Our current foster dog, Annette, is a beagle. Many people are drawn to beagles due to their size. They are also friendly, loyal, and like getting attention from humans, making them seem like the perfect family dog. They’re also one of the most popular breeds found in shelters and rescue groups across the country.
Beagles can sometimes be a tricky breed to raise. They’re typically not happy-go-lucky dogs like Labrador Retrievers. You have to be a beagle (or hound) person in order to understand them and experience to have one as a pet.
Beagles follow their noses. They were bread for following scents while hunting. I always say that when outside a beagle’s nose turns on and the brain turns off. A beagle will focus only on scent and ignore everything else. Calling to a beagle that’s sniffing while outside in hopes of him or her coming back is often fruitless. Fenced in yards when having a beagle as a pet is a must.
Another distict beagle (and hound) trait is the baying howl. Beagles were bred to hunt. When out in the field they bark and howl in order to alert people that prey has been found.
Many beagles enjoy looking out the window of a home and will howl if they see something moving around. For some this howl is cute at first but ultimately annoying when done constantly.
The Wuss Factor
Some dog breeds have a high tolerance for pain. Beagles are not one of them. They often let out yelps in anticipation of something “bad” happening such as a vaccination at the vet’s office or getting their nails clipped. Even though they are not getting hurt, they act as though some sort of torture is going on.
Beagles (and other hounds) can be difficult to train. They often would rather seek out scents than listen to a human. They are stubborn so teaching even basic commands can be a daunting task to a beagle owner. A fenced in yard is practially a requirement. Without it a beagle would be off following a scent and would not respond to calls from an owner trying to persuade the dog to return.
If a beagle owner can find something that really motivates the dog “sit” may be able to be taught with some patience. Overall training a beagle is like having a child in the terrible twos stage of life.
If you’re looking to add a beagle into your home lots of research on the breed should be required. They can be a fun and loving dog, but it’s important to know the challenges that come along with the breed. If more people understood the dog perhaps there wouldn’t be as many of them in shelters and rescues in need of a new home.
Andrew and I have fostered quite a few beagles of various ages. All of them have had the beagle nose, which is on the ground most of the time when outside. We’ve had different degrees of “beagle-ness” in our foster dogs. Our current foster dog, Annette, is the most well behaved beagle that we’ve had.
Annette will actually listen and come (for the most part) when called if she’s outside. She’ll even chase after toys that are thrown for her and bring them back to you (most of the time). She responds well to “no” when she’s getting into something. And she’s very respectful. The person or family that adopts her will have a great beagle find!