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Beagle Dog Breed Conditions, History and Temperament

| Published on January 25, 2010


Average Size of Male: Height: 13 inches–15 inches, Weight: 18 pounds–30 pounds

Average Size of Female: Height: 13 inches–15 inches, Weight: 18 pounds–30 pounds

Lifespan: 12–15 years

Major Concerns: Intervertebral disc disease, canine hip dysplasia

Minor Concerns: Glaucoma, epilepsy

Occasionally Seen: Patellar luxation, deafness, hemophilia, cataracts

Suggested Tests: Hip, eyes

Brief History of the Beagle

Avid hunters in France in the eighth century had developed a relative of today’s bloodhound that they called the Saint Hubert Hound. This breed was the ancestor of other varieties, including the Talbot Hound, which during the 11th century was brought to England to hunt rabbits. When the hunters decided they wanted a faster-moving hound, they crossed the Talbot with Greyhounds.

What followed was a long effort to maintain a strain of hound that could hunt hares and foxes. The various offshoots of beagle types, including the Pocket Beagle, Wirehaired Beagle, and Rough Beagle, all fell by the wayside. In 1890, the British made a concentrated effort to preserve the breed and formed The Beagle Club. Meanwhile, American dog breeders began to take an interest. In 1884, the Beagle was accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Beagle Breed Appearance

The Beagle is the quintessential hound in miniature. There are two varieties of the Beagle; over 13 inches and under 13 inches. The Beagle is a sturdily built dog, as long as he is tall, with a straight topline and high, happy tail carriage. The tail is thick at the base, and the legs are strong and straight. The dog has floppy ears that should reach to the end of the nose. The head is clean, while the eyes are large and dark. The dog has a sweet expression. Beagles are generally tricolored, but they can come in any hound colors, including brown, black and tan, blue, lemon and white.

Beagle Breed Temperament

The Beagle is a wonderful choice for a family with children. He is patient, tolerant and kind. His sweet disposition extends to everyone he meets. He is quiet and cuddly in the house but can be active and playful outdoors. His first instinct is to hunt, so if he picks up a scent, he may put his nose to the ground and be gone. Therefore, it is important to keep him contained in a fenced area or on a leash.

Beagle Breed Maintenance

The coat of a Beagle requires minimal grooming, although brushing is helpful to rid the dog of loose hairs and maintain his coat’s sheen. The Beagle sheds individual hairs all year-round.

The Beagle needs a chance to run and play on a daily basis. He is a frisky and active companion. He is highly food motivated, so he typically responds well to positive training methods, but his urge to obey may be overridden by his primal hunting instinct. Owners should be conscious of the nature of a hound, knowing that running after prey and the long, baying bark is part of life.


AKC: Dog Breeds: Beagle



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