ALL ABOUT BEAGLES

Top 15 Reasons Beagles Are Surrendered

1) Too Much Energy (Beagles are Medium/High Energy Dogs)

2) Dog won't hunt (many of our beagles are failed or retired hunting dogs)

(3) A beagle is not the right breed for them (Owner didn't do any research before getting a beagle)

4) Owner Doesn't Have Time (Beagles are pack dogs and don't want to be alone all day)

5) Owner Doesn't Have A Fenced in Yard or Lives in an Apartment (beagles love to run and sniff)

6) Puppies are a LOT of work (Owner got a puppy and is overwhelmed, often an impulse buy)

7) Barking (Usually this is due to not enough exercise or seeing/hearing things outside in an apartment)

8) Kids didn't take care of it (While your kids might want the dog the parents are ultimately responsible)

9) Escaping (dogs start climbing fences, digging out, or bolting out doors if not given enough exercise)

10) Behavioral Issues/ No time to Train (lack of exercise or the owner willing to train the dog)

11) Divorce/Moving/Deployment/Job Change/Baby (Lifestyles change do you have a plan?)

12) Medical Issues (owners are unwilling to deal with health issues or pay for vet bills)

13) Not Housebroken (usually alone too long, medical, or marking in un-neutered dogs)

14) Size/Weight/Appearance (dog grew to be too big, or too fat, or doesn't look like the way they wanted)

15) Allergies/Shedding (beagles shed year round, new baby or boyfriend moves in and is allergic)

Breed Personality Traits 

Beagles are generally a friendly pack dog that enjoys the company of people and other dogs. Beagles enjoy a good smell the same way people enjoy a good book or beautiful sunset. They often follow their nose and can cover many miles surprisingly quickly.  Beagles are described as being Merry, Loving, Friendly, Happy, and are excellent family dogs. 

Barking/Noise Level

Beagles are not necessarily a “yappy breed” however, they are bred to have a very loud bark or bay for use when hunting. A beagle’s bark/bay/howl is louder than other breeds and can be heard up to a mile away. Beagles don’t necessarily bark more than other dogs but when they do the sound may travel further.  This can be an issue for beagles living in apartments, townhomes, or left in the backyard alone during the day. Training and exercise can help manage a beagle with a barking problem. Barking complaints from landlords or neighbors is in the top 10 list for why beagles are rehomed. 

Energy Level 

Beagles are a medium to high energy breed. Young dogs need 45-60 minutes of strenuous exercise at least 5 days a week, older dogs will need 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. This includes playing fetch, tug of war, a brisk walk, dogs sports (like agility, flyball, lure coursing) or doggie day care. Beagles are prone to obesity so keeping your dog active is crucial. Just like people each dog has their own exercise need and energy level. It’s very important to get a dog with a similar energy level to your own. “Too High Energy” is one of the biggest reasons why people surrender beagles. 

Grooming 

Beagles are generally bi-color or tri-color. There fur can show more on clothes and furniture since each individual hair may be multiple colors. Beagles are a medium/high shedding breed. They shed year round but more during spring and fall with the changing weather. Beagles should be brushed 1-2 times a week to remove dead fur. Those floppy ears can be prone to ear infections and need to be cleaned after heavy rains and after a bath. Some beagles also have dew claws on both the front and back legs. 

Alone and With Other pets 

While they have a high prey drive and may chase or kill small animals such as rabbits or squirrels they can also learn to live in harmony with cats, birds, and other small pets. Safe introductions, each animal’s personality and socialization all play a role. Beagles are pack dogs and tend to get along with and enjoy the company of other dogs. Many of our adopters have multiple dogs or multiple beagles. Since they enjoy the company of the pack they can be prone to separation anxiety if their humans aren’t around often enough. Separation anxiety can also occur in dogs that have lived outside their entire lives such has hunting dogs. When they become an inside pet they can develop anxiety over being forced to live outside alone again. With crate training and training the dog to self soothe when alone and that you will always come back many adjust quickly and become wonderful house pets. 

Health 

Beagles are generally pretty healthy although they can be prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, luxating patella (a dislocated kneecap), and eye disorders. As with all breeds, a Beagle’s ears should be checked weekly, and cleaned after every bath or heavy rain. Obesity can be a big issue with beagles, helping your pup maintain a healthy weight can add year to their life and avoid larger health concerns like diabetes, joint issues, heart issues, and liver/kidney issues.

