Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: Two varieties, 13-inch and 15-inch
Weight: Approximately 22-35 pounds
Coat: Close, dense, hard, weatherproof, medium length
Colors: Any hound color
Other Names: English Beagle
Registries (With Group): AKC (Hound); UKC (Scenthound)
Origin and History
The Beagle is a distinctly British breed, dating as far back as the Celts, where small hounds similar to the Beagle were used for hunting hares in the British Isles and Wales. Beagles have always hunted in packs and are prized for their ability to find and stick with a trail.
In the time of King Henry VIII, Beagles were very small and would be carried to the field in hunters’ sleeves or saddlebags. Eventually, this smaller size disappeared, as most hunters found them too little to be of any practical use.
Sometime around the reign of Elizabeth I, Beagle numbers began to decline as fox hunting began to replace rabbit hunting. Thankfully, farmers in southern England and Wales still depended on rabbit-hunting hounds to help them supplement their diet, and the Beagle survived. The breed type was eventually established in the late 1800s with the formation of the Beagle Club in England.
Hounds of the Beagle sort were brought to the United States during the Colonial period, but breed type varied until further imports arrived from England in the 1880s. Their small size, keen nose, and charming personality have made them a continually popular dog. A Beagle was even the inspiration for Charles Schulz’s cartoon dog, Snoopy, in the Peanuts comic strip.
Personality Traits and Care
Beagles showcase plenty of endearing characteristics. With tails that never seem to stop wagging, Beagles are cute and playful with a curious, self-assured nature. Their outgoing disposition makes them very social, but can sometimes get them into trouble, too.
This breed doesn’t particularly like to be alone, and when upset or simply in the mood, they often use their voice. It's a fairly shrill voice that makes hunters hearts sing, but doesn't always please family, friends, or neighbors.
When it comes to training, Beagles can be stubborn and easily distracted. They will pay attention, however, if their pet parent is offering a tasty treat. Beagles learn quickly, and once they’ve mastered basic manners, they’re ready to move on to more difficult tasks.
Do Beagles Shed?
Yes, Beagles do shed and are considered moderate shedders. Because their double coat thickens in the winter, this breed sheds heaviest in the springtime. Despite this, the Beagles’ short, hard coat is easy to groom and relatively simple to keep clean.
Their ears and the looser skin around their eyes need to be wiped often, and the occasional bath will keep them looking and smelling their best.
How Much Exercise Do They Need?
A hunter by nature, the Beagle is always up for an expedition. Their daily activity requirement is around 60 minutes, and it should be both interesting and engaging. Beagles have a very strong sense of smell and can become easily captivated by whatever might catch their nose.
How Big Do Beagles Get?
How big Beagles get depends on the type. They come in two different sizes: 13 inches and 15 inches. Measuring up to 13 inches, the 13-inch Beagle variety typically weighs 22 to 30 pounds. The 15-inch Beagle variety, taller than 13 inches but no larger than 15 inches, weighs between 25 and 35 pounds.
How Long Do Beagles Live?
Beagles live 12 to 14 years on average.
Explore More Dog Breeds
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