Introduction to Beagles
Beagles are sociable, happy, and curious pups that are small/medium-sized and very loyal companions. Yet these hound dogs are also known for being vocal and stubborn, so they require caring and patient humans who have the time and energy to care for them. Regardless, beagle dogs love company and are wonderful additions to many households!
Like all dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions, which is why they benefit greatly from receiving regular vet checkups and being covered by pet insurance at an early age. If you’re looking for a dog with an adventurous spirit but that’s also easygoing, affectionate, and intelligent, read on to learn more about the mighty beagle!
Size of Beagles
Purebred beagles come in two distinct sizes:
It is unique that the American Kennel Club recognizes two size varieties of this dog breed. Beagles are considered to be fully grown adults by the age of one year.
Here’s how much you can expect your beagle to weigh as he or she grows and develops:
|Weight Chart||3 months||6 months||9 months||12 months|
|Male and Female Beagles||6.5-11 pounds||10-16 pounds||15-21 pounds||19-25 pounds|
Male beagles tend to weigh in on the higher end of these ranges, and females are at the low end. However, your beagle might weigh more than this if they don’t get enough exercise or eat too much dog food or treats during the day.
Characteristics of Beagles
Beagles are moderately adaptable dogs that do decently in both warm and cool weather, but not extreme temperatures. They are friendly and affectionate pups that love kids and other dogs. Also, they are pretty easy to care for because they have low grooming needs. They’re also generally healthy dogs but are prone to weight gain, so it is important for pet parents to keep a close watch on a beagle’s diet.
As you get to know a beagle’s personality, here’s what you can expect based on his or her breed characteristics:
|Breed Characteristic||Level (High, Medium, Low)|
|Affectionate with People||High|
|Good with Kids||High|
|Good with Pets||High|
|Need for Exercise||Medium|
|Able to Be Trained||Medium|
|Amount of Barking||High|
|Amount of Shedding||Medium|
History of Beagles
The beagle is a very old breed of dog that has been around for centuries. There is some discrepancy as to their exact origins, with some historians saying the dog’s name comes from a Gaelic word and others referencing a French term. These dogs were common in England and used to hunt rabbits in the 1500s. Larger beagle dogs were used to track deer, while the smaller ones are the ancestors of our modern-day beagle.
After the American Civil War in the 1800s, beagles made their debut in the US and became popular with rabbit hunters here. The American Kennel Club registered its first beagle in 1885, and the dogs are still used for hunting purposes today. However, most modern beagles are household pets and beloved family members in homes across the US
Beagle Standard Information
As a recognized dog breed that is eligible to enter shows and competitions, there are certain standards that beagles must adhere to. For example, these dogs’ general appearance is that of a miniature foxhound, looking solid and big for its size and with a rugged look.
Here is an overview of the breed standard information for beagles:
- Long and slightly domed head
- Ears set moderately low
- Medium length and straight muzzle
- Large and set-apart eyes
Neck, Topline, Body:
- Throat clean and free from folds
- Broad and slightly archived loin
- Short, muscular, and strong back
- Straight forelegs
- Full and hard pads
- Round and firm feet
- Strong and well-muscled hip and thighs
- Firm and moderately bent hocks (ankles)
- Strong and well-let-down stifles (knees)
- Close, hard, and medium-length coat
- Any true hound color is acceptable
- Black, red, gold/yellow, brown/chocolate/liver
Caring for Beagles
Beagles are apartment-friendly dogs that make great hiking companions and are easy to groom. However, they require plenty of exercise, so these dogs do best with active individuals and families. They are more powerful than they look based on size alone.
Beagles also have a tendency to be vocal, so expect some barking when the delivery man comes up to the door or when neighbors come over. If you have children in the house, make sure to properly socialize the dogs around them. Supervise your dog when they are around your children to ensure that everything is safe. If left to their own tendencies, beagles can be mouthy and grab toys from young children’s hands to chew them.
Here are some general tips for taking the best care of a beagle:
Best Living Environments:
- Both houses and apartments work well
- Fenced outdoor yard spaces
- Homes with other dogs and children
- Don’t leave at home alone for long
Type of Exercise:
- Hiking with family members
- Running around the yard
- Daily walks in the neighborhood
- Running in a dog park
- Jogging with humans after the age of 18 months
- Keep on a leash or in a yard due to tendency to chase things
- Scents to explore
- Strong prey drive
- Hunting and hiking on trails
- Games of fetch in the yard
- Slow to house-train
- May not be accident-free in the house until age one
- Practice crate training early
- Pet parents need to have lots of patience
- Use positive reinforcement and earn the dog’s trust
- Brush coat once per week
- Brush more frequently when shedding
- Bathe only occasionally and after outdoor adventures
- Trim fast-growing nails frequently
- Check ears for debris and wax
Common Health Problems of Beagles
Beagles are typically healthy and hearty dogs that live about 10 to 15 years. The average life expectancy of a beagle is 12 years. There are certain genetic conditions that beagles are predisposed to, but responsible breeders will check the parent dogs for these conditions so that puppies can be as healthy as possible when they are born.
These are some of the most common health issues that arise with beagles:
- Hip dysplasia
- Luxating patella (dislocated kneecap)
- Eye disorders, including cherry eye, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy
- Intervertebral disk disease
- Dental disease
- Neurological conditions that cause tremors, weakness, and fatigue
The national breed club for beagles recommends that these dogs get tested by a vet with a hip evaluation, Musladin-Lueke syndrome DNA test, and ophthalmologist evaluation. Cardiac screenings and lab screenings for autoimmune thyroid disease are also recommended for beagles.
From an overall health perspective, if you notice a change in appetite in your beagle, excessive scratching, lethargy, or red gums, it’s time to call your vet to see what’s going on in your pup’s body.
Diet and Nutrition for Beagles
One important thing to remember about beagles is that they are prone to becoming overweight. Therefore, pet parents will need to keep a close eye on a beagle’s calorie intake and levels of daily activity.
Feed your beagle ¾ cup to 1 ½ cups of dry dog food per day, divided into a morning meal and an evening meal. Also, be mindful that beagles love stealing food from places they’re not supposed to! Not only can this behavior contribute to weight gain, but it can also make your beagle very sick if they get into foods that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate or onions. When you are training your beagle, give them very small treats rather than large biscuits to control potential weight gain.
The best way to prevent weight gain in your beagle is to make sure the pup gets lots of exercise. Beagles love exercise, so it’s great for both their bodies and minds.
Where to Adopt or Purchase Beagles
You can often find breeders that specialize in beagle dogs, but make sure that the breeder you choose is a responsible one that has the dogs’ best interests at heart. The American Kennel Club Marketplace is a resource for AKC-registered litters and offers a list of breeders who follow the rules and regulations when breeding beagles. There’s also the National Beagle Club of America, which is the AKC parent club for this breed.
However, you will also find beagles in animal shelters after they have been dropped off by owners who couldn’t handle their dogs’ barking or keep up with their exercise needs. There are beagle rescue groups in many local places, as well as online resources to find a beagle near you that is in need of a loving home. Examples of beagle rescue groups are the SOS (Save Our Snoopies) Beagle Rescue in New Jersey, Southeast Beagle Rescue in Florida, and Beagle and Buddies in California.
If you have fallen in love with the beagle breed but are open to other types of similar dogs as well, you might be interested to learn about and meet some of these types of pups:
- Basset hound
- Basset fauve de Bretagne
- American foxhound
- American English coonhound
- Rhodesian ridgeback
- English foxhound
Pet Insurance for Beagles
Due to the various genetic conditions that beagles are prone to, their tendencies to get into things they’re supposed to, and the health issues that accompany canine weight gain, pet is a great idea if you have a beagle. Healthy Paws offers beagle pet insurance in all 50 states and is the #1 customer-rated pet insurance company because of our quick claim processing, no max on payouts, amazing customer service team, and how many different conditions we cover for your dog.
Get your beagle pet insurance quote today and have peace of mind that your little buddy will always be in good hands no matter what happens in life!