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Beagle Dog

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Beagle Dog Breed

The beagle is a little scent hound that looks similar to the much larger foxhound. The beagle was created especially for hare hunting (beagling). The beagle is the most common breed used as a detection dog for forbidden agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine all around the nation, thanks to its keen sense of smell and exceptional tracking abilities. The beagle is a smart dog. It's a popular breed because of its size, pleasant temperament, and lack of inherited health issues.

Several breeds, notably the Talbot Hound, the Southern Hound, the North Country Beagle, and maybe the Harrier, were combined to create the modern breed in the 1830s in Great Britain. Since Elizabethan times, beagles have been featured in literature and paintings, and more lately in television, film, and comic books.

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Types of Beagles:

There are just two types of Beagles in the present era. Those who are not:

-13-15 inches 

-13 inches and under

This measurement refers to the height of the Beagles at the shoulder.

Beagle- The ‘regular' Beagle is between 13 and 15 inches tall and has a keen sense of scent. They were intended to be hunting dogs, and the white tip on their tail was bred in so that the hunter can see their dog when running in low-light situations. They don't have a high level of energy all of the time, but they nevertheless require a remarkable amount of activity, especially since they enjoy eating and are prone to obesity. They are devoted and affectionate dogs who make wonderful additions to any family.

Pocket Beagles- These petite scent hounds are joyful and fun-loving, despite being smaller than the normal Beagle dog breed. However, the Pocket Beagle is still a hound, and overcoming their occasionally stubborn disposition requires patience and inventive training tactics.

Puggles, Poogles, and Peagles- Though they're not an official species of Beagle, Beagle mixes are created by crossing a purebred Beagle with some other purebred dog to produce a hybrid pup.


The Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles took over the administration of a regular show in Peterborough that had begun in 1889 when it was founded, while the Beagle Club in the United Kingdom hosted its inaugural show in 1896. Regular dog shows resulted in the development of a consistent type, and the beagle remained popular until the onset of World War I, when all dog shows became halted. Just after the war, the breed faced a new battle for survival in the United Kingdom: the last of the Pocket Beagles was likely lost at this time, and registrations hit an all-time low. Several breeders were able to rekindle interest in the dog, and by World War II, the breed has been flourishing once more. Following the war's end, registrations decreased again but quickly recovered.

Beagles were always more popular in the United States and Canada as purebred dogs than in their native England. In 1888, the National Beagle Club of America was founded, and by 1901, a beagle had earned the distinction of Best in Show. The activity was modest in the United States during World War I, as it was in the United Kingdom, but the breed exhibited a much greater comeback when the war ended. It earned several awards at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1928, and by 1939, a beagle named Champion Meadowlark Draughtsman had earned the championship of best American-bred dog of the year. K-Park Run's Me In First (Uno), a beagle, won the Award for Best In Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club series for the first time in the competition's history on February 12, 2008.


The first reference of the beagle by title in English literature, as per the Oxford English Dictionary, is from c. 1475 in The Squire of Low Degree. Even though it has been hypothesized that the term "beagle" stems from the French begueule, the root of the term is unknown.

It's unclear why the black and tan Kerry Beagle, which has been found in Ireland since Celtic times, is classified as a beagle puppy, given that it stands 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) taller than a modern beagle and was once considerably larger. Some authors speculate that the Kerry Beagle's scenting abilities resulted from cross-breeding older strains. It was originally designed for stag hunting but is now also used for hare and drag hunting.


The beagle resembles a small Foxhound in appearance, however, the head is larger and the muzzle is shorter, the expression is distinct, and the legs are shorter in relation to the body. Females are significantly shorter than males on average, standing between 13 and 16 inches (33 and 41 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 18 and 35 lb (8.2 and 15.9 kg).

Their cranium is sleek and slightly domed, with a square-cut muzzle and a black (or rarely liver) gumdrop nose. The jaw is firm, and the teeth are scissor-like, with the top teeth neatly fitting over the bottom jaw and both sets oriented square to the jaw. The eyes are huge and hazel or brown in colour, with a hound-like imploring expression. The huge ears are elongated, velvety, and low-set, with a little bend towards the cheeks and rounded tips. Beagles have a muscular, medium-length neck with very little folding in the skin however some traces of a dewlap; a large chest decreasing to a tapered abdomen and waist; and a long, slightly curled tail tipped with white.

Because the tail is plainly visible when the dog's head is down pursuing a smell, the white tip was deliberately selected. When the dog is active, the tail does not fold over the back and yet is kept upright. The beagle is a robust dog with a firm, medium-length coat. The front legs are upright and held beneath the torso, but the back legs are muscular and stifled.

