A ceaseless ball of energy –that’s how dog owners describe Beagles. This breed is a playful and active one, usually seen yapping and running around. Never have I seen a Beagle stay in one place for five minutes. They have this endless pursuit to chase and play. Also, their strong sense of smell can get the best of them at times. So the question is this: should I get a Beagle? We’ll answer it in this post.
Beagles are small breeds, something that makes people think that they are great apartment dogs. As much as these doggos can live in an apartment, you need to satisfy their need for physical exertion. That means going for a run around the block and playing fetch.
But how does the Snoopy breed fare on the household? Here’s what you need to know:
A short history of Beagles
The origin of Beagles is a bit unknown aside from the fact that it surfaced in the 19th century. Still, there are documents that date back in the 400 B.C. that describes what could be Beagle-like dogs.
Still, it’s believed that William the Conqueror brought Talbot hounds to England which then cross-bred with other dogs. This is where the Beagles are believed to have originated.
During the 1300s, Beagles became popular due to King Edward where Glove Beagles are known. They are Beagle dogs that are small enough to be held on gloved hands. At some point, this breed is also called as Singing Beagles because of their affinity to vocalize.
When it comes to working, Beagles were used as hunting companions. However, they were soon retired from the job because they aren’t fast enough due to their short legs.
Soon enough, American breeders are importing Beagles from England. From the small, 9-inch doggos, they had bred versions that can be as tall as 15 to 17 inches.
Beagles had their heydays during the 40s and 50s because of their abilities to run fast. Also, their tri-colored, patched coat makes them easy to identify. Still, inexperienced dog owners may mistake them with Basset Hounds.
The good and the bad
Every breed has its own good and bad sides. And to help you weigh if Beagles are for you, we’ve listed here some of the traits of this breed. It’s better that you know this early on before bringing one home. Let’s start with the good:
They are simply irresistible. Beagles are cute and adorable doggos who knows how to make its owners laugh. They love being around with people and they are rarely aggressive even with strangers.
Small yet versatile. Unlike retriever breeds, Beagles are small enough for apartments and families looking for a low-maintenance pet. Beware, though, because they compensate their size with their energy.
Very sociable. Beagles love everyone – kids, their owners, and even strangers. Although their yappy attitude may scare off a child, they will greet everyone with a wagging tail. If they aren’t showing their running prowess, they are cuddling with their humans.
Great for kids. If you’re looking for a dog that will be in harmony with your kid, Beagles are great options. However, they need to undergo training to dampen their happy-go-lucky nature. Still, you don’t have to worry since Beagles can’t knock a kid down.
Now, the ugly parts…
Beagles love vocalizing. If you live in an apartment complex, you might be in trouble with a Beagle’s howling. Not barking, HOWLING. This breed will cry out loud when left alone, especially at night.
Their noses get the best of them. Since Beagles have one of the powerful noses in the dog kingdom, they tend to lose their track when following a scent. This is also the reason why they’re a bit of a pain to train.
They can trigger allergies. There are seasons when Beagles tend to shed the heaviest. If someone has allergies in your household, you may want to reconsider. Even though Beagles have thin fur, it can still wreak havoc on your house.
They are difficult to housebreak. Unlike other breeds, Beagles take more time to learn to housebreak. They will have accidents inside the house so patience is needed when you decide to own this breed.
Still, the good outweighs the bad sides. If you’re an experienced owner, you can have a good time with a Beagle. This doggo will force you to exercise, and boy, they will give you a nice cardio session.
In this video, Bailey the Beagle will show us the things we need to know before owning one of his pup siblings:
Beagle temperament and behavior
When it comes to temperament, Beagles are fairly well-mannered. They are highly affectionate to their families, kids, strangers, and even other dogs. They are combinations of funny, sweet, and energetic which will thrive in an active household.
Beagles are also clever canines and they will spend time figuring out how to outsmart other dogs or even their owners. This is the reason why it’s not true that Beagles are “less” smart than other breeds. It just happens that their noses can snatch their attention away.
Take note that Beagles are notoriously friendly which makes them a poor choice as guard dogs. And since they need constant exercise, they can be destructive and noisy if kept indoors for a long time.
The best thing about this dog is they aren’t aggressive or timid. They are loyal and since they are bred to work in packs, they often see their families as members of their pack. Still, make sure that your Beagle sees you as the leader or they will run the household.
Also, it’s important to know that Beagles are determined dogs. Once they set something in mind, they will do their best to get it. It’s also a factor why Beagles are difficult to train. But with patience and consistency, they can yield to training. Remember, Beagles are used as sniffing dogs by the military.
Lastly, some Beagles may have select deafness due to their breeding history. Also, it’s best to socialize a Beagle as a pup to grow up as a well-rounded doggo.
