Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."
The Popular Breed: The Beagle
Why are Beagles so popular and extremely loved? Ask any Beagle owner, and they will be happy to say it all! Indeed, Beagles can bring lots of joy to the household of many dog lovers. This breed is known for its irresistible floppy ears, expressive eyes, and merry, happy-go-lucky character. Among one of its greatest qualities is perhaps the fact that Beagles can be quite low-maintenance if we compare them to other breeds.
Pros of Owning a Beagle
- They have a great sense of smell. Beagles are categorized by the AKC under the hound group. These are dogs that have been bred for their great quality of being able to detect smells. This has made them ideal hunting dogs allowing them to accompany humans for several years in hunting sessions chasing rabbits.
- They are social but independent. Temperament-wise, Beagles are social beings that enjoy groups and children, yet they can be independent at times, allowing their owners' space. They may follow their owners and stick to their sides, but without being overwhelming. However, they are far from being aloof. They should be kept in a friendly home and raised underfoot. Confining them to the yard or large outdoor kennel does not meet their needs for companionship and may cause them to feel isolated.
- They are mischievous. One of the most intriguing behaviors of Beagles is that they may be quite mischievous. It is not unheard of beagles that like to steal objects from their owners. They may then take off and hide their treasured object.
- They have lots of energy. Because they have a history of hunting down rabbits, Beagles are quite energetic beings for small-sized dogs. They require brisk daily walks to keep their energy under control. This works as a great incentive for lazy owners that need to get more exercise and fresh air. Also, for those owners that are not too fond of grooming, the good news is that their coat is pretty easy to maintain, requiring some grooming but not as much as many other dog breeds.
Cons of Owning a Beagle
Of course, it would not be helpful to only list the many qualities of Beagles and sugar-coat the downsides of this breed. Here are some things prospective Beagle owners should know.
- They can cause allergies. While the coat is pretty short, it is still capable of triggering quite bothersome allergies.
- They are quite vocal. Belonging to a hound family, Beagles have inherited the characteristic of being quite vocal. Their bark may be quite sharp, and their howling may be more than one hoped for. For this reason, it may not be too wise to allow a Beagle to live in a small apartment where neighbors may enjoy Snoopy's howling sessions.
- They require training. Obedience training, as with any dog, is a must. The Beagle must be trained to not jump on guests, not be possessive of food and toys, and to learn proper manners. Some Beagles may develop stubborn personalities and may require firm leadership from their owners. Being a fair-yet-firm pack leader will help raise a balanced dog that knows its place in the household.
- House training them is hard. House training is reported to be challenging in Beagles, perhaps because of their stubborn demeanor. However, there are those that theorize this occurs because they are able to detect spots where they have soiled before, even when the strongest odor masking products have been used. Indeed, a Beagle's nose really ''knows''! Here's a helpful guide: potty training a Beagle puppy.
- They live a long time. The life expectancy of Beagles is 10 to 14 years. This makes the choice of choosing a beagle a large responsibility: are you committed to dedicating care, time, and exercise for over a decade?
Obviously, the Beagle remains a quite popular dog in the USA despite the above negatives. Why? Perhaps because it is so irresistible and cute that most owners end up forgiving just about anything!
Read More From Pethelpful
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Are beagles too energetic?
Answer: These dogs tend to be very active when they are working, and rest when they are not at work. So if you provide your beagle with "work" under the form of brain games, walks, training and fun nose work games, he'll be happy and willing to rest when not busy.
© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli
Jack on June 14, 2016:
Yeah those are the "good" things but Im looking for a dog and saw the beagle the conditions i want for his cons like health.....
Adom on March 11, 2016:
Yea It's True
Jaspal from New Delhi, India on November 02, 2009:
Oh, you are so right .... Beagles are amongst the most lovable and friendly dogs. Always up to some trick or activity, rarely sitting quietly, they enjoy spreading happiness and can be often be quite the clown of the family.