Beagle pros and cons
Owning a Beagle has its advantages and disadvantages, just like with any other dog breed. Beagle pros include the dog's amiable temperament and sociable nature. These dogs seem to always be in great mood, bringing lots of joy to their owners. Beagles make wonderful family pets and get along with children. Other pros to owning a Beagle include the dog's longevity. Beagle is a healthy breed with a lifespan of up to 15 years or even longer. Beagles have lots of energy and make great walking companions for active owners. Beagles are friendly with other dogs and they love to be around their family.
Negatives of owning a Beagle include the dog's abundant shedding. Beagles produce a lot of shedding and getting a good deshedding tool such as the Furminator can help manage the heavy shedding. Beagles require plenty of exercise during the day - this breed has a lot of energy that needs a positive outlet. A Beagle that doesn't get enough exercise is prone to behavior problems such as chewing or ripping furniture, recreational barking and other undesirable behaviors. Another con to owning a Beagle is the dog's loud bark that can be heard from afar. Beagles aren't ideal apartment dogs and require a home with a yard, where the dog can explore. Beagles are good at escaping and the owner needs to be sure that the Beagle is always leashed in an area that is not fenced. Beagles lead with their noses - these dogs have an incredibly well developed sense of smell and will follow an interesting smell while completely ignoring the owner's calls to come back.
Beagle male weight: 22–25 lb (10–11 kg)
Beagle female weight: 20–23 lb (9–10 kg)
Beagle male height: 13–16 in (33–41 cm)
Beagle female height: 13–16 in (33–41 cm)
Beagle coat: short, hard coat of medium length
Beagle colors: tricolor or white in combination with black & tan/brown or brown/tan
How many puppies do Beagles have?
Beagle litter size: 2–14 puppies
How long do Beagles live?
Beagle life span: 12–15 years
How much does a Beagle cost?
Beagle price range: $800 - $1,500 in the U.S.
In the United States, Beagles come in two varieties based on the size. The smaller Beagle cannot exceed 13 inches at the withers, while the larger cannot exceed 15 inches at the withers for bench (conformation) competition or field trials. Most other countries, including the UK, recognize the correct size for Beagles as anywhere between 13 and 16 inches, without division into two standard sizes. Smaller Beagles generally weigh less than 20 pounds, and the larger ones may weigh up to about 30 pounds.
Do Beagles shed? Beagles shed a lot and despite having a short coat, they produce a surprising amount of shedding. Beagles shed year round and more abundantly during Spring time. To minimize the amount of Beagle's shedded hair around the home, brush your Beagle frequently, especially during the heavy shedding time. Managing a Beagle's shedding is much easier with the right tools. Furminator deshedding tool for short coat is very useful when used consistently. Many Beagle owners report that using a Furminator deshedding tool helps to keep Beagle shedding to a minimum. Brushing a Beagle outside is always a good idea as there's much less clean up that needs to be done once the dog is brushed.
Beagle Brushes to help manage shedding
Dog brushes that can help to manage your Beagle's shedding. Many Beagle owners find their homes full of Beagle hair, which can be a serious disadvantage to owning this breed. Despite having short coat, Beagles can produce a surprising amount of dead hair that requires constant use of the vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, Beagle's shedding can be managed with the help of Furminator deshedding tool. Many owners recommend using the Furminator brush outdoors, so that there's less clean up needed after you thoroughly removed the dead hair off your Beagle.
There are multiple types of dog brushes available and according to Beagle owners, the following brushes are most frequently used for the Beagle breed:
Medium-bristled brush is great for brushing your dog
hound glove, hound mitt or currybrush will keep your Beagle's coat shiny
rake brush will help to remove the undercoat during a heavy shedding period
fine-toothed flea comb is for extra-close removal of loose hair.
Who can resist a charming and upbeat Beagle? It is one of the most popular dogs in the United States. Beagles are well known for their baying, which is a sound that a dog makes when it picks up a scent during hunting. The reason why hunters often use packs of Beagles rather than only one dog is because a Beagle's nose gets tired and "drops" the scent after a while and at that time another dog from the pack may pick up the "scent" and only at that point the dog will make the famous baying sound to let the pack and the hunter know that it picked up the scent.
Beagle gets along with everyone, including other dogs that you have at home. Due to hunting instinct Beagles should not be trusted around animals other than dogs unless your Beagle got socialized with the animal at a younger age. Keep an eye on your Beagle around other small animals as the dog has a strong hunting instinct.
Are Beagles good with kids? Beagle is friendly and patient with kids and this floppy eared dog makes a perfect companion dog. Beagles are affectionate, cheerful, fun and happy dogs that adore their owner/s. Beagle's amiable disposition makes him a safe pet around children.
This floppy eared dog is among the top breeds recommended for families with kids, but remember that Beagles aren't retrievers and won't care for games like fetch. Teach your kids to respect the dog by leaving the dog alone when the dog is eating or sleeping or when he indicates that he's had enough playing by walking away. No overwhelming the puppy with overzealous petting, no hugging or kissing which can be frightening to a young pup and no screaming or chasing. Beagle is a very energetic breed and is appropriate for active owners that enjoy to play and walk with their dog. Beagles are happiest when they are spending time outdoors. Beagles thrive in active families with a yard where they can play and explore. When not provided enough physical/mental stimulation, Beagles may become destructive when bored and it is very important to spend a good amount of time walking and playing with your energetic dog.
When you are walking your Beagle, be sure to only let him off the leash in a fenced area, where dogs are allowed to run free. Beagles are natural hunters and may be prone to forget to follow commands when they are caught up with an interesting scent that they want to pursue. Beagles have plenty of energy and can easily run away if given a chance. Put an id tag on your pet's collar or harness and you may also want to have your info written on the collar so that you have a better chance to find your Beagle in case he gets lost.
Beagles make excellent working dogs. One Beagle named Peaches earned her living by sniffing out termites for a firm in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her fame spread far and wide until she was issued a challenge: Could Peaches outsniff professional human pest inspectors with fancy termite detectors? Peaches was pitted against the competition at a church with known termite problems in State College, Pennsylvania. Presiding over the affair was Dr. Robert Snetsinger, a professor of entomology. Everyone stood by nervously as Peaches was given her cue: "Termites!" Instantly, Peaches went into "attack" mode, trembling all over. She immediately discovered every known termite infestation, plus 12 other sites unknown to the judges. As a bonus, she found some colonies of carpenter ants. The human pest inspectors were still lugging their equipment around the building by the time Peaches had completed her assignment.
Leather dog collars
Choke collars, pinch or prong collars, no-pull harnesses and head halters are more suitable for training purposes when simple methods don't work. Your Beagle may learn to ignore choke collars and keep pulling anyway. Choke collars and prong collars can be dangerous and painful to your dog. No-pull harnesses fit under the dog's front legs with loops over the dog's shoulders. When the dog pulls, the harness pulls the front legs back, thus slowing his pace. These harnesses can be hard on the back and if not fitted properly can cut off circulation to the dog's legs. A hunting breed such as a Beagle can easily get carried away by pursuing a smell and simply run away when he is not in a fenced area. You will be glad that you placed an Identification tag on his collar with your contact info, tattoed him or got him a microchip implant that will help you to find the dog if he ever gets lost.
Dog harness may be a more comfortable option for many dogs. Dog harness is more gentle on the dog's throat area and prevents the pressure that collars may cause in that area.
Leather dog leash
Leather leashes are easier on the hands and good quality leather leash will not scrape the skin on your palm even if your dog really enjoys pulling. Beagles should never be let run around without a lead in an area that is not fenced. The strong hunting instinct may cause the dog to run away as he is pursuing a scent. If you have multiple dogs, double dog leashes that allow for two dogs are available.
Beagle temperament is alert and observant, which makes this dog a superb watchdog who will bark noisily at the first sign of a trespasser. This breed has extremely few problems related to temperament if you exclude stubbornness. According to the British standard of Beagle temperament: "Amiable and alert, showing no aggression or timidity." The British standard also describes the Beagle as "a merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following a scent. Bold, with great activity, stamina and determination. Alert, intelligent, and of even temperament."
Beagles are known for their stubborn temperament. This is part of their hound nature and in the field it's called "persistence" or "independence". These qualities help the dog to find the game. A Beagle will expect you to follow him, not the other way around because he is a hunting breed that is supposed to lead you to the game. For Beagles that live their lives as household pets their independent nature can pose a problem, especially to an owner who is completely mislead about the Beagle's true character: stubborn, willful, determined, obstinate, headstrong and tenacious.
Beagle care information
Beagles may need more frequent bathing than many other breeds because once the dog finds something that smells good to it, the dog will roll around until they are satisfied with the way they smell. To humans the smell may not be as pleasant and that is the reason for the extra bathing time.
Use a mild dog shampoo as you are bathing your Beagle. Breed specific shampoos for Beagles are specifically formulated for Beagle's coat. Never use human shampoo on dogs as it has a different pH and can irritate your pet's skin.
Beagle care also involves brushing your dog's teeth regularly to prevent any dental issues. By two years old up to eighty percent of Beagles suffer from dental disease. Help your dog to maintain its teeth in best condition by accustoming your dog to having the teeth brushed starting at an early age. Older Beagles can also get used to the procedure of brushing their teeth and many dogs actually enjoy the process. Do not use human toothpaste as it is not meant for dogs and can harm your dog. Instead, be sure to use enzyme based toothpaste for dogs that you can get at any pet store. Check with your veterinarian for the most appropriate toothpaste for your Beagle.
During the winter, ice-melting products can get lodged between your dog's toes, along with sand particles and ice crystals. These irritants are uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. They can cause cuts and cracked pawpads. After you walk your Beagle, wash off his feet to remove ice and road salt. If your Beagle has a lot of hair between his toes, you may want to trim it. You can protect your dog's feet by putting petroleum jelly on the surface of the pads, or in serious cases, by using special booties made of neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber.
If your Beagle is suffering from fleas:
The following items will help your Beagle to settle into his new home.
Baby gates or dog gates will help to keep your dog out of any room you don't want the Beagle in. Wooden gates may not be appropriate for a puppy who is a major chewer.
Bowls and dishes
Stainless steel water bowl and dog food bowl work best. Ceramic bowls are breakable but work fine also. Plastic dishes aren't recommended as the dog may chew through a cheap plastic. Also if cracks develop in the plastic dog food bowl, these creacks create a place for dangerous bacteria.
Explore Dog Crates for Beagles
A crate provides a safe and comfortable place for a dog to rest and to travel in. Your Beagle's crate should be not only high enough for him to stand up in but big enough for him to turn around in easily and stretch out in completely. There are three basic styles of crates: wire mesh, sturdy fiberglass or plastic and fold-up nylon mesh. The wire crate offers the best ventilation and your dog can see what's happening outside of the crate. The drawback is that this type of crate has no protection from the sun or cold wind unless you drape it with a cover. Fiberglass or plastic crates are tough and good for sleeping and traveling. The crate provides the most den-like atmosphere, and many dogs feel especially secure in one. The fold-up nylon mesh crates are great for traveling and quick setup. The main disadvantage of a mesh crate is that a dog not used to crates can tear them with his claws.
Dog beds for Beagles
A comfortable dog bed with removable, washable cover makes it easy to keep the area clean and fresh. Orthopedic dog beds are popular and will provide a comfortable rest area for your pet.
This portable puppy playpen is great for overseeing your puppy while you are cooking dinner and want to let your dog enjoy the freedom of movement in a limited space.
Dog toys for Beagles
Puppies and dogs of all ages need something to chew on as a way of comforting his teething gums or for entertainment purposes. Pets with toys are less likely to ruin furniture and other household items. Be sure to provide your dog with safe dog toys that do not have any small breakable parts. You may want to avoid stick-type rawhide chews, as they can become stuck in your dog's throat. Never let your Beagle play with a toy that comes with batteries. The dog may accidentally swallow a battery which can cost him his life.
A hooded raincoat makes a thoughtful gift for your favorite Beagle. For cold winter days, a winter coat will help to keep your Beagle warm when walking outdoors.
High-quality age appropriate dog food
Choose dog foods that use natural preservatives like vitamins C and E (tocopherols) instead of artificial preservatives. Artificial preservatives can be harmful to your dog and include things like propyl gallate, BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin. Some dogs have allergic reactions to these artificial preservatives.
If you are feeding your Beagle Dry Food (Kibble), check the first ingredient listed on the Nutrition Facts. Better brands contain meat or fish as the first ingredient, and while they cost more, they are actually a better bargain because your dog doesn't need to eat much of it. Kibble is more calorie-dense than canned dog food, as canned food contains a lot more water by volume.
If you are feeding your Beagle canned dog food, check the label. The best canned food for a Beagle should contain whole meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient. Most lower quality canned foods have water as the first ingredient, and many canned foods are more than 78 percent water. The best canned dog foods use whole vegetables, not grain fractions like rice bran, rice flour or brewers rice.
Semi-moist dog food that comes in little packages may look good but it is often loaded with sugar in the form of corn syrup and beet pulp (up to 25 percent). It is also made up of about 50 percent water. Your dog does not need this stuff, which promotes obesity and tooth decay. The shelf life of semi-moist dog food is also much lower than either canned or dry dog food.
The healthiest treats for a Beagle are bits of carrot or apple. You don't have to buy expensive biscuits filled with preservatives and dyes. For a special occasion, small chunks of cheese work perfectly.
Beagles are prone to obesity. When your Beagle is in healthy weight, you should be able to feel his ribs easily without pressing, but you should not be able to see the ribs through the coat. Lean pets have fewer health problems and live longer than their obese cousins. Obesity is a contributing factor to many canine diseases, including diabetes, osteoarthritis, respiratory distress, liver disease and heart disease. Dogs are programmed to be hungry all the time and given the opportunity, your Beagle will devour more than he needs to stay healthy. It's easier to keep him from getting fat in the first place than to try to take it off later on.
Beagle's floppy ears need regular care to prevent ear infections. Keep Beagle's ears clean and wipe his ears with a dry, clean towel after each bath or swimming. Ear wipes for dogs are available and can be used to keep Beagle's ears clean and healthy.
Dog (canine) toothpaste
never use human toothpaste as it is not safe for dogs. Begin dental care when your dog is a puppy, and brush his teeth every day. Brushing your dog's teeth can help to prevent periodontal disease by removing plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it stays on the tooth and mineralizes, turning into the brown junk we call tartar. Both plaque and tartar are composed mostly of bacteria and can do a lot of damage to your Beagle's teeth. Always use a flavored canine toothpaste. Dogs are not able to spit out toothpaste, and swallowing human toothpaste will lead to gastrointestinal problems.
If you can hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, you know it's time to trim his nails. Your Beagle's nails should be even with the pawpad; anything hanging over should be clipped. Start with this procedure while the dog is still a young puppy, but even a full grown Beagle can learn to accept the nail trimming. Use a nail trimmer specifically designed for dogs. If you chose clippers, you can use either pliers-type or guilliotine-type clippers, whichever you prefer. Many Beagle owners choose to use an electric nail grinder. Once your dog gets used to the noise, he will be comfortable with this procedure. If you accidenally cut your dog's nail too much and the dog nail is bleeding, styptic powder can quickly help stop bleeding.
Beagle is a popular dog breed and it is not difficult to locate a Beagle breeder when you are looking to get a puppy. Experts recommend visiting at least three different Beagle breeders prior to making the final decision. Puppies are wonderful, but they are a lot of work too. Puppies need to be housetrained, crate trained and they do not know any basic obedience commands. As an owner you will be responsible for training your puppy and for socializing the dog, which requires a lot of dedication and time. Puppies are also more energetic than full grown Beagles and they love to chew especially during teething. Puppies are not for everyone and some people choose to get a dog who is an adolescent or an adult because with an adult dog what you see is what you get. The personality and character of the adult Beagle is already set and the dog is most likely housetrained and knows some basic commands. The adult dog may already be crate trained as well. The dog may have destructive tendencies that are difficult to notice during the first meeting. In that case as an owner you will have to work on correcting the destructive behaviors. Adult Beagles are also less energetic than young Beagle puppies and are easier to manage. Fortunately, Beagles are very long-lived dogs so you don't need to worry that you will lose the dog if he is five, eight or even ten years old. How old do Beagles live? This breed a champion when it comes to longevity. Many Beagles live up to 15 years of age and some can get close to 20 years old with good care and good nutrition. When you are getting an older Beagle, there are some key questions you may want to ask so that you can assess the temperament of the dog easier.
- Does the dog chase cats?
- Is he a barker?
- Does he try to escape? Some Beagles may make an active effort to escape even a fenced yard.
- How does he get along with kids, women, men, etc?
- What is his activity level? Beagles are generally energetic but there are still variations among Beagles in terms of energy levels.
Beagles are very adoptable because they are not "one-person" dogs and will quickly learn to love you and your family. Frequently petting and brushing your Beagle will help him bond to you.
You may recognize Beagles by their typical hound colors: white, black and brown. Beagles specialize in hunting for foxes, rabbits, deer and other animals. Beagle's nose has around 220 million scent receptors. Distinctive long ears help your beagle to trap scents and keep them close to the nose. Beagles need to be kept on either a leash or in a fenced area - otherwise once your beagle catches a scent of a rabbit for example, then he will follow the scent until he finds that rabbit. Due to their superb sense of smell, these dogs are often employed for searching explosives by the law enforcement teams. Great sense of smell is not the only outstanding quality of the breed. Thanks to their barking and howling, Beagles take their place among the most vocal dog breeds. Beagle's throat has amazing vocal cords which vibrate when air passes through them, allowing the dog to make different sounds. Beagle is not the best apartment dog because the neighbors may quickly get tired of hearing your dog's barking and howling. Pure breed Beagles have white-tipped tail so that hunters can easily see them while pursuing the scent.
