Other names: English Beagle
The Beagle is a hunting dog (prone chase small prey, with a special taste for hares) of average size. However, he has also become a perfect companion dog for dynamic masters who can fully meet his needs in terms of exercise and attention. This dog is both intrepid and affectionate. In fact, he will be able to appease anyone with his drooping ears and his soft, sad and mischievous stare.
Key facts about the Beagle
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Origins and history
The Beagle is a dog from Great Britain, recognized in the 16th century under the reign of King Henry VIII and particularly appreciated by his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, who possessed a whole pack of Beagles. Their lineage is rather vague: some say the beagle’s ancestor is the Artois Hound, others the Foxhound. The most likely theory is that this dog is the result of a cross between the Harrier and other British standard dogs. It is a breed originally developed for hunting; specifically, hare hunting. Since the 17th century, Beagles have been crossed with Beagle-Harriers to make even faster dogs, resulting in the ones you know today.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Beagle
Female : Between 13 and 16 in
Male : Between 13 and 16 in
Female : Between 26 and 37 lb
Male : Between 29 and 40 lb
This dog usually has a tricolour coat: white, black and tan or blue, white and tan. However, it is not uncommon to see a bicolour Beagle: lemon and white, red and white, tan and white, black and white, badger pied or hare pied.
With the exception of all white, all the above mentioned can be found as mottle. No other colours are permissible.
Type of coat
This dog has short hair.
The coat is particularly dense.
An adult Beagle’s eye colour is dark brown or hazel.
A medium-sized dog and scent hound, the beagle is relatively short-legged unlike his cousins the Harrier or the Foxhound, but this doesn’t make him less quick or powerful.
Good to know
This dog was nicknamed the Singing Beagle by Elizabeth I because he barks so insistently and musically.
This dog is an affectionate animal towards his social group since it has a kind and jovial temperament. The Beagle puppy is particularly alert and constantly demands the attention of his pet-parents. The adult Beagle behaves better but remains a very enthusiastic companion when in contact with humans or other dogs.
This dog is very alert and playful, especially when he is still a puppy. His almost insatiable need to work hard and spend all his energy, on a daily basis, makes him a perfect playmate for the young and old.
The Beagle dog breed is not known for being calm. If you want a quiet dog that sleeps on the couch all day long, do not adopt a Beagle. This four-legged companion always needs to feel stimulated, both physically and mentally.
However, when his needs are fulfilled, he will be sleepy and quiet.
Like any good working dog, he is a very intelligent companion, with the capacity to use his skills for work or play. The beagle is not averse to directing his intelligence towards acts of bad behaviour, but may also concoct small acts of folly to entertain his peers.
Moreover, thanks to his intelligence, this dog is often appreciated by masters who wish to teach tricks to their pets. It is a question of channelling his high energy levels and providing suitable motivation to capture his attention and maintain his concentration.
He is a hunting dog by excellence, and has very well-developed hunting instincts, which are sometimes difficult to harness.
And even if this hunting instinct is controlled, this dog will by nature always want and need to follow tracks. Training this dog from a young age will teach him to confidently investigate smells while keeping an ear open for the call to return to heel.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is a very sociable dog who needs consistent contact. This dog will not be fearful or aggressive towards strangers. He will charm all passers-by and visitors with his irrepressible enthusiasm.
Despite a certain level of attachment towards his social group and significant emotional needs, this dog remains a hunter, so he will act independently on occasion if he finds tracks that he believes should be followed. As such, the beagle is prone to masterminding and executing escape plans when his investigative urges outweigh, in an instant of madness, his needs for proximity to the pack.
Behaviour of the Beagle
This robust little dog needs to live surrounded by people, he hates loneliness and largely prefers the company of dogs rather than complete loneliness which can be harmful to him.
However, if he is habituated to solitude from an early age, this will allow him to cope with it in the absence of his masters.
Easy to train / obedience
This is not an easily trainable dog, and he is not particularly docile. His very energetic and determined temperament can be a hindrance to his education. However, a firm and early education along with the development of a strong relationship between him and his master will likely make him more cooperative.
If the needs of this dog are met and a relationship based on trust is built upon, he will cooperate without great difficulty and even learn fun tricks for the delight of young and old companions.
Barking is a trademark of this breed. Beagles bark to express excitement rather than frustration. This dog will attract the attention of everyone in his surroundings with his very insistent barking.
This aspect of his personality can quickly be considered as a defect, but you must never forget that barking is a strong means of communication for this dog, especially during the hunt.
Nonetheless, a good education can lead to increased control over his barking.
Tendency to run away
As a hunter, he has a strong predatory instinct, so if he finds himself in a hunting scenario, he will easily be tempted to run away and follow a trail with no looking back.
An early education and the proper fulfilment of his needs will reduce the risk of running away.
