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The Beagle is one of the best known and loved of all the hound group. These sturdy and bold little scent hounds have kindly expressions and are compact and athletic. They have short coats that are dense and weather-resistant and come in a range of colours and patterns.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Very vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12-15 years
Weight: 10-11kg
Height: 33-40cm
Colours: Tricolour (black, tan and white); blue, white and tan; badger pied; hare pied; lemon pied; lemon and white; red and white; tan and white; black and white; all white. These colours can also be mottled, with the exception of all white
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Hound



Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 1/5
Shedding: 3/5



This is a happy, easy-going dog who is full of life and fun to be around. Beagles are good natured and, as they were bred to be pack animals, will get along with most other dogs. They love children but need to be exposed to cats at an early age in order to develop good relationships with them and may never be safe with strange cats or small furries. The Beagle is a good watchdog, barking at anything unusual, although once the burglar is indoors, the Beagle may prefer a game with him! The Beagle suits an owner or family who want an active, affectionate, cheerful dog who loves getting involved in games and activities but who are able to cope with their selective attitude to obedience and lack of reliable recall.

History and Origins

Around the mid-16th century, hounds began to be classified according to their purpose, i.e. sight hounds, scent hounds, etc. Around this time a small hound, bred to kill rabbit and hare, was assigned the name 'Begles', a French term meaning 'gape throat.' This referred to the animals' tendency to 'tongue', i.e. bay as a pack. The anglicised version where these dogs have their origins of course, is 'Beagle'. The breed owes its ancestry to the Foxhound, the Harrier and a small bloodhound known as a 'Kerry Beagle.'

Health and Common Issues

Exercise needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and feeding

Grooming Beagles

Training Beagles

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did you know?

  • The Beagle is one of the healthiest of pedigree dog breeds, and this coupled with his good nature has not always been good for him, as it has sadly led to the breed being widely used in vivisection and animal experiments. As the Beagle is such a manageable size, and has such an incredible nose, he has found work around the world as a drugs and food sniffer dog in many airports. He is extremely successful in this work – and his appealing look means he doesn’t frighten the passengers. The most famous Beagle of all is Snoopy – who, while he may not look like a Beagle, has made the breed very popular.

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