Christie is a degreed writer, dog lover, master in the kitchen, candle and soap maker, and a general hobbyist of all things DIY.
6 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Beagle
Alright, well, if you have not already guessed, I absolutely love Beagles. At the risk of turning this article into an image gallery for my own Beagle (because showing off my dog is my favorite hobby), I am going to list six reasons why you should really consider a Beagle as your next pet.
1. Beagles Are Always Happy
Have you ever been around somebody's dog who snaps at other dogs, or maybe gets food aggressive? It's pretty common. Beagles, on the other hand, do not do that. Think happy, upbeat, playful, and cuddly—that's your average Beagle. In my entire experience raising my Beagle and being around countless others, I have never seen a Beagle snap at another dog, display food aggression, or get protective of their toys. My friends often ask me to have dog dates with them because, "My dog just loves playing with your dog . . . I've never seen my dog so happy!" Why do you think this is? Because it's a Beagle.
2. Beagles Like to Cuddle
Yes, that's right. Beagles love to cuddle. Beagles just love to be around people, in general. If it's nuzzled up with you in bed, that's even better. I've heard a common misconception that "beagles aren't apartment dogs." That has not been my experience. I had my Beagle for her first year in a small two bedroom apartment. They do need more exercise than let's say, a Great Dane (another common misconception that Danes aren't good apartment dogs). However, taking my dog on a few walks a day, the park maybe once or twice a week, sufficed just fine for her.
In fact, Beagles are actually known to have separation anxiety because they love being with their owner so much. There have been countless nights where my Beagle has cuddled up as a little spoon in bed, and when we wake up, she's in the same spot as when we fell asleep. Several mornings, in fact, I have had to pull her out of bed to go outside, and she's only 15 months old. She loves being under the covers right next to me.
3. Beagles Love Kids
My mother had the sweetest dog, but she was not good with kids. If kids got too close, which they often did, she would snap at them. Imagine our horror as we were left apologizing to their parents over and over again. Beagles, however, are frequently rated as the number 1 family dog because of their affection towards children. The first child my dog met was almost 3 years old and my dog was 5 months old. The toddler picked her up and took her all over the house like a little stuffed animal. My Beagle just went limp and let her carry her everywhere, even up and down the stairs.
The other week, we went inside Walmart (some Walmarts are dog-friendly now) and a small toddler ran up to my dog. The toddler laughed out of excitement when my dog showered her with kisses and then followed us through the aisles petting her.
Though I love my mother's dog, it's just a pain taking her to the park and getting nervous when we see children, or not being able to bring her to people's homes who have children. With a Beagle, you never have to worry about any of this, especially at home with your own children.
I have small children in my family and their parents often ask me to bring my dog over because she loves to play so much that it gets the kids tired and ready for bed. They chase her all around the house and the backyard, and she loves it and the kids love it. What more could you want? A happy, playful dog with happy, playful kids. Sounds like a happy home to me!
4. Beagles Are Extremely Intelligent
Have you seen the Beagle airline commercial? Because you probably should. Warning: Have tissues near, commercial may cause uncontrollable sobbing at the sheer cuteness of this Beagle. Though Beagles are incredibly stubborn to train, they are learning what you are teaching them, and they are learning it very quickly. At 4 months old, I taught my Beagle to sit in one day (with the aid of treats, of course).
While my roommate potty trained her dog, we hung a bell on our front door. I did not even bother with it for my Beagle because I had read online that they were stubborn. One day we heard the bell ring and it was my Beagle at the door waiting to go potty. After several weeks of trying, her dog never learned to ring the bell, but my Beagle did every time and we never even trained her. Beagles will surprise you, they are extremely intelligent animals.
5. Beagles Have Low-Maintenance Coats
If you are considering a Beagle, you have probably already read this online and what you have read is true. When I first got my Beagle, I bathed her once or twice a week like a helicopter mom (not to slight anybody who bathes their dog this much, I wish I still did that). I was very rigid with her. Now, there are times whenever I forget to bathe her and I realize it's been months since her last bath.
She plays outside every day, and hardly ever brings dirt with her inside. Her coat never gets coated in that smelly, gunky gross-ness that will happen with dogs who haven't been bathed in a while. Admittedly, a few months is too long for me to go without bathing her, but we all have lives and I have done it several times. Currently, I average bathing her probably once a month, and she smells just fine. She never has to be groomed and does not shed excessively.
