Dogs, in general, can make such wonderful pets, and buying your first dog can be an extremely exciting experience for any would-be dog owner. There are many breeds of dog to choose from and one, in particular, we get asked about time and time again from new owners is the ‘Beagle’ and whether or not they make good pets.
So ‘Do Beagles make good pets?’ Well, in a nutshell, yes they do! Beagles can make great pets and are an ideal dog for the whole family. They are renowned for being loving and sociable with plenty of energy. They thrive in company and are great with children of all ages. They sound like a dream don’t you think?
Let’s take a look into some more details about why Beagles make such great pets and some things you need to consider before jumping in at the deep end.
Do Beagles Make Good House Pets
Beagles are a favoured breed of dog and according to the AKC (American Kennel Club), they rate at a noteworthy No. 6 out of 196 breeds in the popularity ranks. They are a wonderful breed of dog, that once house trained can make an ideal canine companion in the home.
Beagles are a strong, sturdy medium-sized dog that as dog folks would say ‘are big for their inches. They reach heights of 33-40cms and weigh approx. 9-11kg. They are bred to hunt, with strong instincts and a curious nature.
These are one of the most popular types of hounds thanks to their kind, loving nature and they usually blend into family life well. They aren’t necessarily the lowest maintenance breed of dog around and they do have their own little quirks, but Beagles, in general, are so loving and sociable, they are worth the extra effort.
What Is Their Temperament Like?
Beagles have a gentle temperament which is why so many of us choose to have them as our loyal companions. Their good nature and ability to be at peace with those around them make them ideal if you are looking for a family dog that gets on well with the children.
Beagles are always full of life and have a fun and friendly demeanour. They have stacks of energy and love going out for exercise and playing with all their fancy toys. They are often described as the ‘happy go lucky’ type and praised for their even temperaments. They are neither too aggressive nor too timid.
They prefer to be surrounded by love, energy, and attention, which as an owner, will certainly keep you on your toes!
Beagle Living Requirements
Beagles require much more exercise than most owners can provide, which is why you often see Beagles that are overweight. Some owners keep their Beagles in small apartments and this is not an ideal situation for this breed. They need lots of space to run around and a back yard or garden is highly recommended.
There are many breeds of dog that cope perfectly well in a small abode, but a Beagle is not one of them. As with any breed of dog, always ensure you have suitable living arrangements that your pooch can feel comfortable and thrive in.
Beagle Food Requirements
Beagles need a good quality, healthy, high protein diet that is free from grains, sugars, and added preservatives. A portion of complete dog food is always recommended daily and should ideally be split into two meals (morning and evening). These guys are usually enthusiastic about their meals and food in general so you should closely monitor their intake and weigh them regularly.
We all know doggy treats are your pooch’s best friend and with Beagles, these should be kept to a minimum. They don’t always burn the calories they need to easily and this breed is very prone to obesity.
With a good balance of food and exercise, you should be able to maintain your Beagles energy levels allowing them to stay fit and healthy.
Do Beagles Shed a Lot?
As with most dogs, shedding is inevitable. However, some dogs shed much more than others do and you’ll be pleased to hear that although Beagles do shed their coats they are not as high maintenance as some other breeds.
According to the PDSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), a weekly groom is sufficient enough for this breed and should be enough to get rid of unwanted, dead hair and keep the coat looking in tip-top condition. During the shedding season you may want to up this amount to 2-3 times per week to combat excessive hair.
Regular baths can also help with shedding considerably and can leave the coat much cleaner and smoother to help making grooming much easier.
Do Beagles Smell?
Beagles boast an oily, close-knit coat as most hounds do and although they may be fantastic at smelling scents they can also be pretty bad smelling themselves at times.
Each breed tends to carry its own unique odor, some being much more pleasant than others. These smells come directly from the hair follicles and can be particularly apparent when your dog’s coat is wet. For Beagles, their distinctive doggy odor is vital for keeping track of the rest of the pack when hunting prey.
Beagles can emit a very heavy odor at times, although this in general, not something to worry about. The odor can only be described as a light, musky scent which all in all, isn’t too horrendous.
Are Beagles Intelligent?
Beagles aren’t necessarily ranked as the most intelligent breed of dog and can be difficult to train. One of the key reasons for this is down to them being bred for the long chase. They can be strong-willed, single-minded, and determined and often have their priorities in a different place to other breeds.
These guys have been bred as hunters rather than companion animals and thanks to this background can be very difficult to recall and comply with commands. They can easily be distracted by smells around them which can result in a serious lack of focus. Repetition and perseverance is the key to training Beagles.
