Beagle dog breed information and advice

This dog breed guide is a must-read for Beagle owners. Their characteristics make them a fun, loving pet. They’re not shy and easily make new friends. They’re good with other dogs but will need slowly introducing to any other pets. They’ve got a hunting instinct so take care around smaller animals.

If you’re yet to become a Beagle owner, this guide will prepare you for your new dog. Make sure you buy your Beagle puppy from a reputable breeder. The price that you can expect to pay for an adult and Beagle puppy is included below.

Beagle facts

Lifespan 12-15 years
How much £300-£800
Size 33-40cm
Weight 9-11kg
Colours lemon and white, white and tan, tri-colour,
chocolate tri, white and chocolate, red and white
Grooming Once a week
Temperament happy and loyal
Exercise around an hour a day

Beagle insurance

Beagles are determined scent hounds which means if they smell something, they’ll have to track down the source. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidents. So making sure your Beagle has dog insurance will mean you’ll have a helping hand to cover any medication, treatment or even surgery your dog may need.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance covers your Beagle’s health care needs from as young as 8 weeks old. A new policy can be taken out anytime from 8 weeks up until your dog’s 8th birthday. And once you have cover in place, we’ll insure your Beagle for their entire life - as long as you renew your policy year after year. Giving you one less thing to think about.

How to care for a Beagle

Your Beagle hound relies on you to give it what it needs. Make sure your dog is getting nutrition from its food and exercise to keep it healthy. Beagles also have a reputation for being an energetic and exuberant breed, so giving them the right training from a puppy is important.

Beagles are greedy dogs and given the chance, they’ll eat and eat and eat. You’ll need to weigh your dog’s food to make sure they’re not overeating. You should be able to find portion guidelines on the back of the dog food packaging as well as the nutritional information. If you have any doubt, about your dog's diet, ask your vet for advice.

Split the daily food allowance between two meals, one feed in the morning and one in the evening. Your Beagle will then have two meals to look forward to and is less likely to beg for food. If your Beagle eats all the food at once, it can cause an upset tummy, especially if they eat fast. To make your dog eat slower, buy an anti-gulping food bowl that has grooves in to make it harder for them to get to the food.

When it comes to grooming your Beagle, a short coat that doesn’t need trimming is ideal. But this does result in hair that grows continuously and falls out. To avoid getting dog fur all over the house and furniture you’ll need to brush your dog regularly. This will also help keep their coat clean and shiny.

Most shedding will happen in spring because they’re getting rid of their winter coat. You may need to increase brushing to 2-3 times a week.

How much exercise does a Beagle need a day? Ideally an hour, but the more you exercise them, the better. Beagles have a lot of energy and you'll need to let them burn that off, so long walks and running off the lead is good exercise for them. Bear in mind, if your Beagle doesn't have good recall, make sure the area is secure so that they can’t run off. If you’re walking them on lead, you’ll need to walk them for longer.

Beagles love to play fetch, and it’s a great way for dogs to exercise. If you're sticking to the hour a day, a mix of a 30 minute walk and 30 minutes playtime each day should be enough exercise.

Beagle training is essential as they’re known for not being the most obedient dogs in the world. Without training they’ll not respond to your call, so can’t be let off lead. The sooner you start training, the quicker your dog will learn. Start with house training to avoid any puppy toilet accidents and move on from there.

You can use clicker training, which uses noise to signify good behaviour. But for the most effective training use food-based rewards. Training your dog and teaching them tricks is a fun way to exercise. It also builds on the bond between you and your dog.

Temperament and behaviour

Beagles have high energy levels and love to play, but they also love to sit on your lap and have a cuddle. This makes them great pets for children. But with their lively temperament, it is best to always keep an eye on them when they’re with small children.

Beagles don’t like being left alone and will become vocal if they are. Giving them toys to play will keep them entertained and their separation anxiety to a minimum. Toys that you can stuff with dog treats will interest them the most.

Beagles were originally bred for hunting rabbits and this makes them likely to chase other animals to track down smells. Make sure you have a secure garden, or you may find them trying to find a way to escape.

Common health problems

It is important to know what health issues to look out for in your dog. Beagles are a healthy dogs, but some problems are common in this breed. This is another reason why it’s essential to take out Beagle insurance as some conditions can have expensive vet bills.

Epilepsy is condition that causes your dog to have repeated fits. It’s caused by abnormal brain activity. During a fit, your dog will fall on its side and have rapid, rigid movements and they may lose control of their bowels. Most fits last between 1 and 3 minutes. If epilepsy is not treated, it can cause brain damage.

If your dog is epileptic, your vet will prescribe drugs. The drugs will help control the fits. Your dog will need to be given the drugs for the rest of its life. Epileptic dogs can live long, happy lives if their fits are controlled.

Glaucoma causes increased pressure on the inside of the eye. It’s painful for your dog and can lead to blindness if not treated.

If your dog has Glaucoma, their eye will appear cloudy and slightly blue. Other signs include:

  1. Red eyes
  2. Tearing
  3. Squinting
  4. Sensitivity to light
  5. Head shyness - won't let you touch its head

Your vet will talk to you about the best treatment. This may involve eye drops, pills, injections, or surgery. The aim is to reduce the pressure on the eye.

Dogs with Glaucoma can lead long, happy lives if treated.

VSD is a heart disease, also known as “hole in the heart”. If your dog has this condition, it’ll have been born with it. The only sign is a heart murmur, which your vet will detect during a health check.

The size of the hole can vary. No treatment is needed for small holes. Large holes may need medical management or surgery. But full closure of the hole isn’t possible.

The size and location of the hole affects the dog’s life expectancy. Large holes can cause heart failure, but dogs with small holes typically live a normal life.

Do Beagles shed?

Beagles have dense fur that continues to grow and moult. Grooming your dog weekly will reduce the amount of fur that falls out, which means less on your floors and furniture.

Their fur is short so won’t need trimming, and they’re clean dogs so won’t need bathing very often.

How to train a Beagle?

That burning question, are Beagles difficult to train? Unfortunately, they are. Beagles were bred as scent hounds and used for hunting. This means that they’re not very obedient. If your dog catches a scent of something, it will hunt it down and won’t listen to your calls.

Regular dog training will help to improve your dog’s obedience. Use treats in your training so they’ll learn that listening to you means a reward.

Are Beagles good pets?

Beagles are good with children and their gentle temperament makes them great family dogs. They have a lively personality and like to play. They also love a cuddle.

They’re smart dogs and with regular training, they can easily learn commands. Smart dogs get bored easily, so give them lots of toys to play with.

They’re the perfect house dog for loud homes and will happily welcome your guests.

How long do Beagles live?

Beagles have a lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. This is affected by their health, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting the care they need. The correct diet and exercise play a huge part. But the love and attention they receive also make a difference.

So, is a Beagle right for you?

Your Beagle may be lively and playful, but will also have a calm nature. Their friendly and gentle characteristics make them loving companions.

Browse our guides

Choose from our list of helpful guides and information

See all guides
Explore dog breeds

Find out how to keep your dog healthy and happy

Find out more
Cat breed guides

How to care for your cat, common health problems and more

Learn more

Content provided from Vetstream’s Vetlexicon.

Vetstream ltd (online) Beagle. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Bagley R, Garosi L & Lowrie M (online) Epilepsy: idiopathic. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Ltd (online) Epilepsy (seizures) Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Brooks E, William D L & Oliver J (online) Glaucoma. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Ltd (online) Glaucoma Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Brownlie S, Schrope D & Blake R (online) Heart: ventricular septal defect. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Ltd (online) Congenital heart disease – ventricular septal defect (VSD) Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: