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Beagle: A Breed Guide

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The Beautiful Beagle: A Breed Guide

Beagles are cartoon icons thanks to Snoopy and Odie, of Peanuts and Garfield respectively. Outside of the comic strip world, this breed is just as loveable as its drawn representations. Beagles, a type of hound dog, are social and playful and known for their soulful howls. What can you expect when you decide to added a beagle to the family?

A Breed with Ancient History

The history of the beagle is not as easily traceable as some other breeds. Some records indicate a dog similar to the beagle were present in ancient Greece, dating back to 400 BC, according to The National Beagle Club of America. The beagle’s ancestor, the Talbot hound, arrived in England around 1066. Different varieties of beagles popped over time, some becoming extinct. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed in the late 1800s.

Physical Characteristics 

Big, floppy ears are probably the most easily recognizable feature of the beagle. The breed is on the smaller side, usually weighing between 20 and 30 pounds and stand between 13 and 15 inches tall, according to the AKC. These loyal companions have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.
The beagle coat has a smooth coat, which you can expect to get thicker during the winter and lighter during the warm months. Some shedding is to be expected with this breed. Beagles come in different colors, including lemon and white; red and white; and tan, back, and white.


These small hound dogs have been used for hunting in the past (primarily rabbits), and some still hunt today. Their hunting lineage means that beagles are high-energy and have curious noses. They have also been bred to hunt in packs; beagles are social animals. Beagles are also highly affectionate and become very attached to their humans.

Life with a Beagle

With such an active breed, you can expect to spend a good amount of time on exercise and training every day with a beagle. What else can you expect?
  • Vocalization. As a part of the hound dog group, beagles are very vocal dogs. They love to let loose and bay whenever they are excited, which is often. You can learn how to manage barking and baying, but don’t expect your pup to be silent all of the time.
  • Training. Beagles are not the easiest breed to train. They have minds of their own, and it will likely take a lot of patience and persistence when it comes to obedience training for your pup.
  • Puppy proofing. Puppy proofing your home is a must for any breed, but you may need to take some extra care with a beagle in the house. The breed is known for getting into things they shouldn’t and escaping.
If you are looking for a beagle to bring home, Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education & Welfare works in Illinois and five other Midwestern states.
Written by Carrie Pallardy

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