Beagle Traits of Breed: The Ultimate Guide

Beagles immediately melt your heart. One look at them and you will want to make them part of your family or make them your new best friend. One of the most distinct beagle traits of breed is the soft look in their eyes that makes them appear like caring creatures that know exactly how you feel. Don’t be fooled with a Beagle’s pleading expression though, because they are among the happiest, outgoing dogs out there.

If you want love, you will undoubtedly find it in a Beagle since they are affectionate dogs. Their inquisitive and determined nature will give you hours of activity and fun, and their focus on food will make you want to spoil them with delicious treats. Your life will be transformed once you have welcomed a Beagle into your life.

dog smiling at the sky

Beagle Traits of Breed: Fast Facts

Three vocalizations

Beagles aren’t loud or yappy dogs, but they have three distinct vocalizations. The first vocalization is a bark/ growl, then a baying howl, and the third a half baying howl. Beagles may use any of the three depending on the situation. They use a half howl when they are after a quarry or when they wake up early in the morning. Beagles are pack dogs, and they use their vocalizations when hunting with the pack and their human owners. 


A Beagle is a hound, and of the most distinct beagle traits of breeds are their sense of scent. The most crucial part of hound’s anatomy is their nose since it is very sensitive and can capture and track all kinds of odors. You will notice that a hound’s head is always on the ground on the lookout for an exciting scent trail to follow. Beagles are superior to humans in the olfactory sense since they have 220 million scent receptors, while humans only have a mere 5 million. Imagine all the scents Beagles pick up that a human misses.

Airport dogs

Beagles work in airports across the country. In the 1980s Beagles have been used to sniff contraband food. The project of using Beagle dogs was a huge success since they are small, cute, and friendly. They didn’t intimidate people who would be initially intimidated by dogs. Their super nose power got the job done and were able to identify possible bypassed food articles. Today, Beagles are widely used in baggage claim areas in 20 international airports and other entry points in the United States.


Beagles, since they are hounds, are traditionally used as hunters of small game. A Beagle’s hunting skill is even put to the test by the National Beagle Club’s Institute Farm, which hosts AKC-sanctioned field trials. Other countries, such as the UK also have hunting activities and trials for Beagles. 

Apartment dogs

Beagles make great apartment dogs because of their small size and gentle temperament. One of the beagle traits of breed is they don’t mind staying at home most of the time, they do have to be walked several times a day. Beagles need plenty of exercise of at least an hour a day. If they don’t go out for long periods, they can get quite destructive. 


It may be a challenge to housetrain a beagle, and many owners attest that it takes a year to fully housetrain a beagle. One tip to help in housetraining your Beagle is to use the crate training method. 


Beagles don’t like to be bored so don’t leave them too long alone in a house with nothing to do. If they are left alone in a backyard, they will find ways of stimulation and amusement. They may start destructive behaviors such as howling, digging, or squeezing through the fences to escape. 


dog under afternoon sky

It is a sad fact, but Beagles often get turned over to rescue groups. The common reason is their owners have given up on them. A common complaint with Beagles is their howling, which can be an irritation to neighbors or to the pet owners themselves. Be prepared to train your dog to control their excessive barking and howling. 


It is another sad fact that Beagle are a common target of thieves, which will sell them to laboratories for use as experiments. Always make sure your dog is safe, especially when they are outdoors and better yet have them microchipped. 

Interesting smells

Beagles are scenthounds, and they can easily wander off and get lost once they have caught a trail of an interesting smell. A beagle traits of breed is that their noses control their brains; without you knowing it, they may already have wandered far off. The drive to follow a scent may become so intense for them that nothing else exists in the world. Make sure to always supervise them and keep them secured in a locked area.  

