Lifestyle Needs



The Beagle is a member of the Hound group of dogs, originally bred for hunting in packs.   He still has a strong hunting instinct.  He’s a medium sized dog who is a popular family pet.  He needs plenty of exercise both on and off lead.  He has a short, dense coat which is relatively easy to keep clean.  He needs to be groomed regularly. Average lifespan 10 years.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 10.2% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • The Beagle’s long ears will have some impact on his ability to signal effectively to other dogs.
  • His moist and damp lip folds may cause skin inflammation or infection.
  • Excessive wrinkling could lead to entropion

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia:  breed mean score 20.2 (parents should be lower)
  • Eye disease:  Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD) (litter screening); Primary open angle glaucoma (annual screening) (or DNA test – see below)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (NCCD) (Cerebellar Abiotrophy)
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Catalase Deficiency
  • Factor VII deficiency
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta COL 1A (Brittle Bone Disease)
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD)
  • Hypocatalasia
  • Musladin-Leuke Syndrome
  • Imerslund-Grasbeck Syndrome (Intestinal Cobalamin Malabsorption)
  • Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) ADAMTS10
  • Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) ADAMTS17
  • Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (Ataxia)
  • Coat colour dilution, Alopecia
  • Lafora’s disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-cord1)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteogenisis Imperfecta (O1)
  • Heart disease:  Mitral valve disease
  • Familial vasculopathy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushings syndrome (Hyperadrenocortism)
  • Addisons disease (Hypoadrenocortism
  • Cancers – Mast cell tumours; urothelial carcinoma; perianal gland; lymphoma
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Eye disease: glaucoma, cataract, corneal dystrophy,’cherry eye.’
  • Renal amyloidosis
  • Meningitis and polyarteritis
  • Deafness
  • Cone-Rod Dysptrophy (crd 4)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds