Bagle Hound

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Bagle Hound
Rvcrazy / Wikimedia Commons

A mixture of the soppy, sweet Basset Hound and the adventurous and friendly Beagle, the Bagle Hound makes a loving companion that shares some of the best physical attributes of each breed. With their large, imploring eyes and handsome, pendulous ears, it’s hard to resist the charm of this fine-looking dog. Though their short fur is not prone to matting, it can shed around the home quite a lot.

While their Basset Hound parent is often classed as lazy and their Beagle parent can be very energetic, the Bagle Hound tends to exist somewhere in the middle, with moderate exercise requirements that can be fulfilled by the average owner. These are smart dogs who like to be given jobs to do and can excel at scenting and tracking.

About & History

Nope, it’s not a typo, this cross-breed is really called the Bagle Hound. While this name may make you think of a dog in a ring of dough, it is in fact just an amalgamation of the parents breeds, the Basset Hound and the Beagle. Both breeds are hounds and have traditionally been used to hunt, so share similar backgrounds. While it is difficult to prove, the general consensus is that this hybrid was first established in America around 20 years ago.

The Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a scent hound that was originally developed by monks in the 1500s to hunt hare and rabbit. Their over-sized ears and large nose ensured a fantastic sense of smell and their stunted limbs meant that they were close to the ground and successfully able to sniff out burrows. Their short legs also meant that they were suited for those hunters that would hunt on foot rather than horseback, making them a favourite of the lower classes.

Throughout the 1800s, the breed was refined further by mixing it with other hounds, such as the Bloodhound and even the Beagle. As with many other dogs at the time, breed numbers declined dramatically during both the first and second world wars, though the Basset Hound survived and is still kept as a companion animal internationally today.

The Beagle

The Beagle was developed from other scent hounds, such as the Foxhound, and the modern Beagle was established in the 1800s within Great Britain. Traditionally hunted in packs, they would pursue rabbits and hares, much like the Basset. It was in the mid 1800s that the Beagle was exported to America and a breed standard was established. They have been recognised by the Kennel Club within their Hound Group.


Bagle Hound Large Photo
Rvcrazy / Wikimedia Commons

The Bagle Hound will often look like a larger and longer-eared Beagle, though with somewhat shorter limbs and a more compact body. They have pleading eyes that are a deep shade of brown and a solid and square muzzle. Their lips are somewhat loose and droopy, though not to the dramatic extent as seen in the Basset Hound. Their neck is thick with a moderate dew lap. They are medium-sized and have a deep chest and quite a long body. When fully mature, the Bagle Hound will measure from 30cm to 43cm at the withers and will weigh from 15kg to 25kg.

The short coat of the Bagle Hound is silky to touch and can be bi-colour or tri-colour, with fur being orange, lemon, white, brown and black. Large splotches and markings, as well as fur dappling may be present.

Character & Temperament

While the Basset Hound and Beagle may have traditionally performed the same job, they actually have very different personalities. The Basset Hound is known for being chilled out and placid, while the Beagle can be mischievous and cheeky. Which personality type a Bagle Hound pup will inherit is a bit of a gamble and it can be difficult to predict the temperament of a hybrid breed. Most will have a temperament that falls somewhere in the middle, meaning they are more energetic than Basset Hounds but more relaxed and docile than Beagles.

A dog that absolutely loves to be around people, the Bagle Hound is in its element when with the family. As they would have been used to working around other dogs, they dislike spending too much time alone and can be prone to separation anxiety. Not fussy at all, the Bagle Hound is happy when in the company of just about anyone, and that means animals too! These gregarious hounds love to be around other dogs but can learn to love cats if socialised whilst young.


While the Bagle Hound can be both independent and stubborn, this does not mean they have to be a chore to train. They are very food driven and will quickly learn what they need to do to get their delicious reward! They have a good level of intelligence and can be trained to perform many different tasks, though do excel in those jobs that incorporate scenting – their natural prey drive and their hunting instincts.

In some circumstances, the Bagle Hound may initially refuse to participate in the training session but owners should persevere and encourage them. Patience is key and some Bagle Hounds will benefit from professional training classes.


As with any dog (even those Heinz 57s!), there is the potential for the Bagle Hound to develop health issues throughout its life. Certain problems are more prevalent in this cross-breed than others and so should be closely monitored for.

Ear Infections

Hounds and spaniels are more prone to ear infections, as they tend to have large and hanging ears. This ear type often creates a moist and warm ear canal where bacteria and yeast like to proliferate. Ear infections cause discomfort and affected dogs may scratch their ear, rub their head on the floor or tilt their face to the side.

Most ear infections can be satisfactorily treated with a short course of drops from the vet, though it is important to confirm that they have been cured, as some will grumble on and cause chronic issues.


Also known as ‘lower eyelid droop’, this condition often results in improper eye lubrication and chronic dryness, infections and ulcers. Tear staining is typically associated with this physical abnormality and can be extensive. Some patients will just need to have their eyes and face regularly cleaned, others may need medicated drops, while those with a significant deformity will benefit from surgery.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Dogs with long backs are especially prone to IVDD and it is the most common spinal disorder of the canine. Though IVDD tends to be an age-related disease, it is possible for young dogs to be affected. Dogs that are affected will be in a lot of pain and will have limited mobility.

For some, their symptoms will worsen with time. An MRI or CT scan can rapidly diagnose the condition and can reveal how serious the injury really is. In very mild cases, conservative management alone may allow for adequate healing but many dogs will require spinal surgery.


Obesity is a preventable disease that can contribute to a range of health issues, including diabetes, pancreatitis, osteoarthritis and even some cancers. Preventing obesity in dogs that are genetically prone is achieved by monitoring calorie intake and ensuring they keep active. Specific diets and activity monitors, as well as weigh-in clinics can all be used to effectively keep a dog lean and trim.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A dog with moderate exercise requirements, owners should commit to at least an hour of solid exercise each day to not only keep their Bagle Hound happy, but also to prevent obesity. Given their history as working dogs, this hound has a good level of stamina and can easily walk or hike for a good hour on end without tiring.

While some breed members can be prone to overexcitement, this can usually be controlled as long as an adequate of activity is provided each day. These dogs enjoy roaming off the lead and are happiest in rural environments where they are not cooped up.


The Bagle Hound sheds quite a lot and should be brushed regularly to remove dead fur that has accumulated. The biggest commitment will be the ears, which are prone to chronic infections. Regular cleaning should help to prevent infections, though owners should make themselves familiar with the first signs of infection (skin redness, malodour, excessive discharge) so any necessary treatment can be started immediately.

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