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Beagles are small muscular dogs with thick waterproof coats. Their coats come in many colors including combinations of black, white, tan, red, lemon, and blue mottle. Male dogs are typically 14 to 16 inches tall (36-41 cm) and they weigh around 22 to 25 pounds (10-11 kg). Female Beagles are about 13 to 15 inches tall (33-38 cm) and they weigh about 20 to 23 pounds (9-10 kg). Beagles look like small English Foxhounds. Their slick easy to care for coats is well kept with regular brushings. Bathe with dry shampoo or mild soap only when necessary. There are two types of Beagles. One has smooth but not necessarily fine hair and the other has rough hair.

Beagles are strong willed and need firm handling since they are not very easy to train. If they detect an interesting smell they may divert their attention toward it instead of what you want them to focus on. They are good-tempered dogs that are very alert. They are rarely aggressive and they are wonderful with children. Beagles crave and love attention from their families and make excellent pets but not very good watchdogs.

Gentle, sweet, lively, curious, and happy are all terms that describe the temperament of Beagles. They are brave, loving, sociable, and intelligent. Although they do well with children and other dogs, Beagles should not be trusted with other non-canine pets unless they were introduced to these animals at a young age. They have minds of their own. Beagles are watchful and determined. To train them, lots of patience and firmness will be needed. Beagles do not like to be alone and often prefer a companion. If lonely or bored, Beagles may resort to howling and crying that can be disturbing to your neighbors. Beagles adapt well to urban areas with room to run. Fenced yards are recommended since Beagles have a tendency to follow their noses on wild explorations from time to time. There are no special feeding requirements for these dogs but plenty of exercise is recommended to keep them in shape. Be careful that your dog does not become obese and lazy from overeating and lack of exercise.

Special health concerns that Beagles may face include Epilepsy, spinal problems, skin conditions, or eye diseases. Some common eye problems they may develop are cataracts or glaucoma. Be sure to check their ears carefully for signs of infection and clean them regularly. It is also recommended to keep their nails clipped and trimmed. The life expectancy for a Beagle is typically 12 to 15 years.

Traditionally, Beagles were used to hunt hares by tracking the scent. They were used in packs, pairs or alone to hunt pheasant and quail as well. The name most likely comes from a Celtic word for small – beag. The breed is likely to have originated from crosses between Harriers and other hounds in England. The modern dog is considerably bigger that the earlier dogs which were often carried in pockets or saddlebags.