Kerry Beagle

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50-60 lbs
22-24"
Ireland

The Kerry Beagle is one of the oldest breeds to have originated in Ireland, with pedigrees dating back to the late eighteenth century, but it is not generally considered to be a Beagle. This breed is more closely related to the hound category than the Beagle and is suspected of making a large contribution to the development of the Coonhound type dogs that later developed in America. While they are aggressive hunters on the field, they tend to be affectionate and gentle in the home, making them an excellent family pet as well. These dogs also make excellent watchdogs, but they are generally to active and vocal to be comfortable in a smaller apartment-like setting.

Purpose
Hunting and Trailing
Date of Origin
16th century
Ancestry
Southern, Celtic Hounds

Kerry Beagle Health

Average Size
Male Kerry Beagle size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 50-60 lbs
Female Kerry Beagle size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 50-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Full Physical Examination

Kerry Beagle Breed History

The name Kerry Beagle is a bit of a misnomer as this breed is a Hound breed rather than a Beagle breed. These athletic dogs are considered to be one of the most ancient of the dog breeds from Ireland and while detailed pedigrees dating back to 1794 have been found, there is no way to know for sure which breeds were used in their development before that time. Local legends say that when Noah’s Ark came to rest against the highest peak in Tipperary, two black and tan hounds disappeared in pursuit of a fox, and these were the basis for the breed, but most experts and aficionados of the breed believe them to be the descendants of the Old Southern Hound and other Celtic Hounds that were found in the region. The Great Famine of 1845-49 was devastating to all breeds and species in the area, and the Kerry Beagle was no exception. Only the noted equestrian and canine training facility located in Limerick County, the Scarteen House, was still able to maintain and continue breeding a number of these dogs and most modern day Kerry Beagle dogs are able to trace their ancestry to the breeding pack at Scarteen House, and they are believed to be one of the foundation breeds for the modern-day Coonhound. While there has been a revival in interest in the Kerry Beagle dogs within Ireland and the Irish Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1991, they are still extremely rare outside of their home country and they haven’t yet been recognized by the major kennel clubs. 

Kerry Beagle Breed Appearance

This is a medium-to-large hound dog that is about as long as they are tall with a limber but muscular physique, giving them an overall square shape. They also have strong, slightly arched necks and their legs are short and strong with feet that are close and round. The head of the Kerry Beagle is both long and broad, with a low forehead, long, slightly arched muzzle, and loose upper lips that hang down. They sport large, oval-shaped eyes that can range in color from yellow or amber to dark brown that is almost black, and long, pendulous ears that are set low on the sides of the head as well as a long, well-furnished tail which they typically carry with an upward curve. Their short, single-layer coat is most frequently seen in a black and tan configuration, but tan and white, blue and tan, and tricolor hounds are also frequently seen.

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Kerry Beagle eyes
Hazel
brown Kerry Beagle eyes
Brown
amber Kerry Beagle eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Kerry Beagle nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
blue Kerry Beagle coat
Blue
brown Kerry Beagle coat
Brown
black Kerry Beagle coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Kerry Beagle straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Kerry Beagle Breed Maintenance

Grooming the Kerry Beagle is typically an extremely easy task; bathing should only occur a few times a year in order to avoid stripping their short, hard coats of their natural protective oils and they don’t tend to shed heavily so brushing is only needed a few times a month if they are indoors, although more frequent brushing, once or twice a week, is recommended for dogs that are frequently active outdoors in order to help remove dirt, dust, and pollen from their coat. It is important to regularly check their ears to ensure that they are clean, dry, and free from wax buildup or infection. Check the feet often as the nails of this busy dog may be prone to tears and snags. Brush the teeth a few times a week.

Brushes for Kerry Beagle
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Kerry Beagle requires monthly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Kerry Beagle Temperament

These dogs are aggressive hunters with a strong prey drive which is made even stronger when they are hunting in packs, but they reserve their aggression for their quarry and tend to be affectionate and playful towards other dogs and towards people of all ages. They may be able to be socialized with cats and other animals if socialization starts when they are young, but some of these dogs may end up succumbing to the urge to chase even with proper socialization, particularly if multiple hounds are present. While interactions between these dogs and small children should always be supervised, this breed does tend to show extra gentleness towards the younger set. They are generally alert and while they are not overly vocal, they are not adverse to giving voice if a threat is detected, making them excellent natural watchdogs, and they tend to be both intelligent and obedient making them very easy to train as well. 

Kerry Beagle Activity Requirements

The Kerry Beagle is a very active and athletic canine that needs a great deal of exercise; an hour of vigorous activity per day will often be satisfactory, but many of these dogs will happily continue much longer if given the opportunity. While walks and jogs are always appreciated, this dog is very intelligent and will welcome the chance to partake in activities that work their mind as well. These dogs may enjoy and excel at brain-stimulating activities like tracking and trailing exercises, agility training, and rally sports, and are also very likely to enjoy puzzle toys, particularly those that include food-related rewards. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Kerry Beagle Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Kerry Beagle Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Kerry Beagle size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 38 lbs
Female Kerry Beagle size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 38 lbs
12 Months
Male Kerry Beagle size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 49 lbs
Female Kerry Beagle size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 49 lbs
18 Months
Male Kerry Beagle size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 55 lbs
Female Kerry Beagle size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 55 lbs

Kerry Beagle Owner Experiences

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