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The Beagle: What you need to know as an owner!

Two black beagle puppies chewing on a log

Loud, happy, and exciting, Beagles are one of the best additions to your family that you could ask for. These pups are energetic, vocal, and athletic. They’ll keep you on your toes while they dig their way right into your heart!

Fun Facts

The Beagle’s popularity has led their presence as a pop culture icon, and they’ve made a lot of prominent appearances.

- Did you know the Beagle can produce three unique vocal sounds? The name “Beagle” is thought to come from the French word “beguele,” which means “gaped-throat.” A pretty accurate description when you realize they have a pretty excellent vocal range. These sounds are developed as puppies and grow from adorable sounds to powerful adult vocalizations. Barking is the most common, a sound most dogs learn. They can also make a yodeling sound that is referred to as a bay. They also have a wonderful howl!

- Beagles are also helping protect America! Homeland Security employs them to sniff passenger luggage, both incoming and outgoing, for non-approved food items. This prevents the spread of parasites and diseases between countries, ours and others. This proud pack is known as The Beagle Brigade!

- A sweetheart from the Heartland, Kansas-bred pup Elvis is able to detect animal pregnancy by smelling their poop! The first attempt at the Cincinnati Zoo, Elvis now travels to zoos all over the U.S. and Canada to detect pregnancy and has a stunning rate of 97% accuracy!

- Barry Manilow, the beloved crooner, spent his off-time with his Beagle named Bagel! The adorable furball even appeared on several album covers, most famously the back cover for the hit single I Write the Songs.

- You may not be aware, but cartoonist Charles M. Schultz wrote the world-famous Snoopy as a Beagle! Your pup probably won’t sleep on top of their doghouse in the same way, but they share a common ancestry with Charlie Brown’s famous furry friend.

What was the Beagle bred for?

Red beagle looking focused in on something in the distance

Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs, and they were widely used for the practice. There are two sizes to the breed, one standing under 13 inches and one rising as tall as 16 inches. The smaller dogs, known as “pocket beagles,” were carried in coat pockets to the start of the hunt. While proficient as rabbit hunters, they’ve been used prominently on foxhunts and to run down prey such as wild pigs and even jackals!

Beagles of today can still be used as hunters, whether along with their human or in a pack, but most are beloved family friends. Keep an eye out though, that hunting instinct is still there! Don’t be surprised if you see your pupper chasing down a bird or squirrel.

How is their personality?

Do you want an outgoing, affectionate dog that loves spending time with you? Congrats, you’re going to love living with a Beagle! Happy, playful, and friendly, these puppers are generally very happy and loving towards their humans. They’re wondrously mischievous and can even be pranksters. A beagle can be very stubborn and loves to get its own way, which can lead to some bad behavior if proper discipline isn’t administered in training. A Beagle can fall prey to selective-hearing and will prove a match for most owners in both energy and stubbornness. Beagles prefer some company, and if left alone for too long can get anxious and destructive. Your pup will love having you around, just make sure you’ve reassured them when you leave.

Con’s to the breed?

Red beagle laying on the ground resting

While Beagles are wonderfully fun dogs, there are some negatives to be aware of.

- While each dog is unique, stubbornness is a personality trait that is rampant among Beagles. As mentioned, these pups can develop selective hearing and enjoy getting their way.

- Beagles are runners. They live based on what they smell, and if there’s something for them to eat, chase, or both, they’ll try to take off after it. With how clever they are, don’t be surprised if your pup is a little escape artist when it wants to run after something. A good play session will help reduce this!

- These dogs are going to shed. That dark colored carpet? You’ll see it filled with hairs, and it’ll be everywhere. Regular bathing and brushing can help with this, but you’ll never stop it completely. Coconut oil can help keep your pet's coat happy and healthy!

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- Their fascinating three-styled vocalization is interesting, but things are different when they won’t stop howling or baying at home. These aren’t generally apartment dogs since they’re normally too loud for thin walls.

- Beagles are diggers. They burrow into the ground after whatever they smell, and if you’ve got a yard they’re going to get in there and tear it up. You can tell them to stop, but if you take your eyes off of them for too long they’ll be right back at it.

Don’t let these things deter you completely! Living with a Beagle can be a fun, happy, and wonderful experience. However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

How do you train a Beagle?

Happy beagle in a field of hay

While many pups need consistent training, the Beagle’s independent streak makes regularity and consistency an absolute must! Socializing them as puppies, with trips to dog parks or introducing them to your other furry friends, will go a long way towards showing them appropriate behavior.

Their headstrong mindsets mean that professional training and obedience school is recommended. While training can be achieved without it, the environment will not only socialize them but bring a more knowledgeable approach to how to inspire good behavior in your pup.

Beagles, like most pups, respond best to treats! Their stubborn nature means an added incentive is often needed to drive a lesson home, and nibble of their favorite treat is a good reward for following directions. Be creative, be patient, and be consistent with your companion, and with time training will stick. When you’re both having fun they’ll be learning, and your efforts will pay off!

Are they good with families?

Beagle on a red leash on a hike through the woods in the fall

Beagles are wonderfully ideal for active families, often leading the charge for activities. A pack-animal mentality will help them bond with their humans closely, and their companions will be their pack. Do you have kids? Because these puppers are wonderful with children! They’re ideally sized for playing with kids and will match their energy, moment for moment. Single people or couples that enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle will also love these pups. No matter the size of your family, a Beagle is great for those who can match their energy and will be an excellent addition to the household!

Fun-loving, cheery, and clever, Beagles are an absolute blast for dog lovers and will be a wonderful addition to the family!

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The Beagle By: Clint Westbrook

Clint Westbrook
A lifelong writer and lover of dogs! Clint can be found at either running around with his furry friends like skittles in his picture or at his computer writing everything and anything about dogs.

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