Beagle

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 1, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit Przemek Iciak/Shutterstock.com

Have become popular family pets!

Beagle Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Beagle Conservation Status

Beagle Locations

Beagle Locations

Beagle Facts

Temperament
Gentle and intelligent but stubborn
Training
Should be trained in obedience from an early age due to their stubborn nature
Diet
Omnivore
Average Litter Size
7
Common Name
Beagle Dog
Slogan
Have become popular family pets!
Group
Hound

Beagle Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
Hair

Beagle as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
High
Separation Anxiety
Low
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Dog group
Sporting
Male weight
- lbs
Female weight
- lbs

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Beagles are energetic, friendly dogs known for their loyalty. These hounds are popular with families due to their curiosity, fun-loving personality and, of course, their sweet faces! 

The history of the beagle is believed to date all the way back to 5th century Greece. These dogs hunted alongside their owners in search of foxes, rabbits, and other small prey. In the 1500s, beagles became well-known in England as they traveled out in packs with English gentlemen in search of deer, rabbits, and foxes. This dog’s persistence, excellent sense of smell and loud howling bark made it a helpful companion for hunters. 

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They are popular dogs for families who can give them lots of exercise and space to run. Learn more about the best dog breeds for families with children here.

The Different Types of Beagles and Beagle Mixes

There are quite a few Beagle crossbreeds, including:

3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Beagle

Pros!Cons!
An adaptable breed thanks to its small size: They rarely grow to more than 30 pounds. This small size provides versatility for a number of living conditions.
Loud: The name beagle is believed to come from the French word for “open throat,” and it’s easy to see why. They can be very loud and ‘howl’ much more than other dog breeds.
Playful and kid-friendly: They are one of the most playful dog breeds in the world! They’re affectionate, kid-friendly, play well with other dogs, and generally welcoming to strangers!
Challenging to train: They are a bit stubborn and this makes them challenging to train. The most challenging part is keeping a the dogs attention on you during training and not on the scents flowing around them.
(Relatively) easy to groom:
While all dogs have grooming needs, the beagles short coat makes grooming much less complicated than other dog breeds.
Exercise needed: If left alone without exercise beagles can begin acting out and destroying homes. If you’re unable to provide ample exercise for your dog, you. may want to consider alternative breeds.



Beagle standing in a field

The most challenging part is keeping a beagle’s attention on you during training and not on the scents flowing around them.

Alexey Androsov/Shutterstock.com

Beagle Size and Weight

A beagle is a small to medium sized dog with short hair. Male beagles grow to be about 15 inches tall while a female reaches a height of 14 inches. As an adult, a male weighs 26 pounds, and an adult female weighs 23 pounds. Puppies at 7 weeks old weigh around 4 pounds. A beagle is considered fully grown at 18 months old.

Health and Entertainment for your Beagle

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Beagles are voracious eaters and can become overweight if diets aren’t tightly controlled.

Height (male):15 inches
Height (female):14 inches
Weight (male):26 pounds
Weight (female):23 pounds

Beagle Common Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, beagles have a few common health issues that include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cherry eye
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Mange

We’ll explore each common health issue in more detail.

First is hypothyroidism. This condition causes an imbalance with a beagle’s metabolism. Fast weight gain, loss of fur and a lack of energy are all possible signs pointing to hypothyroidism. This condition is most common in older dogs and can shorten its lifespan. 

Cherry eye is another common health issue for beagles. When the tissue containing the tear gland of this dog moves out of place it takes on a cherry-like appearance at one edge of the dog’s eye. It’s important to get your beagle’s cherry eye treated because it can lead to infection. Beagles of any age can get cherry eye. 

Pulmonic stenosis, or heart disease, is another health issue faced by some older beagles. Difficulty breathing, lack of energy and a bloated abdomen are all symptoms. This condition can shorten its lifespan. 

Mange is a skin condition common to beagles. It causes bald spots on a dog’s coat especially near its head.

Beagle Temperment

Beagles have a friendly personality. A constantly wagging tail is one way a beagle shows love for its family. This dog enjoys being petted and fussed over by adults and kids alike. An energetic temperment means it’s always up for a rowdy playtime!

One of the most notable traits of this breed is the ability to chase a scent. These dogs seem to pick up all of the scents around them and sometimes can’t decide which one to follow first! This trait ties into the overflowing curiosity that’s a hallmark of this dog’s personality. A common behavior of a beagle is to put its nose down and push it along the ground to follow a scent.

No list of beagle traits is complete without mentioning its loud, echoing bark. This is how they alerted a group of hunters when they found a rabbit, deer, or other prey in the woods. They can also use this bark to alert owners of a stranger on the property. This makes beagles excellent watchdogs. However, the amount of howling can be a concern for families sensitive to noise or with nearby neighbors. If you’re looking to own this dog, be prepared for training to minimize howling if noise is a concern.

