Beagle Dog Breed Information

The Beagle is the 5th most popular dog breed in America, but they are first among all dogs in the Hound Group. Known to be cheery and affectionate, this breed is an excellent candidate for any family, especially those with children. If you are searching for a great companion, here is what you need to know about Beagles.

A Little History

The Beagle’s history dates back as far as 55 B.C. in England, when pack-hounds were used to hunt small animals. A millennium later, their popularity among the English persisted, and by the 1500s, most Englishmen owned packs for hunting. As with many storied breeds, there is some disagreement when it comes to their origin. For example, some believe the name Beagle is derived from the Gaelic word for little (beag), but others attribute the name to the French term for their bay (be’geule). Regardless, they were particularly popular hunting dogs because they could be tracked on foot, meaning you did not need to own or steer a horse to keep up. In 1885, the AKC registered its first Beagle, which garnered immediate popularity among Americans.

What are Beagles Like?

The Beagle breed standard includes two varieties: Thirteen Inch and Fifteen Inch.  Beagles up to 13 inches tall weigh under 20 pounds, while those between 13 and 15 inches tall weigh up to 30 pounds.  Both have solid, sturdy builds, and can be one of three color variants (lemon, red and white, or tricolor). Today, they are distinguished by their soft, long ears, adorable expressions, and their distinct, musical howls.

Beagles are among the most tolerant and playful of dogs, so there may be no better pup for a family with children. A pack hunter at heart, these dogs love to explore, and work well as part of a team.  As a result, they tend to get along with a variety of other dogs. Just remember – they are natural hunters, so you should monitor their interactions with other small animals. It is worth mentioning that they do not drool, or smell like other dogs, and they only shed slightly.

Caring for Beagles

Whether romping at the park or strolling the neighborhood, Beagles require regular activity to stay healthy. While capable of outdoor living in temperate climates, they will need an enclosed shelter where they can stay warm. You will not need to groom your Beagle often, but an occasional bath and brushing will promote a healthy coat. As with any breed, dental hygiene is important, so make time to brush their teeth!

On average, Beagles live for 10 to 15 years.  While they are generally healthy, it is not uncommon for Beagles to develop conditions such as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), patellar luxation, and glaucoma1. It is important to visit your veterinarian routinely to monitor for warning signs.

The Cost

Most breeders charge between $800 and $1,500 for a Beagle puppy. You should also expect to pay about $1,200 for food, supplies, and initial veterinary expenses the first year. In subsequent years without unexpected medical expenses, expect to spend another $400 to $600 on supplies and routine care.

In most cases, patellar luxation is treated conservatively, however if surgery is needed, it can cost up to $2,500. Treatment for IVDD is even more expensive – a single diagnostic test can cost as much as $3,000, and surgical intervention costs around $4,000.  Pet parents with a policy from 4Paws Insurance can make important veterinary decisions and worry less about the costs.

Sandy Says
Comments from our Chief Pet Officer

My grandfather raised and raced his Beagles in Hampton Roads, Virginia at the Beagle Field Trials. I must admit that Beagles are one of my favorite breeds, and these happy, loving, sweet dogs will always have a special place in my heart. They have a very distinct bay or howl, when on the hunt or trying to get your attention. They need plenty of exercise, but will do well in apartments and condos, as long as you take them for brisk walks.  They do well with children, but watch them with other animals as they are hunters.

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