Are Beagles Good Pets? A Look at the Breed’s Profile

Happy our Beagle

Beagles are very popular and cute as a button, especially when they are puppies. These soulful eyes and long floppy ears are irresistible.

Beagles are good pets if you’re looking for an under-30 pound dog, averaging 13 inches and under, that sheds short hair. They get along with other dogs. They have high energy that needs attention, training, and daily walks. They may howl and bark if left alone in small apartments and condos.

Overview

  • Friendly, Curious, Happy
  • Height: 13 inches & under and 13-15 inches
  • Weight: under 20 pounds for the short variety, 20-30 pounds for the bigger one
  • Life expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Hound dog
  • Gets along with other dogs
  • High energy
  • Shedding short hair
  • Escape artist
  • Not easy to train
  • Needs daily exercise
  • Not suitable for apartment or condo living
  • Should not be left alone for a long period
  • Will howl and bark

Sidebar

Our Beagle is eight years old and came to live with us 6 months ago. His behavior is very different than what I read online while researching for this post. Might have something to do with his age or background. He has no tail and we don’t know what happened. We only heard that he spent his first year always in a crate.

Physical Features

Beagles come in two sizes:

1) standing under 13 inches at the shoulder

2) between 13 and 15 inches.

They weigh between 20 to 30 pounds but as they mature, they tend to put on weight, because they love food. Happy, our Beagle, will lick the three empty bowls (we have three dogs) obsessively to the point we have to take them away.

You might have to hide your garbage and the cat litter, as these are delicacies to a Beagle.

Their bodies are muscular, sturdy, and solid. Their coat is usually black, tan, and white. Ears are long, ending below their head and they have a white streak on their heads.

A Beagle’s tail is held high but not curled over its back and will always have white on it, either the whole tail is white or just the tip.

All four paws are white. Their legs are short.

Grooming

Do Beagles shed? Yes more than you might think considering they have a short hair coat.

Their dense double coat gets heavier in Winter, which means they shed in the Spring but also moderately year-round. Weekly brushing will help remove the loose hair and let new hair grow.

They don’t need to be bathed too often unless they rolled into mud or something smelly.

As with any dog, nails should be trimmed regularly.

Their ears need to be checked and clean often.

Training

Beagles are stubborn and a challenge to train but that doesn’t mean they’re untrainable. It might take a little more commitment and patience than with other dogs.

Potty-training a Beagle puppy might take several months. A crate will be your best friend.

Food is a great motivator with Beagles and is the best tool to help with the training. But too many treats will also equal a fat Beagle. One-on-one training sessions with a professional trainer might be the way to go.

Because Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs, they want to go where their nose takes them, following and chasing a scent. Off-leash, they are not good at recall and have been known to disappear for days while following their noses.

Beagles are curious and will pull on the leash to follow that scent. We switched from a collar to a harness and it’s better but we’re trying treats to see if he will pull less.

Traits & Personality

Beagles are friendly and happy dogs. They are active and energetic.

They are happy when in a pack, the human and animal kind.

The Beagle usually gets along with other dogs but might like to chase the cat for fun.

They love to be petted. As I’m writing this post, my Beagle just came over to sit beside my chair and ‘ask’ for some head rubbing. If I stop, he’ll manage to convince me to do it again by resting his head on my lap and giving me the begging eyes!

They can be vocal, making different noises like barking, whining, baying, and howling. Because of these, they should never be left alone outside in your yard. Your neighbors will not appreciate it.

Sidebar

Our Beagle never barks, whines, bays, or howls. He has a low happy growl when we pet him and a loud one when chasing squirrels or seeing them through the window.

When you adopt an adult dog, you can see his personality and negative characteristics.

When buying a Beagle puppy from a breeder, you need to look carefully at the temperament of both parents to find a good-tempered line.

I researched and read quite a lot about Beagles for this post, and not everyone agrees on the different traits of the Beagle.

