Beagle – Hound

Beagle – Hound

Beagle – Hound

Beagle In Field

Image: Alexey Androsov/Shutterstock.com

Name Beagle - Hound
Size Small - Medium
Grooming Easy
Training Medium
Exercise Daily / 2 walks a day
Origins United Kingdom

The Beagle – The Hound that Captured A Hundred Hearts

A high energy dog in a medium-sized body

Beagle Puppy

Image: Namomooyim Shutterstock.com

Quick Overview


Name:                                                                   The Beagle

Size:                                                                       No more than 15 inches

Weight:                                                                20-30 pounds

Grooming:                                                          Weekly

Training:                                                               Difficulty level 3/5

Exercise:                                                              2 hours plus daily

Temperament:                                                 Sweet or boisterous, nothing in between.

Lifespan:                                                              Up to 15 years

Origins:                                                                 Contested: England or France/lost to time

Breed Type:                                                        Hound


A Quick Beagle History

This dog breed has an exceptional history. The origins are lost or are considered contested. The name ‘Beagle’ is also contested between the two. The Gaelic for ‘little’ is ‘Beag’, the French word for the noise a hunting horn makes is ‘be’geule’, we make no judgement either way.

The English believe that the Beagle was used in Britain as long ago as 55 BC when small hunting packs were used for hare and other small prey. They were popular among the lower classes for hunting since it was easy enough to keep up with them on foot… and poor folks didn’t have horses. This is a common theme seen in French breeds, so make of that what you will.

What we do know is that these breeds were crossed with the St. Hubert Hound sometime in the 11th century, in Britain. The St. Hubert’s was also known as a Belgium based Bloodhound, so it’s still continental. They are known to be Bloodhounds, the best scent hounds in the business – and a parent breed to the Beagle. The Talbot Hound is also part of the Beagle ancestry. Both of these breeds were brought across the sea by William the Conqueror and his men/families during the Norman Invasion.

Cross Bred for Energy & Speed

The Beagle was bred with greyhounds slightly later than this, in order to get them bigger in size to be suitable for hunting the thousands of deer that haunt the British isles. Notably, Queen Elizabeth I favoured the Beagle and kept a strain of them that were bred to be pocket-sized. At one point, the most popular type of Beagle was small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

At some point, there were two distinct types of Beagle, told apart by being from the north or the south. Eventually, a man named Reverend Philip Honeywood had a mixed pack in the 19th century. This pack is thought to be the origins of today’s breed standard. Now, after all of these years of breeding, your modern Beagle has the boundless energy needed for the hunt, coupled with the pocket-sized, sit-in-your-hand cuteness of the mini Beagle. It is a match made in doggy heaven.

A Few Facts about the Beagle Breed of Dog

There are loads of fun facts about the Beagle breed… Although we will never get over the pocket Beagle, personally. Here are some other Five Minutes Spare fun facts about this joyous dog breed:

  • You can join the Beagle Club, check them out on the American Kennel Club website, find them on the UK Kennel Club website, Beagles are incredibly popular.
  • That first mix of Beagle types didn’t work too well, Honeywood had to breed with other dogs to make a hunter that was also cute. Harriers may or may not be involved. It’s contested, like everything else about the Beagle. We don’t know. Maybe it was aliens.
  • Beagles are one of the oldest British breeds (maybe) in America. They were exported over the sea in the 1840s, presumably to hunt.
  • It is thought that the last of the pocket dogs was snuffed out during WWII.

Whatever the truth of Beagle origins is, we love them. We also want a resurgence in pocket Beagle popularity. We just need a time machine or some genetic material…

Do they take a lot of Brushing?

The Beagle is a short-haired dog with fur that ranges from brittle to silky smooth. If your beagle's coat is brittle, change up their diet. Something grain-free is often easier on the stomachs of purebred dogs, but you should see your vet for individual advice. Your dog might cast a couple of times a year, a weekly brush will make this minimal. Include teeth cleaning in this weekly ritual and check their ickle toenails for length.

How Often Do I Exercise A Beagle?

For a medium breed, about 2 hours of exercise a day is normal. The Beagle was bred to hunt, has boundless energy, and will chew up your shoes if you don’t give it what it needs. Two long walks and an enthusiastic play each day should be just about enough. On the plus side, you don’t need to pay for the gym.

Can You Train A Beagle Easily?

This is an intelligent breed of former gun hound that was bred to hunt hare in the early days. They have whopping senses as a scent hound, meaning that training is easier depending on what you want to teach them. They get bored quickly so keep training sessions short. Early obedience training will help prevent future arguments and/or battles of will. Socialisation will also help them out a bit, since all dogs need to learn what is acceptable puppy behaviour and what is not.

What are Common Health Problems with this Breed of Dog?

There are a number of health concerns with the Beagle breed because of its long history. They have been bred to the point of issue, with dwarfism a common trait (and possibly how you make a pocket one). Hypothyroidism, epilepsy, immune disorders, hip dysplasia, and ear, eye, or skin problems are all known to this breed. As is obesity.

Where to Buy a Beagle?

When you are looking to buy a Beagle dog make sure you source them from a reputable breeder. This helps you, your new puppy, and every dog out there trapped in the clutches of vile puppy farmers. These nasty characters breed a dog to its death, selling puppies for thousands and driving prices up for all of us. Reserve a Beagle at your local shelter and have them call you if one shows up. You might also find a registered breeder through your local kennel club. This ensures you have familial health records for your pup, as well as the proper paperwork.

Just Five More Minutes…

If you enjoyed learning about the delightful Beagle breed but find that they take more exercise than you thought they would, you can browse through several breeds over on our website, until you find the right breed for you. Have you considered the monkey-like Affenpinscher, for example? You could have your very own mini-Ewok…

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