Beagle is a small to medium sized hound dog that resembles miniature Foxhound in appearance. These dogs have a broader head, shorter muzzle and their legs are shorter in proportion to the body. They are not choosy about their food and remain more than happy with whatever they are served. Beagle dogs crave activity and companionship. They are good with children and rarely bite.
This dog breed was originally bred for hunting purposes, especially for hunting hares. Curiosity and keen sense of smell literally makes them keep their nose grounded. Hence, they are also used as detection dogs. Moreover, due to their gentle and loving disposition, they are also used in pet therapy to help recover sick and elderly patients.
Beagle dogs have intelligent and appealing dark brown or Hazel eyes. They have low set drooping ears of moderate to large size. They are muscular around the hips, thighs and shoulders. They are characterized by a somewhat domed skull, square-cut muzzle and strong jaw. The nose is broad with full nostrils. Beagle dogs have a high set and slightly curved tail that does not curl back and becomes upright when the dog exhibits hunting and tracking behavior.
Color: Beagle dogs have a typically tri colored coat- brown, black and white. A combination of white, yellow and orange or red is also quite popular. Plus, the tip of the tail is almost always white in color. A liver colored Beagle dog is generally not acceptable.
Height: A male Beagle can grow up to 14 to 16 inches in height. The average height for a female Beagle is around 13 to 15 inches. Some Beagle dogs fall under the category of less than 13 inches.
Weight: Male Beagle dogs generally weigh around 22 to 25 pounds. The ideal weight for female Beagles ranges between 20 to 23 pounds.
They tend to suffer from some common hereditary conditions like epilepsy, bladder cancer, kidney disorders, and eye disorders. Epilepsy refers to a brain dysfunction resulting in Seizures. Eye disorders typically include Glaucoma, Cherry Eye, Retinal Dysplasia, Cataract and other such problems. Other health risks include spinal defects, congenital heart diseases, ear infections, skin problems, Hypothyroidism, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Monorchidism, Cryptorchidism etc.
Some Beagle dogs may be prone to Chondroplasia or Dwarfism. Beagle dogs tend to become overweight in due course of time due to over indulgence in eating. To balance this excessive eating, they require a good amount of physical exercise and activity.
Life expectancy: The average life span of Beagle breed of dogs is 12-15 years.
Litter size: The average litter size is 7, though it may range between 2 to 14.
This breed of dogs has a medium to short, dense and weather proof hair coat. In fact, they have a double coat characterized by a coarser outer coat and a soft undercoat. A medium bristled brush or hound gloves are sufficient for brushing. They tend to shed during the fall and spring seasons. Due to the short size of the coat, it is easy to maintain the coat in good condition without much trouble.
Brushing activity should be carried out at least once in a week. Beagle dogs generally do not require frequent baths, unless there is a flea problem. A mild shampoo is usually recommended for bathing them. Their long ears should be cleaned regularly at least every two weeks. Nail trimming should also be done on a regular basis.
Like their gentle eyes, Beagle dogs are gentle, loving, lively, curious and independent dogs. They are sweet and friendly dogs that are neither too aggressive nor too timid. At times, this breed of dogs is quite stubborn and difficult to train. They have a great stamina and determination. Beagle dogs are generally associated with stubbornness. In such cases, food serves as a good motivator while dealing with stubborn behavior.
They are intelligent dogs that tend to get bored very easily. While playing, they like to use their mouths by grabbing on to things with their mouth and chewing. They adore children can get along with other pets too, provided they are socialized properly. They do not like to be left alone. Beagle dogs are considered as good watchdogs on account of alertness and even temperament.
Beagle dogs do not have a normal sounding bark. Rather, their distinct barks sound more like short howls or loud bay cries. Being highly active, they require daily, high spirited walks. Leashes become more of a necessity while handling these dogs because of their hunting instincts that are triggered by certain scents.
Apartment dwellers should not ignore the activity needs of a Beagle dog and should make it a point to take their dogs out for regular walks. You can also have a small yard (properly fenced) to cater to this need. Else, be prepared for chewed up pieces of important objects spread all over the house.