The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Beagle

Information and Pictures

Emma the Beagle wearing a harness standing on blacktop

Emma the lemon and white Beagle at 3 1/2 years old

Other Names
  • English Beagle



The Beagle is a sturdy, hardy little hound dog that looks like a miniature Foxhound. The body is squarely-built while the skull is fairly long and slightly domed. The square muzzle is straight and medium in length. The large eyes are brown or hazel and are set well apart. The wide, pendant ears are low set and long. The black nose is broad with full nostrils. The feet are round and firm. The tail is set moderately high and never curled over the back. The coat is of medium length, close, hard, sleek and easy to care for. Any hound-type of coloring is acceptable including lemon, tricolor, black and tan, red and white, orange and white or lemon and white, blue tick and red tick. Beagles have a distinct howl / bay of a bark when they are on the hunt. Video Clip of a Beagle's Baying Bark.


The Beagle is loving, sweet and gentle, happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail. It is sociable, brave and intelligent. The Beagle is 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. Beagles have minds of their own. They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. It is important you are this dog's pack leader and that you provide the proper amount of mental and physical exercise, including daily pack walks, to avoid separation anxiety. With enough exercise they will be calm. You can also purchase animal scents and play tracking games with your Beagle to help satisfy its instinct to track. The Beagle does not have a normal sounding bark, but rather a loud bay cry that almost sounds like a short howl. Beagles are curious and have a tendency to follow their noses. If they pick up a scent they may wander off and not even hear you calling them back, or care to listen, as they will be too busy trying to find the critter at the other end. Take care when letting them off leash that you are in a safe area. Beagles that are allowed to be pack leaders over their humans can develop a varying degree of behavior issues, including, but not limited to, guarding, obsessive barking, snapping, biting and destructive behaviors when left alone. These are not Beagle traits, but rather behaviors brought on by lack of leadership and/or exercise from their humans. The behaviors can be corrected when the dog’s instincts are met.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 14 - 16 inches (36 - 41cm) Females 13 - 15 inches (33 - 38cm)

There are two height classes, 13 - 15 inches (33 – 38 cm) and under 13 inches (33 cm).

Weight: Males 22 - 25 pounds (10 – 11 kg) Females 20 - 23 pounds (9 – 10 kg)

Health Problems

Some lines can be prone to epilepsy, heart disease, eye and back problems. Also prone to chondroplasia aka dwarfism (warped front legs, like a Basset's). See an example of chondroplasia in a dog. Prone to mast cell tumors.

Living Conditions

Beagles will do okay in an apartment if they get plenty of chances to be outdoors. They are very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.


Energetic and possessing great stamina, the Beagle needs plenty of exercise, including a brisk daily walk. It should have a fenced yard of reasonable size to romp in. Always use a lead when walking this breed or you will be running the risk of it disappearing in search of wild game.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

2 - 14 puppies, average 7


The Beagle's smooth shorthaired coat is easy to look after. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe with mild soap only when necessary. Dry shampoo occasionally. Be sure to check the ears carefully for signs of infection and keep the nails trimmed. This breed is an average shedder.


The first Beagles date back to the 1500s. English hunters would take packs of these dogs out on the hunt tracking rabbits, hare, pheasant, quail and other small animals. The breed probably originated as a cross between the Harrier and other types of English hounds. The dogs have since become one of the most popular breeds in the USA. The breed can hunt alone, in pairs or in packs. The name "Beagle" may have come from the French term "be’geule" which means “gape throat,” referring to the dogs baying voice. The name may also have come from the dog's size, stemming from the French word “beigh,” the Old English word “begele,” or perhaps the Celtic word “beag,” which all mean "small." He has also served as an excellent narcotics detection dog and makes a fine family companion. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1885.


Hound, AKC Hound

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
Front view head shot of a tricolor black, tan and white Beagle dog with a black nose and almond shaped brown eyes. The dog's face is symmetrical.

Poncho the male Beagle at 2 years old—"Poncho is a rescued dog, he was found in the floods in North Carolina, Oct. 2016. A rescue group from Pennsylvania went there and brought many dogs to PA to find homes. I adopted him in Jan. 2017. He is sweet and stubborn. He loves going to the dog park and wrestling with his friends. He is a master wrestler!! He is loved very much and we are so happy we found him!"

A happy looking tricolor hound dog pulling on its lead out on a sidewalk. It has a black nose and dark eyes and its tongue is showing and ears are hanging down to the sides. The dog is holding its tail low and its head is level with its body. Its front paw is up in the air.

Hobbs the adult Beagle dog at 4 years old

Close up head shot - An orange, white and black beagle hound dog with long drop ears that hang down to the sides and a tan nose standing on a hardwood floor.

An Adult Beagle

Baylee the Beagle standing outside in the grass

Baylee the Beagle at 8 months old—"We adopted Baylee when she was 3 months old. She has been a pleasure to have around since day one. She howls and pounces at the kitties; they don't understand that she just wants to play! She loves going for car rides, meeting new people and playing with other dogs."

Baylee the Beagle sitting outside with a flowered leash on

Baylee the Beagle at 8 months old

Buster the male Beagle standing outside in the grass

Buster the male Beagle at 2 years old

A black, tan and white tricolor Beagle dog standing outside up on a black and brown wooden table next to a wooden fence.

"Bella is a 9 year old Beagle. We keep her in shape by strictly limiting her diet to two measured feedings per day and plenty of exercise. She is a CKC TDX tracking dog and is going to trials for her UTD tracking soon. Some people say these little suckers are difficult to train, but they are extremely intelligent and as with any dog, you have to play to their strengths. With a Beagle it is their nose and their love of finding good smelling stuff. If you have a Beagle or want one... Just a bit of time and effort and I can assure you will tracking with her!!!!"

A black, tan and white tricolor Beagle dog standing outside on a wooden deck with a water bowl behind her.

Bella the Beagle at 9 years old

Close up with focus on the dog's nose - A black, tan and white tricolor Beagle dog standing outside on a wooden deck with a water bowl behind her.

Bella the Beagle at 9 years old

A little girl wearing a Donald Duck shirt kneeling down outside with Frank the Beagle

A little girl with her Beagle friend Frank

Frank the Beagle sitting in front of a little girl who is wearing a purple Donald Duck shirt

Frank the Beagle is an example of an overweight dog. It is not healthy to let your dog get fat. Since humans have control over how much a dog eats and when, any dog who is overweight is the fault of the owners. To prolong your dogs life be sure to keep them fit.

Gunner the Beagle standing on the steps with a dog behind him

"Gunner was one and a half years old when this picture was taken. He's a 23-lb purebred beagle. We found him at the Animal Rescue League when my boyfriend and I were looking for a friend for our Pit Bull, Lucy. He is a dominant dog and was difficult to train. Like all Beagles, he has a powerful nose and can be very stubborn at times. He was hard to handle until I started a daily schedule for him: an hour long walk in the morning, breakfast, nap time, playtime, another hour long walk in the afternoon, dinner, then rest time again. He went from making messes in the house, chewing up or eating our socks, and stealing our food to behaving at home as if he was a low energy dog. It seems annoying to change your schedule around for your dog, but it's a great feeling to know that you can help release your dog's energy while bonding with him or her on a morning walk. And the more I walk Gunner, the fewer socks I have to buy."

Left Profile - Snoopy the Beagle wearing a harness

Snoopy the Beagle at 9 months old—see More of Snoopy

Kris the Beagle laying down on a wooden deck

Kris the black and white Beagle at 1 year old

Close Up - Leo the Beagle laying outside in the grass with another dog stepping on his paw

"Leo the purebred lemon Beagle—His eyes are hazel, lighter than the picture shows, almost a lemon color, and his nails are solid white."

Joey the Beagle laying on a blanket with Chacha the Cat

"This is Joey my Beagle with Chacha my cat. Joey is 4 months old in this picture and from the moment he was 7 weeks and we brought him home, he went after Chacha to play. He is a very friendly dog, stubborn but friendly. He cried the first night he came home and that was it, slept in his crate from the beginning. has been essential since the moment I decided to get a dog, from selecting a breed and especially on How to walk your Dog, an article I constantly recommend."

"Joey always wants to be with his pack. He loves frozen carrots and all I need to distract him is to throw an ice cube on the floor. Great with kids and visitors. All and all, Joey is a real blessing. Thanks to this site I knew what to expect so I was ready when things happened, instead of getting frustrated it helped me appreciate Joey's growing steps."

Lucy the Beagle sitting on a couch

Lucy the black and tan Beagle is a few years older in this picture and has started to gray. Lucy has a little white on her cheek and one foot; the rest of her is black and tan.

Shadow the Beagle laying outside deep in the grass

Shadow the black and tan Beagle puppy (Lucy shown above is his mother)

Two Beagle Puppies standing in tall grass in front of a rock structure

Shadow the black and tan Beagle puppy with his tricolor littermate; the mother is black and tan (Lucy, shown above) and the father is a tricolor Beagle.

Layla the Beagle with its head stuck in a hole in the arms of a girl

"Layla, a purebred Beagle—she was 3 months old at the time, curious about why the wires from the computer monitor went into a mysterious hole in our computer desk. Her being the curious puppy she is, she stuck her head into there and she couldn't get out! Of course, this happened on the night of a huge blizzard in NY. We had to call the police to help us get her out. It took them nearly 45 minutes to get here when they are only located 5 minutes away! We tried everything from olive oil to just simply yanking her head out but her ears were too big to get her through. We ended up having to cut the desk open with an electric saw so we could at least get her free. Then, we had to call our friend who works as a nurse at a local vet to come get her head out. Sure enough, she got her head out in a heartbeat."

Wembly the Beagle sitting on a red concrete surface

Wembly the Beagle shown here at 8 years old. He is a good bit overweight, which is hard on his joints, especially his knees. He is friendly and loves to hang out at doggie day care with all of his friends.

Understanding Dog Behavior