Beagles: Temperament, Lifespan, Grooming, Training

The Beagle is a breed of dog originating from Great Britain. The intelligent hunting dog is assigned to FCI group 6, the group of scent hounds, scent hounds, and related other breeds, and section 1.3, the small scent hounds section. It can be found in the FCI directory under the standard number 161. In addition, the Beagle is on the list of domestic dogs and is declared by the FCI as a working dog with a working test. The European dog breed is often used for pack hunting or kept as a companion and family dog.

Beagle Dog Breed Information

Size: 34-38cm
Weight: 16-18kg
FCI Group: 6: Hounds, scent hounds, and related breeds
Section: 1.3: Small Hounds
Country of origin: France
Colors: black and white, tricolor, blue
Life expectancy: 12-13 years
Suitable as: hunting, companion, and family dog
Sports: –
Personality: Happy, Active, Curious, Affectionate, Agile, Lively
Exercise requirements: rather high
Drooling Potential –
The thickness of hair –
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: short, medium-thick, dense
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: –

Origin and Breed History

The Beagle is a well-known breed of dog originating from Great Britain. However, the running hound probably has its origins in Normandy in France. From there, the so-called “White Hubertus dogs” are said to have come to England with the army around 1000 AD by the Talbot family from Normandy. As can be seen from this, the Beagle is one of the oldest officially recognized dog breeds. Until the 9th century, the dogs were bred by monks in the monastery of Saint Hubertus in the Ardennes. At that time, the white dogs were also known under the name Talbots. In English-speaking areas, the ancestors of the beagle known today were referred to as Northern Hounds and Norman Hounds around 600 years later. Even then, the Northern Hounds were noticeably noisy. In the 15th century, the British of southern France became aware of various other dog breeds, including the Southern Hound. Today’s Beagle is known to have its origins in the Northern and Southern Hound. These dogs were then bred to be used as hunting dogs, and their appearance was not important. So it happened that the dogs were often spotted in bright colors and did not have a clear coat.

The term “Keeper of the Begles” was first found in the household books of King Henry VIII in 1515. It is still not entirely clear where the Beagle’s breed name came from, but it is believed that the name derives from the French word “begueule” derives. Translated into German, this means something like “open throat” or “loudmouth”. However, the name could also come from the French term “beugler” or the Old High German “beugler”, which have a similar meaning. In any case, it is clear that the derivations point to the noisy organ of the beagle. The dogs are noticeably noisy when hunting, which is expressed in a kind of shrill “screaming”. Around 100 years later, the Beagle was also mentioned as “Little Beagle” in L. R. Jackson’s general description of important hunting dog breeds. The term ‘beagle’ was coined around this time and used to describe a form of hunting accompanied by a pack of hounds.

In 1980 the handsome Brit was recognized by the BKC. In 1955 the hunting dog was recognized by the FCI. The final standard was published in 2010. The Beagle is recognized by many breed lines and clubs. Including the AKC and the KC.

Being & Temperament of the Beagle

One of the Beagle’s most characteristic traits is his stubborn personality, high will, and lively nature. He is considered a cheerful and lovable companion as well as a loyal partner on the hunt. The Beagle knows what he wants and pursues his goals energetically and ambitiously. His pronounced hunting instinct, coupled with his excellent sense of smell and his speed makes the handsome Brit a wonderful companion on the hunt. The hunting ambition of the Beagle should not be underestimated, especially when kept as a family or companion dog.

The idiosyncratic jock also loves to cuddle on the couch. The Beagle feels most comfortable in a large pack. Whether in a lively family, in a pack of dogs, or with other pets, the hound is enthusiastic about lively family life. For this reason, it is also very suitable as a family dog.

Are Beagles Kid Friendly?

The Beagle is quite child-friendly, so it is well suited as a family dog. But the dog should be given enough space and time for itself, as it has a very independent nature.

The Appearance of the Beagle

The Beagle’s appearance is characterized by a robust and compact physique and an alert, friendly facial expression. Despite its compactness, the Beagle’s body does not appear coarse or heavily muscled. He is often seen as a sweet cuddle partner because you don’t notice at first glance how much sporting talent he really has. The small to medium-sized dogs reach an average weight of 16 kg. Males and females have a height of 33 to 40 cm. In contrast to many other dog breeds, the sex-related size difference is only very slightly noticeable in the Beagle. In most cases, males have a broader chest and somewhat stockier legs. Otherwise, the legs are generally strong and muscular without appearing thick and chunky.

