All dogs, both purebred and cross breeds, carry a genetic makeup that has or contains the potential for producing genetic diseases or disorders. The beagle breed does have a number of identified genetic diseases that can be passed on to future generations.
Fortunately, there are DNA tests for most of the genetic conditions that can currently be found in the breed and responsible breeders are undertaking DNA tests to determine if their stock has the disease or has the potential to pass the disease onto the next generation of beagles.
It is vital when talking to a breeder to identify the DNA testing program they breeder undertakes and for the breeder to provide you with the DNA results of the puppy you may be purchasing. This ensures that you will be getting a healthy puppy.
Just a little about genetics
Without going into too much detail, the typical genetic disease require both parent to have and pass on the defective gene to the offspring for offspring to be affected by the disease. If a parent has the gene within its makeup but is not affected by the disease, it is considered to be a carrier of the disease. If the parent does not have the defective gene within its makeup, it is considered to be clear of the disease.
The DNA tests undertaken determine if the beagle has the genetic disease (affected) carries the defective gene (carrier) or does not have the defective gene in its makeup (clear).