Beagles and exercise go hand in hand, but how much exercise does a beagle need to stop them from becoming bored and destructive? Beagles are curious and have boundless amounts of energy. If they cannot burn off some of that energy, their inquisitive nature can get the better of them, often leading them into troublesome situations! Walking beagles is a great way to help burn off some of that energy.
Adult Beagles should have two walks a day for a minimum of 20-30 minutes for each walk and set at a brisk pace. A puppy should be limited to a maximum of one mile per day and spread over several short walks. A beagle puppy’s skeletal system does not fully develop until 18 months old, so exercise must not be overdone so as not to disrupt the healthy growth of bones.
Let’s explore how much exercise a Beagle needs, why they need regular exercise, and other ways to keep your beagle puppy stimulated.
A brief beagle history and origin of the beagle
To fully answer the question of how much exercise a beagle needs, we first need to understand a little more about the beagle breed.
To find the origins of the beagle we need to look back a few hundred years. The Beagle was primarily bred to use as a scent hound to track small game. The dog would hunt for hours on end, leading their masters on the hunt, who would usually be on horseback.
Because they are hound dogs, they have a strong instinct to follow scents and, if off-leash, could disappear quickly following the scent of a small animal.
As you can imagine, a Beagle on a hunt would run for miles each day, only stopping to pick up the scent, food, or for a quick drink. A beagle never had the chance to feel bored, and its rest at the end of the day was well deserved and welcome!
While some still use beagles for hunting in the wilds, the habitat of a modern-day Beagle is a family home with a much more laid-back lifestyle.
Beagles are happy to lie next to you on the couch for a snuggle (if allowed).
They will happily spend hours on end under a duvet (their favorite place). However, they still have that insatiable appetite for being outdoors, stretching their little legs, exploring, sniffing, and all the other things that Beagles love to do.
Why is exercise important for a beagle?
Beagles belong to the family of hounds. The hunters assisted humans in hunting. It is designed for chasing and attacking small animals such as rabbits and hares.
The beagle is an energetic animal that needs to be freed up.
Exercise is essential for a beagle to tackle a potentially fatal combination of energy and love for food. A well-excerised beagle exhibits good behavior and calmness.
Exercise is important for protecting a beagle from aggressive chewing furniture and unwanted barking from the dog.
Walking beagles is a great way to get some exercise and bond with your furry friend.
Beagles are relatively small dogs. However, they are also very active dogs with a lot of energy, so walking them regularly is a good way to tire them out.
Walking beagles is also a great opportunity to socialize with them, allowing them to meet new people and other dogs. If you’re thinking about walking your beagle, you should keep a few things in mind.
First, beagles tend to follow their noses, so keeping them on a leash is important.
Second, they are prone to dig, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them when they’re walking off-leash.
Finally, beagles are notorious barkers, so it’s important to be mindful of how much noise they’re making.
Walking your beagle can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog.
A beagle must be able to release pent-up energy.
Beagles are active dogs. If a beagle puppy or adult beagle doesn’t get enough exercise, it will soon become bored and will start looking for ways to burn off that ingrained restless energy.
That pent-up energy can lead them to become mischievous and in some cases, destructive.
There are many stories of owners coming home from work to a destroyed piece of furniture, an upturned trash can, or worse. Beagles are known to have opened kitchen cupboards and fridges and helped themselves to the contents.
This happens when a dog is bored and has little opportunity to exercise. So let’s explore how to avoid that scenario.
How much exercise does a beagle need?
So, you have decided a Beagle is a good fit for you and your family. You want a little guidance on how much exercise your new Beagle puppy needs to stop him from tearing your home apart (just kidding, mostly). Well, the good news is that you don’t need to join up with your local hunting pack just yet!
As with people, how much exercise Beagles need depends on the individual dog.
We’ve had Beagles that can literally walk all day and a Beagle that we had to physically drag out the door for a walk! From experience, most Beagles fall into the category of being able to walk all day.
A beagle that has plenty of intense exercise and free play is much easier to manage and enjoyable to live with than a beagle that has little.
With a common-sense approach, you can give your new Beagle friend all the stimulation and exercise he needs to stop him from becoming bored and frustrated. It’s worth noting that proper regular exercise can extend the life expectancy of your Beagle.
We split exercise into two categories;
- Cardio, activities such as walking, running, playing, swimming, dog park fun, etc
- Mental exercise includes leash training, leave, stay and recall commands.
You may be surprised at how tired a dog gets after 20 minutes of recall training!
Cardio exercise for your beagle
A healthy adult Beagle can require anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes of cardio exercise per day, but ideally, at least an hour per day.
For healthy adult beagles and young dogs (not puppies), this should ideally include around 30 minutes of daily walking, 30 minutes of vigorous activity, and some mental stimulation.
Your Beagle’s exercise needs can vary according to his age, health, energy level, and many other factors.
As dog owners, walking is probably the most common activity we do with our dogs, and for a good reason. It’s easy to do, no special equipment is needed (we all have leash/lead, right?), and dogs and people enjoy it equally.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for a dog. Walking is a relatively low-impact activity for your hound.
Walking helps to stretch muscles, maintain muscle mass and keep the metabolism working well. While walking, you are likely to see other dogs and people, which is useful for developing your dog’s socialization.
You can combine walking with training too. Most Beagles will instinctively pull on the leash/lead. By employing a few simple training tips, you can actively stimulate your dog’s brain while on a short walk and, at the same time, teach your Beagle not to pull. Win-win.
