up to 14. There were 2,424 beagle puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Estimating how much a Beagle would need to be fed each day

A dog or bitch weighing between 10kgs requires around 185gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog or bitch weighing 10kgs will cost around £3.50 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket on the high street. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for regular routine pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment