These small hound dogs have been blessed with an excellent ability to sense the smell and track it down. Ranked as the 6th most popular breed, the Beagle is known to be a loyal dog that has an outgoing personality. Besides this, they are also good with children and are best suited for living both in apartments or small houses.
Time has witnessed the growth of this breed, starting with accompanying humans and helping them track the scent of animals. Followed by, they were named ‘Beagle’ for their work of hunting hares (Beagling). In present times, these dogs have been appointed to work at airports and sniff out anything illegally smuggled in plants and animal products.
If asked a breeder about this dog, they might fall short of words to explain the talents of this breed. But, just like everything, even Beagles have both good and bad sides. As an owner, if you are looking forward to petting a dog like this, you must first be well aware of the pros and cons of owning a Beagle. Further, you will also need to carry out several responsibilities so that your companion turns into a well-socialised dog.
Pros of owning a Beagle
1. Highly sociable
Those who are worried about how to make connections with your pet, worry less and leave it to your dog. Beagles are a highly social breed. They love to hang out with almost anyone. Especially, if you have guests coming to your house frequently, they would be the first ones to greet them.
These dogs are more interested in the company of kids, rather than adults for they have a similar energy level. But sometimes, relations between them can get bad if the child is found irritating the dog during its eating time or while it’s taking a nap. It is preferred that you own them if your child is above 8 years. At times, this breed can be independent, leaving space for its owner. But remember, ‘A dog’s breeding will have a significant impact on its behaviour.’
2. Versatile breeds
Beagles are highly adaptive breeds. They can adjust to any kind of situation or place, be it in rural areas or big cities. Although small, these dogs are surprisingly sturdy. As different dogs have different personalities, only a few under this breed might be affected (slightly) by a change in the house.
As for owners who are thinking of owning this dog, try to have sufficient space in your house in order to satisfy them. As energetic dogs, they will always be eager to play with you, be it inside the house or in the backyard. Living near a park is also recommended. Help them work out and take them on walks. After all, what your beagle loves most is to stay with you.
3. Have a wonderful personality
Just like most pets, these dogs would do anything just to get a smile on your face. ‘They will love you more than you can possibly love them’. As owners, you might find instances where they have chewed your favourite book or damaged your beloved object. Wait for the next morning to see their innocent faces and you can no longer be mad at them.
‘These dog breeds are just like humans: they have different personalities’. Besides, they have an adorable physique of a broad, wrinkle-free head combined with long droopy ears that gives them an adorable look. As their primary desire is to please their owners, Beagles can go to any extent. Behaviours like licking or searching for a chance to snuggle indicate that he wants to play with you.
4. Are low-maintenance
“Beagles are conveniently-sized, handsome and easy-to-groom”. They have a short coat which means you can spend the least time brushing their furs (a minimum of 2-3 times a week should be enough for the breed). Further, it is dense and waterproof which means that they can play in the water for as long as they want, hassle-free.
Other parts of the dog’s body like teeth, ears and toenails can also be groomed easily. Brush them twice a week to avoid tartar build-up on the surface of the teeth and trim their toenails once they grow big. However, owners may find their body odour quite inappropriate. Beagles tend to have bad body odour and the only way to remove this is to bathe them at regular intervals.
5. Good with other pets
For a breed that is highly sociable and versatile, developing friendly relations with other pets should not come as a surprise. Beagles are not only good companions of humans but also share a similar deal with other animals too. Pets like cats or other dog breeds are well accustomed to it. Even on the streets, they will get eager to introduce themselves if they find another animal. You will even find Beagles playing and running with the big breeds.
But, this pro also comes with a few exceptions. As hunting dogs, Beagles don’t go along well with pets like rabbits and hamsters. Since they were bred for the purpose of hunting hare, such pets can force their instincts into chasing them. Thus, for rabbit lovers, it’s either this or that!
6. Have lots of talents
This breed is born with talents. As intelligent dogs, they can learn about the feelings of their owners. A 2-year-old pup named Elvis is capable of sensing if a woman is pregnant or not. Even Presidents like John Lyndon. B and Johnson also owned a beagle during their stay in the White House.
These dogs have even joined another profession as therapy dogs. Their quick connection with humans makes them good supportive canines. Few dogs have also been trained for assistance to save their owner’s life. In 2010, when Haiti was struck by an earthquake, a beagle was known to have saved the life of a person who was buried under the rubble for 100 hours.
7. Love to do almost anything
These dogs love to do anything they desire. Things like cuddling and playing are their favourite pass-time. If you are ready to entertain your dog, they will most likely drain all your energy. Games like ‘Fetch’ are one of their favourite sport. With the help of their tracking instinct, they will find out even the deeply hidden object from under the ground.
These canines are fans of cuddles. Even though they are intelligent, they still embrace curiosity. Beagle owners are well aware of the behavioural features the breed possesses (when it wants to cuddle) like reclining on you, lying on your bed or following you around the house.
These were some of the pros of owning a Beagle. But, unfortunately, every good thing is latched with something bad as well. Let’s take a look at the cons of owning a Beagle.
