What is a Beagle?

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Beagles are a gentle and tolerant pack hound, despite the fact that they come with a long recorded history of hunting hare and rabbit (They were used as pack hunt dogs by the wealthy elite of Old England down to the poorest of woodsman) they are actually a very friendly amiable hound that will be the centre of fun for any family taking one of these dogs into their home. They are playful rambunctious dogs that love affection and enjoy being involved in any outdoor pursuit that their family is participating in. They are hounds though, so don’t be surprised if they start barking or howling as they join in or particularly if they are left behind.

Quick Facts about the Beagle


Lifespan of a Beagle

12 to 14 years

Height of a Beagle at the Withers

13 to 16 inches or 33 to 40cms

Weight of a Beagle

18 to 30lbs or 8 to 14kgs

Average Price of a Beagle

In 2020 any normal Beagle pup will cost you around $400 to $1000, however specialist hunting or lemon beagle pups have been known to fetch in excess of $3000.
In the UK lemon beagle pups can easily fetch £1500 upward due their recorded pure lineage.
Everyday beagle pups can fetch £300 to £1200 each.

What breed is the Beagle?

The Beagle is recognised by all kennel clubs as a Hound

Are Beagles Hypoallergenic?

Beagles are not hypoallergenic, they shed minimal hair but produce dander and saliva.

Temperament of the Beagle

Friendly, excitable, playful, vigorous, can occasionally be independent. Known to howl or bark.

What does a Beagle Hound look like?

A stout stocky little hound dog with intelligent inquisitive eyes set under a wide brow from a square head. Long flap down ears that are soft and luxurious to the touch.

A medium length nose set wide over a firm mouth.

A short wide neck over a solid square chest with short strong front legs.

Beagle Side View

A medium length body that is firm with generous hips to short muscular legs under a strong tail of medium length.

Characteristics of the Beagle

These dogs are happy spritely little dogs, full of vigour, having a tolerant friendly nature and yet can still become an independent spirit if an interesting scent crosses their path. Great at learning new skills, of which, if a good return call is taught early on, it should be enough of a distraction from their scenting to bring them back to you.

Despite the fact that these dogs are quick in their reactions and movements they are also very aware of their surroundings and so cause few problems with small children such as knocking them over.

Beagle With Child
Great Family Dogs

The hair moults like any other dog but a regular grooming will keep hair at bay, but these dogs are usually very good at self-cleaning so will need minimal help from you.

Easy to train when they are young but older dogs seem to be less able to take on new instructions unless they have been taught well from a young age. The biggest problem here is getting older dogs to concentrate long enough to listen to your instructions, but a firm, calm voice works well, perhaps administering training away from excitable children.

History of The Beagle

Dogs of some Beagle type breed were used in England during the 14th Century for “Hare Hunting”. The word Beagle though is only traceable after 1475. From the 16th Century onward many written and textual references can be found that refer to Beagles.

Hunters could follow these dogs on foot or horseback, and if need be carry them as there were a number of varying sizes at this time including miniature or pocket sized Beagles which could be put into haversacks to enable them to cover greater distances.

Popular with “Ladies” and occasionally elderly or infirm were the smaller breeds, a bit like the “Teacup” breeds of the 21st Century.

The first mention of a Beagle in America was listed in 1642. By the end of the 19th Century Beagles had become popular in field and conformation exhibitions and came to be one of Americas all-time favourite breeds.

Beagle Pup On Lead

Moving on to modern day and the Beagle has become a very useful “Detection Dog”. When trained to sniff out drugs, contraband, explosives instead of hares these dogs have shown themselves to be extremely capable, their size helps them into tight areas and their tenacious nature for finding a scent is incredible.

Beagle Sniffing
Beagles are great at sniffing scents

As Humans we have around six million olfactory receptors used for smelling in our noses. Most dogs have somewhere between 125 and 300 million.
Beagles have around 225 million, which means they are super sniffers that nature has designed for finding, tracking, and also memorizing many scents which is why they are so good at finding illegal substitutes when taught.

Like many other members of the hound family, Beagles were bred for tracking and hunting. Medically they have been found to have a special olfactory lobe of their brain that is purely designed to process and store hundreds of smells.


Listed on our A to Z of Lap Dog Breeds


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