The Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in North America. Known primarily as a family dog, Beagles and Beagle mix breeds are known for their playful and friendly dispositions. This makes them the perfect companion for families with young children or other pets.
The purebred Beagle originates from 11th Century England. Bred as hunting dogs, these hounds have a famously strong sense of smell. For centuries, Beagles were one of the favorite breeds for the lords and ladies of the British Isles. In high British society, lords would often hold semi annual hunting excursions for small game such as foxes and rabbits. The guest list would often include high ranking members of English society. The host’s Beagles were often brought out for display, and they would often be marveled at by the guests for their physical fitness.
In more recent years, countless Beagle mix breeds have emerged. In fact, there are more than twenty different Beagle mixes officially recognized by the Westminster Kennel Club. Today, we will be taking a look at some of the more popular of these mutts!
Understanding the different mix breeds
The Puggle and The Poogle
The Puggle is a crossbreed of a Beagle and a Pug. These small dogs are considered a “designer breed”. They are bred mainly for companionship. One of the great things about the Puggle is that it tends to have much less significant health problems than either of its two parent breeds.
Meanwhile, crossing a Toy Poodle and a Beagle will produce a Poogle. Poogles are known to be one of the most intelligent crossbreeds of the canine world. They make great family pets and are known as loyal companions.
Crossing a Chihuahua with a Beagle will give you a Cheagle! Weighing in at only around ten to fifteen pounds on average, this little pup is the smallest on our list. Like any other Chihuahua mix, a Cheagle will often grow incredibly attached to its owner. This can sometimes evolve into clinginess without proper training. However, this also makes the breed very loyal and a fantastic option for anybody looking for a lifetime friendship.
One of the most popular breeds on the list is the Beagador. A cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Beagle, these medium sized dogs tend to have a short, shiny coat. Beagadors are known to have great stamina, and they love to go on runs and play outdoor games. They are a perfect breed for young families with kids who like to play outdoors. They are also known to be ultra affectionate and love snuggling!
Another Beagle mix is the Beaglier, which is a designer breed cross of a Beagle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs are known for having endless energy. They love to run and play, and are also known to be quite the swimmers! Probably not well suited for those who live in cramped apartments, Beagliers make perfect pets for people and families with lots of space.
A cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Beagle, the Borkie has its own unique look. Often colored like a Beagle, but with a long, coarse coat like a Yorkie. A smaller dog, the Borkie is known both for its intelligence and its loyalty. It’s this intelligence that makes them a relatively easy dog to train. Don’t be thrown off by a Borkie’s small stature because they are known to have the same deep howl of their Beagle forefathers.
As you may have guessed, the Beaglemation is half Beagle and half Dalmatian. Almost all Beaglemations have the iconic black and white spotted coat that was so sought after by Cruella de Vil. This is a coat that requires very little grooming and can be great for families who can’t handle the shedding of a dog with a longer coat. They require a great deal of exercise and attention, but if you give them that time they are the most loyal of companions!
The Doxle is a crossbreed of a Dachshund and a Beagle. The Dachshund in them makes them keen watchdogs. They are a very popular breed in farming communities in Germany and elsewhere in Central Europe due to their ability to root out vermin such as mice and rats from barns. Although they only weigh in at a weight of around 25 pounds on average, they are steadfast protectors and good friends to children and other pets.
The Beagle Shepherd
This loving and friendly dog breed is a cross of a Beagle and a German Shepherd. They require tons of activity and attention, and they crave exercise. This makes them perfect pets for energetic people who live an active lifestyle. They are fantastic companions for long hikes and other outdoor excursions. They also make fantastic work dogs! The German Shepherd in them grants them fantastic skills as herders of livestock. One of the most versatile breeds on our list, the Beagle Shepherd is a favorite for dog owners across the globe!
Another so-called “designer breed”, the Beagi is a mix of a Beagle and a Corgi. The Beagi is known to get along famously with members of its family, but can definitely be territorial. This means that they can sometimes act aggressively or timidly around strangers. Originally bred as watchdogs, Beagis are great for those looking for some extra security in their home.
These cute pups are a crossbreed of an English Toy Spaniel and a Beagle. This breed is known for its intense loyalty and abilities as a rescue dog. A common companion breed of special needs children, the Speagle is skilled in communicating with children and even has the ability to sense fear in them and provide comfort. This makes them an ideal breed for any family with children. Considered a small to medium sized breed, they often have lifespans that exceed fifteen years!
