Beagles are by far one of the most charming dog breeds that exist. With their soft floppy ears, pleading eyes and small size, they are sure to capture every dog lover’s heart. They are an excellent option for families, apartment-owners, and city-dwellers. However, what most people don’t know is that the beagle is actually a hound breed that was initially used for hunting. To be more precise the beagle is a scenthound and has an acute sense of smell, courtesy of its 220 million scent receptors! This amazing quality of beagles complemented by their non-threatening appearance has led to them being used to sniff out illegal substances and weapons in airports. However, this characteristic is an important factor to keep in mind if you decide to adopt a beagle as they have a compulsive need to sniff, which can be tedious to keep up with. This also requires you to have a keen eye on them as they are prone to wandering away in the direction of an interesting smell.
Another thing that beagles love apart from following their noses is food! Food is one of the most essential things in a beagle’s life, and they are willing to do anything to get a taste of something that smells good to them. This means that they are prone to overeating as well as ruining your kitchen. So beagle owners should be on their toes to prevent this from happening. Exercise, therefore, will also be crucial to keeping a beagle healthy. Apart from preventing your dog from becoming overweight, exercise will also keep him occupied and prevent destructive behavior like digging and chewing, which can become a common occurrence with a bored dog.
Looking at the sunny side of things beagles have short coats that are easy to groom, adapt to new people easily, and become a part of the family seamlessly. They will consider themselves a part of your pack, and with the proper training can become a wonderful family pet. But one thing for sure is that they will bring you endless joy (and sometimes tears) with their antics and fun-loving nature.

Overview

Origin: England
Avg Price in India: Rs.23000- Rs.28000
Breed Group: Hunting
Life Span: 12-15 Years
Size: Two sizes when measured from the shoulder- 13 Inch Beagles and 15 Inch beagles (between 13 and 15 inches when measured from the shoulder)
Avg Size of Male: 20-25 Pounds
Avg Size of Female: 20-23 Pounds
Weight Range: 20 to 35 Pounds
Colors available: Tan, White, Brown, Black, Red

Characteristics

Good for First-time Owners: 3/5
Beagles’ stubborn nature and desire to sniff everything may not make them suitable for first-time owners

Energy Level: 4/5
They are very active and playful and need plenty of exercises

Exercise Needs: 4/5
As they are high-energy dogs and have a tendency to overeat, exercise is important

Playfulness: 5/5
Beagles are extremely playful and spirited which contributes to their high energy

Affection level: 5/5
They are definitely very affectionate and loyal, making them good family pets

Kid Friendly: 5/5
Their small size, adorable appearance and friendly personality make them very kid-friendly

Ease of training: 2/5
Beagles have a stubborn nature which is a result of their hound ancestry and makes them quite difficult to train

Tendency to Bark or Howl: 5/5
As they are hounds, beagles are known to howl or bay excessively which can be an annoying characteristic.

Watchdog ability: 1/5
Beagles are not good watchdogs as they are usually friendly and welcoming to everyone

Protection ability: 1/5
Beagles are not a dog breed that are meant to be used as protection because of their friendly nature

Grooming needs: 1/5
Their short fur coat and small size makes them easy to groom and bathe in seasons where they don’t shed (winter).

Amount of Shedding: 3/5
Beagles tend to shed their fur in the spring and fall months as they have seasonal coats

General Health: 3/5
Beagles, like all dogs, are prone to genetic health issues and also health problems that arise due to breeder negligence.

Cold tolerance: 2/5
The short fur coat of beagles does not protect them from cold winds and weather.

Heat tolerance: 4/5
Beagles are a great option in warmer climates as they can adapt easily to the weather conditions.

History and Background

Beagles are believed to have been bred initially in England, mainly for the purposes of hunting. They became popular during the 1300s as they were used for hunting mostly small game such as hares and rabbits. They were initially used for hunting foxes, but as they were slow, they got replaced by the larger Foxhounds.
The initial history and origin of the Beagle breed are not well documented, but it is believed that they were obtained by crossing different English hounds.
Beagles spread across the world when American breeders imported them from England during the 1800s. They are now one of the most popular and well-recognized breeds and have become some iconic characters in pop culture such as Snoopy.

