Beagles are so well-loved that they've consistently been ranked in the top 10 on the AKC's 'Most Popular Dog Breeds' list since the year 2000. In 2019 they were in position #6.
A cheerful, friendly little hound dog, whose ancestors are most likely the ancient hounds who accompanied the British monarchy and gentry on hunting expeditions. These type of dogs can be traced back as far as the 11th Century, and probably existed even before that.
Over time, different groups of hounds were bred for different characteristics with the larger, longer-legged variety being used to hunt foxes and other larger game, while the smaller, shorter-legged variety hunted rabbits and other small animals.
Today's Beagles are descended from the second group.
After being imported to the United States during the 16th to 18th centuries, the breed was first officially recognized by the AKC in 1884 and since then these happy, active little dogs have grown to become one of America's favorites.
They're outgoing, joyful, energetic, good natured and lively dogs, who love to be where the action is and are extremely loving. They enjoy being with their family.
But this breed can be stubborn and independent at times, can be very vocal (the traditional hound 'baying' is not beyond this dog's capabilities) and need a lot of exercise, training and attention. They can be inclined to be mischievous at times too.
Originally bred to hunt in packs a solitary Beagle is NOT a happy dog.
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Size: Small to medium
Height: Up to 13 inches and 13 - 15 inches
Weight: 18 - 30lbs
Color: Can be any hound color but the most popular is the black/tan/white tri-color and the red/white bi-color, with lemon/white right behind it.
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, happy, outgoing and friendly.
Activity Level: High
Grooming: Can shed heavily so requires regular grooming and bathing.
Must have securely fenced yard as this breed tends to be an escape
artist. Leashed when out in public. Socializing and obedience training.
Hip dysplasia; luxating patellas; demodectic mange; epilepsy; eye problems
This breed usually get along great with children and they love the company of other dogs, but due to their hound roots they're often not good with cats or other types of small pet.
They also need a securely fenced yard as they have a tendency to follow a
scent wherever it leads and are oblivious to all obstacles in their
path. For this reason it's important to make sure that you pup/dog is always leashed when out in
These little guys can also be pretty successful 'diggers' when the mood strikes them, and if they get the scent of a rabbit, possum or some other critter they'll do their level best to track him down. Always make sure your puppy is wearing a sturdy collar with a name tag firmly attached!
A friendly, happy little guy who loves to be with his family wherever they go a Beagle is a very portable and merry traveling companion, but he does NOT like being left alone. If you work long hours or for some reason your pup is going to be on his own for hours at a time, this is not the breed for you.
Destructive behavior, loud barking and baying, and other dog separation anxiety problems are potential problems if your little guy doesn't get enough companionship and attention.
As with many other dogs from the working breeds, a puppy who comes from 'working bloodlines' is likely to have stronger breed-specific traits and be high energy, high-drive and need a lot of exercise and a job to do.
Puppies who are from show lines, or from bloodlines bred for companionship rather than work will usually tend to be a bit more laid-back and make better pets and companions. Overall they're best suited to an active family, with a fenced yard and lots of time to spend with the pup on a regular basis.