Beagle Fact File

Beagle Stood In A Pile Of Leaves

July 22, 2022

If you have ever met a Beagle before and managed to spend five minutes with them, you will understand why they are so loved and popular.

Their loving personality and trainable temperament make them a perfect pet to own and include into your home and family.

If you are interested in this breed then check out our fact file to get a better understanding of their history, personalities and much more!

In This Blog: 

History Of The Beagle

Unfortunately, it’s uncertain where the Beagle came from or when they were first introduced as there is no hard evidence to say exactly what year they first made an appearance.

Some people say that they can be traced back all the way to 200 A.D. in England, while others say they date back further to the ancient Greeks.

Whichever one it may be, they have been around for quite some time, and they have made quite an impact over the years.

Like we mentioned above, there is no concrete evidence to prove when the Beagles were first known but there are certain accounts to suggest that they were used for hunting in the 5th century around Greece.

These dogs, which hunted around this time, cannot be called Beagles for definite as they weren’t given that name at the time.

Later down the line, Beagles started to become much more common, and the pocket Beagle rose in popularity. Being only eight or nine inches, they got their name from the hunters saying they could fit them in their pocket. That is some very big pockets if so! 

Between the Southern Hound and the North Country Beagle, a larger Beagle was created and that is the Beagle you know today!

On top of this, they were then crossed with a Stag Hound which allowed a quicker and taller dog breed for hunting.

Breed Overview


13 inches or less / 13 – 15 inches


Tricolour – Tan, black, white, reddish brown, pale lemon


20 – 25 pounds


Lifespan 10 – 15 years

Characteristics And Temperament


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Child friendly

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Guard dog

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Beagles can make great pets and we believe that the table above explains exactly why. They may come across stubborn when you ask them to do something like a command, but deep down, they are great pets to own.  

They are not only energetic, but they are carefree and can become quite the optimistic pooch. Due to their history, there is nothing to be concerned about when they are with other dogs as they are used to working as part of a team.


When it comes down to grooming your Beagle, it is important to understand how their coat lays and which type of coat they have so you are able to offer them the correct and most appropriate grooming routine.

Their coat is short and weatherproof which means that it will be easy for you to keep on top of as there will be no matting of their coat. However, this is not as plain sailing as you may think or hope for.

Due to them being double coated they are prone to shedding their coat. When we say shed, what we mean is that their hair will get anywhere and everywhere! This is just throughout the year but when it comes to spring, they will shed in bucket loads.

To help keep on top of this, we recommend brushing them two to three times per week throughout the year and increasing this to daily grooming when you are approaching spring, and they begin shedding more heavily.

By keeping on top of their grooming, you are not only keeping your house that little bit more hair free, but you are also increasing healthy hair to grow by removing the dead hair.


When it comes to training your Beagle, you want to start this as soon as you possibly can in order to have the best outcome. Starting training at a younger age will help both you and your new little Beagle further down the line.

It is recommended to start training your puppy from around seven to eight weeks old as their brain is still young and you may find they will pick things up much more quickly than an older Beagle. This is due to adult Beagles picking up bad habits and having some old tricks  and habits which can be difficult to break. 

Your Beagle will have two strengths which they excel in, and they can either be helpful towards your training or very detrimental and will cause your training sessions to be much more difficult.

One of these strengths include their sharp sense of smell which is what makes them brilliant tracker dogs. A sharp sense of smell during training can distract your Beagle in many ways which means that they will not be giving all their attention to you as you tell them to perform a command.

A particularly difficult scenario for when this can happen during recall. When they are off their lead, you will not have control of them if their nose sends them wandering as it tends to rule their brain. 

This can also happen if they are on a longer training lead just starting out their recall training. A lot of training can help train your Beagle to overpower their strong senses of smell and always listen to you!

Whilst you are training your Beagle, consistency is key. If you do not keep your training consistent, then they are bound to become confused, forget certain commands, or not understand which command you’re giving them.

Health Concerns

Owning a Beagle will mean that you own a reasonably healthy breed. But as with all pets we own, they all come with their own set of health issues which can be minor or major. None of these health conditions should go unnoticed or left untreated. 

Musladin – Leuke Syndrome (MLS)

This is a disease which is unique to Beagles and affects their organs such as their heart, bones, muscles, and their skin.

Signs of this disease will include shorter outer toes which can be typically seen on their forelegs, but it can also be present on their hind legs too. Their skin will be tight with next to the little scruff at the base of their neck and some affected puppies will walk with a stiff gait. 

Due to them having short toes, this can force them to walk on their toes similar to ballerinas. They can also develop seizures in their life.

However, some of these Beagles can potentially live a natural life as they reach maturity and they have managed to stabilise themselves. Unfortunately, many will sadly pass away due to complications or diseases as they are much smaller than a healthy Beagle.

For your Beagle to contract this disease and show clinical symptoms, they will need to have obtained two abnormal genes from their parents. 

If they only receive one gene from one of their parents, they will not show any symptoms, but they can still carry this gene and pass it onto their offspring which can then be passed further down the line as breeding continues.

To avoid passing this disease on and spreading it down your line of Beagles, have your Beagle tested before you breed them. You can do this by purchasing DNA CombiBreed health test package specific for your Beagle from The Kennel Club.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This condition can affect the cells of the retina, and these are called rods and cones. Not only can this disease affect the retina, but it also affects the pigmented cell layer below.

Rods allow your dog to be able to see in low light conditions and any movement from an object. 

Cones help them see everything in colour.

Pigmented cell layers help to protect both the rods and cones. 

If your Beagle develops PRA, they can become blind due to this affecting the pigmented cell layer and causing it to deteriorate which will not provide protection to your Beagle ’s retina.

Within PRA, there are two forms of this disease which are both classed as genetic. 

Central progression retinal atrophy is the far less common variant, and this affects the pigmented layer of the retina and over time will cause your Beagle to struggle to see in poor light. Fortunately, this does not lead to full blindness.

Generalised progressive retinal atrophy is the most common form you will see in your Beagle, and this can affect both the young and older dogs. At the start of this disease, the rods and cones have yet to fully develop which will affect their vision.

Over time, their rods and cones may have started to develop which means that their vision will gradually decrease instead of a sudden vision impairment.  You will usually not notice that they have this disease until the last few years of their life when they start to show vision impairments.

Intervertebral Disc Disease 

When one of the discs in their spine is irritated, swollen, or displaced, it can then injure their spinal cord which can cause your Beagle extreme pain and lead to paralysis.

Symptoms to be aware of can include:

  • Ataxia (drunken gait)
  • Dragging of the limbs
  • Unable or reluctant to willingly move
  • Lameness
  • Sensitive to any pressure along their neck or back

If you notice any of these symptoms or believe that your Beagle has slipped a disk in their spine, contact the vets immediately and have them assessed sooner rather than later so you can try and achieve the best outcome.

Beagles can be a great addition to your family, even if you have children. They can get along with other animals and form a great bond with their human. Always remember that owning a dog Is a long-term responsibility which may not always be smooth sailing.

Always make sure that you have the time and funds to care for a Beagle and you are aware of the breed and their specific requirement. Enjoy your Beagle and make lots of memories with your new best friend.

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