Pippa Elliott
Dr Pippa Elliott (BVMS MRCVS, University of Glasgow)
Photo of adult Beaglemation
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The Beaglemation is a hybrid dog breed, which is the result of breeding a Beagle with a Dalmatian. The Beaglemation is all about energy. Indeed, do you remember that famous character Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and how the wonderful thing about tiggers is “They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy. Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!” Well, this pretty much sums out the Beaglemation’s attitude to life because these guys are energy bottled in canine form.

A medium-to-large sized dog with a short coat, the Beaglemation does everything with enthusiasm. However, this can give them a lack of focus which makes them tricky to train. They also love to chase anything that moves, including cats, so although the Beaglemation is friendly they won’t necessarily be a good housemate with other pets.

About & History

The Beaglemation, along with the majority of other hybrid dogs have a history going back just a decade or so. Indeed, their story is really that of their parent breeds. In this case, both the Beagle and Dalmatian have interesting backstories.

The Beagle

The Beagle breed is an ancient one. Their ancestors can be traced back to small, rabbit-hunting dogs brought to England by the Romans, along with other illustrious hounds, such as the now extinct Talbot Hound (brought from France by William the Conqueror.)

As a hunting hound with a strong sense of smell, Beagle-like dogs have been around since the 14th century. Intriguingly, a ‘toy’ versions of the Beagle, the Pocket and Glove Beagle, were once popular with their heyday in Elizabethan times.

Beagle popularity took a dip in the 18th century, when taller, faster Foxhounds were favoured as hunting dogs. However, this irrepressible breed has never really gone away and flourishes today as a favourite pet dog.

The Dalmatian

The instantly recognisable spotted Dalmatian has a more obscure history than that of the Beagle. They are thought to have originated from an area known today as Croatia. The original Dalmatians seem to have been a multi-purpose dog used for a variety of jobs from guarding to herding, ratting, to performing in circuses.

It is, however, in their role as a carriage dog that perhaps the Dalmatian is best known. In the 17th to 19th centuries, they were a must-have accessory for any self-respecting aristocrat, to run alongside their carriage. Their purpose was said to be to clear the road for the horses and protect the carriage at inns…but maybe people just liked the way they looked!


The Beaglemation is a medium to large sized dog, and a true canine athlete. They are muscular, with a deep chest, tucked up tummy, and straight, strong legs. They have a long whip-like tail, which is highly likely to wag most of the time. The Beaglemation has a good length snout and sports velvety drop ears that are set high on the head and drop down to chin level or below.

Both parent dogs have a short coat, and the Beaglemation is no different. The main background coat colour is white, and they may sport a variation on either parent’s coat pattern, ranging from Dalmatian dots to Beagle blotches in colours, such as black, pale yellow, brown, or tan.

Character & Temperament

Both parent breeds have a reputation for being energetic, as befits dogs with a working heritage. Therefore it follows that the Beaglemation is a high-energy dog needing almost constant mental stimulation and activity. Indeed, they could also be described as highly strung with some Dalmatians having a trait towards nervousness and anxiety.

Not only do they have a high need for physical exercise, but their minds also need to be kept busy. Unfortunately, a bored Beaglemation will create their own entertainment, which likely involves barking, chewing, destructive behaviour or all three!


Beaglemation’s also inherit a stubborn streak from either side of the family tree. Again, both parents are notorious for getting distracted and doing their own things, despite cues from their owner to do otherwise.

This makes the Beaglemation a potentially frustrating dog to train and is definitely not a good match for a first time owner. Indeed, even experienced owners will need to persevere with reward-based training methods and show unprecedented levels of patience to reach the goal of a well-behaved dog.


There are no statistics as to the health problems to which the Beaglemation is prone. However, both parent breeds have certain genetic tendencies to disease, and it is likely some of these traits may be passed onto their offspring.


Dogs often manifest allergies as skin disease, specifically itchy skin, which they scratch and self-traumatise. This results in red, inflamed skin, hair loss, and open sores. Allergies can’t be cured, but modern medications can help control the symptoms and reduce the uncomfortable urge to itch that does so much damage.


Epilepsy is a seizure- disorder where no underlying physiological cause for the fits can be identified. Again, modern medications offer hope that epileptic dogs can continue to lead a full and active life, with minimum distress.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia refers to hip joints that are poorly shaped, which leads to inflammation, pain, lameness, and potentially disability. This is distressing for any dog, but especially so for one that as energetic as a Beaglemation. Hip dysplasia can range from mild to severe, and treatment ranges from pain relief to joint replacement surgery, depending on the severity.

Disc Disease

Sadly one of the Beagle’s weaknesses is a tendency to slip discs. This painful condition is debilitating and can have serious consequences. Mild cases can be managed with rest and pain relief, but this easier said than done with such an active dog. The most serious cases can be paralysed, in which case surgery is essential to give them a chance of recovering their mobility.


As a lively breed the Beaglemation often has a healthy appetite, verging on greedy. Unless they get sufficient exercise, this hearty appetite will cause weight gain, leading to obesity. The latter is undesirable, as it not only shortens their lifespan but leads to an increased risk of health problems, such as diabetes, joint disease, cancer, and heart disease.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Beaglemation requires lots of exercise. In practical terms, the minimum amount per day is at least two, one-hour sessions, preferably off-lead playing active games, such as “Fetch”. With this in mind, they would make an excellent match for the active person as a running companion or as an active participant in canine sports, such as Canicross, Flyball, or agility.


Happily, the short coat of the Beaglemation requires minimal grooming and doesn’t require trips to the grooming parlour, since they don’t need clipping. However, short coats do shed, so a quick slick over with a brush helps to capture shed hair rather than have it sticking to soft furnishings.

It is a good idea from an early to train a Beaglemation to tolerate tooth brushing. This helps prevent plaque forming into tartar and causing dental disease. Also, check those ears after every walk, since keeping their nose close to the ground makes getting something stuck in the ear canal more likely.

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