A very happy dog with short tri-coloured hair, floppy ears and a long straight tail is standing in the long grass, taking a moment to pause on their walkies. Their tongue is flopped out to the side of their mouth as they look up towards the camera and hope for a treat.


13 July 2023

Let’s talk about… Beagles: What are they?

  • The modern beagle, as we know it,  was developed in Britain in the 1830s.
  • They were bred to hunt for hares, which is known as beagling.
  • Beagles are medium sized dogs famous for their sense of smell. In fact, they’re often seen on walks with their snout sniffing the ground.
  • Originally bred as hunting dogs, they’re used to being part of a pack and prefer to be around others.
  • They are between 34 and 42cm in height.
  • They weigh between 10 and 15kg depending on their height.
  • Their life expectancy is between 13 and 15 years.
Beagle  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 4/5 Trainability 2/5

What is the temperament of Beagles like?

  • Beagles are happy, even-tempered dogs, that as long as they get enough exercise and stimulation can be quite low-maintenance.
  • They can be great with families, especially active ones that are confident with training them.
  • They tend to get on well with other dogs, if like any dog they are socialised well when they are young.
  • They are always eager to chase and investigate when they are out, and can try to escape a garden (including by climbing or digging!), if they think there might be an adventure to find.
  • Beagles do like to bark, as well as enjoying a good howl. They can often bark when their owners leave. In general, they are not a quiet breed.
Bailey, the Beagle

What kind of exercise do Beagles need?

  • With a natural hunting instinct, Beagles are enthusiastic dogs always on the lookout for more activity.
  • Adult beagles should have 2 hours of exercise a day and many will happily take more than that.
  • As well as physical exercise, mental stimulation is essential for your beagle not getting bored.
  • They love games and exploring new areas, to keep their big brains busy.
Beau, the Beagle

Do Beagles need a lot of grooming?

  • Beagles have a short, weather-protective coat, that is most commonly a combination of white, black and brown.
  • Beagles do not tend to need more than regular brushing and washing when they’re dirty, like when they’ve rolled in something they think is wonderful like fox poo!
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal.  If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Busby, the Beagle

Are Beagles easy to train?

  • Beagles are not the easiest to train, as they are easily distracted by interesting smells and something they think might be more interesting going on.
  • They can also be a bit stubborn if they don’t want to do something.
  • They can be quite independent, meaning they often would rather do their own thing.
  • Training a beagle involves being confident, keeping them engaged and being consistent!
  • Anyone training a beagle needs a lot of patience!
Coco, the Beagle

What do Beagles eat?

  • Beagles should eat a good quality dog food twice a day as adults.
  • Beagle puppies should transition from puppy to adult food at between 9 and 12 months old, but as every puppy and food brand is different, always check with your vet and/or food producer.
  • They are notorious for putting on weight, and often eat anything and eat it very fast. A slow-feeder can be great for a beagle, to give mental stimulation and slow down how fast they eat.
  • Watch out for things they shouldn’t eat when out on a walk, as their nose can often be faster to pick up a scent, than we are at seeing the offending food.
Wendy, the Beagle

Are Beagles healthy?

In general Beagles are bred to be healthy, working dogs, but like any breed there are a few conditions they are more prone to than other breeds:


  • Epilepsy - a condition of the brain that causes dogs to have fits
  • Meningitis - a serious condition caused by inflammation of areas around the brain and spinal cord


  • Cherry Eye - different to humans, dogs have a third eyelid, and when the tear gland of this third eyelid becomes swollen it can pop out and is called a cherry eye (as it looks like a cherry in the inside corner of the eye)


  • Ear infections - the ear canal, and sometimes the ears flaps have an overgrowth of bacteria, yeast etc. which can cause signs including irritation, inflammation, smell and thickening of the ear canal tissue


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Obesity - this is when your dog is beyond the normal margins of weight for the breed and their build

Always make sure to have your dog insured, so you don’t get caught out with any unexpected vet bills.

This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your Beagle or if you want to discuss further if a Beagle is right for you, consult with your vet.

Our vet top tip

“Beagles are super, super smart, so can be very good at accessing things at home they shouldn’t. Be very careful when storing anything that could be harmful to your beagle, or they could work out how to get to it!”

BorrowMyDoggy loves Beagles

BorrowMyDoggy has 1070 Beagle members

The most popular name for a Beagle on BorrowMyDoggy is Bella.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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