It really doesn’t matter how many different dog breeds you’ve owned, until you have a beagle, there are some things you wouldn’t understand. Beagles are a unique breed and they have some very special habits. They’re among the most popular hound dogs because of their attractive clean lines and shiny sleek coats. They truly are beautiful dogs and in addition, they have a lot of amazing traits that make their owners love them immensely.
Here are twenty things that only beagle owners would understand.
1. Your beagle is likely to wake you up at night
Although training is helpful, beagles are hound dogs and they have a tendency to bay when they are startled or excited. This goes way beyond loud barking. Beagle owners will know exactly what we’re talking about. The bay of a beagle is low and guttural and it will invade even the deepest levels of sleep. Heck, half of the time, it doesn’t even sound like a noise that a dog would make. Yes, they can still bark like any other dog, but they have perfected the deep and mournful bay.
2. They sound off at the drop of a hat
Beagles are loud dogs and it doesn’t take much to get them going. They don’t always bay, but they are prone to making some kind of noise. Whether they see a cat, a squirrel, a stranger, or sometimes simply when they are playing hard, the inspiration will hit to make a little music. It’s their claim to fame and they work hard to live up to the reputation for being loud mouths.
3. Beagles act like they’re starving
Beagles seem to have an insatiable appetite. They are constantly scanning the ground for something edible to eat. It takes some intensive training to prevent your beagle from jumping up on a counter and tearing through any food that is left there. Even when you keep them well fed with the recommended amounts, try not to be alarmed, because your dog will make the neighbors think that you never feed him. They’re fast to gobble up any crumbs that hit the ground and their picture of heaven would include a never ending buffet of all of their favorite foods, as well as all of your favorite foods. Some owners have to use incredible restraint to avoid overfeeding their beagles, simply because it can be embarrassing to have a dog who acts like he is always hungry.
4. If it’s quiet, you should investigate
Any beagle teller will confirm that when it gets really quiet around the house, the dog is generally up to no good. Beagles know the difference between right and wrong when they are properly trained. This doesn’t mean that they’re always going to behave when they are out of your sight. It’s always a relief when I feel that anxious feeling, and discover that the family beagle is only asleep to build up his energy for another round. Quietness usually means that they are sneaking around and doing something that they’re’ not supposed to do. It pays to be on your guard, especially if your beagle is under two years of age.
5. Say hello to your new child
Beagle owners all know that when you have one of them, you’re taking on a lot of responsibility. Beagles tend to be a bit on the impulsive side when they are pups. Younger dogs have more energy than their owners usually, and they have a need to do something to get rid of it. Your beagle is constantly on the lookout for something fun and exciting to do. You can’t trust them out of your sight, because they will either chew something up, or eat something that they’re not supposed to. Keeping beagle pups safe from themselves is a challenge that all beagle owners can relate to. They require nearly as much attention and supervision as a human child, but the benefits of owning an adult beagle are well worth the hassle (for most of us).
6. They are born sniffers
Beagles love to sniff the ground, cats, other dogs and people who happen to get too close. Be prepared to take the time and make the extreme effort to train your beagle about the appropriate types of sniffing that they can do. They are not born with manners and these will not develop unless you are patient and consistent in teaching them better manners. Let them pick up the scent of a squirrel or a rabbit and praise them for it. It’s a natural instinct and beagles are in heaven when they are able to track something on the ground. Be prepared to hear all about it if they happen to tree a small creature. They’ll bay to let you know they’ve got ’em.
7. You really need a sturdy leash
Here is another truth that only beagle owners would truly understand. Beagles are headstrong, active dogs who just happen to love taking their owners for a walk. We don’t have that backwards either. Your beagle is just as likely to pull you along the path as you are to do this to him. He’s excited about being out and he wants to see and experience everything in the world. You’re just along for the ride in most cases. Beagles are not huge dogs, but they are strong. When you combine strength with excitement and sheer willpower, unless you have a strong leash, it’s able to break under the strain. We could sum this up and say that beagles are energetic, but that wouldn’t come close to describing what it’s like to walk them.
8. They make a lot of new friends
When your beagle sees a new dog, the first thing on his mind is to go explore. They love getting to know other dogs that they will do whatever it takes to get to where their new friend is standing. Beagles are social dogs and they like interacting with other dogs of all breeds. Sometimes they do fight, but mostly, they are just very curious.
