Though details of the Beagle’s origins are somewhat uncertain, Beagle-type dogs were used to hunt rabbits in England as early as the 14th century. The sturdy breed has undergone changes, but today’s Beagle comes in two height varieties. Beagles are still used for hunting in packs, but they are equally valued for their merry personality and loyal companionship. Their intelligence, compact size, and care-free coat have made them one of the most popular breeds in the U.S.


Small; 13 to 15 inches, 16 to 30 pounds.


Hound colors: usually black and tan, red, or lemon, with or without white markings.


Amiable, tolerant, good with children, curious, and mischievous if not provided with enough exercise. Independent thinker when he detects a scent.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner with securely fenced backyard.


Daily exercise and playtime, leash, adequate fencing to prevent digging, companionship, minimal grooming, tolerance of barking, howling, and begging.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.