Obedience training

Beagles have an independent and stubborn nature that contradicts their loving and gentle demeanor. Make sure to enroll them in obedience training to improve their attitude. The instructor should understand the personality of a hound and give favors using food rewards, which Beagles will always welcom


Beagles are chowhounds and enjoy eating. They will even overeat if given a chance; thus, many Beagles end up overweight. Be sure to monitor the amount of food you give them and just give them enough. Make sure to also keep your cupboards closed and your trash bins secured because hounds will sniff them out and topple them. 

Not a guard dog

If you are looking for a guard dog to protect you and your property better pass over the Beagle breed. Beagles are not good protection dogs because they are friendly with everyone they meet. 

Beagle Traits of Breed: The History

The word “beagle” has uncertain origins, but the common belief is it may have come from the French word begueule, meaning open throat, or from the Old English word beag, meaning small. Others think it may have come from the French word beugler, meaning to bellow, or the German word begele, meaning to scold.

Beagles are an old breed, and the speculations are it may have existed since Greek times since 400 B.C. Romans are said to have hounds which hunt small rabbits which they then brought to England and interbred with local hounds. 

  • William the Conqueror had now extinct Talbot hounds during the Norman Conquest in 1066. Talbot hounds are the ancestors of Beagles.
  • Glove Beagles were very popular during the reigns of Edward II (1307 – 1327) and Henry VII (1485 – 1509). Glove Beagles, as well as the Singing Beagle of that era, are said to be ancestors of the modern Beagle. 
  • Pocket Beagles were a favorite of Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603), and they were used for hunting and stand only 9 inches tall. They are precursors as well to the modern Beagle and are called such because they can be fit in a coat pocket during the start of the hunt. 
  • Farmers during the 1700s kept packs of beagles to hunt rabbit and hare, and this helped the breed to thrive even though it fell out of favor since larger Foxhounds became the dog of choice for hunting. 
  • Ancestors of the modern Beagle was established in Essex, England, and they were bred for hunting skills and not for looks. Later on, Beagles were bred to be both attractive and good hunters.
  • American breeders started importing Beagles from England to improve the looks of their own dogs.
  • The American Kennel Club and the first Beagle specialty club were both founded in 1884. In that same year, the AKC began registering Beagles.
  • The National Beagle Club purchased 508 acres in Western Loudoun County, Virginia, for the purpose of holding field trials in 1918. It has since been the site of many activities of the National Beagle Club.

Beagle Traits of Breed Standards

beagle traits of breed dog among rocks and grass

Beagles Come in Two Sizes

The first size is 13 inches tall and weighs about 18 pounds or eight kilograms, and the second size is around 15 inches tall and weighs about 20 pounds or nine kilograms.  

Beagles have heavy and compact muscle. They are solid dogs with a well-shaped domed skull. Their muzzle is one of their distinct features, and it is squarish and broad. The ears are long and droopy. Their chest is deep and expansive, and they have a straight back with a moderately long tail that is carried high. The coat is smooth and dense.

Coat Color

The standard coat color for beagle traits of breed is any “hound color”. By this, the common color is a tricolor of black, white and tan. They are black in the saddle or back area, have white legs chest and belly plus a white tip on the tail. They are tan in places on the head and around the saddle as well. 

Another common color combination is red and white, with a dappled pattern on the face neck, legs, and tip of the tail. A common feature with both color combinations is the white-tipped tail, so hunters can see them even among the tall grass. 

Beagles are short-haired and have a smooth and dense double coat that is resistant to rain. They should be brushed with a medium bristle brush or a hound glove regularly to encourage new hair growth and remove dead hair and skin. 

Beagle Traits of Breed

Living with a Beagle

Beagles are bred for the hunt, so they are active and curious dogs. It is not in the nature of Beagles to be shy or aggressive, so avoid purchasing dogs with this kind of temperament or have them trained to correct these characteristics. Beagles are hound dogs, so one of the beagle traits of breed is they love to roam. You must always be sure that they are in a locked and secure area or on a leash to keep them from wandering off and getting lost. Beagles tend to follow the lure of a scent and escape or get away from you. 

