Few dogs are as iconic as the world-famous Beagle. Comact, affectionate and keenly intelligent, Beagles are the ideal canine companion. The Beagles history can be traced as far back as 2500 years ago, when hounds like the Beagle were bred by the Ancient Greeks as scent hounds to track small game.
Beagles possess one of the most powerful noses in the animal kingdom, capable of tracking small game over incredible distances, and with surprising accuracy.
Little has changed in the many long years the Beagle has been hunting by our side, except the number of roles the Beagle has added to its canine resume. From preventing smugglers with its powerful nose, to detecting termite infestations, and pet therapy there are few canine roles the Beagle is not equipped to play.
Beagles are friendly, fun loving, and will jump at the first chance to follow their nose. They live to scent trace, leading many owners to create fun and interesting new games to play, socialize and train their Beagle to use its amazing scent tracking skill.
With its lovable personality, incredible nose and superior health, it’s no surprise that today the Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
Few days will be as exciting as the day you bring home your beagle puppy. Beagle puppies are friendly, affectionate and inquisitive. They will find mischief if you let them, so it’s essential for new beagle owners to prepared for the arrival of their new pooch.
The first few months of a Beagle's life are crucial to its latter emotional and physical health. For your puppy's introduction to go smoothly we recommend picking up the right puppy supplies. New owners will need puppy food, a puppy harness, crate and a leash.
This is also a great time for new owners to puppy-proof their home to ensure their new puppy does not harm themselves stumbling into a place they shouldn’t. All puppies require supervision, but instinctually driven beagle puppies need more than most.
Beagles puppies are just discovering all the amazing things their nose can do. They will not hesitate to follow their nose, or track down a scent, even if it is bound to get them into trouble. That said, Beagle puppies are full of energy and require at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Beagle puppies are prone to separation anxiety and may chew furniture or break excessively if left alone and not adequately exercised. They are very social and should not be away from their family for too long.
Beagles belong to the Hound breed group of canines. There are over 80 types of Hounds including the Dachshund, the Afghan Hound, and the Bloodhound. Hounds come in many different shapes and sizes making the breed group difficult to classify.
Due to this difficulty of classification a hound dog is predominantly characterized by the role it plays as a hunting companion to humans. The breed group can be broken into three subcategories of hound; sighthounds, scent hounds and hounds who track prey using a combination of scent and sight.
Hounds like the Beagle were initially developed by hunters to track and/or chase prey. They rely on sight, scent and sound to flush out prey from where it was hiding, chase it down and corner it for the hunter.
Hounds can be traced to Ancient Greece, where they were bred to scent, chase, and flush out small game like rabbits, foxes and badgers. Hounds are contrasted with gun dogs and retrievers who are utilized to various extents in different hunting roles.
A breed standard details the appearance and temperament of an officially recognized breed. The Beagle is officially recognized by all major kennel clubs and is therefore subject to a strict breed standard.
The Beagle gives the appearance of a miniature Foxhound; compact and solid with the “wear-and-tear” look of the hound that will scent trace and follow to its prey to the death if it must.
Beagles possess a smooth, somewhat domed skull with a medium-length muzzle, square-cut jaw and a black gumdrop nose. The Beagle's teeth scissor together with the upper teeth fitting perfectly over the lower teeth. Eyes are large, brown, and pleading. Ears are large, long, soft and low-set, and rounded at the ends.
The Beagles body is strong in substance but not overly muscular. Its neck and throat rise freely from the shoulders and are free from folds and wrinkles. Its shoulders are muscular and sloping with full freedom of motion. Chest is broad and deep, but never overly so. Ribs are well sprung.
The Beagles forelegs are straight and properly in proportion with the forefeet, which are round and firm with full hard pads. Hind legs are strong and well-muscled. Hocks are symmetrical and moderately bent. Hind feet are round and firm with full hard pads.
The Beagles tail is set moderately high with slight curve and happily carried. Its tail is short compared to other hounds. Hindquarters are muscular, strong and well-proportioned.
