Dogs resembling Beagles of various sizes have been popular for centuries. In its early years, the Beagle looked more like a straight-legged Basset Hound and was primarily white with a few dark markings but less attractive than the modern dog.
These larger Beagle-type dogs were called “Buck Hounds” and hunted deer. The smaller, more agile variety hunted smaller game, and these early Beagles were standouts for chasing bunnies.
Today, beagles are among the most popular breeds in the United States. The dogs are relatively easy to care for but require at least an hour or more of daily exercise.
If the dogs don’t get enough exercise, they can become destructive and dig, bark, or climb in an attempt to escape.
Beagles today remain just as “nosy” as their ancestors, and the modern version looks very much like a miniature version of the Foxhound but with longer, softer ears.
Beagles are known for their friendly nature and have been celebrated in film and cartoons. One of the most famous Beagles is Snoopy, belonging to the cartoon character Charlie Brown.
Cartoonists seem to find the Beagle appealing, and the breed has appeared in Family Guy (“Brian”) and Garfield. The character “Odie” is said to be part Beagle (and part brick!), and the brilliant “Mr. Peabody” in Rocky & Bullwinkle is a Beagle.
The actual dog lives up to his reputation — a great representative of the breed can be found in Uno, the Best In Show Westminster winner of 2008. Officially known as Champion K-Run’s Park Me in First, this gregarious dog increased the breed’s popularity as he traveled the country following his win and worked as a therapy dog.
Beagles are merry little dogs that consequently appeal to a wide range of folks and could be considered the dog-next-door in terms of a general doggy companion. Beagles typically stand between 13 inches and 15 inches at shoulder height. The pocket beagle is slightly smaller and stands at a shoulder height between 7 inches and 12 inches.
Because these dogs have a keen sense of smell, they can work as detection dogs. The dogs also work as drug sniffers at airports (without invoking the fear that some other breeds might foster) and work as therapy animals, termite sniffers, and all-around ball-chasers for the kids.
Beagles come in 13-inch and 15-inch varieties (the English standard is 16 inches, so a bit bigger). They typically weigh 18 to 35 pounds.
The dogs hunt by themselves or in packs and are tireless hunters born to sniff and run.
Beagles have short, hard coats of medium length that come in hound colors and make gentle, fun-loving pets. If anything, Beagles are too friendly and willingly run to friends or strangers with a happy wag.
During my childhood, my cousins always had Beagles as hunters and companions, and I’m here to testify that there is nothing cuter than a soft-eared, big-eyed Beagle puppy.
Beagles are natural barkers; don’t expect them to be quiet dogs or stay home unless leashed or fenced.
Like many hounds, scent rules this dog’s life; he’ll ignore anything (even training and food) for a good sniff. This is a fun-loving dog that makes a wonderful family pet.
Coat type and care
The Beagle is generally a healthy breed that can accompany you for 15 years if you take care of it correctly and with much love.
The dog has short hair; therefore, its care is simple.
Beagles must be brushed twice or thrice weekly and have a monthly bath. How often the dogs need a bath depends on how dirty your dog gets.
The dog’s ears, however, require regular care to keep them clean and prevent infection.
Be sure to take your Beagle on daily walks.
Beagles also can turn into gluttons, so feed them set meals rather than leave their food out and allow them to graze.
Attitude and personality
Supervise outdoor playtime and check fences and gates.
This breed can be an escape artist when going after that elusive bunny or squirrel. Once your Beagle catches a scent in his nose, he’s hard to stop.
Beagle breed benefits:
- Good with kids
- Likes to run and bark
- Extremely friendly
- Gentle, happy, curious
- Ideal family pet
Common health concerns
The most common diseases in Beagles affect the eyes, skin, and ears. The breed is prone to suffer from hereditary or genetic health issues.
This breed is relatively healthy, so spotting viruses or developing health problems is difficult. There are specific ailments to which beagles are prone.
For example, beagles can suffer from:
- Bladder stones
- Cushing’s disease
- Ectropion – A condition that causes the eyelid to turn out
- Cherry eye – A condition that occurs when the gland slips out from behind the dog’s third eyelid, causing a pink or red lump in the inner corner of the dog’s eye. Surgery is needed to fix the cherry eye.
- Heart disease
- Disk disease
- Periodontal disease
- Hemolytic anemia – The dog’s immune system produces antibodies that attack its red blood cells, which causes anemia.
- Progressive retinal atrophy – A condition in which the retina degenerates, which causes gradual vision loss and, ultimately, blindness.
The bottom line on adopting a beagle
The Beagle is a happy, friendly dog ideally suited to active families. To adopt a Beagle, check Petfinder.com.
To find an American Kennel Club-registered breeder, visit the AKC Marketplace.
Alana D. Frazier is a content writer at Essay4Students. Because she is fond of learning something new, she tries to keep up with advancing technologies. She also enjoys attending conferences and presentations to improve her skills.