6. Beagles Are Exceptional Hunters
This is what Beagles are known for: hunting. This notion is undoubtedly true. I'm not much of a hunter so I cannot write about my experience here. My beagle is always nose to the ground, tail in the air, no matter what. She sniffs out things buried in the yard, the couch, the bed, anywhere. She instinctively retrieves well too. I probably could take her hunting and after a few times, she would be an all-star. An uncle of mine had many Beagles growing up, and he explained it to me this way: when you make a stew, you smell the stew and maybe the chicken or the celery. Your hound, on the other hand, can smell every ingredient in the stew. They can smell the potatoes, chicken stock, celery, carrots, oregano, garlic, salt, chicken, and basil leaves. They can smell each ingredient so distinctly that their noses are to the ground around the kitchen.
Beagles do not have the top nose out of all the breeds, I think that spot might be reserved for the Bloodhound and Bassett Hound, though Beagles usually rank third. In fact, ever wonder why their tails look like they have been dipped in white paint? Centuries ago, they were bred this way for hunting. When Beagles are outside sniffing, their tails are straight up. This is how hunters were able to see them amongst the tall grass and dense forest.
Alright, do I have you convinced now? What more could you want in a dog, I mean honestly? Beagles are cuddly, low-maintenance, they love kids, they have an exceptional sense of smell and are exceedingly intelligent. They are stubborn, and they do howl (though, not excessively like you might read online), but in my experience, the positives have far outweighed the negatives.
Questions & Answers
Question: do beagles always come back to you when they are let off the leash?
Answer: I think it depends on their training. From what I've read, and observed, it is risky to let them off leash or have them in a non-gated area. The reason is, their sense of smell is so strong that sometimes they will get on a scent trail and keep following it. My dog is fine sometimes off leash, but if she gets caught on a scent, it is hard to get her back.
Question: They say beagles stink and bark a lot, is this true?
Answer: In my opinion, they can smell and bark just as much as any other active breed! They're active, playful dogs, so they enjoy rolling in dirt and hunting things outside.
Question: How did you train your dog to teach him to pee and poo outside?
Answer: Potty training was rough! We had to take them out almost every hour. When I lived in an apartment I had hung a bell from the front door and trained my puppy to ring the bell when she needed to go outside. I think if you have a yard it's a lot easier. They're smart dogs though and they learn quickly!
Question: I have a two-year-old cat, would a beagle be ok with a cat?
Answer: Honestly, my two beagles (i have two now!) are not great with cats. Maggie, the one above, tries to hunt them. Blaze, the youngest one, is terrified of them. He does the best with my mom's cats but it's mostly because he's really docile and the cat's run him! haha. I think it would be better if they grew up with cats as a puppy, then I think they would be more used to them. I do know some beagles who are great with cats!
Question: Do beagles do ok being alone for any length of time?
Answer: I can't speak for all beagles, mine do okay for about 6 hours max. I think they tend to be one of the more hyperactive breeds. That said, I'd just make sure they're getting proper exercise/walks whenever you are home. As my older beagle has gotten older, she'd gotten better about being alone. When we're properly exercising them, they do great when they're left alone. The times we don't exercise them, we tend to find chewed up toys and furniture more often.
Question: How big does a beagle get?
Answer: I have two now since I wrote this article! One is 27 lbs (the one above) and the other, a beagle/boxer mix, is 30. They're both full-grown now. I think average beagle size is around 25-30 lbs depending on diet, exercise, and heredity dispositions.
Question: Do beagles mind being alone for too long?
Answer: My beagles aren't great when left alone for more than 6 hours. We try not to do that, however now that they're adult dogs we're able to do that sometimes if we need to (if we're working all day 8+ hours). One of mine gets anxious if left alone for too long and will chew things, while the other one doesn't get as anxious anymore now that she's older.
Question: Are most beagles lap dogs or are they too independent?
Answer: One of mine is a total lap dog and couch potato! The other is a good mix of an independent and snuggly lap dog.
Question: Can you carry a full-grown beagle?
Answer: My beagle is only 27 pounds, which I think is on the lighter side for a full-grown beagle. I can carry mine. Some can get up to 35+ pounds. To answer your question, I think a lot of different factors come into play: what the beagle's parents looked like full-grown, the beagle's diet and exercise, etc. I would say the majority of beagles can be carried, yes!
