Has a beagle bitten you? If so, don’t worry! It is not your fault. Puppies bite their owners as a sign of affection and establish dominance with one another. But if you are tired of being nipped or bitten, this blog post is for you. We will teach how to stop a beagle from biting by providing 11 tips that can help put an end to the biting and save your hands in the process!
Beagle puppies will likely stop biting once they have been through the teething stage (typically between 4 and 8 months old) and are also trained to know that it’s wrong to use their teeth when playing with people (using their teeth during play with other dogs is normal for puppies).
Let’s explore why a beagle might bite and how you can stop your beagle biting with some proper training, a little time, and plenty of patience.
Identifying why your beagle is biting
Before you can address your beagle biting problem, you need to figure out what is causing it in the first place and implement the proper training to stop the biting.
Why does my beagle bite me?
Beagles may bite when they are;
- Beagle puppies may be teething
- Separation anxiety
- Play biting
Beagle puppy teething
Like children, a beagle pup can go through a teething phase. Teething usually occurs between 4 and 8 months of age, though sometimes it can be earlier or later.
Teething can be a very frustrating time for your little fur baby and indeed yourself!
When a beagle is teething, all they want is to relieve the discomfort — relieving teething pain usually involves chewing, and lots of it.
Toys, clothes, bedding, other dogs, your hands and feet, and in the case of one of our Beagles, an Ipad, two pairs of Rayban sunglasses, Nike air sneakers, and countless pairs of socks! Thanks, Bonnie!
So while teething can be annoying and expensive, it’s not intentional biting, more relief to their discomfort.
Adjust your beagle’s behavior: Don’t completely try and stop your beagle biting. Instead, educate them to only chew on suitable things.
If you see your beagle chewing on your shoe, find your puppy’s toy or chew toys and then swap your shoe with their toy.
Recognizing the signs of teething and understanding what to do can make this time a bit easier for everyone;
- teeth appear lower in their mouth and are often visible when chewing on things or yawning. Gums might look redder than usual too.
- chewing more intensely than normal
- drooling can be a sign of teething
- biting more often than usual, biting at inappropriate times (like when petting them)
- a decrease in appetite during the time leading up to teeth coming in.
- your pup might also sleep with its head on hard surfaces, like a table leg, because it’s relieving pain.
Beagle play biting
It’s pretty natural for a beagle puppy to bite or nip when playing with other dogs.
A lot of playing and biting will occur within the first eight weeks of a beagle puppies life while they are still with their brothers and sisters. However, during this time, a beagle is learning some valuable life lessons.
If a Beagle is playing with another dog, biting is an intuitive way for a pup to know its boundaries.
If a young dog goes too far, the other dog will usually tell them they have overstepped a boundary and will yelp and back off.
These cues to the beagle biting that they have gone too far, and it knows where the limit is with the other dog.
You may be tempted to stop your Beagle puppies from biting each other at playtime.
You may think that they are too aggressive with each other when, in fact, it’s just their way of establishing boundaries.
Over time the puppies will establish their own set of rules with each other, knowing how far they can go with each member of the pack.
This behavior will teach the young beagle how to interact with new dogs and, hopefully, stop them from sinking their teeth into a dog they have never met before!
Once a Beagle leaves its litter, it will no longer have its littermates to tell them if they have gone too far.
If the beagle starts to bite you excessively during play, you will need to train your beagle to stop biting.
Beagle welfare has more hints and tips to stop your beagle puppy from biting.
My puppy bites
Your beagle maybe play biting during playtime; as you play tug of war with your dog’s favorite toy, they might decide instead to bite your fingers!
Biting is a natural way for a beagle to work out boundaries, including what parts of another dog or person are off-limits!
It’s important not to shout at your beagle for play biting; this will confuse them and worsen the problem.
Instead, try to redirect your beagle’s attention with a toy or treat, so they focus on something other than biting you or another dog!
Beagles are also known for being very food-motivated. So using treats is a great way to redirect their attention from biting you!
Some beagles may also have a higher energy level than others, which means they need more exercise to burn off that excess energy to prevent destructive behavior from occurring.
If you don’t take the time to let dogs know that you’re unhappy then they can’t be expected to realise they need to be careful.
The easiest way to do this is to stop playing with careless dogs the moment they get too rough or your puppy bites.
