Breed Spotlight: Beagle

4 min read
Feb 06, 2024

What Are Some Facts About Beagles?


10 – 15 years


20 – 30 lbs


13 – 15 inches




Friendly, patient, affectionate with family, aloof to strangers

Health Problems:

Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye disorders, hypothyroidism, luxating patella

Beagles: How Do I Look?

Ranked the eighth most popular dog in America in 2022, beagles are loved for their kind eyes, floppy ears, and soft coats.1 Beagles are active dogs with strong, short legs. Their tails match their compact size, and are usually white-tipped and standing at attention when they find their prey.

Coat type and colors

Beagles are traditionally tricolored: black, brown, and white.2 Puppies are often born with only brown and white coloring, with black spots coming in as they age. Senior beagles often lose their darker spots — their black and brown fading to white or gray as they enter their golden years.

Shedding and grooming

Beagles have smooth, dense coats that are pretty low-maintenance. Professionals recommend brushing these dogs once or twice a week, with more grooming needed during the winter as their coats thicken.2 Their nails need to be trimmed regularly, and they need weekly baths to avoid issues with dermatitis.


This dog’s long, floppy ears may be cute, but they do get dirty. Be sure to clean their ears and inspect them for critters that may be hiding on their skin.

Drooling level

Typically, beagles don’t drool unless they’re excited.2


Beagle: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I’ve got beauty, brains, and a cuddly side you won’t be able to get enough of! I know I’m smart, and sometimes I get a little distracted, but I promise I’ll be your favorite companion. I like to be attached to my owner’s hip, so I’ll be your best buddy for sniffing adventures on a walk or a snuggly night on the couch.


Beagles were bred as hunting dogs who enjoy roaming and searching. Beagles love adventuring. So if you love exploring, hiking, or being outside, this dog may be for you. Pay attention to young beagles and train them well — their curious nature can get them into areas of your home or garden that you don’t want them sniffing around in.2

Exercise Needs

To keep your beagle healthy, expect to spend a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous activity each day. A fence is recommended to ensure your dog has a safe area to run around in. Ensure the fence extends underground to avoid tunneling.2,3 Beagles benefit from mental engagement with their humans and plenty of running to keep their muscles strong. Consider training classes to learn the best way to keep your best friend at optimal health.

Good With Other Pets?

Historically, beagles are great with other dogs.4 Their ancestors were hounds and hunted with larger dogs and men on horseback. Keep in mind that every individual dog is different, but you should expect your beagle to adjust well with other pets in the home.


The beagle can be extremely stubborn and easily distracted, making them difficult to train in comparison to other breeds. Throughout training, it’s necessary to be assertive, but positive to train them successfully.

The American Kennel Club recommends keeping beagles on leashes to avoid them running off to whatever scent their powerful nose takes them.⁶ To avoid losing your dog, train them well with commands such as “to me” or “leave it.”

Good with Kids?

The beagle is very good with children and can become extremely affectionate with their family. If properly exercised, they can also prove to be real cuddle buddies.

Barking Level

Barking and howling can be the largest problem found with this breed. Beagles tend to whine, bark, or howl excessively if they’re bored or left alone for too long. Be sure to exercise your beagle often to avoid this becoming a habit you can’t break.

Beagles: A History

The modern beagle hails from England. Originally bred for hunting hares and small game, beagles are scent hounds that quickly became favorites of nobility and royals alike because their compact size made hunting without a horse easier.4

Beagles were brought to the U.S. in the 19th century to hunt game and assist on farm lands. Today, they are prized show dogs and family pets. These dogs are extremely intelligent and may be stubborn, but training them is extremely rewarding.

4 Beagle Health Problems

Despite the beagle’s long lifespan, there are conditions the breed may be prone to. Remember: Dogs are individuals, so one healthy beagle may not be as healthy as another. Here are some common issues you should look out for in beagles:5,6

  • Hip dysplasia: This is a painful condition caused by defects in the ball and socket joint of a dog’s hip, sometimes leading to lameness.
  • Epilepsy: A brain disorder, epilepsy causes recurrent seizures.
  • Cherry eye: This is an irritating prolapse of a dog’s third eyelid, potentially leading to ulcers and dry eye.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can lead to additional conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, and liver disease.

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Beagles

A focus on hip dysplasia

If left unaddressed, hip dysplasia can cause a loss of muscle mass and lameness in the affected limb, as well as arthritis as the beagle ages.7 All of this can combine to greatly impact your pup’s quality of life.

Your vet will typically use X-rays to confirm hip dysplasia in your beagle. From there, you may be given several treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medication, supplements, and hydrotherapy. However, the only way to permanently fix hip dysplasia is surgery.7 A total hip replacement could greatly improve your beagle’s quality of life, but at the cost of up to $6,000.

A dog insurance policy could help cover the cost of surgery, as well as diagnosis and other forms of treatment. Because beagles are genetically predisposed to the ball-and-socket deformity that causes hip dysplasia, it can be a good idea to get pet insurance as early in their life as possible before it becomes a pre-existing condition.

A focus on epilepsy

The underlying cause of epilepsy in dogs remains unknown.8 What we do know is that a neurological condition causes temporary disruptions in the brain, often resulting in uncontrolled muscle movement.

Diagnosing epilepsy requires a full review of your beagle’s health history along with blood tests, urine analysis, and imaging — including MRIs and CT scans.8 Treatment means a lifetime of medication, which can cost hundreds of dollars annually. In addition to the cost of diagnosis, pet insurance could help cover the yearly cost of your beagle’s epilepsy medication.

Check out our guide, “How Pet Insurance Works,” to learn more about how a MetLife Pet policy could help you save on your beagle’s care. Then, get started with a free custom quote.

Help Protect Your Beagle From Illnesses

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2022,” American Kennel Club, 2023

2 “Beagle Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club

3 “Beagle: Overview, Description, Temperament, & Facts,” Britannica, 2023

4 “Beagle History: From Ancient Small Pack-Hounds to Snoopy,” American Kennel Club, 2022

5 “Beagle Dog Breed Health and Care,” PetMD, 2022

6 “Beagle,” Ingleside Animal Hospital

7 “Hip Dysplasia in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

8 “Epilepsy in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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