Kerry Beagle – Everything You Need To Know

Kerry Beagle is a medium to large-sized scent hound that belongs to the hunting dog breeds. Interestingly, the Kerry Beagle is one of the oldest breeds that originated in Ireland. Their ancestry could be traced to the Old Southern Hound or other Celtic Hounds. Initially, they were bred for hunting owing to their extraordinary speed, endurance, scent, and tracking abilities. However, today they have evolved to be excellent family pets and are well-known watchdogs.

Kerry Beagle Pros and Cons 

High Intelligence Not hypoallergenic
Easy to groom Not suitable for apartment dwellers
Great watchdogsProne to separation anxiety

Kerry Beagle Basic Information 

  • Name: Kerry Beagle
  • Origin: Ireland
  • Group: Hunting dogs
  • Size: Medium to large 
  • Height: 22-24 inches
  • Weight: 50-60 pounds 
  • Coat: Dense
  • Color: Tan & white, blue mottled & tan, blue mottled & black
  • Energy: High 
  • Activities:  Tracking and trailing exercises, agility training, rally sports, and puzzle toys
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: Medium to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 1 to 6 puppies once a year
  • Other Names: Pocadan
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes:  Hunting and trailing
  • Life Span: 10 to 14 years


The Kerry Beagles can be credited for their oldest Irish hound history. However, their pedigrees point to their origin way beyond the 16th century. Hence, their exact place of origin still needs to be discovered. The population of Kerry Beagle was stable until the 1800s and declined later, leaving only one of the major packs behind. The roots of this remaining pack are found to belong to the Ryan family in the Scarteen of County Limerick. 

Kerry Beagle Highlights

  • Despite its name, the Kerry Beagle shares only a few common characteristics with the Beagle breed. 
  • Although Kerry Beagle is a well-known hound and hunting dog, they are pretty friendly and ideal for families. 
  • Kerry Beagle is one of the ancient Irish dog breeds.

Kerry Beagle Personality

Kerry Beagle is a medium to large-sized canine with a tall and muscular stature, a long and broad head with a slightly arched muzzle, and loose upper lips. Their feet are pretty short and strong. Their large oval-shaped eyes vary in colors from yellow or amber to dark brown and black-colored noses. Their ears are long and pendulous and set low on their heads. They have a short and straight coat with colors varying from black and tan, tan and white, tricolor of black-tan-white, blue mottled and tan, and solid black.

Friendliness Overview  

Affection level Medium to High 
Family-friendly Medium to High 
Kid-friendly Medium to High 
Pet-friendly Low to Medium 
Stranger -friendly Medium to High 

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living Low to Medium 
Good to new owners High 
Sensitivity level High 
Tolerates being alone Low 
Cold-tolerance Medium to High 
Heat-tolerance Medium

Kerry Beagle Temperament

Kerry Beagles are pack hounds with an innate hunting instinct and a strong prey drive. However, they have evolved to be gentle companions and make great family pets. They are highly spirited and require a lot of exercise to drain their energy. They do well with children and other pets owing to their companionable nature. They are pretty alert and wary of their surroundings, making them good watchdogs. They bark well in danger and are naturally intelligent and obedient. 

Kerry Beagle Training 

Due to their intelligent makeup and obedience, Kerry Beagles are pretty easy to train. They respond well to consistent and reward-based training like food. Their high prey drive gives them an impulse to chase and catch small animals or cats. Hence, they have to be taught to be on a leash. They must be taught good behavior to avoid nipping, chasing, play-bite, or herding people. Unlike other breeds, Kerry Beagles aren’t interested in exploring the world around them, but they breed the tendency to escape. 

Trainability Overview

Easy to train Medium
Intelligence Medium to High 
Mouthiness tendencies Medium
Barking and Howling tendencies High
Prey drive High 
Wanderlust tendencies Low to Medium 

Kerry Beagle Exercise Needs 

The Kerry Beagle is a lively and athletic breed that thrives well on exercise. They need an hour’s vigorous activity in the form of active walking or jogging. Apart from physical activities, they must also engage in mental activities like tracking and trailing exercises, agility training, rally sports, and puzzle toys. This way, you can keep them from destructive behavior. 

Exercise Needs Overview 

Energy level High 
Exercise needs High 
Intensity High
Playfulness High 

Kerry Beagle Grooming 

Kerry Beagle is a relatively easy-to-groom breed with minimum grooming requirements. Although you can avoid cutting your canine’s hair, seasonal flea treatment is mandatory. To prevent infections, you must also clean their ears and keep them dry without wax buildup. Shedding is a natural hair growth process, and Kerry Beagles are above-average shedders. Hence, you must expect to vacuum clean regularly with a Kerry Beagle canine. Although frequent brushing is unnecessary, you must brush them once or twice a week if your dog is outdoors. It is always good to bathe your dog at least every 4 to 6 weeks. This way, you can look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities that may need immediate medical attention. It is also good to trim their nails and brush their teeth a few times a week. 