The Beagle’s coat characteristic of all hounds; close, hard and medium length. The color is also characteristics of any true hound; white with large black areas and light brown shading, two-colored red and white, tricolored white, black and red.
Beagles typically stand between 13 and 16 inches tall and weigh between 18 and 35 pounds. Females are generally slightly smaller than males.
Beagles have a gentle disposition and an even temper. Often described as merry, Beagles are affectionate, courageous and rarely aggressive. Beagles love company and do not typically enjoy being alone. Beagles are not good dog guards and are more likely to welcome than ward off an intruder.
Beagles are intelligent but also excitable, with a tendency to bark and howl. These are characteristics that make it great at tracking down game but are not always desirable to new owners. As hounds, Beagles are characteristically stubborn, determined and single-minded which can result in a difficult training process.
Beagles are easily bored and distracted and amongst the lower degrees of canine intelligence. Beagles are phenomenal with children and terrific family pets; however, they are prone to separation anxiety.
Beagles are generally considered a healthy breed; however, they are susceptible to a number of common canine health problems. Prospective Beagle owners should be aware of the common health issues and know how to care for and prevent the diseases of their pet.
The best way to ensure a long, happy and healthy life for your Beagle is by providing a safe environment, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a nutritious diet. With a healthy diet, a loving family, and a safe environment to live and play owners can expect their Beagle to live approximately 12 - 15 years on average.
Compared to some dog breeds, the beagle is a relatively low maintenance pooch. However, like all dogs, Beagles possess a number of breed specific characteristics that can make caring for one a challenging experience for first time dog owners.
Barking and Howling - Beagles are game hounds, bred to track game and signal their handlers once they have found the scent. They are also bred to live amongst other beagles who communicate via howling and barking. Therefore, it is very common for Beagles to howl and bark at just about anything that comes its way.
Avoid Injury - Smaller dogs, such as the Beagle are susceptible to back, hip and joint issues which can cause pain, bladder and bowel control problems, and even partial paralysis. To avoid future spinal issues, it’s best to prevent your Beagle from leaping off furniture or stairs. Baby gates and small ramps are a great way to keep a Beagle from needlessly over exerting itself.
All dogs have incredibly powerful noses and an acute sense of smell that they use to find food. However, the Beagle’s nose is the best of the best. For this reason, Beagles are not very discerning when it comes to food. To a Beagle; if it smells like food, it is food.
Therefore, it is very important that new Beagle owners keep a close eye on what their Beagle eats and make efforts to ensure their Beagle is not literally sniffing out food that it shouldn’t eat. However, your Beagles nose can also lead it to a lot fun.
A great way to entertain your Beagles brain and ensure its’ sniffing out the right food is by hiding a bowl of dry food in new places to sniff out. You will be amazed at your Beagles accuracy.
Beagles are also prone to obesity, which has a detrimental effect on the dog's overall health.
A canine diet rich in healthy proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins will ensure your Beagle remains healthy and full, and therefore less likely to overeat. Vets recommend a diet consisting of 22% protein, a healthy fat content of 5%-8% and foods rich in healthy, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
However, the best way to avoid obesity is by declining to feed your Beagle human food. Puppies rarely shy away from a snack, so it’s best to avoid feeding your Beagle from the table. Instead, implement a feeding schedule.
Weaning Age Puppies (4-7 weeks) should be free-fed through the entire weaning process until they reach the appropriate weight to be fed a structured diet. Free-feeding refers to the practice of leaving food out and available for your Beagle puppy to eat whenever they get hungry.
Starting at 6 to 8 weeks, gradually transition your Beagle to solid food over a period of 3 weeks. From 8 weeks on, it’s essential that Beagle puppies learn that food will no longer be provided constantly throughout the day.
Start your Beagle on moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven't finished. Puppies between the ages of 3 months and 1 year should be fed according to a structured diet, consisting of 3-4 meals of high-quality dog food, free of artificial ingredients.
Proper grooming is essential to the health of every dog. Beagles however, with their long floppy ears and tendency to sniff their way into dirty places stand to benefit the most from a regular grooming schedule.
