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The Beagle's small size, calm temperament, and pleasing attitude have made it a favorite dog among many families and law enforcement.

Overall Status

Height 13 inches & under, 13-15 inches
Temperament Friendly, Curious, Merry
Weight 20 to 35 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 16 years
Coat Color Black and Tan, Red, Tricolor, White
Barking Level Likes To Be Vocal

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Beagles are easy-care dogs who don’t need a lot of fancy grooming. A good going-over with a hound mitt once or twice a week removes dead hairs and helps keep them from migrating to clothing and furniture. And that’s the bad news: Beagles shed year-round. The good news: unless your Beagle rolls in something stinky, which is a strong possibility, he shouldn’t need a bath more than three or four times a year.

Keep your Beagle’s droopy ears clean with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.

`Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Exercise Tips

Beagles need a lot in the way of exercise and they also need to be given a lot of mental stimulation to the truly happy, well-balanced dogs. This means a good hour a day and ideally, this needs to be twice a day. They also benefit from being allowed to roam around a secure garden as much as possible, but the fencing needs to be "Beagle proof" because they are known to be skilled escape artists when the mood takes them.

  • Walks – Pleasant strolls, leisurely or brisk, are fine with these dogs.

  • Fetch– Active games like this are good for 15 or 20 minutes.

  • Hiking– a great/horrible activity for Beagles. Great because Beagles are built for walking a long time. And there are enough new sights, sounds and scents (especially scents) in the woods to interest this dog and stimulate his brain. These are the same reasons why a hikecouldbe horrible – an overstimulated dog. Make sure your Beagle is trained for obedience or be sure to use a lead.

  • Dog parks– Beagles tend to be social animals. If yours is, a romp in the park with some friends can give him a little workout.

  • Agility– a mental challenge and fun because of the different activities involved. If your dog is distractable, train for fun.

Feeding Tips

If you get a Beagle puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule for your new pet and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same type of food to a puppy to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upset and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change their food again.

A mature Beagle needs to be fed a good quality, well-balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives. It's also important to keep a close eye on their weight because as previously mentioned, Beagles are prone to put on weight which means limiting the number of rewards they are given even during their training.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

Health Tips

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.

Responsible breederswillscreentheir breeding stock for health conditions such aship dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, luxating patella (a dislocated kneecap), and eye disorders. As with all breeds, a Beagle’s ears should be checked weekly, andthe teethshould be brushed regularly.


As with all dogs, earlysocializationand puppy training classesare a must.Treatsare a huge aid in training. Beagles do not respond well to harsh techniques, but patience, positive reinforcement, and even a little creativity will win out in the end.

Though at heart they are independent hunting dogs, Beagles are very suitable pets for the home. They are stubborn by nature and learn best from obedience classes. Beagles are eager to please and behave well once trained, aside from the occasional mischief.

Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They’re successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.


The origins of this ancient breed have been the subject of conjecture for centuries. Even the breed name is a shrouded in mystery. Some experts say it derives from the Gaelic word beag (“little”), while others point to the French term for the sound hounds make while hunting: be’geule.

Early Beagles looked different depending on the type of ground over which they were expected to hunt. Houndsmen who lived in the gentle countryside of southern England produced slow and ponderous dogs. Beagles from the rougher terrain of Britain’s border with Scotland were agile with lots of endurance. In the early nineteenth century, breeders worked to standardize the breed so they would have a more uniform appearance and temperament. But even today, they aren’t that different from the Beagles of 200 years ago. If one of those dogs were to come forward into the future, you would still recognize him as a Beagle, and the same is true if a modern Beagle were to be transported to the past.

Beagles imports began arriving in America in the years after the Civil War, and their popularity among U.S. rabbit hunters was immediate. The AKC registered its first Beagle, named Blunder, in 1885. To this day, “beaglers” in woodsy areas of North America still swear by their breed’s great nose, musical voice, and enthusiastic approach to rabbit hunting.

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