Understanding the Beagles Temperament
Beagles are high energy dogs with tons of great qualities! To understand the personality of the Beagle, one must look to its ancestral origins. To historians’ best knowledge, the seminal Beagles are ancestors of the small hunting dogs brought to England by the French-born William the Conqueror during his conquest of the nation in the 11th Century.
Originally a crossbreed of a number of French hounds, the Beagle quickly became one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom. Throughout the Late Middle Ages and into the modern era, Beagles have been bred mainly as hunting dogs. Extremely proficient at hunting small game such as rabbit, the breed quickly became of a favorite of the ruling class, accompanying their masters on extravagant hunting outings for rabbit, hare, and other small game. Over time, the Beagle has also been used as a watchdog. In Victorian London, Beagles were a common breed amongst shop owners guarding their stores from thieves in the night.
All of these qualities combine for a loyal companion and friend who works well in a family dynamic. Beagles can be great for families with young children; as well as homes with cats and other dogs.
The Beagle’s appearance is often compared to that of other small hounds. Beagles typically have broad heads and short muzzles. Beagles are also known for their short, stumpy legs in relation the the rest of their body.
Beagle’s have long, floppy ears that generally go down past their chins. Their long necks allow them to sniff the ground without having to bend their knees. They have long muscular tails which are almost always tipped white at the very end. This was actually an intentional quality bred into Beagles. The white tipped tail can easily be seen by hunters lagging behind a game dog. When Beagles point and raise their tail straight up, it often means that they have caught the scent of a small game animal.
The most common coat for Beagles is what’s called tricolor. A tricolor Beagle usually has a base white coat with black and tan spots. Generally, a tricolored Beagle’s face will be mostly tan. Interestingly enough, tri-colored Beagles are almost always born completely black and white. Many of the black spots will fade into a tan color in the first few months of a Beagle’s life. Other relatively common coats for Beagles include black and tan as well as plain black and white.
Beagles used as detection dogs
The United States Department of Agriculture has an actual unit named the Beagle Brigade! Due to their intense sense of smell, these Beagles are used by professionals at airports and other high security environments in order to sniff out any illegal items being brought through customs. Generally speaking, these Beagle’s are trained to detect food in people’s luggage that is being brought across international borders. Beagles are a perfect breed for this not just because of their sense of smell, but also because they are generally perceived as friendly and non threatening and are much less likely to cause a scene.
Although Beagles certainly are capable of being trained as bomb sniffing dogs, they generally are not. This is due to their smaller stature. They are typically too small to be climbing atop large piles of luggage, or rooting through bags on a conveyor belt. Larger breeds such as German Shepherds often take their place for these sort of jobs.
Do Beagles have any common health problems?
The average lifespan of a Beagle or Beagle mix is 12-15 years. One relatively common health problem can be hip dysplasia. This is actually caused by a dwarfism mutation which is common in some of the Beagle mix breeds.
In rare cases, Beagles can be plagued by arthritis and obesity. As with everything, it is always important to consult a qualified vet if you are noticing any symptoms with your pup. Other common ailments are ear infections and hypothyroidism which can often be remedied with prescription medications.
To lead happy and healthy lives, most Beagles and Beagle mixes require a ton of exercise. It is important that they have enough space to run around and play. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems and can also negatively effect your dog’s overall mood.
For the most part, Beagles and their various crossbreeds are known to be very healthy and have relatively few health problems. As a smaller dog with a longer lifespan, they tend to lead fulfilling lives when paired with the right owner.
How Beagles can be ‘designer dogs’
A “designer dog” is a term for dog breeds that have been meticulously bred over generations to achieve very specific traits and appearances. Beagle mixes are often portrayed in this light due to the number of very specific different crossbreeds that exist.
Specifically in the case of the Beagle, many of these mixes were bred to achieve healthier, stronger dogs. Generally speaking, mixed breeds tend to have longer lifespans on average than their purebred parents. Mixed breeds are also generally less likely to develop chronic conditions such as asthma and arthritis.
“Designer dogs” can also be bred in an attempt to achieve a mixed breed with a more suitable temperament. Beagles are known as a high energy, excitable breed. While this may be perfect for families with young children or those who live an active lifestyle, they can potentially be a burden on those living in city apartments or a more sedentary lifestyle.
How big do Beagles get?
Beagles most closely resemble a miniature foxhound. A beagles legs are much shorter in relation to the rest of their bodies. The average Beagle can weigh anywhere between 18 and 35 pounds, with females generally being slightly smaller than their male counterparts.
