tricolour beagle dog on a rocky beach


A complete breed guide for Beagle dogs

LAST UPDATED 13 April 2022

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Kes Holliday DVM

The Beagle is a popular dog breed, ranking at number eleven of the most common dog breeds in Australia. Modern Beagles arose in 16th century England and were orginally bred to hunt rabbits and other small prey. The Beagle's friendly, outgoing nature and generally low maintenance needs make them an excellent pet for many families.


Facts About the Beagle


Beagle's Personality


Health Concerns


Related Breeds

Further reading

1. Facts About the Beagle

beagle lying on a human bed
Breed size: Place of origin: Other names:
Medium United Kingdom English Beagle, American Beagle
Breed group: Energy level: Weight range:
Scent hounds Medium to high 8 - 13kg
Life expectancy: Tendency to bark: Height range:
12 - 15 years High 30 - 40 cm at shoulder
Drool factor: Coat length: Colours:
Low Short Twenty-five different colours (including: black & tan, tri-colour, brown & white, lemon & white, red & white, tan & white)
Shedding factor: Social needs: Overall grooming needs:
Moderate Moderate Low maintenance

How big do Beagles get?

A Beagle's adult weight can range between 8 - 13 kg. Their height ranges from 30-40 cm at the shoulder with the males being larger than the females. The best way to estimate your Beagle puppy's expected adult weight is to have a look at their mother and father.

How much does a Beagle cost?

A Beagle puppy in Australia usually costs $2500-3500. The pandemic has increased demand for puppies, leading to higher cost of purchase.

Do Beagles shed?

Yes, Beagles are moderate shedders. They have a short double-coat that helps them moderate their body temperature in cold or hot weather. Beagles undergo a heavy shed in spring and winter, though they will shed continously all year round. Regular grooming with a pin brush, grooming glove or deshedding brush for dogs will help keep shedding under control by removing loose hairs from your Beagle's coat.

Are Beagles good pets?

Beagles are cheerful and affectionate dogs who make great companions for owners of all ages. They are people-oriented, clever, and will love everyone in the family, including kids and other dogs. Beagles can get along with cats with the proper introductions and supervision. However, Beagles crave company and may howl or bark excessively when left alone. Due to their hound ancestry they are curious dogs with a tendency to roam, so a securely enclosed backyard is essential.

How long do Beagles live?

The Beagle lifespan is 12 - 15 years. As with any breed, they will live much longer if you take good care of them, maintain their weight in a healthy range, and keep their teeth in top condition!

Do Beagles bark much?

Yes, typically Beagles bark a lot. As they were bred to be pack-hunting dogs, their instinct is to bark to alert their fellow hunters. Nowadays, Beagles will bark to communicate their needs and feelings such as when they are excited, hungry, fearful or simply in need of attention! Beagles are also prone to separation anxiety. To reduce your Beagle's barking, ensure you train with positive reinforcement from a young age and reduce problem behaviours before they begin!

How do I choose a Beagle breeder?

When looking for a Beagle, your options are to: a) adopt from a rescue (this is our top recommendation!) b) buy from an or online marketplace or pet store (NOT recommended!), or c) Research a reputable breeder. Never purchase a puppy without inspecting the breeder's premises and asking the 10 Breeder Checklist Questions first. Good breeders socialise their animals, house them humanely, allow you to inspect their premises, and selectively breed healthy traits and good temperaments. Read our Guide to Finding a Good Breeder for more tips.

Are Beagles good with kids?

Yes, Beagles are great with kids! Their active and curious nature makes them very compatible playmates. As with any breed, proper socialisation is essential to ensure your puppy forms positive associations from a young age. Always supervise young children around a Beagle to make sure the dog is not hurt.

2. Beagle History

man with a large pack of beagles

Photo from Full Cry: A Hound Blog, Glenye Cain Oakford 2013

While references to Beagles exist as early as 400 BC in Greece, modern Beagles were bred in 14th century England, Wales and France as pack-hunting dogs. Their ancestors likely included scent hounds like the Talbot Hound, The Northern Hound and The Harrier. Tiny 'pocket Beagles' less than 23 inches tall were carried by hunters on horseback, and later become popular pets for the Royal Family!

3. Beagle Personality

beagle in a kayak on a marina

Beagles are a sociable breed that love people and make a great family dog. They're robust, active and intelligent but can occasionally hold a stubborn streak when it comes to training. Beagles are pack animals that prefer companionship and can become very attached to caretakers therefore ensuring they have lots of stimulation when left alone will help prevent behavioural issues developing. A Beagle left to their own devices without proper excercise or stimulation may develop problem behaviours such as excessive barking, howling, chewing or digging.

Take a look at our recommended training treats and interactive toys to keep your Beagle busy and mentally worn out. Food dispensing toys such as Lickimats, Snuffle Mats or KONGs are great options to occupy your Beagle when you're away.

