|Dog Breed Group:||Hound Dogs|
|Height:||1 foot, 1 inch to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder|
|Weight:||18 to 30 pounds|
|Life Expectancy:||10 to 15 years|
Beagles are small, hardy hounds with a short coat, deep chest, stocky legs, and a medium-length tail. Their heads are fairly long and slightly domed, with low-set drooping ears. Big brown or hazel eyes are set well apart, and gaze with the typical, soft hound expression.
Their coat is of medium length, close, hard, sleek and easy to care for. Their standard coat is tricolored with white, black, and brown, though any hound-type of colouring is acceptable. A variety of markings can also be found on the coat, along with the iconic white-tipped tail, which are carried high.
Friendly, social, affectionate, curious, boisterous, and independent, the Beagle is a big character in a small package. A devoted member of the pack, Beagles are excellent with children and generally good with other dogs, but because of its hunting instincts, should not be trusted with non-canine pets, unless socialized with cats and other household animals when young. Don’t depend on them to guard your house. They may bark, but are unlikely to do much more than wag their tails if confronted with an intruder.
Because of their social nature, they’re not good candidates for solo time. Beagles will make a lot of noise or dig destructively if they become bored or lonely. They need ample time to socialize with other dogs and are happiest when they can be a part of everyday family life.
The amount of noise a Beagle makes is disproportionate to its size. They’re known for being one of the most vocal dogs, barking and howling frequently. And they snore, too. Beagles have three characteristic kinds of vocalization: bark, bay, and howl. Their bark is loud and full. They bark when alarmed or when asking for attention. Beagles bay specifically when they’re on the hunt. This is a call that alerts rest of the pack to a trail they’ve scented. The bay can be heard over long distances, making them easy to find and hard for any neighbors to ignore. They also howl in bonding with a human or dog pack, out of boredom, or when accompanying the piano.
Beagles are very old breed that can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece. They have always been bred as a companionable hunting dog with a great sense of smell, and a big mouth. Their name was speculated coming from Old French ‘bee gueule’, which roughly translates to ‘loudmouth’, referring to the dogs’ baying voice.
Beagles descend from hounds used in packs by hunters on foot in England, Wales and France. Queen Elizabeth I kept small a variety called Pocket Beagles, standing about 8 inches, which no longer exist. The beagle is best known for rabbit hunting, although the breed also has been used to hunt animals as diverse as jackals and wild pigs.