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Beagle Behavior

Overview of Beagle Behavior

The Beagle is one of the most popular pets in the world for good reasons!

This breed is gentle, sweet, outgoing and curious. The Beagle usually gets along very well with everyone and are wonderful canine family members.  The Beagle has adapted very well on his journey from scent hound to the amazing family dog that he is today.

With any dog breed, the Beagle does have its own unique characteristics and temperament.  Let’s take a look at what makes this dog breed just so special and lovable. 
Beagle with owner in the woods
Beagles, Children & The Family

This breed generally is a great companion and friend to children. They are watchful, and will be protective of young children. Very active, they will be eager to play and run around with the family. They have a good amount of energy as most hound dogs do. Very loyal, the Beagle will happily sit down and watch TV with the household or accompany an owner when running errands.

Correct socialization, introduction and planning should be implemented when:
  • Bringing your baby Beagle home
  • When an infant or new family member comes to the household
  • Training your Beagle to get along well with other people & dogs. You will want proper behavior training done at an early age so that your Beagle will react appropriately to your neighbors, those in dog parks, and have self control in any situation
 Beagles and Other Pets

Because of the hunting instinct with this breed, care must be taken if wanting to introduce another pet into the family or when wanting to bring a Beagle into a home with current pets.

This breed usually does well with other dogs and generally enjoys having canine company. However, for other smaller pets, such as hamsters, gerbils, bunnies, chinchillas, cats and any other non-canine animal, care must be taken. The hunter instinct in this breed may result in Beagle behavior of chasing after smaller pets.
It is most helpful to properly socialize this dog to other pets at a young age. It is when the dog is young that he or she can be trained to react appropriately to other animals.
Independent Beagle Behavior

This breed is known for being independent in general as long as others are nearby, but are also susceptible to Separation Anxiety when left home alone. Due to his deep breed characteristic of being a pack dog; he can struggle to be by himself. 

One of the elements that helps the Beagle remain happy and to promote good behavior is to have a daily, routine schedule. When he or she can depend on “what will happen when”, this greatly helps the dog behave. Each day, certain tasks should be done at certain times. Schedules will vary depending on your dog’s age and whether you are home during the day or not.
An Example Schedule for a Beagle Puppy When You are Home

7:00 AM – Morning walk. Use this time not only to allow your puppy to relive themselves but also to have some moderate exercise. Exercising your puppy in the morning will help make the dog tired out a bit, so that the pup is not so hyper during the day.

7:30 AM – Breakfast.

8:00 – 10:00 AM - Interaction with family. This includes outside interactions such as watching an owner perform housecleaning tasks and personal interaction such as sitting on an owner’s lap while they are on the computer, etc.
12:00 - Lunch time.

12:30 – Time to bring your puppy outside to urinate or eliminate. The frequency of going outside for this will depend on the age of your Beagle.

1:00 PM – Grooming. This should include any of the grooming needs in which it is time to perform. This includes bath time, brushings, tooth brushing, nail trimming, fur trimming

1:30 PM – Training. When you have a Beagle puppy, time must be set aside each day for one-on-one training. This time may be used to teach certain behaviors, such as socialization training with visitors, or command training, such as teaching your Beagle puppy to sit or stay. For any type of training, a minimum of 30 minutes should be dedicated each day to showing your dog proper behavior.
2:00 PM – Nap time. Your puppy will take many naps throughout the day, this is normal Beagle behavior. You cannot plan when he or she will want to nap; however an owner must allow the puppy to rest or nap whenever the pup wants to. You can expect 2-5 nap times through the day for puppies.

2:30 PM – Play time. This can be the reward for your Beagle doing a great job during the previous training time. You can enjoy a romp at the dog park, play catch in your back yard or Hide & Seek in the house…. This should be an activity that your Beagle enjoys doing. 

3:30 PM – Down time. With your morning walk, exercise, training, feeding, interaction and grooming done, you can feel confident that it is just fine to have some down time. This is a great opportunity to teach your puppy to be happy on its own. A Beagle must learn that all is just fine when they are given toys to play with and you and other family members are doing other things. Remember, a dog toy is not just a dog toy. Puppies need 2 types of toys: Interactive play toys & teething toys.
Beagle looking at a sign
5:30 PM – Dinner time. It is important to choose mealtimes for your dog and to keep those times. Even if your dinner is a bit behind, do be sure to feed your Beagle the same times each day.

6:00 PM – Evening walk. You should first bring your puppy to the designated area to urinate and/or eliminate and then go for the walk. This evening walk is important for 2 reasons.  Your puppy needs exercise to maintain health and this evening walk will tire him or her out and help induce a good night’s sleep.

7:00 PM – Downtime with the family. Your Beagle may wish to sit with the family or to go on his own to play with his toys. Either is acceptable behavior. Although you may wish for him to sit with you, be happy if he goes  to play independently; this will help when it comes time to be home alone.

8:00 PM – Last time of going outside. Before your Beagle gets ready for sleep, be sure to allow him to go outside, whether you have a puppy or an adult.

8:30 PM – Sleep time. Now that the day has been filled with activities, it is time to sleep. There are many elements needed to help your Beagle sleep good through the night. The puppy or dog must have his own special area. This should be a quality canine dog bed that properly supports the body to prevent back issues and to offer muscles appropriate support for a growing body.  If your Beagle is home alone during the day, it's best for this to be placed in his gated off area; this promotes better behavior at other times since the area will not just be seen as a place to go when owners leave.  

If you decide to have your Beagle sleep in your bed, be very careful if he or she is young. Your pup should be placed in the top corner of a bed that is cornered against 2 walls. Some Beagle may resist sleeping. There are many things that you can do to induce him or her to remain in the sleeping area.
Running Away - Chasing After Scents

The Beagle is one dog that follows his nose! This is a deep, inbred instinct and therefore having a dog that runs away and chases after scents is part of owning a Beagle. This is not to say that this cannot be controlled in a healthy way. For details on this and some great tips to help with this issue, read: Beagle Running Behavior
Tip: Many owners worry about the behavior of their Beagle eating feces. The official term for this is Coprophagia. While it may seem as if this is a behavioral canine issue, there are actually some medical issues that can cause a dog to do this.  This behavior can also develop if a Beagle is not receiving enough nutrients due to too many fillers in his food. Medical issues must be ruled out first, food should be reassessed and checked for quality and then actions should be taken from a behavioral standpoint.
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