Beagle Breed Information

Beagles are a member of the ‘Hound’ breed group. The Hound group include breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or sight. They require a substantial amount of exercise and are considered to be aloof but trustworthy dogs.

Beagles love children and, with positive socialisation at a young age (as with all pets) make great family pets - they will be first to join in if a game is on offer! Grooming once a week will remove any dead hair, although they may need a wipe down after being out and about exploring.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Beagles are prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Epilepsy – a brain disorder which can lead to seizures.
  • Meningitis – inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, causing fever and neck pain.
  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid gland, causing lethargy, coat changes, weight gain.
  • Cushing's syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism) – hormonal disorder which results in the production off too much cortisol.
  • Intervertebral disc disease – rupture of a disc (also known as a ‘slipped disc’) resulting in pressure on the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, causing pain and weakness.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website, information on testing by the Kennel Club and specific information on Beagle health here.

Exercise requirements:

Beagles have high energy levels and need over 2 hours of exercise daily to keep them physically and mentally fit. They have a strong hunting instinct, so should be exercised in secure areas and also be well trained at a young age to ensure they respond to recall, which may be challenging to teach as once on the scent of something it will be difficult to regain their attention! Again, due to their strong hunting instinct, they should be socialised with smaller household pets at a young age. For more information on how to socialise your Beagle and train using reward-based techniques, check out our dog behaviour page.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Beagle are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Beagle with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Beagles that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Beagle with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
Easy to train
Exercise needed
Barking/likely to be vocal
Size Medium
Average height 33-40 cm
Average weight 8-13.5 kg
Average lifespan Over 12 years
Minimum exercise (per day) 1 hour
Coat length Short
Minimum cost (per month) £80

Not sure if the Beagle is the right pet for you?