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BREED SPOTLIGHT

Breed Spotlight: Beagle

4 min read Sep 13, 2022

Beagle: Quick Stats

Lifespan:  12 – 15 years

Weight:  20 – 30 lbs.

Height: 12 – 20 inches

Do I Shed?: Frequent seasonal shedding

Personality: Friendly, patient, affectionate with family, aloof to strangers

Common Health Problems: Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye disorders, hypothyroidism, luxating patella

How Do I Look?

Ranked the seventh most popular dog in America in 2021, Americans love beagles for their kind eyes, floppy ears, and soft coats.3 Beagles are active dogs with strong, short legs. Their tails match their compact size, usually white tipped and standing at attention when they find their prey.

How Big Do Beagles Get?

Beagles are medium sized dogs, similar in size to the American Foxhound. Male beagles can reach up to 30 pounds and 20 inches tall, roughly the size of your average toddler. Females are slightly smaller at under 20 pounds and less than 13 inches tall. Beagles tend to turn into couch potatoes if they’re allowed, so watch them carefully or you may end up with an overweight beagle.

There are smaller versions of the beagle called the “pocket beagle” or the “Queen Elizabeth pocket beagle,” though they aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club. This mini beagle is small enough to fit in a bag, standing at a foot tall and weighing only 15 pounds.

Coat Type and Colors

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

Other color combinations are:⁴

  • Tricolor: Blue, white, and tan
  • Badger pied: Black, silver, and fawn
  • Hare pied: White and tan, with black tips on tan fur
  • Lemon pied: Red coloring with cream and lemon@
  • Red and white
  • Tan and white
  • All white

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.⁵ Their nails need to be trimmed regularly, along with weekly baths to avoid issues with dermatitis.

Ears

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

Drooling Level

Beagles don’t typically drool unless they’re excited.

A beagle on a leash in a park with their owner behind them.

Beagle: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I’ve got beauty, brains, and a cuddly side you can’t 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.

Behavior

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 to sniff around in.⁵

As your beagle ages, they may become lazier and prefer cuddling on the couch. A beagle’s diet should be watched closely to ensure they don’t become obese, which can cause many health problems like hip displacement and diabetes.

Trainability

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.”

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 that the fence extends underground to avoid tunneling.⁵’⁷ 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.

Are Beagles Good With Kids?

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

Are Beagles Good With Other Pets?

Historically, beagles are great with other dogs. Their ancestors, a foxhound, 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.

Barking Level

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

History of The Beagle

The modern beagle hails from the United Kingdom. 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.

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

Common Beagle Mixes

There are different types of beagles that come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes. Here are some of the most common beagle mixes you may find on your hunt for a new companion:

  • Cheagle: Chihuahua and beagle mix
  • Puggle: pug and beagle mix
  • Poogle: poodle and beagle mix
  • Bagel: basset hound and beagle mix
  • Sheagle: German shepherd and beagle mix
  • Labrador and beagle mix
  • Corgi and beagle mix

How Long Do Beagles Live?

Typically, beagles are healthy dogs compared to other breeds who experience a wide variety of genetic disorders. Beagles can live up to 15 years, so don’t fret: you may have your pup for a long time! They are hardy dogs who, with carefully monitored diets and exercise, can run, jump, and play well into their golden years.

Common Beagle Health Issues

Despite the beagle’s long life, things happen and there are conditions the breed may be prone to. Remember: dogs are individual, so one healthy beagle may not be as healthy as another. Here are some common issues you should look out for in beagles:

How Pet Insurance Can Keep Your Beagle Healthy

A dog is a friend for life and can get sick from time to time, just like us. Veterinary care can cost thousands of dollars a year for dogs, with millions of Americans unable to foot the bill.

Adding dog insurance to the financial tool box will ensure you can afford to keep your beagle healthy. MetLife’s Pet Insurance policies can include vaccinations, certain genetic conditions, and even prescription foods.¹’² Before you bring your new beagle home, don’t forget to ensure they’re set up for a healthy life.

Protect your Beagle

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.