The Beagle is a sturdy, rambunctious hunting dog that will follow his nose into mischief and adventure, with or without a hunter at his side. America’s most famous Beagle is Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, from the Peanuts comic strip.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 21 to 50 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

In some parts of the country, Beagles remain a dual-purpose dog. Many Beagles, once hunting dogs in their youth, find themselves in shelters and rescues when their hunting or breeding days are over. Some people also bring a Beagle into their home without really knowing how much work and effort is required to properly care for a dog, which leads to the Beagle’s surrender.


Become friends with a Beagle, and you have a friend for life. Loyal, sweet natured, and patient, Beagles typically get along well with children and, in some cases, other pets like cats. While they do have a loud voice, Beagles do not bark without a reason.


Beagles have a mischievousness about them, which can be a turnoff for some people. Some like to dig while others are escape artists, climbing over fences with ease. Beagles follow whatever scents they pick up, making it essential to keep them on a leash at all times and pretty much ruling out hikes in the mountains and jogging together.

Because Beagles typically love everyone, especially anyone with a treat, they don’t make good watchdogs.


A good quality dry dog food will keep your Beagle healthy and his stomach full. Consider splitting feedings into several meals and avoid getting into the habit of giving table scraps.

Because of the breed’s propensity to gain weight quickly, you may want to save treats for training or for when your dog obeys a command, such as coming in the house when called. An ideal treat, especially for a Beagle who needs to lose weight, is green beans. If you opt to give your Beagles treats at other times, remember to do so in moderation.


Plenty of exercise will also help keep your Beagle healthy. Older Beagles will require much less exercise than a younger Beagle. Several hours running outside and playing in a fenced yard will often tire a younger Beagle out. If you don’t have a fenced yard, you should take your dog for several walks a day.

Possible Health Problems

While Beagles don’t generally have back or orthopedic problems, they are prone to glaucoma, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy, the latter of which is often diagnosed at a young age. Beagles who suffer from epilepsy generally have small or infrequent seizures. Fortunately, the drugs used to combat the top three health problems in Beagles are generally inexpensive.


Beagles shed throughout the year, so give your Beagle a good brushing at least once a week and bathe him regularly. When you bathe your Beagle—whether you opt to put him in the tub or hose him down—check and trim his nails as necessary.

Keep a good eye on your Beagle’s ears. Because Beagles’ ears droop, they tend to gather dirt which could lead to ear infections if not cleaned with ear wash regularly. If you notice your dog scratching his ears or see something growing inside his ears, have him seen by a vet immediately.


A Beagle’s personality can often make training a challenge. Smart, mischievous, and somewhat stubborn, Beagles require positive reinforcement. Motivated by food, Beagles often respond well to treats for a job well done. For training to be successful, start early and remain consistent throughout the process.


Unlike some breeds, Beagles don’t like to fetch. They would rather run around the back yard, go for a walk and follow scents, or play with other dogs at the dog park. Make sure your Beagle gets plenty of activity: A bored Beagle can become a destructive Beagle. 

We want to thank Triangle Beagle Rescue of North Carolina for help with this profile. Photos courtesy of Jennifer DeLisle.

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