An eager hunter, the Beagle can also make a lively and affectionate family dog, provided there is plenty of space where it can exercise. It loves human companionship and being part of a group, although it can be obstinate when being trained.
The Beagle has existed since the fourteenth century, when it was bred for hunting rabbits. It can vary in size and appearance between countries—in Britain the smallest beagles once accompanied mounted hunters, fitting snugly in their saddlebags. A working dog until the 1940s, when it became domesticated.
Its smooth or wiry short-haired coat comes in any hound color and is conveniently waterproof. It has an appealing face with a slightly domed head and fine floppy ears. Its compact muscular body is designed for the speed of the chase. Its tail is white-tipped. It grows to 13–16 inches.
Friendly and playful, but strong-willed and often difficult to train. If kept indoors for too long, it may become bored and destructive.
Suitability as a pet
An engaging, friendly creature, the beagle is a pack animal that will fit well into family life in the country. It needs plenty of exercise to keep it happy. Care must be taken to instill the recall command because once it has a scent it is hard to distract.
Height: 33–40 cm (13–16 in)
Weight: 8–14 kg (18–30 lb)
Life span: 13 years
Grooming: * Exercise: *** Town or Country: C
Key to rating checklist
*** two 30-minute runs a day
** two 20-minute runs a day
* one 10-20 minute walk a day
*** 15 minutes brushing a day
** 5-10 minutes brushing a day
* 2-3 minutes brushing a day