Beagle Pros and Cons – is the Beagle Right for You?

Beagle Pros and Cons

Beagles are one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world, and it’s no wonder why. These charming and affectionate dogs have won the hearts of many with their wagging tails and playful personalities. But before you bring home a beagle, it’s essential to consider both the pros and cons of owning one. In this article, we will take a closer look at what it’s like to live with a beagle, from daily walks to their playful and loving nature. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or new to the world of canine companions, this guide will help you decide if a beagle is a suitable breed for you.

The Beagle A Loveable and Versatile Dog Breed

Beagles are affectionate hounds

The Beagle is a versatile dog breed that has been a popular choice for families and individuals for centuries. Initially bred for hunting in England, Beagles have since become a beloved household pet in America and worldwide.

Their loveable personalities and affectionate nature make them great companions for humans. Despite their hunting origins, Beagles are gentle and good-natured and love to play and cuddle with their human family.

In addition to their loving nature, Beagles are highly adaptable to different living situations and great with children. Whether you live in a city apartment or a rural home, Beagles can comfortably adapt to your lifestyle and bring joy and love into your life. So, if you’re looking for a loving and versatile dog breed, the Beagle may be a perfect choice.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Beagle

As with any breed, beagles have their pros and cons. While they are generally known for their friendly and affectionate personalities, certain challenges come with owning a beagle.

Understanding these pros and cons is essential for any potential owner, as it will help them decide whether a beagle is the right breed for them.

On the pro side, beagles are known for their loving and loyal personalities. They are great with children and other animals and highly adaptable to different living situations. They are easy to train, and their playful and energetic dispositions can bring great joy and laughter to their owners’ lives.

On the con side, beagles have high energy levels and require a lot of exercises. They have a strong hunting instinct, making them difficult to contain if they are not adequately trained. They can also be stubborn and independent, making it challenging to train. Additionally, beagles are prone to separation anxiety, leading to destructive behavior if left alone for long periods.

By understanding the pros and cons of beagles, potential owners can decide whether this breed is the right fit for them.

7 Pros of Owning a Beagle

Beagles are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities, making them the perfect companion for families. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of owning a beagle and what makes them such special dogs.

Affectionate and Loyal Companions

Beagles love to cuddle
My two beagles love to snuggle up to me

One of the biggest pros of owning a beagle is its affectionate and loyal nature. These dogs are known for their strong bond with their owners and love for spending time with their families. They are always eager for attention and affection and are known for their wagging tails and playful dispositions.

Beagles are also highly loyal dogs. They are protective of their owners and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety. This loyalty is one of the reasons why beagles make great family pets, as they are always willing to offer comfort and support to their owners.

Great with Children

Always supervise children and beagles

One of the biggest pros of owning a beagle is their friendly and good-natured personalities, which make them great with children. Beagles are known for their playful and energetic dispositions, which makes them fun companions for kids. They are also patient and docile, which makes them an excellent choice for families with young children.

Beagles are known for their love of play and exploration and are always up for a game of fetch or a run in the park. Children can enjoy playing and interacting with beagles, and these dogs can provide a lot of joy and laughter in a family setting.

However, it’s important to remember that, like all dogs, you should be cautious about leaving any dog alone with children. Children should always be supervised when interacting with dogs, and parents should teach them how to behave around dogs responsibly and safely.

It’s also important to remember that all dogs, including beagles, can bite if they feel threatened or scared. To minimize the risk of injury, children should be taught how to approach dogs calmly and gently, and dogs should be socialized and trained to help them feel more comfortable around people.

Overall, beagles are great with children and make excellent family pets, but it’s essential to be mindful of their needs and to supervise interactions between dogs and children. With proper care and attention, beagles can provide a lot of love and joy to families with children.

Good-natured and Playful

Beagles love to play

In addition to being affectionate and loyal, beagles are also known for their good-natured and playful personalities. These dogs are always up for a good time and are known for their energetic and mischievous dispositions. They are always eager for play and exploration, and their playful personalities make them a joy to be around.

Beagles are also highly social dogs and enjoy being around other animals and people. They are known for their friendly dispositions, and they are often the life of the party. Whether you’re looking for a fun-loving companion or a loyal friend, beagles are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Adaptable to Different Living Situations

Another pro of owning a beagle is its adaptability to different living situations. Although beagles are a member of the hound family and are bred for hunting, they can happily live in apartments and other small living spaces.

With their small to medium-sized build and friendly personalities, beagles make great pets for city dwellers who want a dog but don’t have a lot of space.

However, it’s important to remember that beagles still require access to fresh air and open spaces. As a hound breed, they have a strong instinct to hunt and explore and need opportunities to expend their energy and exercise their bodies. Regular walks and trips to the park or countryside can help keep your beagle healthy and happy, even if you live in a small apartment.