Cons of owning a Beagle dog breed
1. Are quite vocal
‘Beagles are bred to run, and track, and BARK to signify they have a victim.’ One of the cons of owning a beagle is that bark a lot. This barking can sometimes even be compared to howling. Also, its authority is not similar to that of other breeds. While you are enjoying your dog’s singing with the radio music in the background, other neighbors might get irritated with the sound of them howling.
Beagles have a tendency of expressing their feelings through vocal expressions. These vary from barking to howling or whining. These dogs can get spooked by anything. Thus, you need to be cautious about the place you put them in. It was previously mentioned how they are fit for every home. But still, before owning this breed, one must think about such incidents too!
2. Tend to chase
The history of this breed has made their character very clear. Beagles are hunting dogs. They are always driven by their curiosity to search for a scent and track it down. People, back in the days, used them to hunt animals till their owner was ready to take the shot.
Such a character still exists in them. Even with the best training, it is difficult to remove this feature completely. Several owners have claimed that their beagle has started chasing anything that was moving (squirrels or small birds) during their trip to the park. This devotion to odor can get them into trouble such as wandering off the owner’s property outdoors, attempting to eat anything and everything if his owner isn’t vigilant, or going through the garbage can indoors. This is also a con of owning a beagle as new owners may find it difficult to control their dog in such cases.
3. Have a few bad habits
This madly adorable dog has got quite several bad habits. Firstly, they love to dig. In case you have kept your beagle out on the lawn for a considerable amount of time, you are likely to find them digging flower beds and leaving holes in most areas. As hunter dogs, this is a habit they have by birth and our guess is it’s IRREVERSIBLE.
Secondly, they are chewers. Almost all puppies under this breed chew and there are no exceptions. The reason being, that your dog is in the teething process. New teeth start to grow at this point of time. Thus, it is better to provide them with safe toys that are designed for training.
NOTE: Beagles are escape artists. They should always be walked with a leash for they can get distracted easily and run away.
4. Are stubborn
‘They don’t listen very well’ is a common phrase that is told by several beagle owners. Being so stubborn often affects their training. These dogs like to do work at their own free will, even if it means performing tricks or listening to their masters. You may be successful in making it follow your command but then it decides to get some treats before the next action.
Behaviours like staring at you while you’re calling them are obvious in this breed. This is also the reason why training them is hard. These dogs may listen to you the first month and then ignore you in the next. But, that does not make them dumb. In fact, they are among the smartest dog breeds in the world.
5. Get easily distracted
Since their puppyhood, these dogs are very curious. They have always loved to chew, dig and smell anything that is new. Such a personality has often resulted in the dog getting distracted. Even after growing up, they still remain slaves to their noses, searching for some new scent.
Having a docile temperament makes them super-friendly beings. This is one of the strong qualities for making them house pets. But, they are not perfect when it comes to protecting their owner from a threat. Instead, these canines would run and hide behind objects for they get scared very easily. This is also a con of owning a Beagle.
6. Are hyper-energetic
Beagles are known to be a powerhouse of energy. Surprisingly, the puppies exhibit about 10 times the energy than their adult self. They are always up for some new adventure. Further, they also love food just as much as they love running around the house. All of this may appear adorable for the first few weeks but a prolonged action can lead to health issues in the breed like obesity.
The only way to keep your dog under control is to give it proper training. Training and exercise are the best ways to release all their pent-up energy and allow them to grow into healthy and fit dogs.
7. Difficult to house-train
In the previous point, we read how training can be good for such canines. But, the new difficulty that arose was how to train them? Beagles are quite challenging to house-train because of their stubbornness.
Even though with proper house training, these dogs can go to soil one corner of the house and then go to another corner the next time they feel they need to relieve themselves. Once it has adopted this behaviour, it will keep on doing the same. Thus, as owners, you need to be very patient and committed to your dog while training them. Further, you will also need to keep these behaviours in check and prevent them likewise.
These were some of the pros and cons of adopting or owning a beagle. Irrespective of the negative sides, there are several reasons to like them. For example, if you are expecting a baby, this should be the best time for you to own them, for they are wonderful with children. But, you may also find yourself stuck between meeting the needs of both your child and your dog.
If you are more of an outside person, this breed is not for you. Beagles can stay alone for a maximum of five hours. Spending longer hours alone can cause separation anxiety in them. You must also need to be patient with them, especially during training. Prefer choosing the dog, depending on your work schedule and the amount of time you can give them.
Q. Are beagles good as guard dogs?
They might bark a lot but are not good when it comes to a guarding situation. These dogs get scared easily, and may also start barking at anybody, be it a friend or a stranger. Thus, they are not fit to be guard dogs but can be classified as good watchdogs as they can alert a person by barking.
Q. Do Beagles shed?
Beagles are moderate shedders and shed throughout the year. However, the fur starts shedding more during the warm season.
Q. Can the breed stand extreme temperatures?
These dogs are capable of surviving extreme heat temperatures but are not good when it comes to cold winters. Their short coat is incapable of protecting them from cold climatic conditions.