The Beagle is a medium sized breed that was originally bred for hunting game, due to their great sense of smell. Nowadays they are often used to detect illegal imports and quarantine with their excellent tracking skills. They are a popular choice of breed as they are good tempered and generally have few health problems in comparison with other breeds. Beagles are normally tricolour or white with a combination of red, lemon, or brown.
Beagles are very even tempered and gentle; they like to have company and are very good with children. They often bark at unfamiliar people making them good watch dogs, but can be timid when near strangers so don’t make particularly good guard dogs. Beagles can be very excitable and determined, so they can prove hard to train. If they pick up a scent they can easily get distracted from their task, although they can respond well to food reward training methods.
- Breed Name:
- Coat type:
- Close, coarse, medium in length
- Male: 10–11kg, Female: 9-10kg
- Average Lifespan:
- 10–13 years
- Curious, Very Active, Good with kids, Kind, Intelligent
- Favourite Pastimes:
- Running, Long Walks, Playing, Mischief Making, Hide & Seek
- Did you know?
- Beagles have a massive 220 million scent receptors in their nose compared to us humans having a mere 5 million!
- Easy to train?
Walkies of Fame
The most famous Beagle in the world is the fictional character Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts, his first appearance was in 1950, and he’s still well-known today.
Several cross breeds with Beagles have become popular in recent years, the main ones being the Jackabee and Puggle. The Jackabee is a Beagle crossed with a Jack Russell Terrier; they tend to look more like Beagles than the terrier, they are generally very affectionate with lots of energy. The Puggle,a Beagle crossed with a Pug, has become a bit of a designer dog among some celebrities they are less excitable than the Beagle and require less exercise.
Beagles can be more prone than other breeds to idiopathic epilepsy. Epilepsy is a fairly common genetic condition in Beagles and normally inherited. The seizures only last around a couple of minutes and dogs suffering with idiopathic epilepsy usually have their first seizure between 1-5 years old. The condition is shown by repeat seizures where the muscle react to an abnormal nerve signal from the brain.
- Cherry Eye
This is fairly common that can be corrected by surgery and makes the eye red and sore. It happens when the tissue around the tear gland weakens so the gland moves out of place and becomes visible. It is seen as red & round in appearance like a cherry and can become easily infected if left untreated.
This is also known as dwarfism in Beagles and is a disease that produces small beagles with deformed vertebrae and legs. The first signs appear around 4 weeks of age, when it can start to be seen that the puppy isn't developing as fast as the rest of the litter. The condition can give the puppy joint pain and it may have difficulty moving around as well as the rest of the litter. There is no cure for this disease but medication can help with the pain.
Beagles are prone to weight loss as they get older and like any dog as they start to do less exercise. Once less active they will still continue to eat food whenever it is available to them so owners play a big part in weight control. To avoid obesity it is extremely important that they get enough exercise daily to be stimulated and keep them slim. Food should be monitored more closely to make sure they are receiving the right amount and type for their life stage.
Beagles can suffer from hypothyroidism and it seems to be more common with this breed than most. This occurs when the thyroid is under active and so does not produce enough thyroid hormone, which reduces the dogs metabolism as a result. Signs of this condition include a dull coat & hair loss, dry skin & other skin disorders, weight gain, lethargy and depression. Medication can be given to control the thyroid once the cause is known from diagnostic tests.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
Beagles suffer from this condition and it occurs when the vertebrae disc becomes injured and leaks or swells from the injury. If the disc had been damaged the dog will show signs of becoming reluctant to move, show possible discomfort and pain, drag its back legs when walking, may limp or cry out when walking. If these symptoms arise veterinary attention should be sought and x-rays can be taken to see the full extent of the issue.
- Ear Infections
Beagles have long floppy ears which stops the inner ear getting substantial airflow, so ear infections can be more likely with them than other breeds. If ears are cleaned regularly this should minimise problems. As Beagles are out running in fields and grass fairly often, ears should be checked for grass seeds as these can bury deep in the ear and be extremely painful for the dog if they get stuck. They normally will require anaesthetic to have them removed.