Listed below are your most popular questions concerning the Beagle to give you a better idea what it's like to live with one. Please note that the following is from our personal experience living with Beagles and may not represent the entirety of the breed.
Q: Do Beagles Shed?
A: Like most breeds of dogs, Beagles shed when it's time to regenerate hair. The process can be onset by a number of conditions such as temperature changes, heat cycles and post whelping in bitches, and can simply be seasonal. The amount of hair lost on a Beagle during such a time is light to mild but it 's not usual to find your Beagle's hair on your furniture, rugs, and carpet year-round. If you notice clumps of hair coming from your Beagle it is time for a good brushing and/or coat stripping to remove the dead undercoat.
Q: Do Beagles Bark a Lot?
A: Beagles don't bark any more than a typical dog does. They seem to be notoriously recognized for their barking habits but a Beagle does not necessarily come with a bark*. When properly trained, supervised, and socialized, Beagles can be great at being quiet and calm when appropriate. One exception to the rule is that if let alone, Beagles sometimes like to voice their loneliness through a whimpering cry or repetitive short bark. They are pack animals and thrive off attention from you and other dogs so leaving them alone for long periods of time is highly discouraged.
*Small tidbit: Barks and bays in Beagles may differ in certain lineages, upbringings, and circumstances. Before bringing your new puppy home it might be helpful to visit the home of the sire and dam so you know what noise level to expect and how to manage it.
Q: Are Beagles Good with Children?
A: Absolutely. They are one of the best kinds of dogs for children. Beagles are great with kids because they are playful, energetic, small enough to hold, and tough enough to handle an accidental puppy belly-flop. Beagles adapt very easily to most situations and thrive off human and dog interaction making them perfect companions for families. Like all dogs though, Beagles are not toys to play with and are therefore not recommended for families with very young children who are not properly trained in safe animal-handling practices.
Q: Are Beagles Smart?
A: Contrary to the popular belief that Beagles lack intelligence, Beagles are actually very smart. It is simply sometimes easy for them to get distracted. Since the breed's original purpose is to track wild hare and rabbit, it was vital for them to have the best scenting capability to be successful. This special ability (unique to many hound breeds) will often distract and disengage a Beagle's mind in order to supply the proper amount of attention to natural instinct. On the flip side, you can also GAIN a Beagle's attention through the use of enticement (ie. the scent of food). There are many Beagles today with a list a mile long of the titles they have won in obedience, rally, and agility whose owners have learned how to capture their attention through enticement. At home, sometimes Beagles can be so smart they learn how to open latches, climb over gates, knock over trash receptacles, and find any and all food. It is important to safely puppy-proof your home to avoid such intelligence.
Q: Are Beagles Difficult to Housetrain?
A: They can be. It is common for a female Beagle to be more difficult to housetrain over a male as they seem to prefer to urinate on soft surfaces (ie. blankets, bedding, and carpet). Males, on the other hand, tend to have a desire to "mark" furniture or walls, especially when entering a new area for the first time. Both habits can be avoided through regular, consistent training or aids designed for housetraining. Before you bring your new puppy home, research ways you can make it easier on your Beagle to understand where and when it is appropriate to do their business. Starting from day one is vital to get into routine, so it may be a good idea to schedule a few days off from your regular activities when you first bring your puppy home.
Q: Are Beagles Good Apartment Dogs?
A: If Beagles get adequate exercise, plenty of attention, and are regularly engaged in brain-stimulating activities (minimum 2-4 hours per day), they can be great apartment dogs. Beagles are very active dogs who are eager to learn. When your Beagle is being destructive toward your household (ie. chewing furniture legs, digging up carpet or dirt, or barking incessantly) it probably means you have a very bored Beagle. If the case, it is probably time to invest in some durable chew toys, a tennis ball launcher, and some running shoes.