Are they advisable for newbie owners?
If you don’t have experience with any dog before, owning a Beagle will be daunting. They are full of energy and can get really stubborn.
Although low in maintenance, Beagles require a lot of patience and strong leadership. Sometimes, this breed tends to have a will of its own, usually defying what its owner says.
Even with rigorous training, an experienced owner would have a better advantage.
Still, if you’re a risk taker, you can try a Beagle by pet sitting a friend’s doggo. It’s important that no matter how willful you are, you should be keener to know what you’re signing up for.
Training a Beagle
I’d like to dispute the stereotype that Beagles are not smart breeds. It’s just that they have powerful noses and hard-wired determination. But if you’ll subject them to intense training, these doggos can actually become a dependable buddy.
When it comes to training, the biggest struggle is keeping a Beagle’s attention. Aside from their tendency to follow a smell, a pup is more energetic than an adult.
If you bring a Beagle outdoors, it will keep its nose on the ground, sniffing. If not, the doggo will be romping. This is why professional training is best if you really want to instill discipline to your pooch.
It’s a challenge to train a Beagle but it doesn’t mean they’re impossible to teach. I suggest that you look for a serious breeder that produces Beagles with good temperament. This way, you have more chances of shaping the doggo into a better canine.
In this video, Saro the dog trainer gives us some tips on how to train your Beagle dog:
Activity and physical needs
I probably stressed this enough: Beagles are energetic dogs. You need to give them a run every day plus play time. However, I don’t suggest that you take them into very long distances. Since their legs are short, they are prone to hip and bone problems.
Just beware of the intensity of Beagles. Sometimes, they can get very playful to the point of hurting their selves. If you’re walking the dog out, it’s best to put them on a leash so you have full control of their reach.
Nevertheless, Beagles make good companions for kids. They are playful and there will never be a dull moment when you let them mingle with your children.
Since Beagles are trained for hunting, they have this hard-wired tendency to run and chase. This is also a good thing since the activity of the doggo won’t make them obese – something that Beagles are very prone to.
Take note that Beagles love to take frequent naps during the day. Still, don’t let them indulge on it if they haven’t got any exercise yet.
Health conditions of Beagles
Unfortunately, Beagles are one of the breeds with high risks to various health problems. Although all dogs will get sick one time or another, Beagles are more likely to succumb to the following:
Hip dysplasia. This is a condition that Beagles inherit from its parents. What happens is that the thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. If you observe that your dog is limping after a run, have him checked for this condition.
Glaucoma. This happens when the pressure behind the eyes become excessive. Such a condition will hinder the flow of fluids in the dog’s eyes which can cause blindness or temporary vision loss.
Beagle dwarfism. Another reason why it’s important to get a Beagle from a respectable breeder is to avoid Beagle dwarfism. Although this breed is really short, there are instances when they will be smaller than normal. This can be accompanied by other complications.
Patellar luxation. This is a very common condition among Beagles where the femur, knee, and calf don’t align properly. Such a condition will cause pain, misalignment, and other degenerative diseases.
Chinese Beagle Syndrome. This condition is characterized by slanted eyes and wide skull. Although Beagles with this condition may grow old, they will have toe and heart abnormalities.
But hey, all dogs can have these conditions. If you really love to own a Beagle and you’re prepared enough, there’s no reason why you won’t give that doggo a chance.
When it comes to grooming, Beagles’ ears need a lot of attention. Since these are droopy, it can harbor all kinds of dirt that will smell and cause irritations.
Beagles are known for their tri-colored coat: the black saddle across the back, white legs, belly, and chest plus the white tail tip that looks like it had been dipped in paint.
Since they have a short coat, Beagles only need regular brushing to stay clean. They also shed a lot and brushing will keep the dead hair off the floor and the furniture.
Beagles don’t need frequent baths unless they decided to roll in the mud. Overall, they are low maintenance dogs.
Who should get a Beagle?
Anyone who loves the breed and prepared enough to handle their nature can get a Beagle. But if you don’t have a clue yet, let me share with you how it feels like living with this pooch:
Personally, my Beagle keeps me going every morning. From the morning run and the play time, their existence requires a balancing act. At first, they are wary of strangers, but after a few days of wooing, they seem to be easy to win over.
You need patience, tons of it. Your Beagle may pee on the floor, bolt around the house, and howl at nothing.
As much as possible, I recommend that you train and socialize a Beagle while it’s still young. That way, you can dampen their bad habits.
Lastly, if you’re living alone and going to work during weekdays, it’s best to get a companion dog for a Beagle. Otherwise, the doggo will vocalize all day long until your neighbor calls the authorities.
Anyway, let’s go back to the question: should I get a Beagle? Definitely yes! After your sacrifice, the rapport you and your Beagle established is for the books.