Are They Good With Other Animals and Children
Beagles are great with other animals and love nothing more than socialising. They are much happier in company and thrive on that interaction with others whether that be another animal or the human variety.
They are particularly good with children and can often create an unbreakable bond with the little people in their life. Beagles are a kind and gentle breed that love to seek the attention of those around them. Children love to play and so do Beagles, so this is quite possibly a partnership made in heaven.
Do Beagles Need A Lot Of Exercise?
Beagles require lots of exercise to keep their busy minds active and stimulated. They are energetic dogs that always seem to feel the need to let off some steam. Ideally, you will need to provide them with at least a couple of walks a day or a 1 hour-long walk as the very bare minimum. An hour and a half is preferred.
Without regular exercise, Beagles can become a handful to care for. Lack of exercise can provoke destructive behaviours such as destroying furniture or excessive barking behaviour. A decent amount of exercise can often eliminate these types of undesirables.
Keeping them equally as active whilst in the home is also necessary. Always give them access to a back yard if possible, and dedicated playtime with them throughout the day is not only highly entertaining for them, but great a great bonding tool for you too.
It is fair to note, that Beagles are first and foremost hunting dogs. They love to explore and this can pose some issues when out on walks. It can be risky business letting them off a leash in an open area as they love to track scents. Once they have set their sights on a scent they don’t give up and it will be very difficult for you to get their attention to bring them back. There are however, some exceptions in rare cases.
Are Beagles Make Good Guard Dogs?
The very simple answer to this is, no! Your burglar is more likely to get licked to death by your Beagle than viciously attacked truth be told. Beagles have been specifically bred for hunting, but that does not necessarily mean they are aggressive and they love nothing more than the presence of humans.
Although Beagles have a very placid nature towards humans in general, it isn’t unheard of them to bite or nip. This will usually be during playtime rather than out of aggression and is a common occurrence with puppies. This is not something you should necessarily worry about and is all part of the doggy learning curve. Proper training will rectify this issue, it just may take a bit longer than with some other breeds.
Do Beagles Bark a Lot?
Since the name ‘Beagle’ roughly translates to ‘Loud Mouth’ then the answer to this question is simply, yes! Beagles are barkers and can make a considerable amount of noise both on their own and in company. They are known for their deep howls and boisterous voice which doesn’t always sit right with everyone.
Beagles are well known for having pretty ‘musical voices’ and often appear to sing along to other outside sounds such as people passing by or the sound of sirens. Some of these difficult behaviours can be rectified by using proper training techniques and providing enough physical activity and attention to keep them occupied.
If you are looking for a quiet, non-vocal dog then the Beagle is probably not for you, ‘but where is the fun in that in that?’ we say!
Can Beagles Be Left Alone?
Beagles are essentially pack animals and are used to being around others. If you do not have other animals in the house and you are away from home a lot this could result in a very unhappy pooch. They thrive on social interaction with others and do not deal with being left on their own very well.
Separation Anxiety in dogs is a real thing and according to the RSPCA, research suggests that ‘8 out of 10 dogs will find it hard to cope when left alone’
If you are considering buying a Beagle you may want to consider carefully the number of hours you spend at home every day and potentially buying your canine friend a companion.
Do Beagles have Good Health?
In general, with the right care, Beagles have good health and the average life expectancy of around 12-15 years. That being said, like many purebred dogs, they are prone to certain health conditions.
One of the main health concerns with Beagles is obesity and it is common to see them carrying around a few extra pounds. Regular exercise and a nutritious diet can eliminate this problem however as an owner monitoring your pooch’s weight is a vital part of daily care and overall welfare.
Epilepsy can also be a problem with Beagles that results in them having seizures. Studies at the RVC (Royal Veterinary College) suggests that over 50,000 dogs, in general, are affected by epilepsy in the UK alone.
Cherry eye and hypothyroidism are also common illnesses associated closely with this breed.
- Good-natured and peaceful with just about anyone
- Great with Children and other animals
- Full of life – loves to exercise and play
- Conveniently sized, strong and athletic with a natural appearance
- Has a short and easy to care for coat
- Needs lots of exercise per day both indoors and outdoors
- Does not take to training that well and house training can be tie consuming
- Needs to be kept on a leash when out as they do not recall (selective hearing)
- Destructive when bored or lacking exercise
- Can be very vocal – barking and howling
- Health problems can be a concern
To recap, Beagles really can make great pets, but all dogs are very unique and it is always a wise idea to fully research the breed you are looking to buy. Beagles have their own set of unique traits both good and bad, and to conclude we look at the pros and cons of owning a Beagle.