If you are looking for a protection dog, Beagles are too friendly to fit the role. Don’t depend on them to guar your house even if they do bark a lot. At most, when an intruder comes to your house, they will just wag their tail. 

Children and Beagles

Beagles will love you and your family, including the children. One beagle traits of breed is they are especially good with kids and can be rather rambunctious and active. Beagles need to be properly socialized and supervised with very young children to avoid untoward accidents. You may also find that Beagles tend to use their mouths a lot to grab toys or to hold and tease your child’s hand. If this bothers you, they can be trained not to use their mouths to play, although it is quite innocent, and they just do it for fun. 

Every dog needs respect and a proper approach, so you should teach your kids how to treat and handle dogs. You should supervise any interactions with dogs and teach your child never to disturb or tease a dog when they are sleeping or eating. Never try to take a dog’s food away. Even if your dog is friendly, don’t leave them unsupervised with your child. 

You can count on beagle traits of breed that they will love being part of a family since they are pack dogs. They don’t like to be alone, and they will go well with another dog and even a cat that will meet their need for companionship. 

Improving Beagle Traits of Breed: Exercise and Training

beagle traits of breed dog sitting on a patch of soil in a potted plant

Puppy Beagles

You should start getting your Beagle trained at a young age between three and six months old. Getting Beagle puppies socialized from a young age will improve beagle traits of breed. Introduce them to new people and experiences so they won’t be easily frightened and learn to trust their environment. If a Beagle is still a puppy, they will need play activity and short walks. Guide them not to overexert themselves since their bones and joints are still developing. Your Beagle should get just enough exercise, and if they show tiredness, panting and thirst help them relax and stop any intense activity. 

Scent Hunting Games

Beagle are scent hound sand they love using their noses. They need plenty of stimulation to keep themselves happy. Adult Beagles need two hours of exercise each day. To make playtime more interesting for your Beagles engage them in a scent hunting game. Ask your Beagle to sniff a toy and have them find it. This game is a good way to keep their body and mind fit.

Appropriate Barking

Beagles want constant attention and companionship. If you have to leave them for a few hours, you have to keep them stimulated and entertained or have someone check with them. One beagle traits of breed is a strong impulse to bark and may howl and bark if left alone. Give them good training and age-appropriate play so they won’t bark at inopportune times. 

Obedience Training

Your Beagle will have better behavior if they undergo obedience training. When it comes to Beagles, it is better to use the positive reinforcement method because Beagles will simply not follow or feel more confused when treated harshly. Use treats to help reinforce positive behaviors, and your Beagle will be more than happy to follow. 

Mature Beagles

Older Beagles will have less energy and will be more prone to overeating and sedentary life. They can grow fat and lazy. Don’t let this happen to your dog and make sure to constantly introduce an encourage them with healthy activities throughout their lifespan. 

Crate Training

Crate training is a good way to help your Beagle adapt to indoor life. All dogs don’t like to pee or poop where they sleep and eat. Have a crate and designate a place for them for sleeping and eating, and they will hold it in for fear of messing up their living space. This is a good habit to establish an improve your beagle traits of breed since there will be fewer accidents in your house and keeps bad habits from forming. Allow them a designated time to eliminate outdoors so they won’t mess up your indoor space. 

Specific Beagle Traits of Breed Care

Grooming the Coat

Shedding is something all Beagles do, but because their hair is short, it isn’t too noticeable. Like other dogs, their coats get thicker during wintertime, and they tend to shed more in the spring. Beagles are clean dogs, although they can be occasionally attracted to rolling in something stinky. As a general rule, they don’t require frequent baths. 

Caring for the Ears

One of the most distinctive beagle traits of breed are their ears, and they are quite famous for it. However. What may look attractive has its downsides. Air doesn’t circulate well inside their ears, and they can get infections. Check their ears regularly because wax and infection can irritate the ear. Check-ups should be done every two weeks. You should also be concerned if you see your Beagle constantly shaking their head or scratching at the ears. When you are bathing or playing with your dog, never allow water or oils to enter the ears. 

