Therapy dogs stay with the owners and volunteer with them in schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. They are, sometimes, brought to colleges as well.
According to the American Kennel Club, Therapy dogs are naturally calm, friendly, and affectionate, and Beagles are a perfect fit for it.
Beagles have a good temperament and easy-going demeanor. Moreover, they possess qualities that make them ideal Therapy Dogs.
This article will take you through the reasons why Beagles are good therapy dogs.
Reasons why Beagles are good Therapy Dogs
If you are looking for therapy dogs, then Beagles can be a good choice. We have listed below the attributes that can make them excel in this path:
Beagles are very mellow creatures. They have a combination of playfulness and gentleness. If you trained your Beagle to socialize correctly, you can expect them to be gentle with people. Therefore, they will make excellent therapy dogs.
Moreover, Beagles are known to be very gentle around kids. They have a compact and non-threatening appearance. As Therapy dogs, Beagles will shine for their great compassion and love.
Beagles are independent and intelligent dogs. They are very clever and love solving puzzles. Since Beagles were trained to be hunter dogs, they are very confident about their sniffing abilities. So, most of them have problem-solving skills.
If you take your Beagle to visit retirement homes, they will easily bond with the elderly over puzzles.
Moreover, they become attached to humans and feel very confident about the relationship.
Beagles can be trained to be more self-confident while meeting other people, but usually, they are very social.
Good family dogs
According to the National Beagle Club of America, Beagles are great family dogs. They get along with kids well and have low maintenance costs.
They are known to be gentle with kids. Moreover, Beagles are a playful breed. This makes them approachable towards kids.
These dogs are the right size; they aren’t too small or too big. They are easy to train and easy to groom. With short and glossy hair, they don’t shed a lot except during springtime. They are always jumping to be part of the action. Being extremely loyal, they will never leave people’s sides. This can be a comfort to many people.
They are also social dogs. They will soak up any affection you give and give it right back.
In addition, they are portable and easy to travel along. Their size makes them a superb fit for both affection and protection, something they cannot do as service dogs.
Beagles can make excellent therapy dogs because of their happiness. They are called “happy-go-lucky” dogs. If anyone feels sad, they can sense it, and they will try to cheer them up. It’s why they will be suitable in retirement and nursing homes.
Bringing them joy and receiving the joy in return is not a tough task. Daily exercise and some mental stimulation will keep them happy.
Beagles are also entertaining and humorous—all in all, a joy to be around.
Can be trained easily
Beagles, although known for their stubbornness, can still be easy to train. They are very determined dogs. Highly athletic and energetic, they are fast learners. Beagles, as therapy dogs, are not difficult to train as they are also highly perceptive of humans’ emotions.
Beagles need daily exercise and physical stimulation. All they require is patience and consistency.
Always ready to play
Beagles are known to be playful. They love games and outdoor activities. Overall, their playfulness can cheer anyone up. They love making friends and having playdates.
Playing with Beagles can be a great distraction and stress reliever for people. Their friendly nature makes it easier to bond with them. Moreover, kids will be attracted to Beagles because they are always ready to play and have fun.
Love human contact
These company loving animals adore human contact. They are cuddlers and like to physically connect with people. Most Beagles will jump in joy when their owners come back home.
Bonding with a Beagle can have positive effects on the human body. The human body will produce a higher level of oxytocin, which can enhance the psychological well being of a person.
It reduces stress hormones and helps fight depression and anxiety.
Moreover, they can detect if something is wrong because they are in tune with another person’s emotions. People can always rely on them for support.
Beagles can be therapy dogs as they can provide the necessary comfort to lonely or grieving people.
Beagles are affectionate dogs. Like we mentioned earlier, they love to cuddle. However, to be a therapy dog, they need to be open to being hugged or petted by strangers. Since Beagles love to be the center of attention, they shouldn’t struggle too much with this aspect.
Beagles love to show affection through kissing, nuzzling, and licking. They also jump and wiggle their bottoms. Dogs like these are lovable and comfortable in social spheres.
Training them to be Therapy Dogs
Apart from their mild temperament, your Beagle needs to be trained to help people with mental disorders. Here are a few things to get started with:
- Socialize them at an early age to meet strangers. They should obey and show affection, and calmness. Take them to new environments and get them to meet new people.
- Teach them to control any unnecessary howling or barking.
- Make them learn the difference between good behaviour and bad behaviour.
- Since they have an independent mind, behavioural training will also be helpful.
- Teach them how to be patient.
- Make sure they know their basic commands confidently.
Overall, Beagles have immense potential to be Therapy Dogs. This can be an excellent job for them because of their mild manners and lack of aggression.
Should any triggering situation occur, they can provide relief to people who are experiencing anxiety. They have a remarkable ability to sense the distress and provide solace through their affection, playfulness, and compassion.
Beagles can be your first choice for a Therapy Dog. With the appropriate training, any dog can help people help themselves.
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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.