Beagle dog breed characteristics, origin and care

Beagle breed characteristics

  • Size: Medium
  • Traits: Mild. Gentle. Affectionate.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance, weekly brush, no/minimal hair clipping required
  • Best Suited To: Families and homebodies. Can suit apartment living.

The jovial Beagle is a great addition to any active home. Sweet natured and full of life, the Beagle sure doesn't make the best guard dog, but its affable nature is the perfect fit for family life. If you are seeking a child-friendly canine, a Beagle might be the perfect choice.

Where I'm From

Whilst the Beagle, or different forms of small hounds have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the breed as we know it today was developed in Britain in the 18th century. Believed to be a descendant of the Talbot hound brought to England by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and other hunting breeds.

Beagles are savvy scent hounds that can track smells over long distances, which make them great hunting dogs of small game, their traditional use. In recent times, Beagles are successfully used for border contraband control due to their sensitive noses that can pick up a variety of suspicious smells and their non-threatening demeanours.

What I Look Like

Beagles are a small-medium sized dog with a muscular body and very long floppy ears that sit close to the face. Their short coat usually comes in the tricolour combination of black, tan and white or in tan and white though other shades are possible. With a short muzzle and endearing large eyes, Beagles retain a cute puppy-like look well into adulthood.

How I Act

Beagles are nice natured and active dogs that can be a good fit for families with young children due to their patient and tolerant demeanours. They also get on well with other dogs and pets. However, Beagles can be stubborn and naughty pets if not provided sufficient exercise or stimulation.

Beagles can be tough to train and require patient schooling with food treats as welcome rewards. Like all dogs, Beagles should be socialised and trained from a young age to ensure a well-behaved pet. Behaviours that could prove challenging include their propensity to howl and dig up the backyard when bored. Housetraining will also take time and tolerance of the occasional mistake.

Though Beagles are small-medium sized dogs they still require at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay fit and healthy. Take your Beagles for a walk or play in the backyard, and then you can snuggle with them on the couch.

Looking After Me

Beagles are generally a hardy breed but can suffer from a few health ailments including obesity. It is important to feed a Beagle correctly and ensure they get plenty of exercise.

They may also suffer from Beagle dwarfism or Chinese Beagle Syndrome. Other general medical issues include back problems, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and a range of eye complaints including progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma.

It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.

Beagles live for 12-15 years on average.

They need a good quality meal twice a day as per packaging instructions.

However, potential Beagles owners should be aware that these dogs LOVE their food and may try to steal tasty treats, including your own. This means they have a propensity to gain weight and care should be taken to measure out food and remove any uneaten portions until the next feeding.

The Beagle's smooth coat does shed but doesn't cause too much mess due to its short length. They should be brushed at least once a week to keep their coat clean and in good shape.

Beagles' keen sense of smell can prove dangerous if they manage to escape the home in chase of prey. It is important that any yards are well fenced and set deep into the ground so that they can't dig themselves out.

Am I the pet for you?

Beagles are the perfect pets for families with children who want an active and placid pet. They can suit homes with well-fenced backyards or apartments if given sufficient daily exercise.


  • Beagles are fantastic family pets that are good with children of all ages including the very young. Though as with all dogs,
  • Beagles should still be supervised when around children.
  • Beagles are relatively low maintenance with short coats that need minimum care and a moderate amount of exercise needed to stay healthy.


  • Beagles are known to howl and bark to make their presence known, which can annoy the neighbours to no end. Good training should help combat this tendency.
  • Beagles are headstrong and can be stubborn students that need patience and continually coaxing to do as they are told!

Want to watch more Bondi Vet content? Subscribe to our channel.

Back to blog