Caring for Beagle’s Teeth

beagle traits of breed dog on the grass

Teeth are essential to a dog’s life since they use it to eat and grab things. Make sure your Beagle’s teeth are cleaned at least two or three times a week. Dog teeth can be prone to tartar buildup, and daily brushing can help prevent this as well as gum disease and bad breath. 

Nail Care

Long nails can give dogs a lot of discomfort so make sure that you trim your dog’s nails once or twice a month. One sign that it’s time for a nail trim is when you hear nails clicking on the floor. You should be careful when trimming dog nails since it has blood vessels in the tip, and if you cut too far, it will cause bleeding. Your dog may feel pain and refuse to cooperate the next time you have to clip their nails. You have the option of getting professional grooming services for your dog if you feel you don’t have the experience for it. 


The amount of food you give your dog should be proportionate to their needs and characteristic. How much a dog eats will depend on their size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. You have to know the individual needs of your dogs since dogs, just like people, are different from each other. If your Beagle is more active, they will need more calories compared to a couch potato dog who just lies around most of the time.

You should also invest in good high-quality dog food to nourish your dog well and to help keep them healthy. 

You should take note that one strong beagle traits of breed is that they love food and are food thieves. If given a chance, they will raid your pantry, fridge, and garbage can and eat anything that is on their way. Keep your Beagle trim and in good shape by giving adequate food portions and measuring their food and feeding them just right rather than leaving them with an eat-all-you-can.

If you are unsure whether your Beagle is overweight, there are two tests you can do: the eye test and the hands-on test.

If you look own at your Beagle you should see a waist. Next, put your hands on your dog’s back with your thumbs along the spine. You should feel the ribs without having to press too hard. If you can’t feel the ribs immediately, your dog needs to go on a diet and needs more exercise. 

When it comes to treats, give them sparingly or small sizes. Beagles don’t mind a small-sized training treat. 

Beagle Traits of Breed Health Issues

beagle traits of breed dog looking around


Beagles are prone to have skin problems, just like other dogs. This skin problem often occurs within the ear. You may find that their ear canal has objects such as grass seeds, or parasites, and marks of allergies or infections. Otitis, which simply means ‘inflammation of the ear canal’ is a common problem with Beagles. Your dog will tend to itch, leading the dog to shake or flap its ears and use their paws to scratch. If the otitis is due to an allergy, treatment is required during the dog’s entire lifetime. 


Beagles can also suffer from conditions that affect the brain, spine, and nerves. Epilepsy is a series of seizures or fitting which originates from a brain disorder. This may develop in dogs as young as six months old. Epileptic seizures look painful, but they aren’t. However, to ensure that your dog will have a happy and normal life, epileptic seizures may need to be controlled with medication. 

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid gland diseases are metabolic disorders that can affect your dog’s life. The thyroids are located in the neck area, and hyperthyroidism is the name of the condition that ensues when thyroid glands fail to secret enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid problem leads to slow metabolic rate, a slow heart rate, and extreme sensitivity to the cold. You need to manage hyperthyroidism with thyroid hormone replacements, which you need to administer for the rest of your dog’s life. 

Mast Cell Tumors

Beagles are prone to have tumors, cysts, and growths, including mast cell tumors which are cancerous. Mast cells are skin cells that develop due to trauma and damage. It is a solitary lump within the skin and can be a major source of discomfort. To ensure that your dog will have a pain free and happy life these lumps need to be removed through surgery

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Beagles can have gastrointestinal problems, which is a common ailment among dogs. The GI Tract is a long and twisted organ that starts from the mouth and ends at the anus. Because of its length, there can be conditions where there is an obstruction within the bowel. A dog may eat stones, cloth, or string, for example, and this will cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. Your dog needs to be treated promptly, and proper intervention should be administered to make sure your dog will have a full recovery. 

