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Fox Hunting Fidos: Beagle Life Stages & Average Lifespan

fox hunting hound dogs

Note: This article was originally published on our sister site Love & Let Go.

How long do Beagles live?

The short answer: never long enough. If you’ve ever owned (or simply befriended) a Beagle, this statement will ring true.

Beagles are a very popular breed among horse owners, and they always remind me of tri-color hound dogs on fox hunts. According to the American Kennel Club, they are the 6th most popular dog breed in the U.S. Loyal and friendly, beagles can make wonderful companions for everyone from kids to seniors.

The breed is an impressive hunter, talented at small game like gophers and rabbits. Even though fox hounds have largely replaced Beagles in the realm of fox hunting (long legs have their perks), equestrians and hounds go together like milk and honey!

Speaking of age, it’s important to know some key facts about any dog breed you’re considering—especially if you want it to be tough enough for long days on the ranch. Understanding life stages and average lifespan is one such consideration. Beagles typically live anywhere from 10-15 years.

Life Stages of the Beagle

Beagle Puppies

Like many medium or large dog breeds, beagles aren’t considered full grown until 12-18 months of age.

As with any puppy, it’s vital to work on good behaviors like socialization, potty training, and manners.

Beagles can be particularly mischievous puppies, so close supervision during those first few weeks is important. There’s a LOT of trouble they can get into around a horse barn or ranch!

beagle puppy

Beagle Puppy (Source: Pixabay)

Adolescent Beagles

At 18 months, beagles are considered young adults. They will have reached their full size, typically 20-30 pounds depending on height.

Height can vary from under 13 inches to up to 15 inches.

It’s important to note that beagles will often still display puppy-like behavior at this age, so be patient. Think of them like a two-year-old colt still learning the ropes.

young beagle eyes

Young Beagle (Source: Pixabay)

Adult Beagles

Beagles are considered adults from the ages of 3 years to 9 years.

At this point, they will often have calmed down considerably.

That said, beagles were bred to hunt in packs. If they are not given the opportunity to exercise frequently, or play with a companion, they may become restless or destructive. That’s why they’re often well-suited to active farm life!

adult beagle standing

Adult Beagle (Source: Pixabay)

Golden Years

There’s not a specific age that every beagle becomes a senior, but on average it is around 9 or 10 years old.

It’s a good time to switch the beagle to a geriatric diet and to continue exercise, although at a less strenuous pace.

If your Beagle is relatively healthy, the golden years can be equally as sweet and fun as their youth. Cherish the slower-pace lifestyle and cuddle time.

senior beagle eyes

Adult Beagle (Source: Pixabay)

Key Considerations

What May Increase a Beagle’s Lifespan

  • Early screening for diseases
  • Regular dental cleanings
  • Consistent exercise
  • Proper nutritional support
  • Consistent vaccinations

What May Decrease a Beagle’s Lifespan

  • Obesity
  • Dental disease
  • Poor training
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Frequently Asked Questions

What health problems do Beagles have?

Beagles can be prone to hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, dislocated kneecaps, and eye disorders.

Responsible breeders will have screened their stock for signs of congenital diseases. Adopting a Beagle with an unknown history leaves you with more health-related questions marks, but don’t let that dissuade you from this wonderful breed.

How old was the world’s oldest Beagle?

A Beagle named Butch who died in 2003 was said to be over 28 years old!

Which breed of dog lives the longest?

Although Beagles are considered one of the longer living breeds, Chihuahuas are typically regarded as the breed that lives the longest. They have a lifespan averaging 17 years.

Parting Thoughts

Beagles are a popular and beloved breed with equestrians, and for good reason. They have a relatively long lifespan, are very loyal, and make great companions at home and on the trail. Just be sure to have your off-leash recall dialed—they like to follow their NOSES!

If you’re looking for a Beagle, we hope you choose to rescue one 🙂

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About the author


Jamie C. (Former Veterinary Technician)

Jamie is an author and former veterinary technician. She graduated from Palo Alto College with an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She spent over five years in the industry and continues to love working with and talking about animals. She has a senior dog named Pavarti and a young cat named Elvira with whom she lives in San Antonio, Texas.