In the same way, if your puppy bites you give him a treat, you should let him try to take it but instantly say ‘no’ and take your hand away without giving up the treat if you feel any tooth pressure at all.
If the puppy is an aggressive biter, this may not be an option, but it is a good place to start.
If you are too reactive when your puppy bites, they may interpret that attention as positive reinforcement and will continue biting as they know that it gets a reaction out of you.
If you remain neutral and ignore the behavior, they may show less interest in continuing to do it, because they know it usually means that playtime is over.
Here are some ways you can discourage your beagle from play biting;
- Use a toy and encourage to play with that instead of you or another dog
- Get your dog used to you touching him so that they become used to you
- Offer treats as an alternative for them to bite on
- Use treats to reward good behavior. Try short training sessions of a few minutes to encourage new behavior.
- Use specific chew toys to help with teething issues
- Ice cubes or a cold carrot can help with teething discomfort
- Throw toys around so that they’re off the ground, this will discourage them from biting at them because their teeth can’t reach them.
Beagle biting due to being bored from separation anxiety
A beagle may bite when they are bored. A beagle left alone for long periods may not have anything to do, which can lead them to develop behavior problems such as biting.
If your pup starts to nip at your ankles or feet as you leave him, then this could be a sign of separation anxiety.
At first, you might think your dog is just playing around, but it could be early signs of separation anxiety.
Monitor the situation and see how regularly this happens. If it starts to become a regular pattern, then you will need to do some training to ensure this doesn’t become a bigger problem down the line.
Like most dogs, beagles do not like being alone. They need to be around other dogs and have regular companionship with their owners or start developing behavior problems like biting.
Beagles are pack animals and, as such, need to be around other dogs or people.
We wrote an article about how long you can leave a Beagle alone; you can read it here.
You must provide your beagle with plenty of exercise, attention, toys, and stimulation during the day so that they do not resort to chewing furniture or exhibiting separation anxiety.
Hire someone willing to take care of your dog during the day if you work long hours.
Can a beagle be aggressive?
While beagles are not an aggressive breed, they can become aggressive if they are not socialized properly.
Beagles that do not have early exposure to other dogs and people may be more likely to bite or show aggression when they encounter new situations.
It is important to socialize your beagle puppy from an early age so that they learn how to interact properly with other dogs and people.
You can do this by taking them to puppy classes, dog parks, or having friends and family over to your house to meet your new pup!
Beagles that are not socialized may also be more likely to bark excessively and display other forms of destructive behavior.
How to limit the damage from a beagle bite
So how can you help your poor little Beag with teething and move their attention away from valuable chewing items? Firstly, move anything of value away from the reach of puppies.
Remember, nothing is off-limits, so move everything you don’t want to be destroyed by a beagle!
A quick note, electrical cables are dangerous and can prove deadly if a Beagle chews through one, so take extra care where electrical items are concerned.
Next, invest in some quality dog toys and chews. Beagles (even puppies) are pretty good at destroying even the toughest toys. In our experience, some of the best artificial toys for Beagles are Kongs.
Made from natural rubber, Kongs are tough and resistant to puppy teeth. Although Kongs come in various colors for different ages of dogs, pink and blue are the correct density for chewing puppies.
Kongs are pretty tough, and the classic Kong toy enables you to place treats inside them, holding your beagle’s attention for much longer.
The rubberized texture of Kongs and different treat textures will rub their gums and help the young dog alleviate some of the discomforts of teething.
We would recommend using deer antlers (4-6″ long pieces).
Deer antlers can be readily purchased online, are inexpensive, and are a great natural way for your dog to chew on something other than your socks.
They are great for the pup to chew on, bringing relief to their gums, are super tough, and your beagle will spend an age trying to get the marrow from the middle!
By having a few different toys and chews with different textures at the dog’s disposal, they will choose the best option for relieving their teething discomfort.
By encouraging and rewarding them to chew on toys as a puppy, they are more likely to do so into adult life rather than seeking out your favorite pair of sneakers to destroy.
The “redirect the bite” method
The “redirect the bite” method is simple to stop a dog from biting. The first step is to redirect the dog’s attention to something else, such as playing with an interactive toy or giving a treat with a favorite flavor.
Once the bite has been redirected, you reward the dog for good behavior so that they recognize the difference between biting you and taking the treat or toy instead.
