If you’re a Beagle owner, you know that your dog is prone to howling. Beagles are one of the dog breeds that are known to howl more often than others. But why do they do it?
So, why do Beagles howl? Beagles howl for a variety of reasons. They may howl when they see prey, when they’re feeling lonely, or when they want attention. Beagles were bred as hunting dogs and still have this instinct even in domestic households.
Beagles are known to howl, but why do they do it? In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons Beagles may howl and offer tips on how to stop them from doing it so much. Beagles often use howling as a way to communicate, so understanding why your Beagle howls can help you address the issue. Let’s get started!
Reasons Why Beagles Howl
Beagles are one of the most popular breeds of dog in America and for good reason. Beagles are friendly and loving and make great family pets.
Beagles are also known for being particularly vocal dogs – they are bred to howl! While many Beagle owners find this trait charming, others find it annoying or even embarrassing. If you’re in the latter camp, don’t despair. There are ways to curb your Beagle’s howling habits.
To let you know they have found their prey
As hunting dogs, Beagles were bred to use their acute sense of smell for hunting rabbits and then bay, or howl, to let their human hunting companions know they had found something.
Even though most Beagles these days are not used for hunting, they still have this instinct.
Beagles may also howl when they see other animals outside, such as squirrels or birds. They still see these small animals as prey and are quick to tell you by howling.
Beagle’s pack mentality
As dog owners, we have all experienced the chain reaction of all the dogs in the neighborhood howling in unison, one dog starting and the others joining in.
Beagles are particularly prone to this behavior because they are pack dogs.
When one Beagle starts howling, the others will often join in because they think it’s a message meant for the whole pack and the best way to get the hunter’s attention.
While the neighborhood dogs are not in your beagle’s pack, to your Beagle, they may as well be as instinct kicks in, resulting in your dog joining the chorus.
Dog howling can be a response to environmental triggers. Common provocations include ambulance, police, or fire-engine sirens. It is thought the reason that dogs bark at these high-pitched noises is due to the sound being similar to that of a wolf of which all dogs are descendants.
A beagle starts howling when they’re lonely
As previously mentioned, Beagles are pack dogs. They are social dogs that love companionship and being part of a family. Beagles who are left alone for long periods of time often become sad and anxious, leading to excessive howling.
If your Beagle is howling when you leave the house, it’s likely they are experiencing separation anxiety, beagles do not enjoy being left alone.
Separation anxiety occurs when your Beagle struggles with being left alone. He may bark, howl, chew, or even have accidents when left alone.
If you suspect his barking and howling are due to separation anxiety, spend time before you leave him, giving him a nice 30-minute walk or playing outside. Create a safe place for him indoors with a cozy bed and some of his favorite toys. This will help him feel more comfortable when you leave.
Beagles are social creatures and do not like being left alone for too long. If you work long hours or are frequently away from home, consider hiring a dog walker or a dog sitter.
Beagles howl to mark territory
Beagles may howl to let other dogs know that this is their territory and to stay away. Beagles who feel their territory is threatened may become aggressive and start howling
When your Beagle picks up the scent of another dog, barks at a vehicle approaching your home, or rings your doorbell, they may begin howling. Basically, anything that might be interpreted as encroaching on their domain or territory.
Marking territory is not limited to just beagles, in fact, many dogs howl to communicate to other dogs or people that this is their territory.
This appears to be a common behavior among canines, and there’s good reason to believe it stems from their wolf-like genetics. Wolves don’t just use their urine and feces for scent-marking; they’ve been heard howling as well to mark their territory.
A beagle might howl when in pain
If your Beagle suddenly starts howling for no apparent reason and is out of character it might be a sign that they’re in pain.
Just like humans, dogs howl to vocalize pain or sickness.
A howl from pain will likely sound different than a Beagle’s usual howl. It may be higher pitched and more urgent sounding, much like a human crying out in pain.
Excessive howling can also be a sign of other health problems such as an ear infection, gastrointestinal issues, or even something more serious like cancer.
If you think your Beagle is howling in pain, it’s best to take them to the vet for a checkup to rule out any potential health problems.
Most dog breeds howl for extra attention and love
This may be the most common reason why beagles howl.
Just like when children cry for attention, your Beagle may howl when they feel neglected and are looking for some extra love and attention from you.
If you’ve been giving your Beagle less attention than usual, they may start howling to try to get your attention. Beagles who don’t feel like they are part of the family pack may start howling as a way to try and get extra attention.
Beagles are known for being particularly needy when it comes to attention, so if you’ve been neglecting your Beagle, they may start howling as a way to get your attention.
Howling for attention may seem cute. However, it’s important to recognize this behavior for what it is and not give in to your Beagle’s demands for attention. If you do, you’ll only be reinforcing the behavior and teaching your Beagle that howling gets them what they want.
How to Stop a Beagle Howling
A dog howling is no fun for anyone and can be quite frustrating and distressing, particularly for neighbors.