Sense of Smell

The beagle, together with the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, have some of the most developed senses of touch of any dog. John Paul Scott and John Fuller began 13-year research of canine behaviour in the 1950s. They evaluated the scenting abilities of different breeds by placing a mouse in a one-acre field and timed how long it would take the dogs to find it. It took the beagles just under a minute to find it, whereas the Fox Terriers took 15 minutes and the Scottish Terriers struggled to identify it at all. Because beagles are stronger at ground-scenting (following a track on the ground) than air-scenting, they were being replaced in certain mountain rescue teams by collies, who use sight in addition to air-scenting and thus are more biddable. The beagle's long ears and big lips are likely to aid in trapping odours near to the nose.


Breed Varieties- The American Kennel Club recognizes two types of beagles: the 13-inch and the 15-inch. The 13-inch is for hounds that are less than 13 inches (33 cm), while the 15-inch is for those that are between 13 and 15 inches (33 and 38 cm). The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes only one breed, with a maximum height of 15 inches (38 cm). A single breed, with a height of 13 to 16 inches, is recognized by the Kennel Club (UK) and FCI associated clubs.

The terms "English" and "American" are used interchangeably. This distinction, however, has received no official acknowledgment from any Kennel Club. Beagles that meet the American Kennel Club standard, which prohibits animals taller than 15 inches (38 cm), are on average lower than those that meet the Kennel Club standard, which permits for heights up to 16 inches (41 cm). 

Pocket Beagles are occasionally offered for sale, however, while the UK Kennel Club established a standard for the breed in 1901, the breed is no longer recognized by any Kennel Club. Willet Randall and his family introduced a rabbit-hunting variety identified as Patch Hounds in 1896. They have a bloodline that goes back to Field Champion Patch, however, they don't always have the patchwork marking.

Crossbreeds- Stonehenge suggested a retriever cross between a Beagle and a Scottish Terrier in the 1850s. The crossbreed had been a good worker, quiet and obedient, but it was little and might hardly carry a hare, according to him.

More lately, "designer dogs" have become popular, with the Puggle, a Beagle/Pug mix, being one of the most popular. Stonehenge suggested a retriever cross between a Beagle and a Scottish Terrier in the 1850s. The crossbreed had been a good worker, quiet and obedient, but it was little and might hardly carry a hare, according to him.

More lately, "designer dogs" have become popular, with the Puggle, a Beagle/Pug mix, is among the most popular.


The beagle is a friendly creature with a calm demeanour. They are friendly and often neither aggressive nor timid, however, this depends on the person. They are described as "merry" by numerous breed standards. They enjoy the company and, while they may be wary of strangers at first, they are readily won over. Because of this, they make terrible guard dogs, yet their proclivity to bark or howl, if confronted with the unusual, makes them excellent watchdogs. The beagle, together with the West Highland White Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Cairn Terrier, and Fox Terrier, received the highest excitability rating in a 1985 research done by Ben and Lynette Hart.

Beagles are bright, but they are single-minded and determined as a consequence of being bred for the long pursuit, which can make them difficult to train. They have trouble remembering scents once they've picked them up, and they're readily distracted by other odours. 

While they are attentive, respond well to food-reward learning, and seem to be desperate to impress, they are extremely annoyed or distracted, therefore they are rarely seen in obedience trials. They are placed 72nd in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs since they belong to the group of dogs with the least working/obedience intelligence. 

One of the reasons beagles have become common family pets is because they are wonderful with children. However, because beagles are pack animals, they are susceptible to anxiety issues, which leads them to destroy items when left alone. Although not all beagles howl, most will bark whenever faced with unexpected surroundings, and some may bay when they smell prospective prey. They also like being around cats as well as other dogs in general. They are not very exercise-demanding; their inbred stamina implies they do not rapidly tire when trained, but they also should not have to be driven to exhaustion before resting. Regular activity can help keep the breed from gaining weight, which is a problem for this breed.


Beagles have a median lifespan of 12–15 years, which is standard for canines of their size.

Epilepsy is common in beagles, however, it can usually be treated with medicine. In beagles, hypothyroidism and other types of dwarfism are common. The breed is known for two situations: "Funny Puppy," wherein the puppy is underdeveloped and soon developed a crooked back, weak legs, and is sensitive to a number of illnesses despite being otherwise healthy; and Musladin-Lueke syndrome (MLS), wherein the eyes are slanted and the external toes seem to be underdeveloped but apart from that development is normal. Hip dysplasia, which is frequent in harriers and several larger breeds, is uncommon in beagles. Beagles are a chondrodystrophic breed, which means they are susceptible to disc problems.