In comparison to other dog breeds, a Beagle is much smaller than a Labrador or even a Dalmatian. They are smaller than their cousin Basset Hound and more comparable to the size of an average Cocker Spaniel.
The best dog food for your Beagle
Beagles require a high protein diet. They burn tons of calories, especially if they are living an active lifestyle. Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild are two brands of dry dog food which can cater to these needs. It is important not to over-serve your Beagle, as they can have a voracious appetite and can become obese if over fed over a long period of time.
Small dogs tend to have loads of energy, and the Beagle is no exception. Especially when they are puppies, Beagles and Beagle mixes love to run and play all day long. They require tons of exercise in order to stay fit.
As far as training goes, Beagles are known to respond well to positive reinforcement. A great way to do this is to carry around small treats or snacks and give them to your pup when they respond to commands or properly behave.
As said previously, Beagles are great dogs for families with young children or even older children. Their seemingly endless energy makes them the perfect companions for active and adventurous kids.
Beagles used in animal testing
Unfortunately, Beagles are by far the most common dog breed used for animal testing. This is due to their passive nature and small stature. In the United States alone, as many as 65,000 Beagles a year are used for animal testing. Most of these tests use medical, cosmetic, and beauty products. Many times, Beagles are used as as guinea pigs to test the safety of these products before they are okayed for human consumption or use.
While this type of testing is allowed in the United States, most European nations have outlawed this type of testing on dogs. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Animal Procedures Committee passed an act in 2005 disallowing dogs to be used in these types of experiments. Field mice have now replaced the beagle as the most common animal used in these cosmetic labs.
Do Beagles like to cuddle?
As has been said numerous times in this article, Beagles are an ultimate companion dog. They are very sweet and affectionate, and they do in fact like to cuddle. These hounds with floppy ears love to snuggle right up to you and take a quick snooze. Purebred Beagles have become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world because of their fierce loyalty and friendship qualities.
Beagles usually prefer to sleep as close as possible to their owner(s). This comes from their fierce instinct to protect loved ones. Fantastic guard dogs, Beagles will be sure to alert you of any sort of intruder in your home. Their uncanny sense of smell allows them to detect the scent of strangers from very far away. This can sometimes be an annoyance though, as untrained Beagles will sometimes bark uncontrollably. As with everything else, it is important to consult a vet or dog trainer about any sort of behavioral issues.
Beagles in popular culture
For decades, Beagles have been a representation of the classic American pet. For this reason, they are one of the dog breeds most often portrayed in American media.
Perhaps the most famous fictional Beagle is Snoopy from the classic Peanuts comic strips and cartoons. The character, Snoopy, was actually modeled after the childhood Beagle of creator Charles M. Schulz, named Spike. Snoopy has become one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world. He is considered even more famous and recognizable than Charlie Brown in most countries!
United States president, Lyndon B. Johnson was a massive fan of Beagles. He owned several of them who lived with him at the White House throughout his presidency. A public outcry even came about after President Johnson was seen picking up one of these pups by its ear on the White House lawn! (Ouch, please don’t pick up your canine buddies this way…)
Sir Charles Darwin, famous English biologist and father of the modern evolution theory, was famously fond of Beagles. In fact, when he departed on one of his famous voyages to the Galapagos, he and his crew travelled aboard the HMS Beagle, named in honor of Darwin’s favorite pets at home. This in turn lent its name to the Beagle 2, a British Mars lander that was launched in 2003 with the specific purpose of investigating signs of past or present life on Mars’ surface.
There have been two Beagles who have won Best in Show at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 2008, the award was taken home by a fifteen inch male Beagle named Uno. Then, in 2015, the same award was presented to a fifteen inch female Beagle named Miss P. Every year, the Beagle is one of the most common entry breeds in dog shows all around the world. From Japan to the United Kingdom to Brazil, Beagles are truly a fan favorite!
In summation, Beagles really do have a little bit of everything! They can be used as work dogs or hunting dogs. Their keen sense of smell makes them fantastic at this! They can also act as purely companions for both adults and children. Having been around since the 11th Century, Beagles have been a part of humans lives for a very, very long time!
Beagles are truly known around the world for their gentleness and kindness. There is a reason they have been such a popular dog breed for hundreds of years. In fact, there are several communities across the United Kingdom especially who use the Beagle as an emblem or de facto mascot. To many people, the symbol of the Beagle strongly represents loyalty and commitment to one’s community.