Beagles are one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. Queen Elizabeth I owned many small beagles, and it has even been said that she allowed them to prance about on the dining room table. President Lyndon B. Johnson owned several pet beagles during his tenure at the White House. Even musician Barry Manilow has owned beagles, one of which was featured on several of his album covers in the ‘70s.
Generally gentle, sweet, friendly and curious, most beagles get along with everyone, including children. Of course, as with any breed, they also present their own unique behavior challenges.
Cats and small pets – Beagles were bred to be hunters and hunting behaviors, like chasing prey, are in their genes. While they tend to do well with other dogs, they may be inclined to chase cats, rabbits and other small pets. However, some beagles that are socialized with these animals from puppyhood can be trained to react appropriately to them.
Separation anxiety – While known for being independent in general, beagles love their people. This can lead to undesirable behaviors (barking, chewing, etc.) due to separation anxiety. Experts recommend instilling a schedule in your beagle’s life from an early age so she’ll know what to expect at any time of day—which can help to relieve that anxiety.
Destructive chewing – Beagles need a lot of exercise—much more than many of their human companions give them. This means frequent long walks, romps in the park, and a fenced yard where he can enjoy some outdoor time off leash, if possible. If your beagle is bored, he may start to chew your furniture, your walls, and other things in your home—so use exercise to wear him out.
Stubbornness – Beagles can be difficult to train. They are independent thinkers, and while they will certainly love you, they may not be as eager to please as some other breeds. This means you should introduce obedience training as early as possible. It also requires you to be consistent in your interactions with your pet from an early age so he will learn to respect your commands.
Wandering – Beagles are notorious escape artists. Remember that fenced yard we mentioned earlier? Don’t leave your beagle in it unsupervised. If you do, you may find yourself spending hours tracking her around the neighborhood. Fortunately, spaying or neutering, and plenty of exercise, can reduce your dog’s desire to wander off.
A beagle can be a wonderful animal companion—for the right person. They require lots of exercise, a positive approach to obedience training, and plenty of time with their families. If your otherwise well-behaved beagle suddenly begins experiencing behavioral problems, consult your veterinarian.
Do you have a pet beagle? Did you experience any behavioral problems? Share with us in the comments!