Little Beagle on Grass

Getting to Know Your Beagle

Beagles are adorable and very fun dogs to own but they can be on the energetic side. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you make your final decision on what breed you will be taking home with you.

This guide is a great place to start. It’s got all the basic information you need to know about Beagles including their physical traits, personality, health issues, and the basic guidelines for proper care.

Physical Characteristics

The beagle is a medium dog on the smaller side of the spectrum. It will weigh a maximum of 30 pounds but it could be as low as 18 and still be a healthy weight. It’ll grow to be right around 1 foot tall.

Beagle on All 4

Their coat is short and glossy and there is quite a bit of possible variation in coloring. But the most typical that is usually what we think of when we picture a beagle is the tricolor where the back is black, the legs, belly, and chest are white, and there is some tan coloring around the head and face as well as bordering the black fur on the back.

You’ll notice they almost always have a white tip on the end of their tail. This was bread into them so that hunters could easily spot them when hunting in tall grasses.

Personality and Temperament

Beagles are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are very sweet, gentle and playful. But they also have a passion for doing exactly what you told them they can’t do. Training is extremely difficult because beagles are very willful and will likely only be obedient temporarily to get the reward before returning to their mischievous ways.


For those who like a challenge and want a high energy dog, the reward is worth it. They like to entertain and they’re very loyal. You’ll grow to love your beagle even with his naughty side.

Common Health Issues

There are some health issues that you should be aware of and, when possible, try to prevent but for the most part, beagles are quite a healthy breed:

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease: With this condition, the gelatinous inner layer between the disks of the spine will push outward against the spinal cord. The result is a compressed spinal cord that can cause neck and back pain. It can also lead to paralysis so it’s important to keep an eye for symptoms like tender neck, tender back, poor bladder control, lack of sensation in legs. Treatment involves surgery and that surgery is not always successful. Your chances are much better if you catch it early.
  • Cherry Eye: in appearance, this condition can look quite alarming but in reality, it’s a pretty simple fix and a relatively harmless condition. What happens is the gland under the eyelid protrudes. Because it is reddish, it looks a bit like a small cherry stuck in your dog’s eye. It can be easily removed by a vet.
  • Beagle Dwarfism: this is a condition which causes the dog to be smaller than normal. They may be entirely smaller or they may have a normal body and smaller legs. In either case, they are perfectly healthy and it’s nothing to worry about (unless you were hoping for a show dog).

Cute Puppy Eyes Beagle

Basic Care Instructions

Follow these basic guidelines to properly care for your beagle:

  1. Feed your beagle somewhere between ¾ to 1 ½ cups of dry food per day (split into two meals). The more active your dog, the more food he will need.
  2. Beagles stay relatively clean and their short fur doesn’t really get tangled. Plus, it’s short enough that the shedding isn’t really noticeable. However, weekly brushing will help combat shedding.
  3. Due to their drop ears, you’ll want to examine them every two weeks for signs of infection or waxy buildup. If he starts shaking his head a lot or scratching his ears, check them immediately.
  4. When you take your beagle out, he should always be either on a leash or in a securely confined area. He’s a hunting dog which means he’s bread to track scents and once he finds an interesting one, he is going to go after it, no matter how much you’ve trained him to obey commands.
  5. Beagles have a habit of escaping a lot. So we highly recommend getting him microchipped and putting ID tags on his collar so he can be returned to you.
  6. Beagles should get at least 30 minutes of exercise but the more they get, the happier they will be. Plus, an exhausted beagle is far easier to control then an energetic one.

During training, focus on positive reinforcement. Beagles tend to just switch off and ignore you when you try to punish or scold them so negative reinforcement is not very effective. It will just end up training your beagle to tune you out.

Beagle Jumping Through Obstacle

On the other hand, they will very much enjoy doing something if they are getting a reward for it. However, making the transition into getting them to do the trick on command even without a trick is going to be an uphill battle.

Final Word

For those interested in a laidback, highly obedient dog, you are better off checking out another breed. The beagle may be a bit too much for your taste. If you’re the kind of person who appreciates a wild and playful personality, the beagle is the absolute perfect dog for you.

They are very playful so they will get along with children easily. However, we recommend monitoring playtime with younger children since the beagle can get pretty rambunctious.

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