In addition to regular exercise, beagles also need plenty of socialization and mental stimulation. Training and playing games can help keep your beagle’s mind active and engaged and prevent boredom and destructive behavior. With proper care and attention, beagles can be happy and healthy in various living situations, from apartments to houses with large yards.

Beagles love the beach!

Beagle off the leash on a beach

We have learned in over 11 years of Beagle companionship that all of our Beagles loved days at the beach! Open expanses of sand with a sea barrier provide an excellent environment to let your beagle run free. They love to run around, sniffing all the strange things they encounter on a beach, flirting with the water’s edge, and burning off so much of that Beagle energy. After a day on the beach, your dog will sleep well and be contented!

Just remember to consider other users. We find the best time for the beach is in the winter when very few tourists are around. Most dog owners have the same idea. You will often see other owners letting their dogs run free, which is an excellent opportunity for the socialization of your beagle. In summer, the beach will need to be quiet; else, your hound may take a liking to a family picnic or a child’s ball. If in doubt, put your beagle on the leash; safer for everyone.

Easy to Train (with a caveat)

Positive Reinforcement Methods for House Training Beagles

Another pro of owning a beagle is that they are relatively easy to train. Beagles are food motivated and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods such as treats, praise, and positive attention. This makes it relatively straightforward to train your beagle to perform basic commands and tricks, which can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

However, it’s important to remember that beagles can also be stubborn and wilful sometimes, which can hinder training. Beagles are independent thinkers and may not always be willing to follow commands, especially if they are distracted or have other things on their minds.

To get the best results when training your beagle, it’s essential to use positive reinforcement methods and to be consistent and patient. Training should be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your dog, and you should avoid using harsh punishment or negative reinforcement techniques.

In addition to basic obedience training, it’s important to socialize your beagle and expose them to various people, places, and experiences. This can help them develop good manners and become well-behaved and confident pets.

Great Therapy Dog

While the Beagle is best known as a loving and playful household pet, it can also make great therapy dogs. Their friendly and affectionate nature provides comfort and support to those in need.

Beagles can help people feel more relaxed and at ease in a therapy dog setting. Their gentle demeanor and love for attention can help treat patients with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Moreover, petting a dog like a Beagle has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost overall mood.

However, becoming a therapy dog is not for every Beagle. Training and certification are required for dogs to become therapy dogs; not all dogs are well-suited for the role. But, for those Beagles who enjoy meeting new people and receiving love and attention, therapy work can be a rewarding experience for both the dog and the patient.

Overall, Beagles have the potential to be wonderful therapy dogs due to their loveable personalities and affectionate nature. Whether they are your beloved household pet or providing comfort to those in need, Beagles are sure to bring joy and love wherever they go.

8 Cons of Owning a Beagle

While owning a beagle can be a wonderful experience, knowing this breed’s potential challenges and drawbacks is essential. This section will explore some of the cons of owning a beagle.

High Energy and Needs Exercise

One of the most significant cons of owning a beagle is its high energy level. Beagles are a highly active breed, and they need plenty of exercise and physical activity to stay healthy and happy. This can be challenging for families living in small apartments or having limited exercise time and resources.

For example, if you live in a city apartment, you may struggle to provide your beagle with the daily exercise they need to burn off its energy. This can result in your dog becoming destructive, barking excessively, or displaying other problematic behaviors.

To mitigate this issue, it’s important to prioritize exercise and physical activity for your beagle. This can include daily walks, playing fetch, and other interactive games. It’s also essential to provide your beagle with plenty of mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and training exercises, to help keep them mentally stimulated and engaged.

Strong Hunting Instinct and Prey Drive

Another potential con of owning a beagle is its strong hunting instinct. As a member of the hound family, beagles are naturally inclined to hunt and track small game, and this can be a problem if you live in an area with wildlife or other small animals.

For example, if you take your beagle for a walk in a park and they catch the scent of a squirrel or a rabbit, it may take off after it and be difficult to control. This can be dangerous for your dog and the wildlife, and it can also be frustrating for you.

To mitigate this issue, it’s essential to socialize your beagle from a young age and to provide them with plenty of training and mental stimulation to help redirect their hunting instincts. It’s also crucial to keep your beagle on a leash or in a secure area when they are outside.

Can be Stubborn and Independent

Another con of owning a beagle is that it can sometimes be stubborn and independent. Beagles are independent thinkers and may not always be willing to follow commands, especially if they are distracted or have other things on their minds.

For example, if your beagle is tracking a scent, it may ignore your calls and commands and be difficult to control. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to keep your dog safe and under control in a busy or potentially dangerous environment.

To mitigate this issue, it’s essential to be consistent and patient when training your beagle and to use positive reinforcement methods to encourage good behavior. You may also need to seek the help of a professional dog trainer if your beagle’s stubbornness becomes problematic.

Prone to Separation Anxiety

Another con of owning a beagle is that they are prone to separation anxiety. Beagles are a highly social breed and crave attention and interaction from their owners. If you’re gone for long periods during the day, your beagle may become anxious and stressed, leading to destructive or problematic behaviors.

For example, if you work long hours, your beagle may become destructive when you’re gone, barking excessively, chewing on furniture, or displaying other problematic behaviors.

To mitigate this issue, it’s important to provide your beagle with plenty of attention and interaction when you’re home and to provide them with plenty of toys and mental stimulation when you’re gone. You may also consider hiring a dog walker or dog sitter if your beagle’s separation anxiety becomes a problem.

Beagles are Great Ascape Artists

Beagles are wilful hounds with a keen sense of smell. Their willfulness and the strong desire to follow whatever scent they have picked up often get them into trouble. You must ensure your yard or garden is Beagle’ proof’. A garden that was not secure would mean the beagle was able to go on a merry adventure. While that might sound harmless fun, it could be dangerous to the beagle as they follow their nose over the road, rail, and wherever else they fancy. You might not see your beagle again for some time.

Check out this infamous movie clip if you doubt a Beagle’s skills to escape even the most secure garden.

Beagles Are Food Motivated and Greedy

Beagle’s first love is food, their second is food, and their third is food. Given a chance, they will eat all day. They are greedy, opportunist hounds. If food is within their reach, be assured they will try and eat it, even if it is in your hand, on a table, in a picnic hamper, in a bag, or anywhere else they can get! They will eat anything, including foodstuff they should stay clear of, chocolate and grapes, to name a couple. So be on your guard whenever food is around.

Once, we had friends over from Holland to stay with us. They had bought us a gift, some of the finest Dutch dark chocolate. Not knowing how food motivated our Beagles (our fault for not explaining), they left the chocolate unguarded in their room. Bracken, my eldest beagle at the time, sniffed out the 750g bars and ate both wrappers. I quickly realized what had happened and rushed her to the vet as I knew chocolate, especially quality dark chocolate, could be fatal for a dog. The vet gave her something to make her sick up everything in her stomach. She recovered just fine, if a little shaken from the ordeal. This happened outside of vet working hours, so it was a costly exercise for us. The story’s moral is don’t leave ANYTHING lying around when a Beagle is around!

Beagles Eat Quickly

I’ll never forget when we fed our first Beagle, Bracken. We placed her carefully measured food in her bowl and set it down on the floor. Her bowl hit the kitchen floor no sooner than she was devouring her meal. Then, in a blink of an eye, it was gone. My wife and I wondered what had just happened. Had we given her enough food? It turns out Beagles generally eat quickly. 

Eating their food fast is probably an intuitive thing. Beagles, bred to track and hunt, would have to compete with the rest of the pack for food, so eating quickly before someone else got in was vital to a Beagle.

It’s possible to slow down the speed at which they eat; slow feed bowls, feeding by hand, or feeding whole raw meat will also slow down your hound at mealtimes.

Beagles Love to Roll in Anything Smelly

Beagles love to sniff out smelly things. It’s what they do. What’s bizarre is that they have this odd thing where they roll around in the smelly stuff they find. I have seen my Beagles roll in mud and poop on a dead rat, rabbit, and cow dung! Try chasing a Beagle covered in the runniest, disgusting cow dung, and I mean covered, around a field trying to get her back on the leash. I then had to get her in the car and home to clean her up. Great fun.

To Beagles, this is great fun. They find a scent, follow it until they find the source, and then decide to ‘wrap’ themselves in the smell. This behavior is quite normal and instinctive. Don’t punish your hound for this. Instead, try to catch them before they do it. Once you know the telltale signs, it’s better to stop them before they get the chance. You will see them given a spot of special attention. As they initiate the roll, their head will dip. The shoulder starts to lower; you need to sprint towards them, shouting wildly, hoping your leave-it commands training has worked! If not, welcome to a smelly Beagle.

This instinct is likely from your dog’s wild ancestors – the wolves – who would hide their scent, helping them sneak up on their prey. Another theory suggests that Beagles like to roll in smelly stuff to take the scent back to the rest of the pack and allow others to track back to it. 


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Simon Wilson and his two beagles

My Beagle Buddy is a dedicated resource crafted with love and expertise by Simon Wilson alongside his two cherished Beagles, Baylee and Bonnie. With over a decade of hands-on experience, Simon has delved deep into the world of Beagles, unraveling the joys, challenges, and intricacies of beagle ownership.

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