The Beagle:  Sweet and Comical

by Janice Jones     |Last updated 09-16-2022

Beagles are gentle, sweet and funny but have a tendency to act up often without the special attention and training that they need as puppies.

But, if you love dogs that make you laugh because of their funny personality, but also have a sweet and caring nature, then this breed may be the perfect furry companion for you!

The sweet-natured beagle, everyone's friend.  Breed Profile at Small Dog PlaceThe sweet-natured beagle, everyone's friend. Breed Profile at Small Dog Place

They adore their owners and are very friendly to everyone, especially kids and families willing to spend some time with them. This breed has three famous colors that include brown, black, and white. These dogs are hound dogs, so they were bred for hunting and being on the trails.

They have short legs that keep them close to the ground and an obviously excellent nose. Their noses are wet which helps scent molecules stick to it and help travel in the nose. Ears also help by collecting the scent and helping to travel it to the nose.

Did you know that the Beagle has over 220 million scent receptors?

The most important thing that is breed is famous for is, you guessed it, their vocals! They are extremely vocal and have three main sounds they make. The first one is just the average bark that they use when they are alerted or sense something out of the ordinary, doorbell, phone ringing, etc.

The second sound is the one that they use when they’re out on the trails. This sound is called a “bay” and it is composed of three different pitches that they use to alert either their owner or the other dogs that they found the scent and they are hot on the trail. The last is the famous ‘ole howl that they will use when they are sad, bored, or sometimes even in comradely.

They are extremely vocal dogs and if you live in an apartment, or don’t like the excess barking, this breed may not be for you. If you can look past that and to their sweet and happy interior, then you may have just found the perfect pet!

They can be difficult to house-train, and some are known to even take up to a year to be fully housebroken. People with no time or desire to properly train them should probably consider another breed.

Quick Facts

Other Names Used: Howlers, Beegs, Beagus, and Pocket Beagle

Affiliation: Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885


     Height: Female: 13-15 inches    Male: 14-16 inches

     Weight: Female: 19.8-22 lbs.      Male: 22-24.3 lbs.

Coat Type: smooth, short-hair

Colors: Tri-color, Chocolate Tri, White & Tan, Red & White, Brown & White, Orange & White, and Lemon & White

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Activity Level: Very active

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other pets: Yes

Miniature, Mini, Teacup, Pocket Beagles

Beagle Puppies

Regardless of the name, The Pocket Beagle, a smaller version of the standard size dog originated in England and used as a hunting dog capable of crawling under scrubs to find rabbits. 

Their original name, the Old English Pocket Beagle was coined because hunters would carry their beagles in their saddlebags.  Also known as glove beagles, they were around during the time of Henry VIII.  Once thought extinct, they are being recreated and have become popular once again.

Unlike some breeds that have specific AKC size differentiations (e.g. Standard, Miniature and toy Poodle), these smaller versions of the original breed are not classified differently with AKC or other breed registries.  This means that there is no breed standard for these small dogs. 

Usually people will define these smaller versions of the breed to weigh less than 15 pounds and grow to less than 12 inches in height.  

These smaller versions of the beagle have become popular with folks that like small dogs.  Due to their small size, they can be a good choice for people in apartments, but since they are still beagles, they will still require plenty of exercise. 

These smaller fur babies are basically health just as their larger cousins, but when breeders deliberately breed for smaller size, a condition called Dwarfism or Chondroplasia may occur.  This leads to warped front legs.


Tri-Colored BeagleTri-Colored Beagle

The history of the breed's name is not determined, but many people think that it comes from the French word Be’geule that means gaped throat, which no one protests against because of the vocalization of the Beagle.

They were bred for hunting and it took almost a millennium of breeding to craft them into the dog that we know and love today.

These dogs were very popular in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and even as far back as the Roman times. Due to the age of the breed, the specifics of ancestry are lost, so only the Beagle knows its bloodline and I suspect they are not talking!!