Show Beagles versus Field Beagles:
There are some significant differences between Show Beagles and Field Beagles. Hunting Beagles are leggier and rangier than the other kinds, even though they are all Beagles. If you just want a jolly family pet, and are not interested in hunting or field trials, a Show Beagle is the right dog for you. Show Beagles tend to be calmer. However, if you are planning on hunting, by all means seek out a breeder who specializes in this type of Beagles. Many Hunting Beagles bought as pets eventually end up in shelters because their owners can't handle them. Hunting Beagles tend to be less "trainable" and more destructive in the house as well as more stubborn than Show Beagles. If you own a Hunting Beagle, you need to provide the dog with plenty of exercise to keep him happy and busy.
After you have purchased your Beagle, a good breeder will provide you with a signed, written contract, veterinary records, and pedigree. The AKC requires the following information on a signed AKC registration application, signed bill of sale, or signed written statement:
- Breed, sex, and color of the Beagle
- Date of birth of the Beagle
- Registered names of the dog's parents
- Name of the Beagle breeder
Start training your Beagle at an early age. They are food motivated and never get tired of getting a treat. As with most hound dogs, stubbornness is one of the character traits associated with the breed. For novices training the Beagle may be frustrating because Beagles are easily distracted by their acute sense of smell and they simply must investigate every new smell that they encounter. Just like any other dog breed, Beagle needs to be trained to follow the basic commands: sit, stay, heel and down. You can use different ways of rewarding your Beagle. Toys, praise and food will work as an incentive during training. Each training session should not last longer than 5 to 10 minutes. Have your Beagle burn some energy prior to a training session by walking the dog first. This way your Beagle will be more inclined to focus on you during the obedience training lesson. Dogs learn by repetition, and they do not learn when they are yelled at. Beagles are particularly unresponsive to yelling. They either turn their ears off, or they become nervous. Neither response is what you want! If you become impatient and unhappy, the only message your dog will receive is that you are impatient and unhappy. He won't know why. But he'll probably conclude that danger is near (possibly to himself), and he'll become stressed. In a worst-case scenario, he'll decide you're angry with him, and he will become scared. Your dog should never, ever be afraid of you. A stressful environment is not conducive to learning or teaching. Refrain from training your Beagle when you are in a bad mood. You won't be effective and your dog will sense your negative attitude. Always end the training session on a positive note. For example finish a training session with a command that your dog is very familiar with and then reward him for good behavior by providing him with a small treat. The best food rewards are tasty and small (pea sized).
Housetraining a Beagle should begin the moment you bring the Beagle home. Use one potty training method and stick to it. Many dog owners fail at house training their Beagles only because they give up too soon. Stay consistent, reward successes and ignore accidents. Pay attention to your Beagle's body language. If the dog is sniffing the floor, or walking in circles and acting anxious, it is time to take him outside for a bathroom break. Have treats with you when you are taking the dog outside and as soon as he finishes give him a treat. You may also use a command word for potty training, such as "Go Potty!" and keep repeating the command every time the dog is going to the bathroom. Eventually he will make the connection and your life will be much easier as a result.
Training your Beagle to use an indoor potty is a good option for many owners that want to be sure that the dog knows what to do in case you are not at home and he needs to use the potty.
Beagle health problems
Beagle is one of the healthiest breeds and there aren't many medical issues associated with this particular breed. Beagles live a very long life for dogs. They attain an average age of 15 and some Beagles even reach the age of 20! Beagles are predisposed to having intervertebral disc disease which is caused when the cushion between vertebrae slips or ruptures, causing the disc to press on the spinal cord. This condition is extremely painful for your dog. Some of the symptoms include the dog refusing to go up stairs, dog may be hunching his back and cry out in pain. Do not wait and take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you are noticing any of these symptoms.
Beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years and the modern Beagle was developed in the Great Britain around 1830's. The Beagle breed was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1885. The Beagle has been one of the top-ten most popular dog breeds in the United States which is not surprising given the dog's convenient size, playful personality and adaptability.
See great Beagle gift options for the breed enthusiast in your life.