Beagle: A Loyal Companion With Unique Traits

Beagles have a long and fascinating history. They originated from hunting hounds that date back to ancient Greece in 400 BC and were brought to England in the 11th century (AKC, 2022). The modern Beagle breed was developed in Great Britain in the 1800s from several breeds including the Talbot Hound, North Country Beagle, and Southern Hound (Wikipedia, 2023). They were bred as scent hounds to track and hunt rabbits and hares.

Today, Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are friendly, intelligent, and make excellent family pets. Beagles are known for their happy, loving personalities and their loyalty to their families. They have a lot of energy and need daily exercise. Their calm temperament and moderate size make them great companions for kids and active owners.


Beagles are a small to medium-sized breed. According to the American Kennel Club, their ideal height range is between 13 and 15 inches for a standard Beagle. They typically weigh between 18-30 pounds.
Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.

Beagles have a short, close coat that lies flat. Their coats come in a variety of colors like white, black, brown, and tan. Common coat colors include tricolor (black, white, and tan), red and white, and lemon and white.

Beagles have domed heads, square muzzles, large brown or hazel eyes, long, velvety ears, and a medium-length tail carried high over their back. Their facial features and floppy ears are defining characteristics of the breed.

Overall, the Beagle is a sturdy, muscular dog with a compact body perfect for hunting and tracking. Their athleticism allows Beagles to be energetic, playful companions.



Beagles are known for their friendly, happy, and loyal temperaments.1 They make excellent family companions as they are gentle, loving, and always eager to be by their owner’s side. Beagles get along well with children and other pets when properly socialized. One of their most endearing traits is that they are always ready to play a game or go on an adventure with their family.

These curious hounds have lively and upbeat personalities. They are intelligent dogs that enjoy mentally stimulating games and activities. Beagles often use their nose to explore new smells and scents. Their playful and inquisitive nature makes every day fun and exciting for Beagle owners.

a beagle puppy with a curious and playful expression, reflecting their lively personalities

Overall, the loyal and people-oriented temperament of the Beagle makes them a delightful addition to any family looking for an affectionate and cheerful companion.

Activity Level

Beagles have a moderate energy level and need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they have a strong urge to use their nose and follow scents. This means they need adequate physical and mental stimulation through activities like brisk walks, playing fetch, or scent work games. According to sources, beagles should be walked at least once per day, and twice is ideal.

Beagle puppies can be very energetic and playful, but should not be over-exercised while they are still growing. Adult beagles do best with 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. The walks should be at a fairly brisk pace to meet their exercise needs. A long walk or play session will help prevent behavior problems from developing due to pent up energy. Allowing a beagle some time to run and explore in a safe, fenced area can provide additional exercise.

While beagles have moderate exercise needs, they are lower maintenance than some high energy breeds. Providing daily walks and playtime, along with access to toys and chews, will help keep a beagle physically and mentally stimulated.


How much exercise does my Beagle need?


Beagles are eager to please and very responsive to positive reinforcement training methods. As a breed, they aim to do what makes their owner happy. Using treats, praise, and anything else that motivates them during training is key to success.

According to the American Kennel Club article “Beagle Puppy Training Timeline: How to Train & Raise a Puppy Step-by-Step,” beagles respond extremely well to positive reinforcement training between 8-16 weeks old. This is an ideal time to socialize them and build confidence through reward-based training.

The MasterClass article “How to Train a Beagle: 7 Tips for Training a Beagle” also recommends starting training early with positive reinforcement to establish good habits. Their eagerness to please makes beagles highly trainable if the right motivational and reward-based methods are used.


Beagles are prone to certain health conditions. One of the most common is obesity, as Beagles tend to overeat if given unlimited access to food. They are motivated by food and have a strong sense of smell that leads them to seek out treats, so it’s important to monitor their diet and weight.

Intervertebral disk disease is another issue seen in Beagles and other dog breeds with elongated backs. This occurs when the disks between the vertebrae in the spine rupture or degenerate. It can cause pain, nerve damage, and paralysis if left untreated. Signs include reluctance to jump or go up stairs, crying out in pain, and dragging rear legs. Surgery may be needed for severe cases. Keeping a Beagle at a healthy weight can help prevent extra stress on the spinal disks.

According to PetMD, other common Beagle health issues include ear infections, allergies, cherry eye, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism. Owners should watch for signs of these conditions and have a vet check their Beagle annually.1 Neurological diseases like seizures may also occur in some lines. It’s important to discuss any potential genetic issues with the breeder before acquiring a new Beagle puppy. With proper preventative care and attention to diet, Beagles can live a full 12-15 years.


Despite their shaggy coat, beagles require minimal grooming to stay clean and healthy. Their short, dense fur tends to shed dirt and debris easily, so frequent bathing is often unnecessary. Occasional brushing once a week is usually sufficient to remove loose hair and distribute skin oils. This helps keep their coat shiny and minimize shedding around the home. Daily brushing during seasonal shedding periods can help remove excess fur.

Beagles do not require frequent trips to a professional groomer. Their low-maintenance coat can be easily managed at home. Nail trimming is needed periodically to avoid overgrowth. Checking and cleaning their floppy ears weekly is important to prevent infections. Providing minimal grooming care at home is all that is typically needed for this easy-care breed.

Living Conditions

Beagles do well in apartments and moderately adaptable to city life given enough daily exercise (Source). Their ideal home is one where they spend no more than 4-5 hours alone per day (Source). Allocating the beagle their own area and bed, like in the kitchen or utility room, is recommended (Source). With proper exercise and stimulation, beagles can thrive in most living situations.


The beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and around the world. According to the American Kennel Club, the beagle ranked 5th most popular dog breed in 2021, moving up a spot from 6th place the previous year (AKC). Beagles have remained in the top 10 most popular breeds in the U.S. for over a decade.

In 2020, beagles were ranked as the 6th most popular dog breed by the AKC with approximately 59,000 new AKC registrations. For 2021, that number grew to nearly 63,000 new AKC-registered beagles (AKC). Their friendly, loving temperament combined with their moderate activity level and size make them an excellent family companion.

Fun Facts

Beagles have some interesting traits and unique history that make them a beloved breed. One of the most famous beagles is Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip. Snoopy is known for his wild imagination and adventurous personality (source).

Beagles also make excellent detection dogs. Their powerful sense of smell allows them to detect prohibited agricultural items and even certain cancers. Beagles are the breed of choice for airport quarantine stations (source).

Queen Elizabeth I kept a pack of pocket beagles that stood 8 to 9 inches tall. She entertained guests by having the tiny dogs sit in decorated pie crusts on the table. The American Kennel Club formally recognized the beagle breed in 1885 (source).

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