A Beagle is a great choice for any owner who loves heaping attention on dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, Beagle is the 7th most popular in America. They are a versatile species because of their hunting ancestry yet friendly nature.
You need to see if your lifestyle is suitable to raise a Beagle. Take in mind how much time and training you can give to them.
The article will give you an overview of the breed, the advantages and disadvantages, and things you should keep in mind before you get one.
Beagles As a Breed
The overview we have below will help you obtain details of every aspect.
1. Physical Attributes and Needs
Beagles have some physical activities that make them ideal pets. They also have some exercise needs that you need to consider.
Height and Weight
Beagles come in two sizes: 13 inches and under, or between 13-15 inches. For the former, they will weigh around 20 pounds. For the latter, they will weigh between 20-30 pounds.
Since they are rather small in size compared to other dogs, they are quite portable and easy to travel with. However, small does not mean that they are not sturdy.
Beagles require daily exercise. They are very energetic and athletic dogs, so they need an outlet to release all the energy in their body.
They should be walked at least once a day, two times if possible for 2-30 minutes. This is regular exercise.
For vigorous exercise, Beagles need it at least once a week that involves running, jumping, and fetching. You can also stretch it up to 2 times a week.
Hair: They have short and smooth hair which needs to be brushed once a week.
Teeth: Just like humans, their teeth need to be brushed twice a day.
Nails: Their nails have to be trimmed twice a month to avoid any painful tears.
Bathing them once or twice a month is necessary because the hair can quickly collect grass and dirt after they roll around.
Beagles cannot be left alone for too long. They require a significant amount of attention from you. As owners, you must spend time with them playing, cuddling, or walking.
If you have ever seen a Beagle, you know they are not problematic. Listed below are a few of their traits.
Beagles have a balanced temperament. Even though they are hound dogs, they are not aggressive. They are sweet and gentle but not too timid as well.
Beagles are social creatures. They love having company and making friends. No one can resist those soulful eyes. These dogs blend with both dogs and humans easily. They are very easygoing and love playdates and family gatherings.
Known for being gentle, Beagles are very friendly with kids. They have a non-threatening appearance that attracts everyone. Beagles are also known for their compassion and kindness.
When it comes to Beagles, they have the best package for personality.
Beagles are very playful. As they are energetic dogs, they have the most fun when they are playing. They are fun and happy-go-lucky dogs.
Beagles make great playmates and that’s why they get along with kids greatly. Playful nature means they can also be quite mischievous.
If you are a fan of cuddling, then Beagles will cuddle right next to you. They are very affectionate and lovable dogs. You will often find them burrowing under the blankets or sleeping beside you. They are quite clingy and love to connect with people physically.
To show their affection, they will lick, kiss, nuzzle or jump on you. Beagles love affection in return. They will always try to get your attention.
Their independent nature makes them stubborn dogs. Beagles are very determined, so if they catch a scent, they will pursue it.
They will often ignore your commands but with regular training and patience from your end, they can become obedient.
Intelligent and Independent
Beagles are curious and inquisitive. They love to learn and are highly adaptable. It’s why they require constant mental stimulation through puzzles and obstacle courses. They also have the ability to sense when your mood is down.
Beagles are also very independent dogs. They tend to have a mind of their own and can get lost while locating something they sniffed.
The general opinion is that it is a little challenging to train a Beagle. However, it depends on how you look at the situation. Once you establish that you are the alpha, things will get easier. You can use their single-mindedness in the training.
Apart from the basic commands, your Beagle will need obedience training and socialization. Since they have an independent mind, you need to train them consistently to make them obedient. It is best if you socialize your Beagle early on to make them confident and comfortable around different people.
5. Food Habits
Beagles need a well-balanced diet. They are active dogs who spend a lot of energy. Therefore, they need a diet that will provide a high amount of calories.
Depending upon the age of your Beagle, you can feed them at least once or twice a day.
You should always keep a keen eye on their meal quantity because Beagles are prone to obesity. They are highly food-driven and might get carried away with it.
6. Social Aspect
Beagles are social animals. They were initially bred to live and hunt in packs. So, this trait was passed on to our domesticated Beagles. They love making friends and crave company. Beagles are also extremely loyal. This is why they make great family dogs.
However, Beagle’s friendliness doesn’t make them good guard dogs.
