Let's talk Beagles.
Please visit the these websites to further your education on the Beagle breed in additional to reading this page:
Listed below are your most popular questions concerning the Beagle to give you a better idea what it's like to live with one. Please note that the following is from our personal experience living with Beagles and may not represent the entirety of the breed.
Q: Do Beagles shed?
A: Like most breeds of dogs, Beagles shed when it's time to regenerate hair. The process can be onset by a number of conditions such as temperature changes, heat cycles and post whelping in bitches, and can simply be seasonal. The amount of hair lost on a Beagle during such a time is mild to medium but it 's not unusual to find your Beagle's hair on your furniture, rugs, and carpet year-round. If you notice clumps of hair coming from your Beagle it is time for a good brushing and/or coat stripping to remove the dead undercoat.
Q: Do Beagles bark a lot?
A: Beagles don't bark any more than a typical dog does. They seem to be notoriously recognized for their barking habits but a Beagle does not necessarily come with a bark*. When properly trained, supervised, and socialized, Beagles can be great at being quiet and calm when appropriate. One exception to the rule is that if let alone, Beagles sometimes like to voice their loneliness through a whimpering cry or repetitive short bark. They are pack animals and thrive off attention from you and other dogs so leaving them alone for long periods of time is highly discouraged.
*Small tidbit: Barks and bays in Beagles may differ in certain lineages, upbringings, and circumstances. Before bringing your new puppy home it might be helpful to visit the home of the sire and dam so you know what noise level to expect and how to manage it.
Q: Are Beagles good with children?
A: Absolutely. They are one of the best kinds of dogs for children. Beagles are great with kids because they are playful, energetic, small enough to hold, and tough enough to handle an accidental puppy belly-flop. Beagles adapt very easily to most situations and thrive off human and dog interaction making them perfect companions for families. Like all dogs though, Beagles are not toys to play with and are therefore not recommended for families with very young children who are not properly trained in safe animal-handling practices.
Q: Are Beagles good with other dogs?
A: Beagles are a "pack breed", meaning they were bred to run together in packs of Beagles. Hundreds of years of breeding this way has instilled a tolerance for living with other dogs. In fact, they not only tolerate living with other dogs, but prefer and thrive off it. This includes males with other males and females with other females. Always keep a watchful eye when first introducing your new Beagle to your other dogs and always when offering meals and enticing treats to make sure this is the case. If you do not own any other dogs and plan to get a Beagle, prepare to give your Beagle extra love and attention as it's likely he or she will consider you and your family their pack and bond to you even more so.
Q: Are Beagles smart?
A: Contrary to the popular belief that Beagles lack intelligence, Beagles are actually very smart. It is simply sometimes easy for them to get distracted. Since the breed's original purpose is to track wild hare and rabbit, it was vital for them to have the best scenting capability to be successful. This special ability (unique to many hound breeds) will often distract and disengage a Beagle's mind in order to supply the proper amount of attention to natural instinct. On the flip side, you can also GAIN a Beagle's attention through the use of enticement (ie. the scent of food). There are many Beagles today with a list a mile long of the titles they have won in obedience, rally, and agility whose owners have learned how to capture their attention through enticement. At home, sometimes Beagles can be so smart they learn how to open latches, climb over gates, knock over trash receptacles, and find any and all food. It is important to safely puppy-proof your home to avoid such intelligence.
Q: Are Beagles difficult to house-train?
A: They can be. It is common for a female Beagle to be more difficult to house-training over a male as they seem to prefer to urinate on soft surfaces (ie. blankets, bedding, and carpet). Males, on the other hand, tend to have a desire to "mark" furniture or walls, especially when entering a new area for the first time. Both habits can be avoided through regular, consistent training or aids designed for house-training. Before you bring your new puppy home, research ways you can make it easier on your Beagle to understand where and when it is appropriate to do their business. Starting from day one is vital to get into routine, so it may be a good idea to schedule a few days off from your regular activities when you first bring your puppy home.
Q: Are Beagles good apartment dogs?
A: If Beagles get adequate exercise, plenty of attention, and are regularly engaged in brain-stimulating activities (minimum 2-4 hours per day), they can be great apartment dogs. Beagles are very active dogs who are eager to learn. When your Beagle is being destructive toward your household (ie. chewing furniture legs, digging up carpet or dirt, or barking incessantly) it probably means you have a very bored Beagle. If the case, it is probably time to invest in some durable chew toys, a tennis ball launcher, and some running shoes.
Q: Are Beagles considered a "healthy" breed?
A: This is a tough question to answer. Beagles can be prone to things like allergies, fatty tumors, heart murmurs, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, ear infections, and cancer. While some of these conditions are easily managed with things like lifestyle changes or medication, others can be much more serious and require extensive diagnostics. As a breeder, we strive to ensure each puppy we produce leaves us as healthy as possible by 1) genetically testing for conditions that have a test available and 2), breeding as "low-risk" as possible for the conditions that don't. It is important for every dog owner to be continually aware of their dog's health and well-being, feed a proper diet, provide adequate exercise, and keep them up-to-date on vaccines and annual check-ups. The average lifespan for a Beagle is 12-15 years.
Q: How much grooming does a Beagle require?
A: We consider Beagles to be a "low-maintenance" breed. All that is required is a monthly bath, towel dry, and hair brushing to keep the coat clean and tidy, as well as weekly nail trims and ear cleanings. Teeth may be scaled or brushed and it is not uncommon to need professional dental cleaning performed by a veterinarian.
Q: Do Beagles dig?
A: If you have a sturdy, secure fence that obstructs the view on the other side, you should not have a problem with fence-digging. We have found, on occasion, our Beagles to dig small holes going after yard vermin... They are scenthounds, after all!
Q: What sizes and colors do Beagles come in?
In the United States, Beagles come in two size varieties: 13 inches and under, and over 13 inches but not exceeding 15 inches (at the withers). There is no such thing as a "Pocket" or "Teacup" Beagle. These are the result of "breeding down" Beagles in hopes to achieve a smaller size. This typically results in health issues down the road and we highly discourage against anyone falling for such marketing tactics. Beagles come in a variety of colors and markings. many of which are explained here and here. The most common colors you might see is the traditional black/tan/white tri-color, red/white bi-color, and blue/tan/white tri-color.
Q: How do you manage a Beagle's weight?
A: Simply put, with proper nutrition in the proper amount and adequate exercise. Beagles are NOT free-feeder friendly. Meals must be portioned and food kept locked in a dog-proof bin. In our experience, it is not uncommon for Beagles too seem hungry even after they've eaten. This does not mean they are-they will eat till they couldn't move if allowed! Also be very mindful about the kind of treats and how many you are giving to your Beagle as this could add significant unneeded calories. As far as exercise goes, 30 minutes in the backyard with a ball or on a brisk walk everyday should be adequate for an adult Beagle. Beagles love to enjoy activities such as swimming, hiking, playing fetch, and going out for a run which makes exercising fun!
Q: Speaking of activities, what types of structured activities are Beagles good at?
A: Beagles excel at almost anything they do. There are unlimited activities to get involved in which help strengthen bond between human and dog and offer healthy outlets for excess energy and needed brain stimulation. Many do not require age limits for handler, but most dogs will have to wait until they are 6 months to compete. Such activities include:
If you are interested in getting involved in any one of the above activities, please contact us ... We are happy to answer any questions!
Kathryn Murray Photo