As with most things puppy related, we recommend implementing a grooming regime from an early age. Beagles shed their coat twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall, luckily the Beagle’s coat is short and not hard to clean off of furniture or to groom.
Bathing - To bathe your Beagle simply lather up their coat using lukewarm water and dog shampoo. Rinse their coat thoroughly and repeat. We recommend applying dog conditioner after the second wash.
Brushing - Once your Beagle is clean use a blow-dryer to thoroughly dry their coat. Use a soft brush to gently remove tangles and clumps. Repeat this process until your Beagle is entirely dry and their coat lays straight.
Nails - Beagles who receive frequent outdoor exercise wear down their nails on hard surfaces like sidewalks. Beagles who are primarily indoor dogs will require regular nail clippings to prevent pain, discomfort, and possible infection.
Teeth- Beagles need their teeth brushed often to prevent tartar build up and painful decay. We recommend brushing your Beagles teeth once per day.
Ears - Beagle ears are floppy, and hang low to the ground, which makes them a potential breeding ground for a bacterial infection. For this reason, it is important for owners to regularly clean their Beagles ears.
Simply groom away any dirt or debris that has been caught up in/on its ears. Beagles also commonly grow hair in the inner ear which can cause discomfort. These hairs should be plucked, never cut.
Dog ear-cleaning solution should be used to clean the inside of the ear. Gently use a cotton ball to wipe the ear-cleaning solution into the inside ear to remove any waxy-build up. Don’t forget to look for signs of infection.
Beagles need regular exercise if they are to remain healthy, active and energetic. The three types of exercise that will maintain and improve your Beagles health, and quality of life are moderate physical, cardio exercise and mental exercise.
Moderate Physical Exercise - Beagles require at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise every day. A simple walk, or romp around the dog park for 30 minutes to an hour is enough to sate your beagles need for physical exercise and reduce the likelihood of obesity.
Cardiac Exercise - Beagles are bred to chase down scents and the game producing those scents. They have a broad, muscular chest powered by a powerful heart and lungs that require at least one round of vigorous cardio exercise to remain healthy.
A jog around town to the park to play fetch is a great way to ensure your Beagle gets its cardio, and also a great opportunity for your beagle to learn commands and familiarize itself with its environment.
Mental Exercise - To say Beagles are born to track is the literal truth. Beagles love nothing more than to track down a scent and see where it leads. Scent tracking is also a great way to expand your Beagles mind and mental capability. Scent games like “find the treat” and “track the ball” are great ways to play with your Beagle and provide mental stimulation.
When exercising your puppy outdoors remember that Beagles will always need a leash. Beagles have a very strong prey drive. They will chase after anything that catches their interest with surprising speed and are likely not to return unless you catch them.
Beagles are affectionate, loyal and intelligent; capable of incredible feats of obedience, athleticism and skill. However, they are also hounds, which means they are characteristically stubborn, if not single-minded.
The stubborn nature of the Hound breed group is a result of selective breeding. They are bred to pursue their quarry wherever it may run, and to the death if they must. This determination can lead to a challenging training process.
Not to worry. Training a new Beagle puppy is easy if you remember to be consistent, positive and have a little more determination than they do.
When housebreaking a Beagle puppy, the most important thing to remember when housebreaking is that beagles operate based on their instincts. Their instincts are influenced by the emotions of their owners.
Therefore, to ensure a smooth and successful housebreaking process, owners should be patient, and consistent. Use the same words and phrases to indicate when, where and how you want your puppy to do its business.
Start by walking the puppy to the area where in you would like it to do its business. Consistency is key, so bring the puppy to the same spot every time it shows sign that it needs to go.
Crate Training - Training your Beagle puppy to sleep in a crate at night ensures it won't find trouble while you sleep, or when you are away from the house. Crate training should be done in conjunction with potty training and other housebreaking lessons.
Don’t forget, it can take up to 6 months to fully housebreak a puppy.
Beagles are incredibly social pack animals who require regular socialization to ward off a undesired behaviors. In addition to regular walks, it’s important that a Beagle socialize so that it can experience positive social interactions with other pets, new family members and strangers.