For example, some say they don’t have a doggy odor, while others say they do. Another example is that they don’t snore and yet, our Happy snores like a full-grown man.

Exercise

Because of their compact size, people assume they don’t need much exercise. But it’s the opposite. If they don’t, they will get bored and become destructive, and fat.

This breed is not suitable for apartment or condo living.

Beagles require several walks a day and a fenced yard where they can run freely. Going to the dog park is also an alternative so they can stretch their legs off-leash. Exercise will keep your Beagle fit and healthy.

If you live in a house with a fenced backyard, you still can’t leave a Beagle alone unsupervised. Again he will get bored and start howling and digging. Plus, Beagles are escape artists, so if the fence is not five feet or higher, you can bet they will climb or dig under it to chase that pesky squirrel on the other side.

Always walk a Beagle on a leash because of his very strong hunting instinct. If he smells something cool, he will not be able to resist the urge to run off to find it.

Are Beagles good first dog

Is a Beagle the right choice for a first-time dog owner? Yes, they can be if:

  • someone is home at least part of the day
  • the dog gets three walks a day
  • you have a fenced backyard
  • you’re ready to spend time training him
  • you have the patience to train him
  • you have kids older than five
  • the dog is a fully trained adult

If you’re getting a dog mostly for a leisure walk a few times a day and snuggling, then a Beagle is not the best option for a first-time dog owner. They can be a handful to deal with and will need a lot of attention.

Beagles are good dogs. But they’ll need plenty of exercise. And they bark and howl.

Adopting an adult Beagle, at least four years old, who is already trained and whose behavior is known could be your best scenario.

Sidebar

Our Beagle is very polite. He will ask to go outside by pawing the door. When it’s raining, he comes in and sits by the door, and waits for me to wipe his paws. When calling him to get back inside, he always obeys.

As a first-time dog owner, you might want to look instead for a dog that is easier to train, is less energetic, is a good companion, and doesn’t need three walks a day.

For example, Golden Retrievers or Spaniels are good dogs with a mild temperament, great with kids and need less exercise.

You don’t have to stick with a breed either, mutts can make great pets for an inexperienced dog owner. But again, learning as much as you can about a dog you’re considering adopting, will ensure you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Are Beagles hypoallergenic

According to the Mayo Clinic, “There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed. Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog’s or cat’s fur, but the real source of pet allergies is often a protein that’s in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet’s skin. “

Then why will you find lists of dog breeds known as hypoallergenic? Actually, they are either not shedding fur or shedding very little. The protein has less chance of being released into the air or on the floor.

Even though it’s not very noticeable, Beagles do shed, and more so in the Spring. If you’re allergic to dogs, you should consider other breeds such as the Maltese who doesn’t shed, or the Bichon Frise who has a coat that produces little dander.

Are Beagles smart

When people talk about a smart dog, they usually mean they’re easy to train.

Beagles are very intelligent, but not easy to train mainly because of their nose! They possess both instinctive intelligence and adaptive intelligence.

They are instinctively intelligent because of the hunting skills which they were bred for.

Adaptive intelligence, on the other hand, is the ability the Beagle has to learn from its mistakes and to solve problems. In other words, Beagles are capable of thinking for themselves.

We have a gate at the top of the stairs going down to the family room, mainly because we don’t want our old Chocolate Lab to venture down since he can’t come back up, and also as prevention for when our 2 1/2-year-old grandson comes over.

Last week, my husband went to the basement to get something and did not lock the gate. He was coming right back. Well, Happy, our Beagle, figured out he could pull open the gate with his nose and ran down the stairs to go explore. I would call that a ‘smart’ dog.

Contrary to other breeds, Beagles decide that their priorities come before yours. They’re curious and independent. A Beagle will be more interested and intrigued by a smell than obeying your commands.

Their extraordinary sense of smell is why they’re very good at specific jobs such as TSA dogs, trackers, and more.

Did you know?

