The Beagle is a popular dog breed – frequently making top dog breed lists in many countries, which doesn’t come as a surprise. They were originally bred as hunting dogs to hunt hare but today they are popular pets and companions.
A Beagle lifespan is 12 to 15 years on average (although the oldest beagle to ever live was nearly 28 years old). The Beagle life expectancy of 12 to 15 years is really not surprising, given that they are a smaller dog. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs – a quirk in nature given that usually it is the larger mammals that tend to live longer as is the case when it comes to elephants and whales for example.
Beagle’s are a smaller dog – not quite as small as something like a chihuahua, but closer to a larger Jack Russell at around 22 pounds (or 10kgs). They are a very playful and friendly breed, which combined with their manageable weight makes them an excellent family dog.
Beagle’s Life Cycle
Born as cute, blind new-borns, a Beagle’s life cycle is similar to many other dog breeds.
Beagles on average have a litter of 6 puppies weighing just a few ounces each. Once born, the puppy does not have use of any of its senses including sight and sound. At this age, it is important to take care when handling them as they are helpless little dogs. The firs 3 weeks of a puppy’s life is mainly spent eating and sleeping as they are not capable of doing much else. They’re completely reliant on their mother, or being fed by a human.
Around 4 weeks of age Beagle puppies start to gain the use of all their senses. They’re now ready to explore by themselves and are starting to find their voice. It also starts to get a lot more vocal and spends time playing with its litter mates.
By the time a Beagle Puppy is 3 to 4 months old it should start becoming a lot more responsive to training and commands. It should also be around double the size from a few months ago. At this age the Beagle Puppy is also likely to be a handful! Notoriously mischievous and active – getting up to no good.
Beagles stop growing and reach adult hood around 1 and a half years of age. They’ve put on a bulk of the mass and weight they will ever put on. The adult Beagle will continue to be cheeky and playful, and will need a lot of activity.
Pocket Beagle Lifespan
The Pocket Beagle is a miniature version of the standard Beagle. Unlike the standard Beagles life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, the Pocket Beagle lifespan is shorter at around 10 years. This small dog has existed for a long time (almost 1,000 years), but suffers health problems as a result of miniaturization – thus the decreased life expectancy.
Beagle Health Issues
Hypothyroidism and dwarfism can be issues that effect Beagle lifespan, along with epilepsy. There are also two conditions that are unique to Beagles: ‘Funny Puppy’ where the dog is slow to develop and eventually has weak legs, a crooked back and is prone to a variety of illnesses, and Musladin-Lueke syndrome (MLS) where the dog’s eye become slanted and outer toes don’t develop. Beagle’s are also prone to disease to their disks.
How to help Beagle’s live longer
The Beagle breed is so cute that you are going to want it to live for as long as possible!
Here are a few tips on ensuring you increase a Beagle lifespan:
- Make sure your Beagle puppy gets lots of exercise – As hunting dog, the Beagle is used to running a lot, and getting a lot of exercise. Not getting enough activity will effect the Beagle lifespan significantly, and possibly cause issue with weight gain. An adult Beagle will need at least 1 walk per day – let them explore the world on their walk too. Depending on the individual dog’s age and energy levels, it may need a second walk every day, or some other form of mental or physical activity to keep it sharp.
- Feed your Beagle dog a well-rounded diet – Considering the issues that the Beagle breed is known for, you’ll want to ensure a Beagle has a nutritious and well rounded diet. As hunting dogs, many Beagles are also quite food driven which can be handy when training, but as in the previous point, look out for weight gain.
So there you go – the average Beagle lifespan of 12 to 15 years can potentially be extended if you follow a few simple tips. Who knows, your Beagle might one day break the record for the oldest Beagle to ever live!