The head is moderately long and also appears strong without being coarse. The Beagle has a pronounced stop and a powerful jaw. A full scissor bite is not at all intimidating on a relaxed Beagle, as the dogs have very affectionate facial expressions and smooth, rounded lips. The ears of the British are also smooth and rounded at the ends. They are set low, giving the dogs a very affectionate look. When the ears are laid forward, they almost reach the tip of the snout. The compact physique transitions into an equally powerful, high-set tail. The dogs carry the tail happily erect, but it does not protrude over the back or forward. A distinctive feature of hunting dogs is the white tip of the tail.

The Beagle’s coat is typically close-fitting, smooth, and very dense. It is of a soft structure that can appear a little harder in some places. The fur on the ears and face is fluffy and also close-fitting. The dense coat has a water-repellent effect, which has developed as a result of its long use as a hunting dog and through targeted breeding. According to the standard, the coat can appear in different color combinations. Mainly one finds Beagle in the color variants:

  • tan and white (two-tone brown and white);
  • red and white (two-tone red and white);
  • lemon and white (bicolor lemon yellow and white);
  • tricolored (three colored black/brown/white).

In addition, a tricolored beagle can also have a broken flank, which is then referred to as “tricolored broken”.

How Many Puppies Does a Beagle Have?

Typically, a female Beagle will have between four and six puppies. In some cases, there can be eight or more puppies.

Upbringing and Keeping of the Beagles – This is Important to Consider

Raising a beagle is often anything but easy. The stubborn head of the small hunting dog can get on the nerves of the dog owner. While Beagles are incredibly intelligent and enjoy exercise and work, there should be enough treats to bribe. The voracious dogs are easy to train, but you should already have experience in dog training and dog ownership. Not a beginner’s dog, the Beagle needs a firm but loving hand. Consistency and timing are key when training and caring for the Beagle. Since this breed goes through life in a very idiosyncratic and practical way, the Beagle needs a dog handler who gives clear instructions and commands and doesn’t allow any nonsense to get away with it. If these circumstances are not given, it can happen that the beagle dances on his master’s nose and switches his ears completely to draft. The Beagle is one of those dog breeds where early training is essential. Many owners with little training experience would probably be overwhelmed with a Beagle, which is why it is not recommended to keep the small gun dog as a first dog.

In the attitude of the Beagle, however, the environment is less important. It is possible to keep the British both in an apartment and in a house with a garden. Of course, you should make sure you get enough exercise, but the beagle’s urge to move is in no way comparable to that of a border collie or something similar. A Beagle finds much enjoyment in long walks, athletic activities, and even moderate amounts of regular exercise. The lively dog ​​usually lacks the focus and desire to train at first, but as soon as you work with the little hunter a bit, it becomes apparent how much he is actually focused on his people and how happy he is to achieve success.

How Long Can You Leave a Beagle Alone?

If the Beagle is acclimated to being alone early enough, it is entirely possible to leave him alone for up to five hours. However, it should be remembered that the Beagle is a very socially interactive dog breed and the rest of the time it likes to be kept busy and spent with its human.

Diet of the Beagle

The diet of the beagle is basically very uncomplicated. But the targeted breeding of the breed and the resulting stocky physique mean that the Beagle tends to be overweight. As a prey dog ​​used for hunting, the small hound suffers from an insatiable appetite, which is reflected in its feeding behavior. The Beagle sees feeding as constant competition, especially when living in packs. He tends to wolf down his meals in a short amount of time and it’s almost as if the headstrong Brit has a stomach of unlimited capacity. If you own a Beagle, you can be sure that unattended meals will become the dog’s feast in no time. For this reason, a good training and feeding routine is fundamental to living comfortably with a Beagle. It is also recommended to use an anti-sling bowl. This is equipped with bumps and turns and forces the dog to eat more slowly.

