Beagles are wonderful companions with their small, compact size and merry, fun loving temperament. With their beautiful big brown eyes and soft tricolor coat, there’s no denying that Beagles are among the cutest dogs in the world… and given their cheerful, exuberant, and affectionate demeanor they make for wonderful loving family pets and generally get along well with adults, kids, and other dogs. Beagles also make for great apartment dogs, so long as they receive enough exercise. Beagles require at least 1-hour of exercise per day and can get become mischievous when left home alone without enough fresh air. And the backyard is no substitute for exercise, Beagles still get stir crazy in the backyard, howling and digging excessively, and are also great escape artists.
Alongside the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, the beagle has one of the most powerful senses of smell of any dog, and are often used in airports to detect food and drugs. Despite moving into other lines of work, they are still most commonly used for tracking and hunting small game. Being that Beagles are hounds, they can be quite stubborn in nature and tend to be more challenging to train than most dogs. Originally bred as scent hounds to track rabbits, with a sense of smell 44-times stronger than humans, their powerful sense of smell has been known to lead Beagles on a path of their own, entirely oblivious to their owners and the rest of the world.
Beagles have a unique and incredibly loud howl, called a Baying Howl, with more than enough potential to wake up an entire block. Although it might seem like a sign of discomfort, stress, or aggression, the Beagle baying howl is actually an expression of prey drive that dates back to their history as hunters and pack animals. However, and very unfortunately, the Beagle baying howl is the most common reason these breeds are turned over to rescue organizations.
The specific origin of the beagle is largely unknown, however most likely dates back to the 11th century in Britain when the St. Hubert Hound and Talbot Hound were bread with Greyhounds to improve their speed for hunting. Miniature breeds of beagle-type dogs began to emerge in the 1300’s when British royalty had packs of Glove Beagles and Pocket Beagles, which were named due to their size… with an ability to fit on a glove or in a pocket. By the 18th century the Southern Hound and the North Country Beagle emerged as rabbit and hare hunting dogs. These early breeds were larger than today’s Beagle, standing taller and heavier, but with a similar head and long soft ears, and with Greyhound-like stamina and Beagle-like sense of smell.
Beagles range in size from 33 to 41 cm tall and typically weigh between 18 and 35 lbs. Their eyes are large and hazel or brown in colour. Beagles have large, soft, long ears and a muscular body with a broad chest that tapers at the waist, and their long slightly curved tail stands erect with a white tip. Their medium-length, smooth, hard coat is white with large black areas and tan shading. Tricolor beagles are usually born without any tan, which sets as the puppy matures, and can take up to 2-years to fully develop.
Beagles are cheerful, outgoing, and affectionate. Despite their merry demeanour, Beagles are also known to have a naughty side, they can be stubborn when they don’t get their way and can quickly develop bad habits around food. It’s important to start training as early as possible, but you might have a tough time training out their selective hearing and incredibly loud howl. Beagles are highly food motivated and will respond best to positive reinforcement, successfully training a beagle will require you turn everything a game, they respond much better to positive, fun games than stern commands to help hold their attention. Beagles will eat almost anything and will try almost anything to get a morsel of food. Due to their long history as hunting dogs, Beagles demand exercise, they are not suited to sit around all day. The less exercise the more you can expect barking, howling, digging, and other mischievous behavior.
The Beagle is a high energy dog breed that requires at least 1-hour of daily activity and 20kms of exercise per week! Beagles have a tendency to become bored much quicker than most dog breeds, it is therefore recommended that they receive at least 2-walks per day to satisfy their mental stimulation requirements. When it comes to Beagle ownership, the backyard is no substitute for exercise, without enough exercise Beagles will become restless in the backyard and their mischievous may emerge.
If your Beagle is being shortchanged of their daily or weekly exercise requirements it might be time to consider hiring a professional dog walker? When it comes to finding the best dog walker for your Beagle, Spot Dog Walking is the safest, easiest, and most reliable solution!
With Spot, walks are all private and on-leash to ensure your Beagle is always receiving the one-on-one attention they deserve. Dog walks are also conveniently available on your schedule, on-demand walkers can be booked with as little as 90-minutes notice, while a Spot recurring walker will provide consistency and are available on a weekly ongoing basis. So whether you need a dog walker every month or every day, a great dog walker for your Beagle is always just a few clicks away!
With their strong sense of smell and mischievous nature, it’s crucial to have a fenced backyard that is completely escape proof. Until your Beagle has very well-trained recall, on-leash dog walks are highly recommended to avoid running away, be sure your dog has a microchip and is always wearing their collar with ID tags… if a scent is attractive enough, your Beagle just might not be able to resist! If your dog is trained using positive reinforcement (the recommended method for Beagles) be sure never to leave the treats behind when out walking. As your Beagle ages, they might seem content with a reduced level of activity, but don’t let this fool you, Beagles are prone to obesity and require at least an hour of outdoor exercise per day, even in their later years.
Beagles have an average lifespan of 12-15 years and are generally very healthy dogs. The most common major conditions in Beagles are primary carnitine deficiency and intervertebral disk disease. The breed is also susceptible to patellar luxation, glaucoma, epilepsy, central progressive retinal atrophy (CPRA), hypothyroidism, distichiasis, chondrodysplasia, cherry eye, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). A few other health problems that arise in Beagles are deafness, cataract, hemophilia A, demodicosis, and umbilical hernia.
Fortunately, Beagles are very easy to care for in terms or their hygiene and grooming. Brushing 1-2 times per week with a hound mitt should suffice and should help mitigate excessive shedding. Unfortunately, Beagles do shed year-round so frequent brushing is not a seasonal endeavor. Luckily, Beagles do not develop much odor and don’t require frequent bathing, once every few months should be plenty unless they roll in fish, garbage, or dung. It’s important to keep their ears clean and their nails regularly trimmed, ear cleaning should occur at least weekly while nails are best trimmed every 2-weeks.