Question: I have a beagle that sheds all the time! How comes yours doesn’t?
Answer: Mine shed CONSTANTLY. I recently had to purchase a Dyson vacuum and it's worked WONDERS.
Question: How do you handle an abused beagle?
Answer: For a beagle that has been abused, which breaks my heart, I would have a dog trainer come in or search for helpful resources online to learn how to work with them properly so that they feel secure.
Question: Do beagles need a lot of exercise?
Answer: Yes, they do!
Question: Can beagles become protective of their family?
Answer: They certainly can. My oldest isn't as protective. My youngest one, beagle/boxer mix, is very protective of our son who is 9 months! When people come over he stands in between them and the baby. Especially when other dogs come over. He's never snapped at anyone though. They're super loyal.
Question: Are Beagles good watchdogs?
Answer: Mine are!
Question: Can a beagle alert people when a stranger is present?
Answer: Absolutely! If they are scent trained properly, they can absolutely alert owners and law enforcement about any scents they are trained to pick out. The other night, we heard somebody knock on the door and we had already gotten in bed. My husband took my oldest beagle to the backyard and told her to find the person. She immediately put her nose to the ground and went straight to the driveway and started barking. Sure enough, there were people near the driveway picking up some stuff we had put for sale. Our full grown beagle has a little bit of a better scent trait than our mixed beagle/boxer. They're both, though, have more scent instincts than any other breed I've seen. I think with sniffing out illegal things, specialists come in and scent train them accordingly.
Beagles friend on July 29, 2020:
This is Not truly realistic about Beagles! Read other information about them! I am 65 years old and have been blessed by " sharing their company" and probably through other "owners" , become familiar with hundreds of beagles. So many end up as rescues, abandoned, etc, simply because by genetic nature, a happy natural, normal beagle Is loud, inquisitive, energetic, and needs an environment where they can be themselves! Sure, with major intensive " training" you can make them lives of "silent desperation" but ??
Joshua on July 12, 2020:
Beagles are amazingly smart. My little girl learned to sit at 8 weeks 2 days old.
M on June 21, 2020:
Beagles are an amazing kid friendly breed and this article could not be more true about beagles!
g on March 16, 2020:
Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.Why?
Gerry Bates on September 12, 2019:
I had a beagle for 12 years and want another . She was the best dog! Loved everybody and played well with grand kids
She wanted to be in my sight. If I went back to the bedroom she would get off her bed to come back to see what i was doing.
Gregg on July 22, 2019:
Victoria is spot on about the six virtues of a beagle. We have had a yellow Lab and Chesapeake Bay Retriever, then a 5 year dog break, before getting our beagle Rosie. This little cutie has captured our hearts and has become our favorite dog (sorry Ben and Vinnie). She is snoring next to me as I write this.
Rosie does not run away when off leash walking or hiking. Yes, her nose can dictate what she naturally wants to do, but proper training keeps her close.
Beagles are an active breed. Rosie has come to expect several walks every day. She normally does 3 to 5 miles a day. If you do not have that amount of time to invest, a period of active play (buy tennis balls rather than expensive toys) keeps her happy. Ironically, while not known as a water dog, our beagle loves to swim. Beagles can also be chow hounds, so monitor food intake and don’t let their big, brown, soulful eyes trick you into giving them more food.
In short, Rosie makes us laugh and smile every day. Beagles are great friends and family pets.
DAVID on June 28, 2019:
Rusty my Beagle well where do i start. I had Rusty since he was a pup saying that still is at the age of 9 months. you are correct about the stubbornness but with the treats, he gets say no more its the trick. Rusty is a very fast learner does not miss a trick if anything he teaching me a few tricks, one advise you need plenty of area for your beagle like you may know they all ways got the hunter instinct, slightest little thing he off on the prowl looking for something that's not even there and its fun watching him searching for that invisible subject That the fun of having a beagle
Nerva on May 02, 2019:
Thank you I enjoyed reading this I am getting a beagle puppy tomorrow & I have been reading a lot about the breed. So it was very nice to read this thanks again
Nikita shah on January 04, 2019:
Victoria Desselle (author) from Houston, Texas on March 22, 2018:
Thanks, Linda! She is a sweetheart for sure, very photogenic. Do you have a dog?
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 16, 2018:
Thanks for sharing the information about beagles. I enjoyed looking at the photos of your dog. She looks like a lovely pet.