9. You’ll be ignored
When your beagle has a goal in mind, nothing else matters. If a beagle sees something he wants to check out, it seems that he checks out mentally as well. You can call til the cows come home, he’s not going to listen or respond. This is one of the most frustrating things about owning a beagle. It’s the worst when he gets a taste of freedom and slips the collar or leash. Then it becomes a free for all and you may have to do some running to catch him. The best way to avoid this is through consistent and proper training. You might still have a few issues now and then, but it can make a huge difference.
10. Beagles exist to try your patience
In case you haven’t realized this fact yet, ask any beagle owner. They are headstrong dogs who are very prone to doing what they want, when they want. This is particularly true of new puppies, but if you get on top of this inborn behavior before it becomes a way of life, you can change the direction of your pet’s strong will. Well trained beagles mind their owners and they even make good choices as they get older. If you can stand the early months of training, you can end up with a dog that you’re proud of.
11. They use their eyes as weapons
One look at their beautiful yet mournful eyes removes all doubt that they use them to their advantage. Beagles have expressive eyes and you’ll know when they’re excited, happy or sad. Just one long, pitiful look from them is enough to melt you like butter, so be forewarned. They have a way of making you feel guilty after you’ve disciplined them.
12. They’re great at overcoming obstacles
There isn’t much that can stand between a beagle and what he wants. They are not only strong willed, but they are cunning in their thought processes. Beagles are wiley and they will pull out all of the stops to get what they want. You’ll do okay if you make sure that your beagle knows who is the boss from day one. Act submissive and you’ve lost the battle.
13. They’ll try to turn the tables on you
We’re referring to training when we say this. Beagles think on their feet and they are great problem solvers. It’s up to you to keep them focused and aware of the task at hand, because they will attempt to distract you from what you’re trying to teach them. You have to be at your best when you’re working with them because if you’re not, you may end up taking a few breaks just to get away and clear your head. Think we’re exaggerating? Ask a beagle owner.
14. You’ll be cleaning a lot more
Beagles not only shed their fur, they are unique for having an excessively clingy version that sticks to clothing and upholstery. If you vacuumed once a week before getting your new beagle, plan on making it a daily routine unless you want to wear a beagle hair sweater. While it can be inconvenient to have a huge mess more often than not, the loyalty a beagle will show you if you treat them right is worth the cleaning.
15. Puppy proof your home before he arrives
Just think about how you would organize your home if you knew that an obnoxious and strong willed child was coming to visit. Beagle puppies are hell bent on exploring every inch of a new home, and they often do it with their teeth. They chew on things that you wouldn’t expect. They like to be kept busy, so as you’re training them to stop destroying your home and it’s contents, make sure that you have some very interesting toys to keep him occupied. A bored beagle is a bad thing.
16. He’s going to make your home a safer place
We may have frightened you with the truths we’ve shared about beagles so far, but these are just the habits that you should expect before your beagle is fully trained. Beagles have many positive qualities that make them well worth the hassle of going through the training period. Beagles are tremendous watch dogs. They sound off at the first sign of danger. A prowler doesn’t stand a chance when your beagle has watch. They are loud and to a stranger, frightening, so you can feel safer in knowing that your beagle is territorial and is not about to let a stranger come around without letting you know about it.
17. You’re making a new best friend
Beagles are among the friendliest of all dog breeds. While they will not tolerate an invader into their homes, they are friendly to the people and pets who are “supposed” to be there. They will shower you will love and affection and ask the same in return from you. They really do have sweet personalities and they generally get along well with other animals unless they sense danger or some type of threat.
18. They demand to be let free
Beagles by nature love to roam loose and free. They need to have regular exercise and while it’s great to take them on frequent walks (on a leash of course), it’s also good to give them some time to run loose in a fenced yard. This will help them to get rid of some of the excess energy that they have stored inside. Bottom line, let ’em run and get some space. They’ll appreciate you more for it.
19. He will serve you loyally
Beagles are strong willed dogs, but they are loyal to their owners. Train him well and you will truly reap the rewards. He will do what you want, as much as he can and he will miss you when you’re away. But again, we can’t stress enough that the relationship goes both ways. You have to be an attentive and willing owner in order to reap these rewards. But believe us when we tell you the commitment is well worth the effort.
20. You’ll miss him when he’s gone
You will probably outlive your beagle, but you will never forget him. All of the struggles and times of frustration you had in training him will be fond memories that make you smile. You will miss his unconditional love and the way he stuck by you through thick and thin. He served you well as the sentinel who guarded your home, kept you safe from harm, and gave you companionship and love.