The beagle is a small- to medium-sized breed of dog, a member of the Hound group. It was originally bred for tracking small game by virtue of its superior sense of small and tracking instinct. Beagles are considered to be good pets because of their gentle dispositions, intelligence, and general lack of health problems. Life with a beagle can be a joy and a challenge both because of and in spite of these characteristics.
1. Beagles are super smellers
The first thing to understand about a beagle is that every brain cell in its head is attached to its nose. That is not an understatement – all information that a beagle takes in is done so through its olfactory senses. Their actions and behavior is literally controlled by smells. While any other breed of dog may have a sense of smell ten times keener than a human, a beagle can top that ten times over again. When my dog catches an interesting smell, the world just ceases to exist for him!
2. They are extremely noisy
Following up on this, you must be prepared for the second given for a beagle owner – loud and often non-stop howling, or baying, when on a scent, any scent. My puppy tends to bark at everything he sees: leaves, nearby dogs, children and toys he can’t reach. Many dog owners avoid buying and adopting beagles because of their excessive howling. However, regular trainings can help control excessive howling and barking.
Walking a beagle is an exercise in futility sometimes; you must simply follow their lead as they track whatever they smell on the ground. For a smaller dog, they can definitely dig in their heels if they have not finished checking out whatever scent has caught their nose.
3. They need a hobby to keep them occupied
The third thing to know about this breed is that they definitely need a hobby to keep them occupied. Otherwise, leave them alone at home for several hours and you will return to find that they have knocked over trash cans, pulled the dirty laundry out of the basket, and shredded the paper towel left on the kitchen floor. Tracking games are a good way to entertain your dog and use up his excess energy. When I need to leave my pet alone for an hour or so, I just hide treats around the house. It takes him a considerable amount of time to sniff everything around! This way I’m sure my pet won’t turn the entire house upside down in search of adventure.
4. Beagles shouldn’t be left alone
From time to time I’m forced to leave my pet alone, but I try to do it rarely. Beagles can cause a lot of troubles when left unattended or unchanged, especially outside; they are wily escape artists who can make a getaway out of almost any fenced enclosure, either by digging under or finding that one small gap missed by everyone else. Beagles need social interaction more than other breeds. That’s why long separation can cause big anxiety and suffering. Beagles do better with company, either human or another canine.
More: 10 Best Small Dog Breeds for Indoor Pets
5. Beagles are loving caregivers
Beagles are very good with children and are very sensitive to their owner’s moods. A beagle has a sense when something is amiss. As an example, if you have been injured and are wearing a cast, the dog will try to protect your injured limb by sprawling over it. If another animal comes into the home unexpectedly, a beagle will know immediately and will not rest until it has tracked it down and located it.
6. Beagles are big chewers
Beagles will eagerly sink their teeth into everything available around. Many beagle owners make a common mistake by allowing their fluffy friends to chew an old boot or a rag. But beagles see no difference between new and old things; they just recognize the same human smell. Thus, chances are you will catch your dog grinding your new leather shoes or garment. To avoid this trouble provide your dog with a specific chew toy to occupy his teeth.
7. Behavior problems and training
Like any other breed, beagles require creative, regular and patient trainings. Although they are recognized as utterly intelligent, sociable and friendly dogs, sometimes they can display a stubborn streak. Due to lack of attention or leadership from their owners, beagles can display atypical behavior such as biting, snapping and destructive behavior. That’s why be ready to work hard with your pet. Tasty rewards will make your fluffy friend more obedient and quick-witted. Beagles feel fine with other dogs, but due to their hunting instinct they should be kept away from other domestic pets like hamsters, mice and rats.
As long as you understand the breed and can accommodate its special needs, a beagle makes a loving and loyal pet. Hardy and loyal, beagle can become your best friend and a great company for your children. Everyone is familiar with Charles Schulz’s comic strip. Peanuts and the most famous beagle of them all, Snoopy!