The Beagle Brigade is made up of rescued working hard in airports sniffing out bags carrying meat and plant products.
This breed of dogs is picked for the task because their sense of smell is incredible. They also have a natural charisma.

Are Beagles good with kids

Beagles are friendly and playful and love to be surrounded by their pack. You would think they make great pets for families.

But if you want to raise a baby and a puppy Beagle at the same time, you’ll have your hands full. Both are babies and as such, both require lots of attention and you’ll find it all exhausting.

It’s not recommended to get a dog, adult, or puppy until your child is at least 5 years old. Toddlers, babies, and puppies require plenty of attention and supervision. An older child will understand better how to respect and interact with a dog.

When you get a Beagle puppy, you have the chance to raise the dog with kids around, each getting to know the other. A puppy is a better choice than an older Beagle who might not have been around kids so much.

But if you adopt an older Beagle, find out if he was surrounded by kids growing up.

Speaking from experience, we know that Happy was not. He will ‘tolerate’ our toddler grandson who loves him and wants to hug his head or tap on his back or lie on his back. We constantly have to supervise the interaction between them and try to teach our grandson to respect the dog’s space, but he’s too young to understand.

On the other hand, come at mealtime, kids can be messy. There’s food on the floor, in the highchair, and in all sorts of nooks and crannies.

Happy loves when my grandsons come over and these food opportunities present themselves. However, it’s important to be on the alert because children have a way of eating absentmindedly, casually dangling a sandwich in hand, and although he has no intention of hurting our toddler-aged grandson, he’s always ready to grab food and sometimes little fingers.

Are Beagles high energy

The Beagle is rather hyper as a puppy and would need someone who likes to stay active and commit to training him.

It’s important to set a routine that involves plenty of physical and mental exercise. A Beagle needs to burn off that excess energy. This can be done by teaching him tricks and commands but also by using toys where they have to work to get a treat. A challenged Beagle will be happier because he won’t be bored and become destructive.

Most Beagles will indeed calm down as they mature. 

Our Beagle is eight years old and considered a senior. He is content with his routine of eating breakfast, then going back to sleep until it’s time for a walk around 10:30 am. Next on the schedule is watching and running after squirrels in the backyard.

While we have lunch, he will find his perfect spot under the table, just in case we drop some food! Next on the list is another walk around 1:30 pm, then sleeping till it’s dinner time at exactly 4:30 pm. My dogs all have an internal clock!

And back to sleep until our dinner, again positioning himself in his strategic spot, just in case.

As soon as we’re finished eating, he’s ready for his evening walk and back to sleeping soundly until the dogs go out again before we go to bed.

During the day, both he and the Husky will go in and out many times to run after birds and squirrels.

It’s surprising to see him run so fast, considering his short legs and small body.

And being on the lookout through the window is a job he takes very seriously!

Do Beagles bark a lot

Experts say they have a high tendency to bark, but Happy rarely barks… I think I heard him once in the last six months. Our Husky mix on the other hand is a barker. He will bark at anyone walking their pets or jogging on our street. Happy follows him to the corner of the backyard but never barks.

A Beagle can make three types of sound.

l. the “standard bark”, he will use when there’s a visitor at the door or when asking for a treat.

2. the Beagle baying, which sounds like a yodel. It means he found a scent (if hunting) or it makes him happy.

3. the Beagle howl, which is a long, somber sound. It means your Beagle is bored or you left him home alone.

Popular Beagle colors

The Beagle’s coat comes in many different color combinations and markings, more specifically 25 different Beagle colors, (although some are very rare) and 6 types of markings.

Did you know?

A purebred Beagle’s paws are always white

The 25 colors are a variation of the basic ones, which are: brown, blue, white, black, tan, lemon, and red.

These are the standard colors

Black and Tan

Black, Red, and White

Black, Tan, and Bluetick (freckles)

Black, Tan, and White

Blue, Tan, and White

Brown and White

Brown, White, and Tan

Lemon and White

Red and White

Tan and White

Is a Beagle the right dog for you?