Did you know that the adorable, lovable pooch from the Peanuts comics, Snoopy, was actually a Beagle? Yep, that’s right. In fact, Charles Schultz, the creator of this comic (as well as many others) wrote about Beagles fairly frequently. He seemed to have a soft spot for this breed, and really, who could blame him?
Regardless of their Peanut’s fame, you would be smart to do some research into the Beagle breed before committing to getting one. There are many questions to ask, with the main one being, are Beagles good dogs? The answer to that is an unflinchingly and resounding yes, they absolutely are.
Beagles are naturally upbeat, confident, and cuddly dogs. They rarely display aggressive behavior as they’re often friendly and playful when around other pets. They are great family dogs as Beagles are good with kids, and due to their loving nature, they make fast friends! That is why Beagles happen to be one of the best and popular dog breeds there is.
Are Beagles Good With Other Dogs/ Cats/ Kids?
Beagles tend to get along with other pets, as well as children, extremely well. They are playful and affectionate. Beagles rarely meet a stranger, and that includes animals, that they didn’t like and want to smother with doggy kisses. No matter what the breed, new pets should be introduced correctly.
A little bit of contact at a time, never unsupervised, and with a place for them to be apart (a secluded and quiet room if possible).
Do They Make Good Family Dogs?
There is a good reason why Beagles are considered one of the best family dogs. The reason that they make great family pets is largely in part because they do well with other animals and children alike.
A family home is usually one of the best places for a Beagle. They love nothing more than being around their ‘pack’ and in the middle of all of the energy and love that comes with it.
Are They Easily Trained?
Are they easy to train? Well, yes…and no. They have the ability to learn new things as they are quite an intelligent breed, nevertheless, Beagles are also well-known for being stubborn. If you use appropriate training methods and stick with it, you’ll have a good chance of success.
Keep in mind that these dogs respond best to reward style training, although that can also be a catch 22 because you don’t really want your dog to be trained to listen only when they are getting something in return. Beagles are also prone to becoming obese, which is another reason to keep any edible rewards to a minimum.
How Smart Is This Breed?
Out of all dog breeds, the Beagle is unquestionably one of the smartest. The issue is that they also have a bit of an ego as well as an inherent urge to follow their sniffer wherever it takes them.
This can cause them to become distracted easily, resulting in them not being very good with the focusing part of their training. Let’s just say that focusing is not their forte. You are going to need a lot of patience and determination when training your Beagle.
Beagles tend to have happy-go-lucky attitudes and their personality reflects that. Excitable, energetic, lovable, and loyal are just a few of the traits that make the Beagle such a great breed. They are highly adaptable, they work well with families and singles alike. The one thing that you should be cautious of is their pack mentality. Beagles can suffer from separation anxiety.
This causes them to howl or bark incessantly and become destructive when left to their own devices for any period of time. Beagles are not content with being alone. They are a highly sociable breed and if you work long hours or away from home for extended periods, then this might not be the best dog for you.
Are Beagles A Hyper Breed?
While not really a hyper breed per se, Beagles do have a lot of energy and an almost insatiable curiosity. This means that while they can adapt, and even thrive, in almost any type of living arrangement, a decent amount of daily exercise is a must. When not given the appropriate amount of exercise, your beagle might start showing certain unwanted habits:
- Destructive behaviors
- Being overly vocal
- In rare cases even aggression
So, while they are not considered one of the more hyper breeds, they can become that way due to lack of exercise or attention.
Although relatively healthy, Beagles do have certain medical issues that they can be predisposed to. Obesity being a major one. Because of their predisposition to weight gain, your Beagle should be provided with quite a bit of daily exercise. An overweight beagle is at a higher risk for other serious conditions such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. Other common ailments that affect the Beagle breed:
- Eye conditions (glaucoma, cherry eye, etc.)
- Patella Luxation (kneecaps pop in and out)
Many of these problems do not present until the Beagle is older, thus regular exams and veterinary care is imperative. It is always better to catch any health issue as early as possible.
Helpful Tips About Your New Furry Friend
- Natural Explorer: Beagles are known for getting so focused on a scent trail that they become lost. Exercise is a must, of course, but should be done in a fenced-in area, or while being kept on a leash. They are also the Houdini’s of the dog world and can be quite the little escape artists. Be sure that your enclosure is secure. If there is a way to escape, your Beagle will definitely find it and make use of it.
- The Importance of Microchipping: While we are on the subject of exploration, microchipping your dog could very well be the difference between getting your pooch back and never seeing them again. It is more likely that your Beagle will get out one day than not. Get your Beagle chipped.
- Temperament/Personality is not always ensured: Genetics, as well as background, play a huge role in the overall personality of your pet. Adopting an adult Beagle is a great way to somewhat determine temperament, however, if you decide to go the puppy route, make sure you meet the parents. Their temperament can give you a good idea of how your pooch will eventually turn out. This is not fool-proof and there is no guarantee how your specific puppy will grow up to be.
- Be Prepared for Noise: Beagles are well-known for being very vocal, especially when left alone. Many a Beagle owner has had to deal with noise complaints from neighbors to their local police departments. Incessant howling and barking are usually due to loneliness and boredom. If you are unable to have a human companion with him at all times, you should consider getting him a furry one instead. If they have another dog (or cat!) to interact with, they will be less likely to cause a fuss.
- R.E.S.P.E.C.T: Aretha said it best. In order to have a good relationship with your pooch, mutual respect is necessary. Beagles are inherently pack dogs and enforcing your place as ‘alpha’ can make both of your lives so much easier.
- Guard Dogs, They are Not: While your Beagle is very likely to bark at unknown noises (or just for the heck of it really), it does not make them good watchdogs. Beagles are known as the friendliest of the hound breeds and for good reason. They might bark at an intruder but it would probably simply just be the ice-breaker to the kisses he will be giving him. In short, Beagles are mostly bark, with very little bite. Especially if the burglar brings him a snack!
All in all, so long as you’ve done your research, a Beagle will make a fantastic addition to most homes. Being one of the most adaptable breeds makes him a great fit for just about everybody. Be prepared to show a whole lotta love and have very little peace and quiet.
- Families/Couples/Singles: If you are willing to live with their mouthiness and to take care of them correctly, a Beagle is a great option for almost everybody.
- People without Pet Allergies: Beagles have a short, dense, and shiny coat. But, as much as it looks as though it would not shed as much as other breeds, they are actually fairly heavy shedders.
Not Suitable For:
- Homes with Pet Allergies: These guys shed quite a bit so if your home has people allergic to pet dander, you might want to choose a different breed.
- Cannot Handle Loud Noises: Beagles bark. And howl. It is just the way it is. A muzzle might help but will not discourage the behavior altogether. If you live a noise protected area (or have not-so-nice neighbors, another breed might be a better option.
- Rarely Home: As already stated, Beagles are highly sociable animals. They can also be very destructive if left alone frequently.