Too many toys to choose from? Why not let us pick for you with the Curious Box? Each Curious Box contains a selection of two to three engaging toys ( and treats!) Even better, the theme changes every 6 weeks, making it the perfect way to keep your pet's supply of toys and treats fresh, fun, and varied!


Because Beagles thrive on companionship, they can become very attached to their family and prone to separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety may panic and suffer from stress when left alone.

The best way to treat separation anxiety depends on the dog. Severe cases may not be able to be left alone without injuring themselves and may require medication from your veterinarian. But for most cases, dealing with separation anxiety is all about desensitising your dog to you leaving and returning to the home.

Shop all stress and anxiety

4. Beagle Health Issues

Beagle looking out at a marina

Beagles are quite a robust breed and do not suffer from any major health problems. However there are some inherited conditions to be aware of.

Allergies and Atopy

Both food and environmental allergies may occur in Beagles. Atopic dermatitis is a generalised allergy caused by items in the environment such as pollen, dustmites or grasses. It usually results in itching, hairloss and red, inflamed skin. Often affected dogs may lick their paws excessively and have recurrent ear infections. Food allergies, on the other hand, may result in recurrent gastrointestinal upset or itchy skin. Management involves reducing or eliminating the allergen from the environment or diet if possible, alongside potentially desensitisation and medication, dietary changes and topical therapies to manage symptoms.

Neurological Problems


Beagles can be prone to idiopathic epilepsy, which leads to seizures with no known cause. There is treatment available for seizure control.

Wobbler Syndrome

Wobbler Syndrome causes a wobbly or drunken gait in your Beagle. This occurs due to a narrowing of the neck vertebrae, causing pressure on the spinal cord and pinching of the nerves. Treatment options for Wobbler Syndrome may include medications, surgery or exercise rehabilitation.

Heart Disease

Several types of heart disease may be seen in Beagles. Beagles are particularly prone to Pulmonic Stenosis, a condition in which the major artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs becomes narrowed. Pulmonic Stenosis is first noted with a heart murmur that can progress to congestive heart failure. Early detection of heart disease allows treatment that may prolong your Beagle's life. Your vet will check for heart murmurs and rhythm when they examine your Beagle.

Eye Problems


Cataracts occur when eyes have a cloudy appearance due to changes to the lens. Cataracts can lead to vision loss however they can be removed surgically.


Glaucoma is a painful eye condition that can lead to blindness if not treated quickly. Initial symptoms include watery eyes, squinting and a blue appearance to the cornea, and the eye may appear swollen in advanced cases.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the femur and hip joint do not fit together properly, causing pain and lameness. Less severe cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, however surgery may be required for serious cases.

As with any type of joint disease, arthritis can be a concern. Take a look at our article Arthritis Care in Dogs to see how to help your Beagle.


Obesity is a common and significant health problem of Beagles. Being overweight can worsen existing joint disease, heart disease and back pain. For tips to keep your Beagle's weight down, check out our article How to Help your Dog Lose Weight .

5. Beagle Diet and Nutrition

beagle standing on a rock in a sunny park

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Beagle puppies

When adopting a Beagle puppy into your home, it's important to have a few things in order:

Best food for Beagle puppies

Beagle puppies need to eat a premium diet that is nutritionally formulated to meet AAFCO Guidelines until they are 12 months of age.

Raw diets for Beagles? Raw diets are not suitable or safe for Beagle puppies due to the risk of bacterial contamination upsetting their sensitive tummies, and an unbalanced diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Read more about Raw Diets: The Risks and Benefits.

Best food for adult Beagles

It's very important that you feed your Beagle a suitable diet that is age appropriate and meets all of their nutritional needs. Premium diets contain balanced levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for health and wellbeing.

Because Beagles are prone to obesity, it may be advisable to feed a weight control diet. Royal Canin Lightweight Care Dry Dog Food contains lower fat and energy levels to reduce calorie intake. Also Advance Healthy Weight Medium Adult Dry Dog Food has adapted calorie content plus prebiotic fibres for healthy digestion.

Related Breeds

English Foxhound

In Australia, Foxhounds were likely imported to accompany the captive foxes brought over by British Settlers so they could hunt as packs. They are a large breed dog that requires plenty of exercise and stimulation.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are medium sized hounds that originated in France during the 1500's. They are thought to be a mix of three breeds: the head and sense of smell of a Bloodhound, the colouring of a Foxhound and the legs of a Dachshund. The Basset has a calm but playful personality which makes them an excellent indoor pet for many types of families.

Further reading

Premium pet food: Is it worth it?

Does your dog have a food allergy?

New puppy guide

What's in your pet's food?

How to read the label on a bag of pet food

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