12 - 15 years - although some have lived to be 18 years old.
2 -14 puppies with the average being 7 puppies
Hound, AKC Hound
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Tri-color, Black/Tan, Orange/White, Lemon/White, Red/White. Beagles appear in a range of colors including two-color and three-color variietes, very light tan, reddish, and orangish brown. They often have different colored spots on their coats known as "ticking".
14 - 16 inches (36 - 41 cm.)
22 -25 pounds (10 - 11 kg.)
13 - 15 inches (33 - 38 cm.)
20 - 23 pounds (9 - 10 kg.)
Beagles are small enough to fare well in an apartment but enjoy their time in the outdoors as well. They are very active and energetic and may feel cooped up in a small home or apartment. A small yard to play in is ideal for these dogs since they need fresh air and exercise on a daily basis. These dogs do not do well being chained up all day, and will enjoy a variety of activities with their owners and guardians.
The Beagle is an easy-to-care for dog, as it is a small and sturdy hound that is squarely built and a hardy breed. The Beagle can come in a variety of colors including black and tan, orange and white, and most commonly a tri-color. The Beagle's coat is hard and of medium length; hair grows steadily and rarely needs trimming.
It looks very similar to a smaller version of an English Foxhound with a broad skull and slightly rounded head. The muzzle is typically straight and square, and the feet are round and strong. The Beagle has a black nose and full nostrils that are ideal for scenting. Long wide ears are a pendant shape, and the characteristic pleading expression has made it famous. Brown and hazel eyes give it a love struck and innocent look, and the tail is carried high and tight; it is rarely curled over the back.
The Beagle has a characteristic bark that is almost like a distinct howl. While training can limit this obtrusive noise, the beagle is often on the hunt and uses this as part of its routine.
The Beagle's coat is short and easy to take care of. It is sleek and smooth and offers the dog plenty of protection year round. The coat is close to the body and of medium length. These hounds can come in tri-color, black and tan, orange and white, and other color combinations. They are generally not bred in solid colors.
The Beagle is originally from England and is famously one of the most popular scent hounds. It has a sweet and merry disposition with a high level of energy. It is willing to share affection and attention with owners, family members, and other dogs in its pack. It has originated as a cross between the Harrier and other hounds of old England, and has been used in pack hunts and in pairs. It was originally used for hunting hare, pheasant, and quail. These dogs also make excellent narcotics detection dogs and are wonderful fine family companions. Since these dogs are uniform in size and quite small, they may also be used for a variety of medical experiments.
Possible ancestors for this dog include the Talbot hound from Great Britain which is now instinct. In addition, the black and tan Irish Kerry Beagles are another possible link for these beagles, as well as the Bloodhound. The Kerry Beagles may explain the strong scenting ability of Beagles that we know of them today. The word "Beagle" is derived from the French word "beguele" meaning "open throat". The French or Welsh term "beag" means small, and other variations have been noted.
Most Beagles have been used for hunting purposes, and were often used in hare hunting in old England. Beagles were often raised in packs of over 100 hare hounds to help in the battlefield of the Hundred Years' War. "Beagling" is considered a sport that is similar to foxhunting in scope, and has been banned in England; in the United States and Canada, Beagles are commonly used for hunting hare and deer. Beagles were not always used as a Beagle pack, and the hunter beagle is usually proficient with chasing and stalking.
In modern day, these dogs are commonly used as sniffer dogs for recreational drug use detection. They are the breed of choice by the United States Department of Agriculture and are often involved with detecting food items in luggage. They were originally chosen for these types of assignments because of their small size and easy maintenance. They are also not as intimidating for most people around dogs, and easily help to adjust and socialize within their domain. Because of their passive nature, they are commonly used in animal testing.
Highly intelligent and openly happy, the Beagle is one of the most expressive breeds. It is gentle, lively, curious, and sweet and manages to attach itself to anyone giving it attention and affection. This highly sociable dog is excellent for families with young children and will bond immediately with children and adults of all ages. They are also generally good with other dogs as well, but cannot be trusted with non-canine pets.
Cats and other small animals can become quick prey for Beagles and they may not socialize well with these animals. Other household animals should be kept out of the Beagle's way as they can become very watchful, suspicious, and anti-social with other animals. Beagles are determined and lively, and may require extra training to make sure their behavior is appropriate. Since they are highly sociable, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They will be more likely to become destructive and even neurotic if they are left alone for too long, and it may be helpful to adopt another Beagle just to keep it company.
The Beagle's signature cry has helped with hunting and other outdoors sports for years. Hunting horsemen in particular attune to the loud baying cry of the Beagle but this can easily be offensive to neighbors and family members. Beagles must be trained to control their bark, and this may be especially difficult for younger generations of the breed. These dogs have an instinctive nature to follow their noises and will travel great lengths if they are left off their leash. It is best to keep them in a fenced in area with plenty of security and a watchful eye.
Beagles are intelligent, lively, and ready to learn. They adapt quickly to their environments and will pick up behaviors readily. They need to be socialized at an early age, and cannot be left alone for lengthy periods of time. They fare well in packs or with other dogs of the same breed, and thoroughly enjoy the company of family, owners, and friends. Beagles have very good tempers and a natural, gentle disposition. They tend to get aggressive during their first heat cycle but also adapt relatively quickly.
The Beagle is a hardy breed and is generally healthy; although they may go through phases of unhealthy conditions, they adapt to their environments and conditions fairly quickly and tend to cure well. A few special medical conditions to be aware of include:
The Beagle's smooth and short-haired coat is easy to maintain and requires very little grooming. Brushing the dog with a firm bristle brush on a regular basis is all that is necessary to maintain their glossy coat. They will need to be bathed with mild soap on occasion, and a dry shampoo is all it takes to keep them healthy and clean. It is important to take the Beagle to the Vet on a regular basis to check for signs of infection. Keeping nails trim and neat is important since these dogs are naturally active and require freedom of movement. The Beagle is an average shedder and shedding takes place a few times each year to reveal a fresh coat.
It is best to comb or brush the coat at least once per week, and shedding will take care of any remaining hairs and dirt. These dogs are generally low maintenance and can take care of themselves for the most part. Checking for ticks and other insects is especially important after the dog has been out in the wild for an extended period of time.
Beagles have a high amount of energy and great stamina; they need a lot of exercise to keep up their energy levels and a small fenced yard is most suitable for them. A daily walk is essential, and this can take place in the early morning or late evening. Running with the dog is a great way to stay active and Beagles enjoy exploring new territory and parks. It is best to keep these dogs on a leash so that you do not run the risk of losing them in search of wild game. The Beagle requires plenty of attention and an ongoing exercise regimen to stay healthy.
Beagles have plenty of energy indoors too, and require some stimulation since they are naturally curious. They may turn to destructive behavior if left unattended, and they will gladly play fetch or play with other toys with family members. The Beagle enjoys running, walking, and swimming on occasion. They still revel in the thrill of the hunt, and will disappear for hours if left unattended.
Beagles can be trained to do tricks and perform various skills, but this may take some time due to their transient and energetic nature. They adore attention, so positive reinforcement can prove to be very helpful for the young pups.
Beagles are a smart breed of dog and can be trained very quickly. Many are trained to hunt rabbits at a very young age, and an intensive training session and progressive steps for specific goals will work well for them. Beagles are considered to be the oldest breed of gundogs in the world, but they are very well suited for rabbit and hare hunting. Many breeders focus on tracking and hunting rabbits with their Beagles, and they do have many qualities that can make them competitive and even showdogs in some stages.
Beagle pups can be trained as early as 6 - 8 weeks of age and will easily adapt to different forms of training. They have a very short attention span so it is important to keep these sessions to approximately 10 - 15 minutes, and not more than two or three times per day. Constant positive feedback and generous affection are usually all that are needed for the puppy to concede and follow your guidelines. These dogs can become tame and docile very easily when you teach them how to appreciate your respect and guidance. These dogs are not difficult for the average person to train, but the process does require patience and persistence with frequent training sessions.
Socialization is incredibly important for these energetic dogs, and they can adjust fairly quickly in social situations and with other dogs. Young puppies can be led to school on a leash and trained on a grooming table. They are likely to pick up new tricks very quickly and it is important that these dogs learn positive behaviors as soon as possible. Beagles enjoy games and activities and will respond well to reinforcement when they are alert and engaged in activities.
Teaching training in logical steps will help make the necessary transitions and can clear the way for consistency which is especially important for puppies. Running the dogs on a daily basis will help them to learn as much as possible for hunting and racing purposes. The dogs are competitive but fun to work with; they respond well to positive motivation and reinforcement. Consistent feedback and attention will make it easier to train the Beagle, even if it is not of a very young age.