Although an exact origin is unknown, Beagles are believed to have originated in 15th Century England, initially utilised as a hunting dog for small animals such as rabbits, fox or pheasant. The word “Beagle” translates in middle French to “noisy/loudmouth” which is fitting, as Beagles are known to be extremely vocal and energetic. Beagles are naturally very friendly and enjoy being part of a family or pack, getting on well with both children and other dogs. Today, Beagles are commonly used in law enforcement, putting their nose to work in order to detect drugs, explosives and illegal imports at airports all around the world.
Beagles are a small to medium sized dog, weighing in at between 9-11kg. There are two recognised size classes of Beagles, between 13-15 inches and under 13 inches tall. Beagles have a smooth short-haired coat and require minimal grooming. An occasional brush is necessary as they are moderate shedders, as well as frequent ear-checks to prevent any signs of infection. Beagles come in a variety of colours, including lemon, tri-colour and orange and white.
Cheerful, curious and determined, Beagles are very sweet and gentle dogs. Despite this, they can be very independent and require firm consistent training to avoid behavioural problems. Their keen intellect means that once they have their sights (or nose) set on something, they can stubbornly pursue it. Beagles can be suited to apartment-living so long as they are exercised frequently; however, access to a fenced small yard is preferable. Due to their active and inquisitive nature, Beagles need plenty of exercise to avoid becoming destructive. As a scent-hound, Beagles will follow their noses no matter where it leads them, so on-lead walks are a must. In the right environment, a Beagle will make a social, brave and highly intelligent addition to any family.
The average life expectancy of a Beagle is between 12-15 years.