Even at a young age, beagles can develop immune-mediated polygenic arthritis (in which the immune system assaults the joints). Steroid medications can occasionally help to alleviate the discomfort. Neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration is yet another unusual condition in the breed. Puppies with this condition walk slowly, have poor coordination, fall more frequently, and lack a regular stride. It features a 5 percent projected carrier rate and a 0.1 percent impacted rate. There is a genetic test available.


Beagles were bred largely for the purpose of beagling, or hare hunting. They were thought to be perfect hunting companions for the elderly, who could pursue on horseback without straining themselves, young hunters who might catch pace with them on ponies, and poorer hunters who couldn't manage to retain a stable of strong hunting horses. Prior to the popularity of foxhunting in the nineteenth century, hunting was an all-day affair in which the thrill came from the pursuit rather than the kill. In this situation, the little beagle was a great match for the hare since, unlike harriers, they just wouldn't complete the hunt rapidly, but due to their superb scent-tracking ability and stamina, they remained nearly certain to catch the hare ultimately. During a long hunt, the beagle packs typically run tightly together, which would have been beneficial since it kept stray dogs from obstructing the trail. When hunting pheasants in dense vegetation, they were favored over spaniels.

The beagle fell out of favour for chasing hares as the demand for speedier hunts grew, but it was still used for rabbit hunting.


The Beagle Brigade of the United States Department of Agriculture uses Beagles as detection dogs. These canines sniff out food in luggage getting brought into the United States. After a variety of breeds were tested, beagles were selected because they are tiny and intimidating to individuals who are afraid of dogs, low maintenance for, clever, and work well enough for prizes. They're also used in a number of other countries, such as New Zealand's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Australia's Quarantine and Inspection Service, Japan, Canada, and the People's Republic of China. Larger breeds are typically utilized for explosive detection since it often requires climbing over luggage and onto large conveyor belts, whereas the smaller Beagle is not equipped to do so.


Because of their size and passive temperament, beagles are by far the most commonly utilized canine breed in animal testing. Every year, up to 65,000 beagles are employed in medical, cosmetic, aesthetic, and other chemical studies in the United States. They are specially produced and live their lives in cages where they are subjected to research. Beagles have been successfully liberated from labs thanks to the Rescue + Freedom Project (previously Beagle Freedom Project). Hundreds of animals have been set free because of this organization.

Old beagle dogs are utilized in a variety of research projects, including basic biological research, applied for veterinary medicine, applied human medicine, and human, animal, and environmental protection. In 2004, 7,799 beagles were among the 8,018 dogs tested in the United Kingdom (97.3 percent ). The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the United Kingdom accorded primates, cats, equids, and dogs special status, and the Animal Procedures Committee (established by the act) determined in 2005 that research on mice was superior, despite the fact that more individual animals were involved.

In 2005, beagles were used in fewer than 0.3 percent of all animal tests in the United Kingdom, but 7406 of the 7670 dog experiments featured beagles (96.6 percent ). The majority of dogs are bred for this function by businesses like Harlan. Companies that breed animals for study in the United Kingdom should be licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.

Other Roles

Despite being bred for hunting, Beagles are adaptable and are currently used for a variety of purposes including detection, therapy, and as household pets.

In Australia, beagles are utilized as termite sniffer dogs, and they've been mentioned as viable candidates for narcotics and bomb detection. They are also widely employed in pet therapy, visiting the sick and old in hospitals, because of their kind disposition and unimposing build. After using her owner's cell phone to dial an emergency number, a trained Beagle assistance dog was responsible for saving her owner's life in June 2006.

Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a Colombian rescue team's Beagle search and rescue dog was credited with identifying the owner of the Hôtel Montana, who was recovered after spending 100 hours buried under the wreckage. New York City recruited beagles to assist in bedbug detection, albeit the usefulness of these dogs in this kind of detection is debatable.

FAQs on Beagle Dog

Q1. Why Do Beagles Have Such a Foul Odour?

Ans. Beagles have a keen sense of smell, but they may sometimes smell terrible. Their hair follicles are the source of the odour. Although dogs do not sweat like humans, they do produce oils with a chemical odour that differs from dog to dog.

Q2. How Long Does a Beagle Dog Live on Average?

Ans. Beagles have a median lifespan of 12–15 years, which is typical for canines of their size. Epilepsy is common in beagles, however, it can usually be treated with medicine.

Q3. What is it about Beagles that Makes them Want to Sleep Beneath the Covers?

Ans. To defend themselves from the elements as well as other predators in the wild, they would build dens and sleep in them. As a result, the baby beagle’s natural instinct is to burrow under the covers, where they can be sheltered by soft blankets, cushions, and other objects to make a cozy nest.