Beagle Comparison with Other Dog Breeds

How does a beagle traits of breed stand up to other breeds? When selecting a dog, people will often compare breeds and asses the most suited to their needs. The following are famous breeds which Beagles are often compared to. 

Beagle vs. Pug

Both are popular companion breeds and make good family petsPugs and Beagles have a different appearance. Pugs are smaller and have short snouts and are considered a brachycephalic breed. They are banned in airlines because they cannot adjust to the air temperature in planes. 

Beagles are active dogs and require daily exercise and long walks. Pugs have lower exercise requirements and can be satisfied walking around the block or indoor playtime. 

Beagles ideally need to be in a home with a fenced yard since they love to explore. Pugs, on the other hand, are suitable for smaller spaces and apartments because they have low exercise requirements and don’t bark as much. 

Dachshund vs. Beagle

Both dogs have been used as hunting dogs

Both dog are now considered good choices as companion dogs

They still retain their hunting instinct

Dachsunds and Beagles both come in two sizes where the smaller size is suitable for cities, and the larger type is better for country living. 

Both dogs have high exercise requirements

Both are a challenge to train due to their strong-willed temperament
Beagles have a longer lifespan

Dachshunds are more suspicious of strangers while Beagles are friendlier

Dachsund has a sensitive back that needs careful handling

Labrador vs. Beagle

Both are friendly merry dogs

Both the Beagle and the Lab need to be with their families and crave
lots of interaction, playtime, and affection.

The Beagle and the Labrador are good with children

Both dogs need plenty of exercise and activity

They both have high energy
The Beagle is in the scent category while the Labrador is in the retriever category

Labradors tend to not bark a lot as compared to a Beagle

The Labrador is a medium to large dog while a Beagle is a medium-sized dog

The Labrador is one of the smartest dog breeds while the Beagle is in the sixth tier of canine intelligence

Labradors respond well to training, and they can be easier to train

Beagles have a longer lifespan of 15 years

Foxhound vs. Beagle

They both have a similar appearance. Both Foxhounds and Beagles have short straight hair with the same colors and patterns. Foxhounds are independent and more suspicious of strangers
Both are friendly breeds and make great family dogsThey are not as cuddly as Beagles, but they aim to please
They have low maintenance grooming needsA Foxhound has higher energy levels and demands more physical activity
They can be stubborn with a lack of patience and focusBeagles can be kept in an apartment because they have mid-level physical activity needs
Both are loving and affectionateThe Foxhound is much bigger than a Beagle
They both need lots of spaceBeagles are likelier to approach strangers and are friendlier
Both will not make good guard dogsBeagles are a little more intelligent than Foxhounds and can be easier to train

Smart Names for a Beagle

dog among shamrock beagle traits of breed

What’s in a name? Everything, of course! The name you give your Beagle is what they will respond to when you call them. The name you give them gets their attention and perks up those floppy ears, especially if you have a treat on hand. Make sure the name you give your dog matches their looks and personality and other beagle traits of breed.

  • Ace– this is a dog that is on top of the game.
  • Dash– this dog sounds very fast.
  • Duke– lordly and confident dog
  • Harley– sweet and bold
  • Pixel– small and cute 
  • Zelda– great name for a female dog and will always be affectionate to the kids
  • Bambi– a nature-loving dog 
  • Digger– a ball of energy that can make a mess in the backyard
  • Tracker– an excellent name for scenthound Beagles who love to smell things
  • Barkley– If you love to hear the voice of your Beagle give them this name
  • Sherlock– a great name for your detective Beagle who uses their nose

Final Thoughts

Beagles make excellent family pets, and they have the kind of look that is after your heart. Welcome a friend and a lifelong companion with a Beagle and have someone by your side whenever you need to do activities such as exercise and sports. Beagles are tranquil dogs as well, so if you need a cuddle, they will likewise give you affection. Having a pet is not just an opportunity to share your space and your life, but keeping one has therapeutic benefits that can help you with your well-being and mental health.