What not to do if your beagle bites you
If your beagle bites, you must not hit your dog or shout aggressively.
This will not work because you reward the dog for biting by giving it attention. However, the beagle may learn to escalate this behavior to receive more attention from its owner when they want or need it most.
If you are playing with your beagle and they start to bite you, walk away from the situation, and do not make a fuss.
If they are biting you as a sign of dominance or aggression, make sure that the dog knows who is in charge.
A stern “No” command and following up with obedience training may be needed. If your pup continues to bite, do not hesitate to contact a dog trainer for advice on stopping your beagle from biting.
Knowing the difference between real and play biting
Knowing the difference between real and play biting can seem complicated at first, but it’s not too hard to tell with a bit of observation.
If you’re unsure whether your pup is playing or if he wants to bite you, there are some helpful hints below:
Playful bites usually involve grabbing onto an object such as clothing or a toy.
The bite is light and doesn’t involve a lot of pressure. Playful bites usually don’t hurt at all, but if they do, it’s because the pup was trying to get your attention or engage in fun roughhousing with you.
Aggressive biting, on the other hand, is something very rare with Beagles because they are not an aggressive breed. There are two types of biting which can be categorized as aggressive biting, which include biting due to self-protection and biting as a result of unfamiliar stimuli.
Aggressive biting is often a result of physical or emotional pain and discomfort, and may require external effort to manage depending on their age.
Do Beagles bite hurt?
Beagles have a relatively strong bite, but their bites are not as painful as some other breeds.
Their bites can still cause bruising and swelling, however, so it is important to take precautions to prevent your beagle from biting.
Beagles often mouths people when they are excited or want to play, this is referred as playful biting, but this behavior should be discouraged early on to prevent it from turning into aggressive biting behavior.
Beagles also bite out of fear or aggression, so if your beagle is feeling threatened, it is important to remove them from the situation and provide them with a safe space.
True aggressive biting
The Beagle is normally a very happy-to-lucky, friendly dog. It is very rare for a Beagle to be overly aggressive. Therefore, if this breed becomes very aggressive there is a strong possibility that it is due to a health issue
True aggressive biting is most likely caused by a health issue because when the dog is in pain, the top sign is aggression which includes biting.
How to train your beagle Puppy to stop biting
A beagle puppy using its teeth to play with another dog is quite natural. However, once the pup has left its littermates and gone to its new home, there’s a good chance the beagle puppy will continue to bite when playing with you.
Now is the time to introduce a little extra training to show the beagle puppy that biting you is wrong.
An adult dog that feels threatened, injured, or frightened may try and bite. However, a beagle puppy should be taught that biting people is wrong is much less likely to bite in these situations.
Training a dog that biting is wrong is especially important if the dog is in contact with children.
Teaching a dog not to bite a person should be done in three stages and take approximately three weeks.
Week 1 of training a beagle not to bite
If your beagle bites your hand hard enough for it to hurt, you should yelp or shout out and turn away. Then, ignore him for a short while, usually around 30 seconds or so, before commencing whatever you were doing before.
Week 2 of training a beagle not to bite
Once the dog has stopped biting you hard enough to hurt, you can start to fine-tune their behavior. By repeating the above instruction, even if the dog bites gently or tugs at clothing, you can begin to show that no biting is acceptable.
Week 3 of training a beagle not to bite
Eventually, you should repeat the process even if he brushes your skin or clothes with his mouth. Any contact with his mouth on his skin or clothing while playing with a toy and you should stop the activity immediately.
Doing this mimics the behavior they are used to from their littermates, and they should get the message pretty quickly. If things don’t get better after a few weeks, you may have to give a clear and calm ‘NO’ and isolate the dog in another room for a few minutes. Once your dog is allowed to rejoin you, only restart the previous activity if the dog is sitting or lying down quietly, this is the reward.
Taking the time to show a beagle that biting is not acceptable gives the dog the chance to adjust. If you don’t teach them it’s wrong, how will they know? The best way to do this is to stop playing or interacting with your dog the very moment they bite too roughly.
Show your adorable beagle some patience, give them the training they deserve and help them through a difficult teething phase. You will soon have solved their biting issues, rewarding yourself with great companionship and on the way to becoming a loving part of your family.