According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) registration statistics, Beagles were the third most commonly registerd dog in 2011. They trailed Labrador Retrievers and German Shepard dogs in the number 1 and 2 positions.
Beagles are compact dogs, coming in two breeds standard heights, referred to as 13 inch Beagles or 15 inch beagles. They are outgoing and curious dogs and usually quite happy go lucky. Beagles originally were used as hunting dogs for small game like rabbits and still are used for this purpose.
Like many working breeds, Beagles can be quite busy and need to be exercised regularly. Their natural instinct to follow a scent can lead to wandering away if not kept on a leash or inside a fenced area. They do have a loud baying bark, which can be a problem if they are housed outdoors and left unattended.
Beagles come in any variety of three 'hound' colors - white, black and brown. Snoopy, the Peanuts character, is probably the world's most famous Beagle.
Beagles do make great family dogs because of their friendly personalities. Just make sure to provide them with regular activity and interaction to keep their minds and bodies fit and occupied.