How to Take Care of a Beagle

A pet owner who takes in a beagle needs to understand that getting plenty of exercise is a big part of this dog’s care. They are energetic and need to stretch their legs for at least an hour each day to maintain good health. 

In addition, beagles from their puppy years to adulthood are social creatures. So, playing with them, spending time with them and taking them to the dog park to visit other dogs are important aspects of their care.

The Best Dog Food for Beagles

Not surprisingly, the nutritional needs of a puppy are different from an adult beagle. Small to medium-sized dogs like beagles can easily take on too much weight when they’re fed the wrong food, too much food, or both. Dry dog food is appropriate for both puppies and adult beagles. 

Puppy beagle diet: Puppies need dry food containing calcium and phosphorus to help develop strong teeth, bones, and joints. DHA is an essential fatty acid that helps a puppy to develop good eyesight and increase brainpower. Healthy fats also help in maintaining a beagle’s coat which can prevent skin issues such as mange. Fish, whole meats, and poultry provide protein helping puppies gain the right amount of weight and develop muscle. Puppies should eat 2 cups of dry food per day (one cup in the morning and one in the evening). See our top choice for puppy food here.

Adult beagle diet: A poor diet that’s high in fat can contribute to hypothyroidism and Pulmonic stenosis (heart disease) in aging dogs. Food for adult pets should contain a balance of protein and essential fatty acids such as fish oil and sunflower oil. Brown rice in adult dog food contributes fiber to an adult beagle’s diet. Avoid dog foods with cereal and meat by-products. These are fillers that contain little to no nutrients and can add excessive weight to your growing dog. Adding grated carrots or pumpkin to your adult pet’s mix of dry food is enticing and can help to prevent eye issues such as cherry-eye. An adult dog should eat one cup of dry food per day (1/2 cup in the morning and ½ cup in the evening).

Always consult the vet, but since Beagles can be prone to pulmonic stenosis, it might be wise to avoid dog food containing legumes, because of a link between heart failure and legumes in dog food. So, consider one of the legume-free dog foods for your Beagle. We compiled a complete list of the best food for your active beagle here.

At A-Z Animals, we feel good about pointing Beagle owners toward Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Classic Kibble Dry Dog Food.

You won’t have to worry about troublesome legumes like peas and lentils. Instead, you can trust that your Beagle is getting plenty of protein, healthy fat, and amino acids like taurine for heart health from three high-quality protein sources- chicken, turkey, and duck. Plus, treat your Beagle to the health benefits of zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, riboflavin, and more for head-to-tail wellness.

You can find Stella and Chewy’s Wild Red Classic Kibble here.

Best Overall
Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Classic Kibble
  • Complete nutrition for Goldendoodles
  • Contains chicken, duck, and turkey
  • Free of legumes
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Maintenance and Grooming

How much do beagles shed? They shed an average to above average amount of hair. Plus, they shed more during certain seasons. Maintaining a good grooming routine can help a family to reduce the amount of hair on the sofa in their house.

Brush your pet every other day using a pet brush with natural bristles. Be sure to press firmly with the brush to remove loose and dead hair from your beagle’s coat. Start at your beagle’s head and brush in the natural direction of your dog’s coat ending up at its tail. A grooming glove is another item that’s effective at removing loose hair. Most grooming gloves and brushes are available for an inexpensive price. Grooming your dog every other day can help to keep its coat healthy while preventing skin conditions like mange. As a note, most beagles love to be brushed and it’s a chance to build trust with your new pet. 

Cleaning a beagle’s ears should be included in its grooming routine. Use a cotton ball to apply an ear cleaning solution made for dogs to the inside of each ear. Be sure to get a fresh cotton ball for each ear to avoid spreading bacteria. 

Brushing a beagle’s teeth should be another step in its grooming routine. A regular toothbrush can be used but it’s necessary to purchase toothpaste designed for dogs. Toothpaste used by people has ingredients harmful to dogs. Many dogs are uncertain about this process, but if you talk softly to your dog while gently brushing its teeth it is likely to become accustomed to the process. There are dental chews you can give your pet to clean its teeth. Most beagles like them because they’re tasty!

Training

Beagles are smart dogs, but they can be challenging to train. The challenge is keeping a beagle’s attention on you during training and not on the scents flowing around them. They can be stubborn during training if they are focused on a scent. By contrast, a Border collie is easy to train because it’s able to focus on its owner without being distracted by the scents around it. Using delicious treats as incentive during training can help keep your beagle’s attention. Finding something that keeps your beagle’s attention is going to make obedience training a lot easier.

Exercise

Your dog needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy. They should receive at least an hour of outdoor exercise time each day. These social dogs so they can be taken to dog parks to run around with other dogs. They are ideal dogs for families with a fenced-in yard. A fenced-in yard is important because this breed of dog has a tendency to wander especially while following an interesting scent.

They can live in an apartment, but it’s not an ideal living arrangement. An owner would have to take their pet out to walk or to a park to run instead of simply letting it outside into a fenced yard. Plus, beagles have a tendency to bark loudly and even howl. This could present an issue with neighbors in other apartments. 

Beagles are happy to romp and play all sorts of games with family members. They like to play chase, fetch, and go for walks in the woods.

Beagle Puppies

Puppies need exercise just as adult beagles do. Puppies are even more curious than adult beagles so it’s best to allow them to exercise in a fenced-in area where you can monitor their activities to ensure they’re safety.
Getting your puppy on a regular feeding schedule as well as feeding them in the same place can create a foundation for continued obedience training.

Beagle puppy standing in the grass

Beagles are one of the most playful dog breeds in the world! They’re affectionate, kid-friendly, play well with other dogs, and generally welcoming to strangers!

Sigma_S/Shutterstock.com

Beagle and Children

Beagles are considered to be good dogs for families with or without children. They are friendly and energetic, so they make great playmates for active children. Of course, there are always exceptions but for the most part they are good with kids of all ages. 

Dogs Similar to Beagles

Dogs that are similar to this breed include the Basset Hound, Bloodhound and Afghan hound

  • Basset Hound: Basset Hounds share a lot of the same colors as beagles. They can be a mix of black, brown, and white though beagles usually have three colors while Basset Hounds have two. Basset Hounds also have an excellent sense of smell. 
  • Bloodhound: Bloodhounds are loyal and affectionate like beagles. Also, they are social dogs and have a loud, echoing bark.
  • Afghan Hound: Look at an Afghan Hound and a beagle and it’s difficult to see any similarities. But both of these dogs are similar in temperament because they can be difficult to train due to a lack of focus and stubbornness. Afghan Hounds can be effectively trained with the help of incentives (treats) just like beagles can. 
  • Copper 
  • Lucy 
  • Daisy
  • Bailey
  • Buddy
  • Max
  • Penny
  • Charley
  • Bella
  • Riley

Famous Beagles

Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in America, routinely ranking in the 10 most popular breeds tracked by the American Kennel Club. Thanks to that popularity, there have been a number of “famous” beagles thought the years.

  • Lyndon Johnson owned two pet beagles named “his” and “her.”
  • The cartoon character Snoopy was a beagle!
  • Celebrity beagles: Barry Manilow owns a pair of beagles named “Biscuit” and “Bagel” while Jack Gyllenhaal owns a beagle mix!

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson kept two beagles named “his” and “her.” The beagle duo became well-known throughout America in the 1960s as they were featured in pictures with LBJ throughout the press!

The most famous non-living beagle was none other than Snoopy! While Snoopy may not look entirely like the breed, he was inspired by one named ‘Spike’ that was the pet of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.

Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Beagle FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does a beagle cost to own?

The initial price of a beagle ranges from $500 to $850. But it’s a good idea to check your local animal shelter to see if it has any beagles or perhaps a beagle mix up for adoption. This would mean a less expensive initial price.

The food cost for a beagle is about $10 a week. The price of the brand you buy affects the total cost. Vaccinations and yearly checkups at the veterinarian cost between $200 and $400 for beagles. Of course, vets differ in what they charge for these medical services.

Are beagles good with kids?

Yes, these dogs are good with kids of all ages.

How long do beagles live?

The lifespan of a beagle ranges from 12 to 15 years. Of course, a beagle that’s well cared for by its family can live a lot longer than 15 years!

Are Beagles herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Beagles are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the order Carnivora.

What genus do Beagles belong to?

Beagles belong to the genus Canis.

What type of covering do Beagles have?

Beagles are covered in Hair.

How many babies do Beagles have?

The average number of babies a Beagle has is 7.

What is an interesting fact about Beagles?

Beagles have become popular family pets!

What is the scientific name for the Beagle?

The scientific name for the Beagle is Canis lupus.

What is the difference between a beagle and a pocket beagle?

The most noticeable difference between the pocket beagle and beagle is their size! The pocket beagle is almost exactly half the size of the regular beagle, coming in at as little as 7 inches tall and the same weight.

What is the difference between a beagle and a Basset Hound?

Both the beagle and the basset hound are tricolor hunting breeds and are about the same size. However, despite their similarities, there are an equal amount of differences to help set them apart. For instance, despite having the same shoulder height, the basset hound has an entirely different body proportion than the beagle. The basset hound is also about 46 to 89 percent heavier than the largest beagle. Due to their reduced number of health conditions, however, beagles are expected to live longer than Basset Hounds.

What's the difference between a Beagle and a Jack Russell?

There are many differences between a Jack Russell and a Beagle. Beagles are larger than Jack Russells on average, and Jack Russells are more territorial than Beagles are.

What are the key differences between beagles and foxhounds?

The key differences between beagles and foxhounds are health concerns, size, level of affection, energy level, dietary needs.

Sources
  1. AKC Breed information: Beagle, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/
  2. Dog Groomers Beagle Grooming Guide, Available here: http://www.doggroomers.com/how-often-should-you-groom-your-beagle/

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