The key to socializing any dog is ensuring it feels safe in its environment. If a puppy does not feel safe it will be prone to defensive behavior when presented with new situations, people, or pets.
We recommend assembling the family on the floor and letting the puppy come up to them. Treats ensure a positive experience for the puppy, but it's best to introduce any other pets, quietly and slowly.
The optimal time to obedience train a Beagle puppy is between 1 and 2 months. Beagles are incredibly affectionate, social and friendly, and puppies respond to calm confidence. So, stay calm and firm in your commands with your Beagle, and they will be obeying you in no time.
Use basic reward-based training principles like “sit” and “stay.” Every time your Beagle correctly executes a command reward them with a treat to reinforce the behavior. Do not punish your Beagle if, and when they fail a command. Simply regain their focus and try again until they are successful.
Do Beagle dogs bark a lot? Yes. Beagles bark a lot because they are scent hounds, bred to track game and signal their handlers once they have found the scent. Beagles are also known to frequently howl at passing sirens and other dogs.
Are Beagles aggressive? No. Beagles are not generally aggressive and are very friendly with kids and strangers. ting with any dog. As with all dogs, it is important the young children know and practice dog safety when interacting with any dog.
Are Beagles protective of their owners? Beagles are known to be protective of their environments, without being aggressive toward strangers. They are known to bark and bark, but rarely will a Beagle show aggression, which makes them fantastic watch dogs.
Do Beagles like to cuddle? Yes. Beagles are very affectionate.
Can Beagles be left alone? Beagle puppies are prone to separation anxiety and may chew furniture or break excessively if left alone and not adequately exercised. They are very social and should not be away from their family for too long. If you must leave your Beagle home alone it should not be more than a couple of hours.
What is the oldest Beagle? The oldest Beagle that we know of was Butch, who died at the ripe old age of 27 in 2009.
Do Beagles get cancer easily? Beagles are generally considered a healthy breed and less susceptible to disease than most. Unfortunately, cancer affects all canines, and Beagles are no more immune than any other breed.
Are Beagles loyal? Yes. Beagles are known to develop very strong bonds with their families.
How do you train a stubborn Beagle? To train a stubborn Beagle, owners need to be consistent with their commands, conduct regular training sessions, and have a positive attitude. Remember the goal of training is to gain the puppies obedience through positive reinforcement, not fear punishment.
Are Beagles better in pairs? We are yet to meet a Beagle that doesn't like a friend. Beagles are pack animals and do well very with other dogs.
Is a Beagle a good family pet? Yes. Beagles are incredibly affectionate, friendly and gentle with family members, especially children.
Do Beagles need a lot of attention? Yes. Beagles are energetic, instinctual and inquisitive by nature. A bored Beagle will literally sniff out trouble, which means regular attention from their families is essential.
Why do Beagles sniff so much? Your Beagle sniffs so much because it has one of the most powerful noses in the animal kingdom, capable of tracking small game over incredible distances, and with surprising accuracy. When your Beagles sniffs, it is smelling you, your family and everything in it environment, even the termites in the walls, and the soap on your skin.
The history of the modern Beagle can be traced to Ancient Greece, where the Beagles distant ancestor tracked and flushed game for its ancient handlers. The Beagles heritage is then traced to 8th century Europe, where the St. Hubert Hound, and the Talbot Hound were developed for hunting.
William the Conqueror brought the Talbot Hound to England in the 11 century where it is believed to have been bred with the Greyhound - in an effort to provide the dog with more speed - and where breeders cemented the Beagles coloring, bark and tracking ability into its pedigree.
As Europe and Britain moved from the Medieval era into the 16th and 17th centuries, hunting became less about survival, and more about sport. Fox hunting would become incredibly popular in 18th century Britain, and so would the search for the perfect hunting hound.
Breeders eventually discovered the perfect combination of hunting hounds, the Southern Hound, North Country Beagle and Foxhound; ancestors of the modern Beagle. The Beagle was finally recognized as an official breed in 1884 by the American Kennel Club.