Beagle Resource


Hunting hounds in England date back to the Roman occupation, but an exact history of the Beagle is uncertain. Their popularity with 18th century English hunters, however, is well established history. Possessing a keen sense of smell, the lively Beagles excelled at chasing and stalking prey such as rabbits. The breed name is thought to have come from the Celtic word beag, meaning “small.”

Beagles have a long history, but the most famous of them all, of course, is Snoopy, whose delight in food and travel exemplifies the breed.

Today’s Beagle is more typically a companion dog than a hunting dog. The Beagle’s extraordinary sense of smell, however, continues to be used by humans, but not to sniff out rabbits. Instead, the Beagle or Beagle mixes are valued for sniffing out illegal drugs and banned agricultural contraband. After all, Beagles do great scent work in airports, and don’t alarm the passengers as a bigger working dog might simply by presence.

A Beagle typically makes a good family dog, friendly with children and usually ok with other dogs if socialized early. A Beagle will generally need to be watched around small animals such as kittens. After all, he was bred to chase; families should be prepared to see his instincts in action. Daily outdoor exercise is important to the Beagle, but it should be leashed or confined to a securely fenced yard when outdoors or its nose could lead it away and into trouble. .

Beagle sittingThe Beagle


Should I get a Beagle?

Terrific for a person who:

Wants a companion big on energy and compact in size.
Hopes for the dog that’s sociable with everyone, young and old.
Values Snoopy-like friendliness and curiosity above perfected obedience.

Think twice if you’re a person who:

Loses patience quickly with an independent-thinking dog.
Lives in close proximity to anyone who won’t appreciate a loud-voiced dog.
Fully expects the dog to befriend the family hamsters, rabbits, and kittens.

Beagle Grooming

Low grooming requirements. The coat is easily kept in condition by frequent rubdowns with a rough towel or hound mitt. Brush a few times a week to maintain. Ears should be examined regularly, cleaned, and then dusted with antiseptic powder to prevent infection.

The Beagle Standard Look

In color and outline the Beagle resembles a miniature Foxhound. For purposes of field trialing and conformation judging, Beagles are divided into two sizes: 13 inches and under, and over 13 inches, but not over 15 inches. The short, hard coat may be any acceptable hound color or combination of colors.

Possible Health Concerns

Hypothyroidism, epilepsy, intervertebral disc disease, hip dysplasia, skin allergies, cherry eye.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Any hound color, most commonly black, tan and white, red and white, or pale tan and white. White feet and tail tip.

A close, hard hound coat.


Brush weekly. Groom as needed.

Life Expectancy:
12 to 13 years
AKC Group:
Hound Group
UKC Group:
Up to 15 inches
Proportionate to height
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Field trials, trailing (rabbits)