Beagle Puppies


< <
Playfulness Paws Ratings
Affection Level Paws Ratings
Friendliness Towards Strangers Paws Ratings
Good with Children Paws Ratings
Good with Other Dogs Paws Ratings
Good for First Time Owners Paws Ratings
Exercise Needed Paws Ratings
Ease of Training Paws Ratings
Watch Dog AbilitiesPaws Ratings
Grooming RequirementsPaws Ratings
Shedding Paws Ratings
Cold Tolerant Paws Ratings
Heat Tolerant Paws Ratings

Dog Breed Ratings Got You a Little Confused?
Here's a little help in understanding them

  • Playfulness:   Most Playful = 5    Least Playful = 1
  • Affection:  Most Affectionate = 5   Least Affectionate = 1
  • Friendliness Towards Strangers: Most Friendly = 5  Least = 1
  • Good With Children:  Great= 5    Not Good with Children = 1
  • Good With Dogs:  Great = 5   Not Good Around Dogs = 1
  • Good With First Time Owners:  Fine=5  Not Appropriate = 1
  • Exercise Required:  Extensive Daily Exercise = 1  Minimal = 1
  • Ease of Training:  Very Easy = 5     Difficult = 1
  • Watch Dog:  Excellent Watch Dog = 5  Minimal = 1
  • Grooming:  Time Consuming = 5   Minimal = 1
  • Shedding:  Heavy Shedder = 5     Minimal = 1
  • Cold Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5   Poor Tolerance = 1
  • Heat Tolerance:  Well Tolerated = 5  Poor Tolerance = 1

These little dogs are very affectionate, funny, and overall happy dogs. They are constantly using their nose and love to go on adventures, especially ones that they can smell different things.

They are extremely scent motivated and once they get a whiff of something, they will stop at nothing until they explore. They can be quite difficult to train because they will be distracted by all of the different smells in their area.

Food motivation is the way to go when training this hound, and as long as the food and what you’re trying to teach them is more interesting to them then the smells, their attention will be on you. However, there is no training them not to follow their nose because that is their number one priority.

Although they are not the easiest and most patient fur babies in the world to work with during training, they are extremely intelligent and can differentiate and remember hundreds of different scents.

Because of their love of smells, they must be kept in a fenced in area such as a backyard, pen, etc. Whether it is a normal fence, invisible fence, or just a leash, these little hounds need to be contained unless you want to be chasing them all over the neighborhood just because they saw a rabbit.

These little guys are not good guard dogs because they are friendly to everyone, but are good watchdogs and will howl or alert the family when new animals or people approach the home. 

They also need a large amount of exercise, so if you’re a couch potato, this may not be the dog for you. Beagles are very good jogging buddies and love to be outside running around and playing.

The Good Natured Beagle


If grooming is not your thing, then these guys are definitely for you.  They have very smooth, short hair and do not need to be groomed too often, however they need baths more than the average dog would.

They love to hunt for scents (obviously) and then they tend to roll around in whatever scent they discover and will wear that doggie cologne home with them.

They need to be bathed at least once a week if they get into that lovely habit.  Other than that all the basic grooming needs such as clipping their nails, checking their eyes, ears, and anal glands.

Read More About Grooming Short-Haired Dogs.

Health Concerns

As breeds go, they are extraordinarily healthy, one of the healthiest dog breeds. Because they have been bred over so many years, the disease and health problems has essentially been bred out of them. You will have to be aware of minor cuts, sprains, and possibly ticks if your hound has been out in the fields all day.

When they get older they might become inactive, and then obesity could be a concern. Other than that, Beagles are overall very healthy dogs but of course, with all breeds, there are the average health concerns such as:

Cherry Eyes:  Read More About Cherry Eyes



  • Wonderful family dogs and do well especially with children
  • Can act as good watchdogs
  • Do not need excessive grooming
  • Very healthy breed
  • Not generally aggressive
  • Very loyal
  • Intelligent


  • Can be noisy, not for apartment dwellers
  • Very active, not for couch potatoes
  • Stubborn when it comes to obedience training
  • Short attention span, follows his/her nose
  • Can not go on hikes, walks, jogs, etc. without a leash
  • Will scavenge for food, anything left out on tables etc. will be theirs.
  • As much as they like being outside, they only like it if you are out there too. They are very social and cannot be left alone for long periods of time or they will howl.

Adopting a Beagle

For more information about adopting a beagle puppy or adult, please check out our article about Adopting a Beagle

Resources on the Beagle Breed

Here are some books you might find helpful if you are interested in being owned by a beagle.  All can be purchased from Amazon and this site receives a very small commission from your purchase on Amazon.  

The Lovable, Gentle Beagle:  Is this the Breed for You? at #SmallDogPlace

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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