VCA Benicia Animal Hospital



Basic Beagle Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Height: 13 - 15 inches
  • Weight: 18 - 30 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Beagles

Beagle Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Beagle History

  • The Beagle originated in the Middle Ages, probably the result of crosses between the Harrier and other hounds. Its smaller size made it possible to follow it on foot as it trailed hare.
  • The first use of the word Beagle is found in 1475. The origin of the word is uncertain, but it may be derived the old French "be'geule", meaning "gape throat" in reference to the baying voice of the hounds. Alternatively, it may refer to the diminutive size of the hound, possibly deriving from the Old English "begele," or the French "beigh" or the Celtic "beag," all of which mean small.
  • Beagles existed in several sizes, including the then popular pocket-sized Beagles that measured only about 9" tall at the withers. The smaller Beagles could be followed by less athletic sporting enthusiasts.
  • The first mention of the Beagle in America was in 1642, but the modern Beagle did not emerge in America until the late 1800s, when more Beagles from England arrived.
  • Beagles became popular hunting companions and field trial competitors, but these jobs were eclipsed by their popularity as family dogs.
  • More recently, they have gained recognition as contraband, termite and mold detection dogs. They also have a long history of use as research subjects.
  • The most famous Beagle of all is an animated one, Snoopy, of Peanuts fame.
  • The Beagle has been among the ten most popular breeds in America for decades.

Beagle Behavior Concerns

  • Makes both an exuberant playmate and adventurous companion.
  • Excellent and playful with children, but its independent nature may be frustrating for children at times.
  • Gregarious toward strangers.
  • Very good with other dogs and pets.
  • Likes to follow its nose, tends to wander, and does not come when called.
  • Likes to hunt.
  • Some bark and bay loudly and frequently.
  • Learns quickly, but is easily distracted. Does best with reward-based training involving food.

Beagle Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a fairly calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
  • Enjoys jogging, but not running marathons.
  • Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with backyard games, it prefers to walk and sniff and explore.
  • Care must be taken if allowed off leash because the Beagle tends to get caught up in following scent trails, and it's not overly obedient when it comes to returning.
  • Beagles tend to do well at dog parks.
  • Beagles do best in moderate climates.

Beagle Grooming

  • Coat is short, close and hard.
  • Brushing once a week will remove dead hair.
  • Shedding is average.

Suggested Beagle Nutritional Needs

  • Beagles love to eat anything and have a tendency to become obese.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.