5 Fun Facts About Beagles: Everyone’s Favorite Hound

Adorable, fun-loving, and yes, sometimes a little noisy — here are five fun facts about Beagles, everyone’s favorite hound!

Mar 28, 2024byLauren Rey
fun facts about beagles

Just as cute as they are clever, Beagles are one of the most beloved dog breeds in America. These happy little hounds started as hunting dogs and evolved into a family favorite. From stealing hearts to stealing food and sniffing out whatever their powerful noses are tasked to find, here are five fun facts about everyone’s favorite hound!

1. Beagles are “Super-Sniffers”

beagle sniffing
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Beagles are known for a lot of things but if there’s one thing in particular that comes to mind when you think of a Beagle — it’s probably their nose. Alongside other scenthounds like Basset Hounds and Bloodhounds, Beagles have one of the best noses in the animal kingdom. To say Beagles are good at sniffing would be an understatement, they’re great at it. In fact, they’re downright “super sniffers.”

It is estimated that a Beagle has 225 million olfactory receptors, more than the average dog and much, much more than the average human. This is due to a long history of selective breeding to achieve the perfect hunting dog, which the Beagle was originally bred for several centuries ago.

While Beagles thankfully aren’t used for hunting much anymore, their superior sniffing skills still remain and are put to work in other ways. The aptly named Beagle Brigade is an all-Beagle team of US Customs and Border Protection Canines that help sniff out illegal products at airports, train stations, border checkpoints, and more. Beagles are out here keeping us safe, one sniff at a time!

2. Food is a Beagle’s Love Language

beagle eating snack
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Besides sniffing, a Beagle’s next favorite activity is snacking. This breed is extremely food-driven, in fact, many Beagle owners even refer to their dogs as “food-obsessed.” Coupled with their cleverness, a Beagle’s seemingly never-ending hunger can sometimes spell trouble. They are known to get into trash cans, open cabinets, and drawers, and even move furniture to reach countertops in search of extra snacks.

Beagle owners know all too well the struggle of making sure food is locked up and out of reach. Dog-proof cabinets and trash cans are must-haves for this breed. While it may take a little extra work to ensure your Beagle doesn’t help himself to something that might make him sick, the good news is — their high food drive can make them easier to train (as opposed to less food-motivated breeds). Beagles are quick to learn and complete tasks when there’s a treat up for grabs!

3. Beagles Have Their Own Special Howl

beagle howling
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Beagles are a very vocal and communicative dog breed. They are known to bark, howl, and bay — a longer, louder type of howl common in hound breeds. Baying is quite literally in a Beagle’s blood, it’s one of the many characteristics selectively bred into them for hunting. Baying is how the pack communicated with each other and alerted the hunter when they located prey.

Today, it’s not uncommon for Beagles to belt out a tune from time to time to express their happiness, desire to play, or just to alert you that your neighbor arrived home. Beagles make excellent home alarm systems.

4. Beagles Were Once Considered The Classic American Dog

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While Beagles got their start as hunting dogs in England centuries ago, it was during the 1950s and 1960s that they rose to fame as the quintessential family dog in America. This was thanks in part to artist Norman Rockwell, cartoonist Charles Schulz, and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Norman Rockwell, famous for his works of art depicting everyday life in America, featured Beagles prominently in his paintings. They were often painted as family dogs, as cartoonist Charles Schulz created one of the most beloved characters of all time in 1950 — a Beagle named Snoopy. In the early 1960s, the presidential Beagle duo “Him” and “Her” rose to fame in the White House, beloved pets of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Beagles were seemingly everywhere during this time and every family wanted one. This led to their transition from being known as hunting dogs to the iconic family dog of mid-century America. For many Americans today, the Beagle is still a family favorite and the breed typically always lands on the top 10 breed lists.

5. Beagles Have Held Many Jobs Over The Years

beagle sniffing bags airport
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The term working dog usually conjures up images of a German Shepherd on patrol with police or a Border Collie tending to a flock of sheep, but surprisingly, the Beagle is also a popular working breed. Beagles have held down many jobs over the years. From their beginnings as hunting and tracking dogs to being employed as the very best cargo inspectors with US Customs and Border Protection. You may also see Beagles working as service dogs, therapy dogs, and more.

In recent years, the Beagle’s incredible nose has also been put to the test in the human medical field, leading the way in cancer detection research. In one study, Beagles were able to successfully sniff out lung cancer with a very high accuracy rate. There’s no doubt that Beagles and their incredible noses will continue to do great things. And, of course, their most important job of all is being everyone’s best friend!


Q: How do Beagles compare to other dog breeds in terms of intelligence and trainability, given their strong food motivation and cleverness?
A: Beagles are considered highly intelligent and trainable due to their keen sense of smell and food motivation, making them responsive to positive reinforcement and treat-based training methods compared to some other breeds.


Q: What specific training techniques work best for Beagles, especially considering their high food drive and tendency to follow their noses?

A: For Beagles, scent-based games and exercises that involve tracking or finding treats can be particularly effective, capitalizing on their natural instincts while reinforcing desired behaviors.


Q: Aside from lung cancer detection, are there other medical conditions or tasks Beagles have been trained to detect with their powerful sense of smell?

A: Besides lung cancer, Beagles have been trained to detect a variety of medical conditions, including low blood sugar levels in diabetics and certain food allergens, showcasing their versatile sniffing capabilities.

Lauren Rey
byLauren Rey

A lover of all animals, Lauren’s background is in the veterinary world, but she is now a content writer on travel, wildlife, and all things pets! She’s based in Florida, but when not writing, she’s usually plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks just as much as her mom does!