Physical Characteristics

Beagles come in two sizes- the 13-inch and the 15-inch variety. Their coat is made of a combination of, some of which include white, black, tan and brown. Beagles also have a smooth and dense double coat that is made of short hairs, making it easy to groom them. Their tails are usually white-tipped so that hunters can spot them easily when they are running through dense vegetation.
Beagles also have long droopy ears which lend them their additional cuteness, but they can also be prone to a number of infections. Regular cleaning and check-ups are recommended.
The heads of Beagles are slightly different from other breeds as they are more elongated and squared towards the end. Their big and adorable eyes occupy most of their face, leaving some space for a small black nose.

Personality

Charming, merry, easy-going, fun-loving and mischievous are words that most beagle owners use to describe their dogs. In terms of personality, a beagle has one that can light up anyone’s day and mood. They get along with kids, other dogs, and even other animals. However, this is a two-sided coin. Beagles are notorious for their stubbornness and difficulty to train. Patience and commitment are two qualities that are necessary to groom and train your beagle into an obedient dog. But beagle owners know that even despite years of training their dog can easily choose to ignore or not follow commands. This is just one thing you have to accept if you have a beagle.
As beagles adore food they are willing to go to any lengths to obtain more of it. Combined with their super sniffing power they are sure to know exactly where you keep the yummiest things in the house. This is why experienced trainers strongly recommend using a food reward system while training a beagle as it has proved to be the most effective method. In addition to training, familiarizing and introducing your beagle to other people and dogs from a young age will make him more used to socialization and will result in you owning a well-rounded dog.

Health

Beagles are prone to a number of genetic health issues as well as other common infections that all dogs are likely to get. If you are planning on buying a beagle make sure that you choose a reputable breeder who follows proper breeding procedures.
Beagles are especially prone to hip dysplasia which is usually an inherited problem. This happens when the dog’s thighbone does not fit into the joint socket securely and this can cause pain. Another complication that can occur in the limbs of the beagle is a condition called Patellar Luxation. This happens when the bones that make up the “patella” of the dog’s limb do not line up properly. Patellar Luxation leads to the rubbing of the bones which can speed up their degeneration.
Intervertebral Disk disease, Cherry Eye, Allergies, Glaucoma and Hyperthyroidism can also be problems that this breed is prone to.
Apart from all these more serious conditions, the most common issues that beagles face are ear infections. Beagles have “drop ears” which do not allow the circulation of air. This means that they can easily get infected. To prevent this check your dog’s ears often, do not allow any moisture to collect in them and clean them often. Regular trips to the vet will also help you monitor your beagle’s health and wellbeing.

Grooming

Beagles are quite low maintenance when it comes to grooming requirements. Their short and sleek fur coat means that you do not have your hands full with a tangled mess. Instead, most beagles can be brushed with a hound glove to remove dead hair and improve circulation. Depending on where you live, a beagle can be given a bath every once in a couple of weeks to once in 2 months.
Most important of the grooming routine would probably be to clean his ears often as they are prone to infections. Brushing your dog’s teeth should also be a regular occurrence as this can prevent bad breath and build up of tartar. Last but not least, clipping your beagle’s toenails periodically can ensure that you don’t get any nasty scratches when he tries to play with you.

Quick Facts

Beagles love to talk! They are known to be one of the most vocal dog breeds and can bay, howl and bark endlessly.
The world adores beagles! Snoopy from Peanuts, Odie from Garfield and Courage the Cowardly dog are all beagles.
Beagles are often used in laboratories to test different products and chemicals. They might get stolen for this reason and this is why beagle owners are advised to microchip their dogs.
Beagles are pack animals and for they function better with the company. They were known to hunt in packs and in today’s times require regular companionship and love.