Fenced in Yards 

Beagles do best in a home with a fenced in yard where they can sniff, sunbathe, and play with dog friends. Beagles and other scent hounds enjoy smelling and following scents and are not a breed that can be allowed to run off leash. Their nose can quickly lead them into dangerous areas if not contained with a fence.  BTTR requires a fenced in yard for all puppy and most adult dog adoptions. We do have some dogs that would be happy in a home without a fence, this is usually included in the dog's bio. For more on fence types etc see our Adoption Info.

 

History 

Beagles are an ancient breed whose origins are a bit unknown. Some historians claim the name beagle come from the French term for the sound hounds make when hunting be’geule like bugle (a small horn) or from the Gaelic word beag meaning “little”. 

Small pack hounds were used to hunt rabbits in England long before the Romans arrived in 55 BCE. In the 1500s most English gentleman used packs of larger hounds to hunt deer and smaller hounds for rabbits and hares. These small compact hounds became the ancestor of the modern beagle. 

Beagles were very appealing for hunters in Europe and North America for being a “foot hound.” Larger pack hounds like Foxhounds were fast enough that hunters needed a horse to follow the pack. For hunters unable to afford a horse or older hunters unable to ride, beagles were a great alternative since they could be followed on foot. 

The first beagle was registered with the AKC in 1885, beagles were imported to America following the Civil War and their popularity among rabbit hunters was immediate. Virginia still has a large number of hunters using beagles to hunt rabbits and deer.

Physical Description

Standard Beagles

Beagles have 2 sizes according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) 13” Beagles are smaller less than 20lbs (also called short legged or rabbit beagles) and 13-15” Beagles are a bit larger and 20-30lbs (also called long legged or deer beagles). Most BTTR beagles are not AKC show beagles so sizes can vary. Beagles tend to have a thicker stocky build or a long thin build a small stocky beagle may weight 30lbs while a tall thin beagle may only weigh 25lbs. Larger beagles over 40lbs or 17" are usually mixed with another hound breed.. BTTR generally does not take in dogs larger than 45lbs. Many hunters in Virginia use beagles to hunt rabbits and larger beagles or mixes to hunt deer. 

To see full breed description check out the AKC’s Breed Profile

Pocket/Toy/Mini/Teacup Beagles

Mini beagles sometimes called Pocket Beagles or Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles are not a recognized breed by the AKC. The term Pocket Beagle comes from a story that in the 13th century Queen Elizabeth I hunted with small hounds that could fit in a horses saddle bag. The breed has since gone extinct, and in 1999 The Olde English Pocket Beagle Registry was founded to try and recreate the breed.  Pocket Beagle breeders create a smaller beagle in one of two ways: 1 by breeding a beagle to a Chihuahua or Dachshund or 2 by breeding a small or runt beagle to another small or runt beagle. Pocket beagles are defined as being 7-12" tall and 7-15lbs when fully grown which is less than half the size of the smaller 13" beagle. In order to create a purebred dog of a specific size or color some breeders breed dogs that are not physically sound but carry the desired genes or use inbreeding (mother to son, father to daughter) to achieve the desired traits in the puppies. Any time animals are being bred with a trait other than health being the top priority (color, size, appearance etc) birth defects or genetic illnesses can be a problem.

BTTR had 2 Pocket Beagles in 2020, Tucker and Tyson are littermates born in an accidental litter. Tucker and Tyson's original family purchased their parents from an Olde English Pocket Beagle Breeder. The boys mom was close to Tucker in size and dad was more like Tyson. Tucker is only 9lbs fully grown however he suffers from neurological condition that effects his balance and how he walks. Most likely Tuckers condition was caused by a genetic abnormality due to his size or a birth defect. Tyson is 18lbs fully grown he has a more dome shaped skull than a typical beagle and an underbite. You can see the physical difference in build, head shape, and ear shape in these boys and the beagles show above in the Standard Beagle gallery.

Beagle Mixes 

Beagles and hounds are very popular in this area so beagle mixes are very common. Beagles mixed with other hound breeds are the most common, especially Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Plott Hounds, Harriers, Pointers, and Foxhounds. Beagles mixed with Labrador Retrievers, American Staffordshire terrier, and other Bully breeds also occur. Smaller breeds like Chihuahua, Dachshund, Rat Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are sometimes used to create designer breeds with beagles.