This dog is very energetic so he can easily destroy everything that is on his path if his energy is allowed to build up for too long without release.
However, if the Beagle has been accustomed from a young age to solitude, he can live calmly in the absence of his masters, who will not find their home turned upside-down after their return.
Greedy / Gluttony
This pooch is very (if not too) greedy, which has a certain advantage in terms of training but can also lead him to quickly become obese.
It is therefore necessary to ensure that he gets a quality diet, that treats fit his education, and that he gets adequate physical exercise to avoid getting overweight.
Since this little hunter is prone to barking, he can be a good watchdog. This dog will immediately bark at the arrival of a person outside of his social group to alert their presence.
However, he will not display any signs of aggression or mistrust and his unimpressive size will not be enough to deter potential intruders.
This four-legged companion is an adorable dog who can quickly become a solid pet for many homes. However, its strong character and overflowing energy require near-expert levels of training. A calmer dog is more suitable for a first adoption.
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Beagle in a flat
An apartment life is possible, but only if he gets to walk several times a day so that he spends enough energy. The same thing applies if he lives in a house with a garden.
Without regular walks, this little ball of energy will develop behavioural disorders and can easily cause havoc when he has the opportunity.
Clearly, this dog will adapt to any type of environment, live indoors and outdoors, as long as his needs are respected and met.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This hunting dog is very energetic, and will need daily exercise to be fully fulfilled. His favourite activities will be all of those that will stimulate his smelling abilities: tracking, hunting, etc.
He will also be a good companion for running and hiking. It will take at least two walks of 30 minutes a day, even if this dog has a large garden, to tire him out and keep him trim.
Travelling / easy to transport
This breed has the advantage of being medium-sized (or small in some cases) which allows him, for example, to easily travel by car or train. It will, however, be necessary to make sure that he expends his energy before a long journey so that he has only one desire: to sleep!
In addition, a good education can teach this dog to behave anywhere without disturbing other passengers.
Beagle and cats
If he is used to living with cats at a very young age, this dog will tolerate them without a problem. However, it is important to remember that it is a hunting dog that could consider a running cat to be a legitimate hunting target.
In general, even if this dog is accustomed to the presence of the family cat, he will still chase after unknown cats in the garden.
Beagle and dogs
As a hunting pack dog, the Beagle is bred to live in a group and will need to meet his peers as often as possible. Without regular contact with other dogs, this dog will be very unhappy.
Due to his very playful nature, this dog will also be a very good playmate for his peers, especially if they share the same the great passion and overflowing energy.
Beagle and children
He is a very affectionate and playful dog who will be a perfect companion for children.
Be careful to respect the safety rules though:
- Do not leave children alone with a dog
- Access to his bed must be prohibited to children
- The dog must not be disturbed while sleeping
- Games must be approved and supervised by adults
- Children must learn to quickly observe a dog's warning signals. E.g.: a dog that "smiles" is not a happy dog - it is a dog that can potentially bite.
Beagle and the elderly
The beagle will need a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation if he is to behave well, so he needs his masters to be available and dynamic; thus it can be a difficult breed for sedentary seniors.
Nevertheless, this dog can be perfectly happy with the active elderly who can meet the needs of the breed.
On average, the purchase price of a Beagle pup is between £650 and £1300. The price often varies according to the lineage, the breeding, the age or even the gender of the dog.
In terms of expenditure, it will take on average £30/month to support the needs of this medium-sized dog and to provide a quality diet that can keep him in good health.
The coat is smooth and short so maintenance will be simple and fast but will need to be regular since this dog sheds at a moderate rate throughout the year. In addition, his drooping ears and eyes will need to be monitored and cleaned regularly.
This dog's shedding is continuous but moderate. Regular brushing eliminates dead hair.
Nutrition of the Beagle
Since he is very greedy and prone to being overweight, it will be necessary to ensure that this pooch has a balanced, good quality diet like dry wet or raw food. Similarly, treats given for training must be of good quality and should not be given in a careless way. Make sure that you take care of the Beagle puppy’s specific nutritional needs to guarantee his growth and his proper development.
Health of the Beagle
The lifespan of this dog is between 12 and 14 years.
Strong / robust
Relatively strong and robust, thanks to his life expectancy which gives him good protection against bad weather.
This dog can resist the heat well - within reasonable limits, of course. A bowl of fresh water (renewed regularly) is mandatory.
His coat gives him good protection against bad weather.
Tendency to put on weight
This dog is famous for being very greedy, sometimes to extremes. Be careful since being overweight can lead to many health problems.
A quality diet and daily physical exercise will help maintain his physical form.
- Hip dysplasia
- Epileptic disorders
- Herniated disc
- Pulmonary stenosis (cardiac malformation)
- Beagle Pain Syndrome (Chronic Disease of this dog breed)