Start with a minimum of two walks a day — one before work and one when you get home and make each walk at least 30 minutes long, but longer if possible.
We give our two Beagles 30 minutes in the morning, then a good hour after work, more if time allows. Ideally, you would give your dog some exercise at lunchtime. If you work from home, a lunchtime walk is often easier to do and is good for you and the dog.
A professional dog walker may be a good option if you are out of the house all day every day. Professional dog walking has taken off as a ‘career’ choice, so the number of trustworthy people willing to walk your Beagle for a reasonable price has risen dramatically over the years.
Professional dog walkers are likely to walk your dog with several other dogs, which will help socialize your dog and increase stimulation. They will come home shattered!
If the cost of a professional walker is an issue, then maybe ask a family member or a friend. Most will be happy to help. If you have not yet decided to have a Beagle and you think the dog will spend most of its day by itself, then I would strongly reconsider your choice of breed for your sake and the Beagles.
For a beagle, physical activity must include a mix of proper exercise along with exercises for mental stimulation.
Mental stimulation is often overlooked but is just as important as physical activity for your beagle.
Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and has many benefits, including keeping them busy and occupying and stimulating their minds.
Some of the best mental exercises for your beagle include;
- Leash training
- Recall commands
- Puzzle toys
- Leave commands
- Stay commands
- Trick training
Training should be fun for both you and your beagle. It should not be a chore. If you make it a fun game, then your Beagle will want to do it and he will learn faster.
There are many different ways to train your beagle. You can sign up for classes, hire a private trainer, or do it yourself.
Finding a method that works for you and your beagle is the most important thing.
Positive reinforcement is often the best method to use when training your beagle. This includes using treats, praise, and petting as rewards for good behavior.
You should avoid using punishment when training your beagle. This can include yelling, scolding, or using physical force. Not only is this ineffective, but it can also damage your relationship with your beagle.
Remember to keep training sessions short so your beagle does not get bored or frustrated. It is better to have several short training sessions throughout the day than one long session.
Beagle puppies and exercise
Going for a walk is a great form of exercise for any dog, but many breeds require more intense exercise. Beagles are one of those breeds, and as hunting dogs, running is their bread and butter.
Walking is good for puppies, but only in small doses. A beagle puppy’s skeletal system does not fully develop until 18 months old, be careful not to over-exercise your beagle puppy so as not to disrupt the healthy growth of bones.
Once a puppy is old enough to go outside, daily exercise should be limited in distance and time, with a maximum of one mile per day spread over several spurts.
You can gradually build this up over time until they reach around 18 months old.
An added benefit to taking your puppy out is that it will help them socialize with other dogs, which is vital for their development.
Beagle puppies, like most puppies, will be full of energy and always up for play, but they will not need as much exercise as an adult dog.
In fact, it’s really important to monitor their activity and prevent anything too high an impact, as their bones and joints will still be developing.
Chances are they won’t be going outside for a little while when you first bring them home, as they won’t have had all their vaccinations, so it’s a good idea to focus on play as their main form of exercise.
Still, you must be careful when you start letting a beagle puppy run regularly. It will undoubtedly try to run with or without your encouragement from an early age, but starting too early and too vigorously can lead to serious complications.
Free play is a great way for a puppy beagle to exercise and burn energy.
To avoid putting too much strain on puppy beagles during this critical time, self-directed play should be the majority of their exercise. This includes free play, an obstacle course, exploring, and noodling around. Otherwise, you run the risk of disrupting the normal growth of their bones.
After the age of 18 months, you can “release the hound,” so to say, and allow them to more freely engage in more structured walks or jogs, in addition to their normal physical activity.
Some good examples of free play for a beagle pup include;
- tug of war using tug toys
- puzzle toys
- dog toys
Over-exercised dog symptoms
Beagles sometimes go fast but never stop. A beagle can walk and run all day, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. In fact, too much exercise can lead to some serious health problems.
If you think your beagle is being overexercised, look for these symptoms:
- Panting excessively
- Lethargy or weakness
- Muscle tremors
- Blood in stool
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.
Keeping your Beagle safe when exercising
Beagles are scent hounds, and when off a leash, free to roam, they are prone to picking up a scent and not stopping until they feel like it, which could be several miles away!
It’s essential to train your Beagle with some basic recall commands before letting them roam free. Beagles respond well to food, so always carry a pocket full of their favorite treats to encourage them to return on call.
Before totally letting them run free, you could try using a long training lead of around 50ft. Using a long training leash is an excellent way to train them and still retain control until you feel confident in letting them run free without a leash.
Point worth noting, even with solid recall training; a Beagle will still follow its nose if it thinks it’s more interesting than your recall. Beagles are stubborn. Get used to shouting their names a lot.
Beagles are excellent escape artists. It’s vital to make your garden or yard space Beagle proof.
Gaps in fences will need blocking, high barriers may need installing, gates must be closed at all times, and visitors are made aware that a Beagle resides here.
Failure to do this will result in your Beagle finding a gap in the defenses, and before you know it will be hurtling down the road on a Beagle adventure!
We wrote an article about walking your beagle off the leash.
The worst thing for a Beagle is spending the days alone, with nothing much to do. With little interaction with people or other dogs, you will end up with a very frustrated and unhappy hound. Nobody wants that, least of all your Beagle.
When you take a Beagle into your family, it is best to let them be involved in most of what you do. Live an active lifestyle, take the Beagle with you, include him, and he’ll get the exercise and stimulation he needs without feeling like you have to change your lifestyle. He’ll reward you with love, affection, and years of loyal companionship.