The American Kennel Club puts Beagles as the 7th most popular dog breed in the US, in 2020. Beagles have good character attributes. Their maintenance is low and they have a good temperament.
Bringing a new dog home for first-timers can be an intimidating experience. You need to do a good amount of research to find out which breed is suitable for you and your lifestyle.
This article will cover both: their physical features and their personality that makes it ideal for first-time owners.
Why Beagles are Great Dogs for First-Time Owners?
1. Playful and Friendly
If you are looking to get a pet that is playful and friendly, Beagles are the best option. They have a happy and playful demeanor. Aggression or possessiveness is something you will not see often.
Beagles love to make friends. They are fun to be around and friendly with other dogs. Although, their playfulness lands them the title of “escape artists” quite often. But they love companionship.
In addition to this, they have an outgoing manner. All around they are lovable and cordial.
They hit all levels of cuteness: tender, adorable and lovable. A bonus is that they are cuddlers. Beagles love to cuddle and burrow. They love cozy spaces, aka, under the warm blankets.
They will lick you, nuzzle you on the couch and give you sloppy kisses. In short, they are very affectionate and want to be around you all the time.
If you are looking for a dog to have a physical connection with, this is a good choice. They tend to explode with joy when you return home. Affection with a beagle is a two-way street. The more you give, the more you receive.
Interesting Fact: Behavioral experts from Japan found that dogs lift their eyebrows to express positive emotions when they are reunited with their owners.
These dogs have unique personality traits. With a natural desire to please their humans, they have a forgiving attitude. They are gentle and amiable.
Despite this lovable behavior, they are also mischievous and humorous. They will always make you laugh with their antics. Here is a video of a beagle getting pizza from the refrigerator. Truly a great choice for first-timers!
Previous beagle owners found them sweet. They are single-minded, independent and have energy bursts. After all, they are hunter dogs with a good sense of smell.
Naturally curious, beagles love to learn new things. They are clever and smart. Among their knacks are solving obstacles (which is very interesting to see!). Due to being hunter dogs, their tracking ability is top-notch.
Beagles have a mind of their own. They are independent but highly adaptable to new environments and people.
Determination and inquisitiveness are among their finest qualities.
5. Family Dog
Apart from being extremely loyal, beagles are also kid-friendly. If you have kids who seek companionship, then beagles are a great choice for time owners with kids. Their energy level is the same as a 2-year-old’s.
Warning: Although they are kid-friendly, it is better to have supervision initially as they can get carried away in their excitement.
They are cheerful and playful. Their adaptability is also a bonus if you ever need to switch places or travel. Moreover, they are highly entertaining and eager to be part of some activity. They require good physical activity so a backyard is best for this dog.
Suffice to say, an energetic kid will get along great with this dog. They are always ready to play.
They are not great guard dogs. Since they have a tendency to bark, they make good watchdogs.
6. Compact Size
Small does not mean weak. These dogs are sturdy and pretty tough.
They come in two sizes:
- 13 inches and under 20 pounds
- 13-15 inches and between 20-30 pounds
Traveling with them is easy as they are very portable. They are smaller than big dogs but larger than small dogs. Therefore, they don’t take up much space and are good for apartments.
7. Easy to Groom
Beagles have low grooming requirements which makes them ideal pets for first-time owners. All grooming may seem daunting but you will soon fall in love with the process!
They have short hair and a smooth and glossy coat. The oil which is produced helps maintain the natural shine. Brush their hair twice a week.
Tip: Make sure to brush in the direction of hair growth for better blood circulation. Brush in the opposite direction of hair growth to find fleas and ticks.
They tend to shed more hair during the springtime. The hair on the coat can drift in the house so make sure you are aware of your allergies. Make use of a rubber mitt, soft brush, and grooming glove to remove the remaining loose hair.
Use dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner as beagles have sensitive skin. No frequent baths for the same reason.
Bathe your beagle once or twice a month. You should also bathe them if they have rolled around in the mud. Use lukewarm water. Moreover, this is the best time to check for infections and parasites.
3. Teeth and Nails:
This is a regular process. You only need to brush their teeth twice a day and trim their nails twice a month.
Grooming is also proven to be the best time for bonding.
8. Train Easily
Training Beagles can be easy or challenging depending on your outlook. But all you have to do is demonstrate yourself as the alpha and they will follow. But we have to admit, they can be single-minded which might make it hard.
They have a good temperament, can be obedient and focused if trained properly. Make their training fun as they are playful. Athletic dogs like this can be fast learners if you establish your ground rules and communicate adequately.
Beagles are famous for “locking” on a scent so they have the habit of wandering around. This may frustrate you but make sure you do not respond harshly. They do not take well to that. Approach them in a linear manner.
Author’s Note: Use Leash every time you go on walks.
As they get along with others very well, it is essential you socialize them very early. Below is a small guide on how and when to start:
How to start?
- Yard Playing
- Play Fetch
When to Start?
Not before 8 weeks of age. Teach them basic commands between 8-14 weeks as it is easier to teach them things in that stage. No over-exercising until 18 months.
This American Kennel Club Training Timeline will help you loads.
9. First Choice for Therapy Dogs
Beagles are intelligent and quick to bond with humans. They can easily detect if something is wrong with your mood and offer you comfort. They love human contact. This makes them great dogs for first-time owners.
Sometimes, we need a hug or be shown that someone else cares. Cuddling with them can raise your oxytocin level and bring down the stress hormones. This helps fight both anxiety and depression.
They are confident and compassionate. But most of all, they are loyal. Be reassured, they will not leave you. Being in tune with your emotions, they will be loving, affectionate, and supportive.
All the qualities of a beagle enhance their different abilities. They have all the qualities for a great pet: lovable, loyal, and low maintenance.
While there may be some reservations on the internet about getting a beagle for all the first-timers out there, it all depends on how you see them, and how much you are committed to them. Training will get easier over time.
We encourage you to be patient and encouraging. Remember that all dogs are different.
In case we missed something, comment below and we will address it. Stay tuned for more updates and articles like this!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.