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Beagles are gentle, sweet, and funny. This breed bonds well with everyone in the family, especially children. They can be rambunctious when playing, however, so they need to be properly socialized and supervised with very young children. They’re a comfortable size to tote around in your car, simple to groom, and their exercise needs are easily met with a long, meandering walk that gives them plenty of time to sniff. With a compact size, easy-care coat and happy nature, the Beagle has long had a place as one of the most popular breeds for families.
Size: Beagles come in two sizes: 13-inch and 15-inch. The smaller variety includes Beagles who are no taller than 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh 22 to 30 pounds, while the larger variety includes Beagles who are taller than 13 inches but not more than 15 inches and weigh up to 35 pounds. All Beagles sport a short, clean coat that’s usually some combination of black, white and tan. Their small to medium size is a plus for families.
Personality: The beagle has an even temper and gentle disposition. Described in several breed standards as “merry”, they are amiable and typically neither aggressive nor timid, although this depends on the individual. They enjoy company, and although they may initially be standoffish with strangers, they are easily won over.
Temperament: Beagles are happy, outgoing and loving. They are often described as having a merry temperament, but they are also known for their mischievous nature. Beagles like to have their own way, and they can be naughty, determined and stubborn in their efforts to get what they want, which is usually food. Shyness and aggression are not common Beagle characteristics.
Activity Requirements: Walk your Beagle for a minimum of 20 minutes, ideally 30, and some Beagles may need up to 40 minutes. Cardio exercise should be short and a bit more intense. This should be provided at least 1 time per week. A fenced backyard is a necessity with a scent hound such as a Beagle. They'll enjoy jogging with you, but wait until they're 18 months or older before starting them on a repetitive exercise like this. When mature, a Beagle can become fairly lazy, content to lie about the house all day, getting up for meals and perhaps an occasional scratching of the ears.
Behavioral Traits: They will make you laugh, but that's when they're not making you cry because of their often naughty behavior. Beagles can be difficult to house train. Some people say it can take up to a year to fully house train some Beagles. Crate training is absolutely recommended. Beagles can get bored if left alone in a house too long. If left in a backyard, Beagles will start finding ways to amuse themselves, usually by howling, digging, or trying to escape.
Diet: Beagles love to eat. Love it! 3/4 to 1.5 cups daily of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. When first obtaining an 8 week old Beagle puppy, it is best that he is fed the same brand that he is used to receiving. A changeover to your preferred brand should be done in steps to avoid stomach upset. This can be done over the course of 3 to 4 weeks. Both old and new food should be mixed together well, with the ratio of newer food increasing every few days. Dry dog food works well with Beagles, especially since it helps to keep their teeth clean. Divide your dog's daily ration into two to three daily meals. Keeping this all in mind, general guidelines are as follows:
2 to 4 lb. 1/3 to 1/2 cups per day.
5 to 8 lb. 1/2 to 3/4 cups per day.
8 to 10 lb. adult = 1/2 to 3/4 cups per day.
10 to 12 lb. adult = 3/4 to 1 cup per day.
13 to 16 lb. adult = 1 to 1 and 1/4 cups per day.
Trainability: Beagles respond best to training done with treats as well as positive reinforcement – punishments only cause them to develop avoidance behaviors. Beagles have been labeled stubborn dogs, and have a reputation for being difficult to train.
Colors: The most common color for Beagles is tricolor with a black saddle (the area across the back), white legs, chest, belly, and a white tip on the tail, and tan on the head and around the saddle. The second most common color combination is red and white in an Irish spotting pattern on the face, neck, legs and tip of the tail.
History: Beagles are scent hounds, meaning they live to use their nose. Beagles are also used as scent detection dogs at U.S. airports, where their friendliness allows them to search for weapons, drugs, and illegal food items without making passengers nervous the way a larger “police dog” might. The breed was developed in England to hunt rabbits, and Beagles are still happiest when following their noses. For that reason, they belong to a category of dogs known as scent hounds.
Beagle is the eighth-most popular dog breed by registrations (53,938) worldwide.
Today’s Beagles — one of the most popular breeds.
Beagles became popular in American households in the 20th century, initially used for hunting companions but also purchased to be family pets. In the early 1870’s, General Richard Rowett from Carlinville, Illinois was one of the first people to import Beagles from England to the US to begin establishing a quality bloodline. Rowett’s Beagles are said to have served as the models for the first American standard Beagles. The breeding continued an“America’s 10 Most Popular Dog Breed List” and have been the only breed to rank in the top ten every year since their AKC registry.
Origin: United Kingdom, England, Great Britain
Life span: 13 to 16 years
Temperament: Amiable, Excitable, Determined, Gentle, Intelligent, Even Tempered
Weight: 20 to 35 pounds
Height: 13–16 in (33–41 cm)
Colors: Lemon & White, Tri-color, Chocolate Tri, White & Chocolate, Red & White, Orange & White, White & Tan