What is it like owning a Beagle, you ask? Welcoming this lively dog in your home can add more smiles and laughter into your life. That is if you are ready to enjoy his positive side and at the same time willing to handle his negative side. For easier decision-making, whether this breed is right for you or not, we have listed down the pros and cons of owning a Beagle.
What are the good sides of owning a Beagle?
Let’s begin by looking at the brighter side of the Beagle dog breed. Below are the wonderful qualities of the Beagle that makes him super lovable:
1. Beagles are people-oriented dogs.
The Beagle dog breed’s big love for people stemmed from his main purpose as a hunting dog. The Beagle worked together with humans for hundreds of years to track and catch prey. Thus, the breed rarely aggressive towards people, including strangers.
The Beagle’s sociable and friendly nature makes him a great family dog; it also hinders him from being an efficient guard dog. He is more likely to greet strangers than scare them away.
The Beagle is a good choice as a canine playmate for younger and older children too. His jolliness and high energy allow him to be so. Just be sure to supervise their interactions. Make sure that no roughhousing occurs, which can hurt both the children and the Beagle.
2. Beagle dogs love to be around other pets.
Back when the Beagle was commonly used as a hunting dog, he was raised to track down prey in packs. This is why he is more friendly to other dogs compared to some breeds. He is less likely to be territorial and start dog fights.
The Beagle can form a strong bond with cats too, especially if they grew up together. So if you have a multi-pet household, the Beagles are great additions to the family.
However, keep in mind that he has a high prey drive that comes with his hunting dog abilities. Rabbits, mice, gerbils, and hamsters are easy targets for him. If you have smaller animals in your home, consider searching for other dog breeds first before settling on the Beagle.
3. Beagles are easy-to-groom.
Are beagles high-maintenance?
Fortunately, they are not. Unlike other dog breeds, the Beagle has an easy-to-manage short coat. Dog owners do not need to spend a lot of time combing it. Brushing your dog’s fur at least 2–3 times a week will suffice. Bathe the Beagle only when necessary.
Keep in mind that low-maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. Other Beagle grooming needs should be carried out. Ear cleaning and nail trimming should be done weekly. Daily tooth brushing is crucial to keep his gums and teeth healthy.
4. Beagles are highly adaptable family dogs.
The Beagle may be small, but he is exceptionally sturdy. He does well in various living conditions. He rarely undergoes behavioural changes when moving to another home too. From rural areas to bustling cities, this dog has no qualms living anywhere with his owners.
Just note that the Beagle has a lot of energy. Thus, it is recommended that your home has a spacious back garden for him to play in. If not, living close to a dog park is a great alternative.
Some Beagle dog lovers may wonder if a Beagle can live in the back garden. The answer is no. Whilst the breed can adapt to any living situation, placing him outside will not do. That’s because the Beagle needs to stay close to his family.
Moreover, allowing the Beagle to live in the backyard exposes him to a lot of dangers. He may become prey to wild animals or acquire mites, fleas, and other parasites.
5. Beagles are dogs with many talents.
Another one of Beagle’s pros that make the breed an excellent canine companion is its versatility. He does not just possess hunting and companion dog abilities.
The Beagle is a great detection dog, as he possesses a superior sense of smell. He is often used by airports and governments to sniff out prohibited food items, drugs, and booze.
The Beagle excels as an assistance and therapy dog too. His sweet personality helps him quickly form strong bonds with humans. There are many news reports of Beagles saving the lives of their owners. Some even sacrificed their lives.
A medical assistant, Beagle named Belle, saved her owner’s life after dialing the emergency number 911 on the cell phone. Bailey, an abused rescue dog, saved his new owner from drowning in an icy pond. However, although his owner lived, Bailey did not survive.
6. Beagles have long lifespans.
If you search for the healthiest dog breeds on the internet, the Beagle’s name will often appear in the results. The breed can live between 10–15 years. Some even reached the ripe age of 20. That is a long time for you to enjoy your life with your cherished furry companion.
What are the disadvantages of owning a Beagle?
Now that you’ve learned the good side of the Beagle, it’s time to focus on his less savory characteristics. If you plan to make him your furry companion, here are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of:
1. Beagles are natural barkers.
Some Beagle owners argue that the breed is not prone to excessive barking. What most owners agree on is that Beagles love to express their emotions by baying or howling.
Training the Beagle can curb his barking, but it does not completely stop it. That’s because barking has been integrated into the breed for a long time. Hunters developed the Beagle to bark and alert them whenever he picks up the scent of the prey.
The Beagle may not be the best choice for apartment dwellers, because they are not the quietest dog breed, as well as barking they also love to howel.
2. Beagles love to dig.
The Beagle has a powerful instinct to dig. Since the breed is mainly developed for fox hunting, he will likely burrow holes in your back garden. Same as the Beagle’s tendency to bark, digging cannot be completely eliminated by training.
Thus, it is best to designate a digging area in your back garden for your furry pal. If you live in an apartment, distracting him with other enjoyable activities often work. Bring out his favourite toys or start a fun game. Taking him out for a walk is a good idea too.
3. Beagles have a stubborn nature.
The most challenging thing a Beagle owner may often face whilst training is their dogs’ stubbornness. The Beagle is quite independent. He would usually rather do things his way than yours.
In order to train your Beagle properly, exercise firm leadership over him. Obedience training is crucial to make him an amenable dog. Since he is highly food-motivated, reward him with treats once he does a great job. That said, always set limits on his food intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain.
Never dole out punishment on your Beagle once he is deaf to your commands. Instead, allow both of you to take a break and try again the next day. Disciplining your dog should not involve hurting him mentally or physically. A firm but gentle ‘no’ is enough to correct his behaviour.
4. Beagle puppies are difficult to house-train.
As it has been said, the Beagle values his autonomy, which results in his stubbornness. However, this might not be the only reason why house-training a Beagle puppy is challenging.
Some Beagle owners theorise that the breed can identify areas where he has soiled. That’s because of his sharp sense of smell. Owners believe that even the strongest odour-masking products cannot deceive Beagle puppies.
Once the Beagle knows that he has been eliminated in a certain place, he will look for another area to relieve himself.
If a Beagle has done this once, he will likely assume that he can go again in places you rather he didn’t. Fully house-training your Beagle puppy will require patience, consistency, and above all, commitment.
5. Beagles love food a little too much.
The Beagle is not a finicky eater, thanks to this scent hound’s wonderful sense of smell. On the downside, he can become too fond of eating and may feed indiscriminately.
Your Beagle puppy may end up chewing on your shoes, furniture, and clothes. Some Beagles even scavenge in the rubbish bins to find extra grub. This breed is extremely at risk of ingesting toxic food or indigestible items aside from becoming obese.
Prevent your Beagle from developing this behaviour by following a strict feeding schedule. Never feed him table scraps, and store food in places that are unreachable to your dog.
When walking your Beagle, choose a route that is less likely to have garbage around. Areas where poisonous plants usually grow should be avoided too.
6. Beagles are escaping artists.
The Beagle’s amazing scenting abilities may present as a problem, especially when he is outside. Your dog can track a scent relentlessly if he wants to. Sometimes it may even involve escaping your home just to follow the scent trail.
So always supervise your Beagle whilst he is playing in the back garden. Make sure that the fences are high enough to prevent him from climbing or jumping through. If possible, place digging guards as he can escape by digging tunnels.
It is also crucial to never walk your Beagle off the lead. Once a smell attracts his nose, he may suddenly run away to pursue the scent. Even Beagles that are good at recall can bolt off to chase a scent trail.