Grooming Overview

Easy to groom High 
Drooling tendency medium
Amount of shedding Medium to High 

Kerry Beagle Health 

Kerry Beagles are known for their robust health, and their life span ranges between 10 to 14 years of age. There are no documented specific health conditions for this breed. Hence, it is good to know the common signs of a sick dog to know if your dog needs to visit the vet. 

Symptoms of a Sick dog

  • Change in activity or energy level
  • Abrupt changes in daily routine or personality
  • Changes in the frequency or the appearance of urine or stool.
  • Evidence of pain while walking or running
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing or hacking
  • Excessive salivation or thirst
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Suppose the canine suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned above. Take him to the vet to rule out any of the below health conditions: 

Canine Arthritis: A common condition that causes inflammation of your pet’s joints. This issue is the most prevalent in older dogs with symptoms such as pain and stiffness of joints that lead to their inability to exercise. However, this condition is treble with medication and physical therapy. Glucosamine is known to be a promising supplement for dogs suffering from arthritis.  

Obesity: Obesity in dogs negatively impacts their health and predisposes them to conditions such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. A perfect combination of physical exercise and a healthy diet will help your dog maintain a healthy weight. 

Dental Diseases: Dental diseases are the most prevalent in dogs. It results mainly from an unclean mouth. They appear as gum disease and begin to rot the teeth, which may have to be surgically removed to arrest infection from spreading to the jaw and the skull. 

Allergies: Your dog can be prone to allergies which can appear in the following ways: 

  • Food-based allergies: If your pet is allergic to certain food ingredients, you can adopt an elimination diet that involves deliberately removing the suspected ingredients to which your dog may be allergic.  
  • Contact allergies: When your dog’s immune system reacts adversely to certain topical substances such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals, he suffers from contact allergies. However, eliminating the cause of the allergy reduces the symptoms.   
  • Inhalant allergies: If your canine accidentally inhales airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew and suffers from any symptoms, he is said to have inhalant allergies. Treatment for these allergies varies with the severity of the disease. Often, ear infections accompany these allergies.

Benign Tumors: Benign tumors are harmless fatty deposits or skin lumps that do not spread to other parts of the body, unlike cancer. However, it is always good to evaluate if your dog has a benign tumor or cancer in case you find skin lumps or fatty deposits. 

Parasites: Your dogs can inflict bugs, fleas, worms, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or mosquito bites. Signs include pain, discomfort, and even death.

Ear Infections: Several environmental and hereditary factors lead to ear infections in dogs. Some of these include: 

  • Allergies, 
  • Autoimmune disorders, 
  • Wax buildup in the ear, and 
  • Even excessive cleaning. 

Signs of ear infection in dogs: 

  • Excessive scratching or shaking of dog’s heads.
  • Odor
  • Dark discharge
  • Redness or swelling in the ear canal 

Ear infections often clear up within two weeks with proper medication and cleansers. 

Urinary Tract Infections: Dogs most likely suffer from bladder stones or urinary blockage, severe conditions that need immediate care. In such cases, reach out to your vet if you notice the below symptoms: 

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections in dogs: 

  • Frequent need to urinate, 
  • Pain or discomfort while urinating, 
  • Bloody or other discharge in your dog’s urine. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Physical accidents are the leading cause of soft tissue injuries. It generally occurs when a dog suffers from a joint sprain, lacerates skin, or pulls a muscle. 

Health Overview

Overall health Medium
Weight gain tendencies Medium
Size Large 

Kerry Beagle Diet and Nutrition

Kerry Beagles thrive well with high-quality dry food. Their food can be either homemade or commercial. However, always be wary of the ingredient label when buying commercial food. You can divide 2 to 3 cups of dry food into two meals and feed for a day. Kerry Beagles aren’t prone to weight gain. However, they must meet their physical needs to maintain their weight. It is good to constantly monitor your canine’s weight and consult your veterinarian in case of a spike. 

Kerry Beagle Living Condition 

Kerry Beagles are at their best in homes with a free space to play around. However, they can adapt well to apartment life, provided you meet their daily exercise needs and get them a daily routine to stay busy. They are adaptable to travel and comfortable moving from one place to another. They are lovable companions who should not be left alone for long, predisposing them to separation anxiety. Their thick and hard coat helps them to get accustomed to cold weather conditions. Further, some canines can be great mountain dogs. 

Adding A Kerry Beagle to Your Family

Things to Remember Before Adding a Kerry Beagle

Adding Kerry Beagle to your family will need proper research about their parent breeds, cost, breeders, health, and certificates. Then, purchase your Kerry Beagle from a reputable breeder who will provide you with vaccination and gene testing certificates. Also, ensure the health of the puppy’s parent breeds.

Cost of a Kerry Beagle Puppy

The cost of a Kerry Beagle Puppy is around $300 – $400.

Did You Know?

  • The Kerry Beagles were also known as “Pocadan,” meaning “hunting dog” in Irish.
  • The Limerick country maintained and bred the Kerry Beagles when in 1845, the Great Famine hit many other species.
  • Some Irish immigrants, while immigrating to the United States of America, brought the Kerry Beagles along with them.
  • The Irish Kennel Club recognized this breed in the year 1991.

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