Anyone who ever read the Peanuts comic strips and loved Snoopy probably has a soft spot for beagles. These cheerful-looking dogs, with their floppy ears and wagging tails, are popular house pets. In 2022, they ranked 7th on the American Kennel Club’s list of the top 10 most popular breeds.
With their low-maintenance coats and small size, the appeal of beagles is easy to understand. It’s also important to understand, though, that beagles are energetic dogs. They need a lot of exercise and a lot of socialization. Without proper attention, they can get restless and destructive.
Learn more about beagles and decide if these adorable dogs are the right pet for your family.
There are two types of beagles. Show-eligible small beagles are under 13 inches at the shoulder. Large beagles who are also show-eligible are above 13 inches but not larger than 15 inches at the shoulder. Of course, beagles can be both larger and smaller than that, though, and many pet beagles are a bit shorter or taller than the ideal size.
Beagles usually have a pattern of white, tan, brown, and black fur. Some have a ticking pattern or freckles as well as large patches of single colors. They have a short, smooth coat that stays tidy without much grooming.
The beagle’s personality is generally friendly and good-natured. They are pack hounds and do well with other dogs. They like people and tend to be very good with children as well.
Because beagles were bred to go on long hunting trips, they have a lot of energy. They need plenty of exercise every day. They are very playful and enjoy being outdoors.
Beagles aren’t aggressively protective, but they will raise the alarm if someone approaches their home. Their signature howling bark is very loud, which is something you should consider before getting a beagle. They are noisy and might disturb neighbors or wake up napping children.
Do Beagles Have Health Problems?
Like many purebred dogs, beagles can be prone to some health conditions, but they are generally healthy dogs. Regular vet care can help detect health problems so you can treat them right away. The life expectancy of beagles is 12 to 15 years.