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Are Beagles Good Family Dogs? Breed Temperament Explained

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Are Beagles Good Family Dogs? Breed Temperament Explained


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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Beagles are extremely friendly and quite low maintenance as compared to many other dog breeds. Therefore, they are often considered good family dogs. Plus, their small (but not-to-small) size makes them good for families with children. They are a bit more solid than other breeds their size, which makes them less likely to be injured by boisterous children (and less likely to be afraid of children).

However, that doesn’t mean that Beagles are absolutely perfect for every family. They may tend to wander off your property, as they are tracking dogs. Therefore, if you let them go and if not properly trained, they may not respond to recall and easily become lost for this reason.

Furthermore, these dogs weren’t really bred for recall but rather to follow rabbits. As such, it may be difficult to get their attention after they have picked up on a scent they wish to track. They can work independently without needing commands from their people.

Therefore, you can’t expect a Beagle to do well off-leash or be completely devoted like a Labrador Retriever. However, if you just want a dog to run around with your kids in a fenced-in yard, a Beagle is a solid option.


Is a Beagle a Good House Pet?

Beagles can do great in the house. Because they are smaller, they do well in small spaces. Plus, after they grow up, many Beagles are laid back. They spend much of their time laying around, though they still require regular walks.

These dogs are often called gentle, which is true to some extent. Like all dogs, they can bite and will do so to protect themselves. However, they aren’t likely to knock over a child by running through the house.

While they do shed substantially, they are low-maintenance in nearly every other category. They don’t require professional grooming. Instead, we simply recommend brushing them often to remove the excessive hair. While you will never completely eliminate their shedding, brushing them regularly is very helpful in reducing the amount of shedding.

These dogs can also be stubborn at times. They can hunt independently without the commands of an owner, and this may translate to a lack of listening, which could get them in trouble at home.

A Beagle is not going to be as devoted to owners as other breeds might be. They can learn basic commands, but that doesn’t mean that they will always listen to them.

Beagles also have very unique barks. They “bay”, not bark. Therefore, they can be quite loud when they want to be, though they don’t usually bark a lot. Their bark simply carries further than other breeds. If you live close to your neighbors, though, you may want to keep this in mind.

beagle sitting on a couch
Image Credit By: Andres Arbelaez, Unsplash

Why Beagles Are Not Good Family Dogs

There are also several reasons why these dogs are not the best pets. Most of these reasons relate to their stubbornness. They take a bit longer to house-train, as they generally do not follow commands nearly as well as other dogs.

Some Beagles are especially prone to excessive barking, as well. Their barking tends to be significantly loud, which can make it more trouble than it needs to be. Similarly, because they don’t train easily, training them not to bark can also be difficult.

As pack animals, Beagles do best when they are kept with other dogs or around their people for much of the day. However, this does vary a lot from dog to dog. Some Beagles are completely fine being alone for extended periods, while others are prone to anxiety.

These dogs can also be prone to digging. Therefore, you’ll need to supervise them when outside until they are properly trained not to dig. Beagles can easily dig under fences, which can be a problem when you’re trying to keep them contained. Once again, they are not very good at recall and could easily wander off. This combined with their ability to dig can be extremely troublesome for many owners.

What Health Problems Do Beagles Have?

Beagles are typically pretty healthy, especially working Beagles. Therefore, you often don’t have to worry too much about health issues and expensive vet bills. Most Beagle vet bills involve them eating something that they shouldn’t or getting into trouble after running off.

However, they are prone to some health issues just like any other dog. For instance, some are prone to hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, and disc disease. Because of their elongated back, they are a bit more prone to back problems than other breeds. It is not recommended that Beagles jump up and down off of beds and other tall pieces of furniture, as this can cause disc issues.

Doggie stairs are highly recommended for this breed to prevent these potentially troublesome problems.

Nutrition does have a lot to do with a Beagle’s health, especially when they are puppies. Hip dysplasia is particularly linked to nutrition, though it has a genetic component as well. Be sure to feed them puppy food the entire time they are growing to ensure they get the proper nutrition for their bone growth.

Beyond these issues, Beagles are typically quite healthy. Adopting a puppy from a qualified breeder that performs health checks and provides veterinary care can help ensure that your puppy is healthy. Many breeders even provide a health guarantee that covers many common genetic problems.

beagle in downward position
Image Credit: jukgrapong, Shutterstock

Are Beagles Kid-Friendly?

Beagles are generally great around kids! They are about the perfect size for children, large enough to not be clobbered by children yet small enough to avoid causing injury if they become too rowdy.

Because Beagles are fun-loving and love to play, they are great for families that are looking for a dog to play with their children. Plus, they are low-maintenance. Therefore, they are a great option for busy families with kids. Beagles only need to be brushed a few times a week to reduce shedding. Beyond that, their maintenance needs are low.

Furthermore, Beagles tend to love children, though early socialization is important. To prevent Beagles from being scared of children later, it can be important to socialize them with children when they are puppies. Therefore, when they are adults, they’ll already have experience with kids and be less likely to be fearful.

Of course, if you adopt a puppy and have kids of your own, socializing your new puppy with kids should be pretty straightforward.



Beagles are great family pets for those looking for a companion animal. Compared to other breeds, Beagles are fairly low-maintenance. They don’t require a lot of grooming, training, or stimulation. Their exercise needs are moderate, which usually translates to a decent walk each day. You only have to brush them a few times each week to get rid of their excessive fur.

At the same time, Beagles are very friendly and good with children. Like all dogs, they do require socialization but they tend to be friendly and people-loving.

Featured Image Credit: MagicalKrew, Shutterstock

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