Failing to address a noisy dog could lead to complaints and even legal action being taken against you.
If your Beagle is howling excessively, there are a few things you can do to discourage and cut down the behavior.
Before taking any action you will first need to identify why your Beagle is howling. Once you know the reason for the howling, you can take steps to address the behavior.
For example, if your Beagle is howling because they are in pain you may not need to do anything other than taking them to the vet for a diagnosis and to get some pain medication.
Or, it could be your dog is howling because he is bored or anxious when left alone. If this is the case, you might need to provide your Beagle with more exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship.
If, however, your Beagle is howling because he or she has spotted ‘prey,’ wants attention, is marking its territory or is lonely, use these methods to encourage your pooch to howl less.
Distract, don’t penalize a dog howling
Many dog owners think that if they punish their dog for howling it will stop the behavior. However, this is usually not the case and can actually make the problem worse.
When you punish your Beagle for howling, they may become anxious and stressed, which can lead to more howling.
Most dogs respond well to positive reinforcement, rather than punishment. So, instead of punishing your Beagle for howling, try to distract them with a chew toy or a treat.
If you can get your Beagle to focus on something else, they may forget that they were howling in the first place.
If your Beagle starts howling when they see another dog or somebody rings your bell, take them out of the room. Take them away from the things that are causing the howling instead of getting enraged.
Many owners make the mistake of rewarding a Beagle for howling. If you give your Beagle a treat to stop them from howling, you’re implying that if he howls again, he’ll probably get another treat!
So, before giving a treat, distract your dog by removing them from the situation that’s causing the howling, and giving them something else to focus on instead.
Block out the triggers to stop howling
As we’ve just discussed, Beagles howl for all sorts of reasons. If you can identify the triggers that cause your Beagle to howl, you may be able to stop the behavior altogether.
For example, if your Beagle howls when they see another dog outside, close the curtains or keep them in another room until the dog has gone.
If your Beagle howls when they hear a noise outside, try playing some background noise or music to help muffle the sound.
By recognizing the triggers you can take steps to remove or block them out, which should help to reduce the amount your Beagle howls.
Teach the “shush” command
The ‘shush’ command is a great way to get your Beagle to stop howling on cue.
- Place the “howling trigger” as near to your Beagle as possible. – For example, if it’s a doorbell, simply press the doorbell button.
- Say “shush” in a calm, firm voice when your Beagle starts to howl.
- Reward your Beagle with a treat or positive reinforcement when they stop, not before or during the howl.
- Repeat this process until your Beagle associates the ‘shush’ command with stopping the howling.
- You can then start to increase the distance between you and your Beagle when you give the ‘shush’ command. For example, if they were howling at the doorbell, you could stand in another room and give the command.
Eventually, your Beagle should start to understand that they need to stop whenever you give the ‘shush’ command, even if you’re not in the same room.
Like with all positive reinforcement dog training, Be patient and consistent with your Beagle, and they should get the hang of it in no time.
Exercise and mental stimulation
One of the most common reasons Beagles howl is because they are bored. Beagles are active dogs and need at least an hour of exercise a day. If they are not given enough exercise, they can become bored, anxious, and stressed, which can lead to howling.
To help stop your Beagle from howling, make sure they are getting plenty of exercises. Take them for a long walk or run every day and play some fun games with them like fetch or tug-of-war.
In addition to exercise, Beagles also need mental stimulation. Beagles are very intelligent dogs and need to be given some tasks to do to help keep their minds active.
Try hiding their food around the house or garden for them to find, or give them puzzle toys to figure out.
A happy beagle is a well-exercised beagle with an active mind, so make sure you are doing everything you can to tire them out both physically and mentally to avoid issues such as separation anxiety and howling.
Ignore the howling
If your beagle is just trying to get your attention it is best to just ignore the behavior. Don’t give in and give them attention when they are howling, as this will only reinforce the behavior.
Beagles are very social animals and love nothing more than being around their family, so it can be tempting to give them attention when they howl. However, if you do this you are only rewarding the unwanted behavior and encouraging them to do it more.
If you can, try to ignore the howls and only give your Beagle attention when they are quiet. This will help to discourage the howling behavior.
This is another example of positive reinforcement training. Your Beagle will quickly learn that they only get attention when they are being quiet, so they are more likely to stop.
Get professional help
If all of the above fails and your beagle’s howling excessively, it may be time to get professional help.
Howling can be a sign of anxiety or stress, so if you think this may be the case for your Beagle, speak to your vet or a behavioral expert. They will be able to give you some tips and advice on how to best deal with the issue.
Is Howling Bad?
Howling is a natural behavior for Beagles, but it can become a problem if it’s excessive. Beagles typically howl when they are bored, anxious, or stressed, so it’s important to make sure they are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation.
If you live on a farm and don’t mind hearing your dog howl then it’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you live in a city apartment and your Beagle is howling all night, it can become a problem.