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The Beagle probably derives from the larger Harrier breed, and has been used for hunting in Britain since the Middle Ages. These small dogs could even be carried by mounted hunters in saddlebags, and were bred to pursue rabbits and birds, either in packs or solo.  The breed as we know it today was developed in Great Britain about 150 years ago.

It has been one of the most popular breeds in North America for more than a quarter century. The most famous Beagle of all is Snoopy from the comic strip “Peanuts.” Today’s Beagle comes in two height varieties (13 in. and 15 in.) and any true hound color, including tri-color, red and white and lemon.


The Beagle is described as :

  • Gentle, sweet, lively and curious dog
  • Loves everyone, a happy little tail-wagger.
  • Sociable, brave and intelligent.
  • Calm, loving and excellent with children

The breed is generally good with other dogs, but because of their hunting instincts, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets, unless they are socialized with cats and other household animals when they are young. Beagles have minds of their own.

Being a hound, the Beagle has one of the strongest noses in dogdom and this can leave Beagle guardians pulling their hair out. If there’s food to be had in the kitchen, the Beagle will get it. The Beagle is a happy-go-lucky dog that brings a breath of fresh air to any household. However, the Beagle can be a handful and breeders warn that prospective owners should rethink their decision if they work long hours and are unable to give the dog enough time and stimulation to keep it happy. The consequences of an unhappy Beagle can be disastrous: baying for long periods of time (sure to send your neighbors demented), destruction both in and out the house, serious attempts at escape, and a sad and doleful pooch.

They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. It is important you are this dog’s pack leader and that you provide the proper amount of mental and physical exercise including daily pack walks, to avoid separation anxiety. You can also purchase animal scents and play tracking games with your Beagle to help satisfy their instinct to track.

A Beagle has a loud baying cry that was a delight to hunting horsemen, but can be disturbing to family and neighbors. Beagles have a tendency to follow their own noses. They may take off on their own exploration if let off their leash in an unfenced area. Once their mind, and nose are on a scent, they may not even hear you calling them.

Beagles who are allowed to be pack leaders over their humans can develop a varying degree of behavior issues, including, but not limited to, guarding, obsessive barking, snapping, biting, and destructive behaviors when left alone. The Beagle looks like a small English Foxhound.

The skull is broad and slightly rounded, and the muzzle is straight and square. The feet are round and strong. The black nose has full nostrils for scenting. The long, wide ears are pendant.
The brown or hazel eyes have a characteristic pleading expression. The tail is carried gaily, but never curled over the back. Beagles have a distinct howl / bay of a bark when they are on the hunt.


This breed does well with an active family and is adaptable to most living situations, country or city.

This is a small, lean dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a long skull and square muzzle. It has large, brown or hazel eyes and a black nose. The drop ears are long and broad and the naturally short tail is set high. The short hard coat is of any hound color.


  • A Beagle is bred as a pack hound and requires canine companionship and lots of exercise.
  • These hardy dogs need special care only for their long ears, which must be cleaned regularly.
  • The coat needs a thorough brushing, once or twice a week, to rid it of dust and dead hair.
  • Needs a fenced yard and to be leashed.

More information on the Beagle.

More handy Beagle links

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