Healthy – Life Expectancy & Common Diseases

A healthy beagle lives to be between 12 and 15 years old. However, due to forced and selective breeding, the Beagle, like many of its relatives, is affected by hereditary diseases. Due to its compact build, the Beagle is very prone to herniated discs and meningitis arteritis. The latter is an inflammatory disease of the spinal cord and is also known as “Beagle Pain Syndrome”. This disease leads to purulent inflammation of the blood vessels and the membranes of the spinal cord, which is incredibly painful for the dog. The treatment takes place over several months of therapy, which includes, among other things, the long-term administration of antibiotics.

Another common condition is what is known as hound ataxia. This is a neurological disorder that manifests itself in the form of spastic paralysis and movement disorders. The reason for this is inflammation of the spinal cord and the gray brainstem, but in most cases, these diseases are painless for the dog.

The vision system of hunting dogs is also often affected by diseases. Beagles are more likely to suffer from glaucoma, retinal atrophy, or corneal dystrophy. The Beagle is also not spared from frequent ear infections and the nesting of mites and other vermin. This is due to the long floppy ears of the British.

Care of the Beagle

The care of the Beagle is very uncomplicated. Since the coat is short and close-fitting, regular brushing of the dog is quite sufficient. However, care should be taken to ensure that the hound’s paws and ears are regularly cleaned of dirt and foreign objects. Since the Beagle is prone to ear infections, a small grain of grass or a blade of grass can become a source of inflammation.

The Beagle – Activities, and Training

Training with the Beagle is a bit more demanding compared to training with other dog breeds. The Beagle is not suitable as a beginner’s dog due to its strong will and temperament. The Beagle requires consistent and experienced leadership as well as clear commands. It is advisable to start training early and go to a good dog school. Frequent recall and repetition of basic commands should be essential in training the Beagle throughout its life. The Beagle tends to make situations as comfortable as possible and doesn’t mind pouncing on his owner if given the chance. The training and education of the Beagle should be done with joy and fun since the hunting dog is quite enthusiastic and with little motivation learns attentively and willingly. He is incredibly ambitious and goal-oriented, which is particularly evident when hunting. The Beagle only stops when he has reached his goal. Since the Beagle is also very intelligent, he needs not only enough physical exercise but also mental work. The brain games for dogs are best suited here.

Anyone who keeps a Beagle will learn to love both long walks and cozy evenings on the sofa. The hunting dog loves to roam through nature. Especially in the forest and on the meadow he feels at home. It is also suitable for other sporting activities as a companion dog when jogging, cycling, or hiking. Due to its body size, however, a basket should be carried along on longer bike tours so that the dog can take a breather. The beagle is also suitable for dog sports such as agility.
Because of its excellent nose, the Beagle is often trained as a detection and tracking dog. It is often found in use by border and customs authorities and as a sniffer dog by the police or the German armed forces.

Good to Know: Peculiarities of the Beagle

A special feature of the Beagle is definitely its versatility. The Beagle convinces with its intelligence and its sporty nature and at the same time appears open, curious, and friendly. The Beagle is the perfect all-rounder and can be kept as a hunting, companion, and family dog. Although he certainly shows his idiosyncratic side in training, he is otherwise a balanced haven of peace. Even the smallest members of the family can upset a Beagle.
Another special feature is his excellent sense of smell, which makes the British one of the most popular hunting and tracking dogs. As already mentioned, it is often used by border and customs authorities and cuts a particularly good figure on the hunt. His tracking instinct is characteristic of the European hound.

Cons of the Beagle

The beagle can truly be a stubborn person. It is important to start training from an early age as a puppy, otherwise, the little hound may well dance in your face. The Beagle makes a very good companion and family dog, but it’s important to remember that they also need time and space to themselves. Not only does he have a strong will of his own, but he also likes to be alone from time to time.

The Brit is not only very noisy when hunting, he generally has a very loud organ. Although the Beagle is not one of the barkers among the dog breeds, he likes to spread his mood loudly. If you live in a very quiet residential area, you should inform your neighbors in advance.

Is the Beagle Right for Me?

The Beagle is not a dog for beginners. He needs a dog handler who gives clear commands and demands them consistently. Anyone who is not yet very familiar with dog training or is a newcomer to dog owners should better not get a Beagle. Even people who do not enjoy dog training or physical activities should not bring a Beagle into their home. Basically, however, the Beagle is considered a friendly and charismatic family dog that complements the family perfectly.

Is a Beagle Good for Beginners?

No, a Beagle is not a suitable dog for a beginner.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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