Their happiness is contagious, they have a gentle demeanor, and are always ready to play. This is why Beagles are kid-friendly.
If they are socialized at an early age, they can become socially comfortable while meeting and greeting strangers.
Advantages of Having A Beagle Around
1. Friendly and Sociable
We cannot stress this point enough. Beagles are considered to be one of the friendliest and most sociable dogs. They almost never show aggression towards anybody. They are benevolent even towards strangers. Bonding with others comes very easy to these dogs.
In addition to all these good qualities, Beagles are also very friendly and kind to other dogs. They have no problem sharing space. So, if you already have a dog in your home, it won’t take much time for them to become best buddies.
These dogs are kid-friendly and make excellent family dogs. You never have to worry about them getting along with others.
2. Low Maintenance
Beagles are low maintenance in the sense that you can take care of them by yourself. You won’t need to call a professional groomer to sort out tangles because Beagles have short hair, which is easy to brush.
You have to regularly bathe them, trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth. In the beginning, everything will seem intimidating. But soon, you will realize they are very easy to take care of.
They only shed more during springtime. The rest of the year, you don’t have to worry about brushing them too much.
3. Small and Versatile
Beagles are medium-sized dogs. They are not too small and not too big. They are a compact size, very portable and you will have no problem carrying them around.
Their size makes them suitable for different lifestyles: a house with a big family or in a city apartment. Moreover, these dogs are very strong and athletic. They excel in areas like obedience, agility, and flyball.
4. Family dog
Their convenient size and penchant for being in the human company make them amazing family dogs. In fact, when they are left alone for too long, they develop separation anxiety.
They consider humans as their pack and love to be a part of it. Moreover, they are not that difficult to train. If your kid is energetic, Beagles will be the best match for them.
Disadvantages of Owning A Beagle
Beagles howl, bay, whine and bark quite loudly. If you are living in an apartment then it might annoy your neighbors. They also make noises if they see something or someone outside the window.
If you want a quieter breed, then Beagle is not the right one for you.
2. Follow their Noses
Officially deemed as “escape artists”, Beagles will follow their independent nose to the ends of your town.
Beagles are known to have more than a million scent receptors. Once they lock on to a smell they will follow it and often wander off in their pursuit. They will ruffle through garbage cans, escape from the yard, end up at another person’s backyard, and even eat anything that comes in their way.
They might be good trackers but it is very difficult for the owners to track them once they are lost.
Beagles can be stubborn in their ways. In reference to the point above, once they lock on a scent, they are not likely to pay attention to your commands. This can make training a little difficult for you. The best way to prevent this is to keep them on a leash whenever you are outside.
They have a mind of their own, so they will do tricks and follow commands according to whatever benefits they can get.
4. Love Digging
Beagles love to dig. They are natural burrowers. Back when they used to live in packs, they used to burrow and create a den-like structure to protect themselves from other animals and the cold.
They love dirt so much that they will dig it, roll around in it, and even eat it. So, if you have a backyard, you will definitely find a large hole sometime.
Is Beagle the Right Choice for you? What to Consider?
A Beagle may be a family dog but they need your time, attention, and perseverance. Read below to get the details.
1. You need patience and consistency
Beagles have a lot of energy. They are active and athletic. They are also stubborn. You need to have a lot of patience to train these dogs. They will often ignore your commands, wander off and resort to destructive behavior if they do not find a way to release all that energy.
You also need to show consistency in training, exercises, and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they can become bored, anxious, or disobedient.
2. Keep an eye on them/don’t off-leash them
You cannot leave a Beagle alone for too long. Whether you are outside or in your backyard, once they catch a scent, they will try to escape and in most cases, accomplish. So, you will need a proper 6 feet fence around your yard and use a leash whenever you are out for walks.
3. Need Daily Physical and Mental Stimulation
Beagles are usually well-behaved dogs but a lack of exercise can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing up the furniture, jumping, and biting. They will become frustrated and bored and resort to making loud noises. They cannot contain all that stored up energy, so you need to take them for a walk, provide daily exercise and play with them.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether a Beagle is right for you. It all depends on how committed you are to raising this dog. They may have an easygoing personality, a friendly nature, and be low maintenance.
However, they can be stubborn, vocal and require a lot of your time.
That being said, if you give them the correct training, be patient and consistent with them, then you will find that Beagles are great companions.
If you found this article informative, then share it with your newcomer friends.
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.