Beagles are a special kind of dog. The only things that really matter to them are what they can smell and where their next meal is coming from.
If you’d love to own a beagle but just not quite sure whether one will be suitable for your personality or lifestyle, then the following could be signs that you are not ready for beagle ownership!
1. You are way too chilled out
There’s no other breed like a beagle to test the patience of their owners.
Beagles need lots of training and discipline.
Without these, you are likely to either lose them, overfeed them or let them run riot to the point where you’re at your wits end! No one wants to see another beagle re-homed and discipline is definitely a prerequisite for beagle ownership.
2. You don’t dig doggy cuddles
Beagles have a reputation for being extremely active and destructive at times. Don’t be entirely fooled.
Beagles do love lots of exercise, but they equally enjoy a good cuddle, and many sleep for well over 16 hours a day given the chance.
3. You want a low-maintenance dog
Beagles are an extremely popular breed globally, mainly down to their medium size build and strikingly good looks. This does catch people short who have done limited research on what to really expect.
They need to be mentally stimulated and require more attention than most, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the time and energy to keep them entertained.
4. You can’t deal with dog fur
If you want a beagle then get ready to kiss goodbye to your favorite black cashmere sweaters! Although they are described as moderate-shedding dogs, beagles actually shed a lot more than you would expect.
Their hairs are like needles, and once they are in your clothing you’ll struggle to get them out!
Apart from dog fur all over your clothing, you’ll find it also manages to get airborne – landing onto kitchen counters, the stove, and dinner plates.
This is particularly noticeable in small homes with wood flooring and good ventilation. Open the doors on a windy day and voila! Dog fur in your dinner!
5. You don’t have a fully fenced backyard
If you didn’t know already, beagles are the world’s best escape artists!
Unless you have a beagle-proofed yard, there’s nothing stopping them from taking off at any given opportunity.
They mostly have zero loyalty when it comes to sticking by your side. One positive is that if they do manage to escape, you can guarantee you’ll find them at the nearest food joint, most likely begging for crumbs like they haven’t eaten since last month.
Check out our 36 Top Tips for New Beagle Owners
6. The sight of drool makes you queasy
They can’t help it. It’s in their genes.
The only thing a beagle lives for is its next meal. One whiff of food or the sight of you eating, and you can watch the slobber trickling in slow motion from the sides of their jowls. Nice.
7. You have really nice things around the home
Er, yes. This one is really important!
Most beagle owners who have raised them from pups will know exactly what we mean. Our homes are nothing too fancy and if they are, the valuable stuff is well out of reach!
Crate training a beagle puppy is a MUST and is the safest way to keep them out of trouble (and your home intact), along with reducing separation anxiety which they can be prone to.
Until a beagle has fully chilled out (normally over 5 years) it’s sensible to avoid leaving nice things lying around at floor level. Beagles can be fairly destructive when they don’t get enough physical or mental stimulation, which is one of the cons of owning a beagle
There’s a motto in our house and that is – “If it’s on the floor then it belongs to them!“
8. You have no willpower
Beagles go to ‘cuteness elementary school’ when they are still developing in the womb, and are therefore masters at the power of persuasion (from the moment they are born).
The begging gene is ever so present in beagles and they can convince just about anyone that they haven’t been fed for weeks.
Beagles can be relentless at all times if not trained well – following you to the fridge, hassling you constantly for more, and annoying visitors who don’t know any better.
If you think you’ll find it difficult to say no to these cute little food monsters, then they are probably not the right breed for you!
Beagle obesity is a serious issue and as a result, owners must be responsible for not overfeeding them, no matter how challenging this may be.
9. You lack time
One of the main reasons so many beagles are rehomed is that people have underestimated the amount of attention they require.
They don’t necessarily need a 2-hour walk every day, they need mental stimulation from their ‘pack.’ This could be as simple as hiding treats around the home and set them on the hunt with their supersonic nose.
Beagles are stubborn animals and very set in their ways. If you want to integrate them into your life then you must be prepared to be just as stubborn, if not more.
Many undesirable beagle traits can be trained out of them, you just need to be persistent and willing to spend the extra time helping them to learn.
Here is a list of our favorite Online Dog Training Courses to make the process a little easier!
10. Poop eating is a major deal-breaker (the beagle, not you!)
Now, just for the record, many breeds of dogs are partial to a little poop-eating.
Beagles, however, do take this to another level!
There are several theories behind why they are so incredibly keen to clean up after themselves and others. This is one side of the beagle that is almost impossible to train out, although some people have had success with preventative measures.
You have been warned!
11. You are proud of your lawn and garden (and want to keep it that way)
Most beagles can be trained out of digging holes in the backyard, but if you are extremely ‘garden proud’ then this might just drive you a little potty!
Until they have grown out of the burying and digging phase, you can pretty much forget about having that pristine flower bed.
12. Your neighbors are not fans of noisy dogs
Beagles are known for their unique howling and having neighbors on edge as a result.
Most beagle owners find howling adorable when they are puppies, which subsequently leads them to use their vocal cords a fair bit.
Again, you can train them from a young age, but if you are not prepared to put in the effort, you may just become the least popular person on your street!
13. You don’t appreciate how stubborn beagles can be
Training is hard work. Starting when they are young will make it easier, however, a huge amount of patience is needed for beagles!
They are one of the most difficult breeds to house train a result, however, you can use their food obsession to your advantage by rewarding them in return for good behavior.
We have returned home to a hole in the couch after our beagle rolled her treat ball underneath it. Rather than wait, she ate her way through the side of the furniture to get the treats. Expensive little critters!
But sometimes, no matter what you do you just can’t train them out of their natural instincts.
Rounding Up Beagle Ownership
Beagles are a fabulous breed – full of character and never fail to give you a story to tell around the dinner table.
These are some of the things you need to know about what makes beagle ownership more challenging than other breeds of dogs.
If you can nail most of the areas on this list, then you may well be on your way to owning a beagle that will make you and them happy for years to come!
If you want to know what you can do to help make life easier with a beagle, read our post on 49 Essential Items for your Beagle (and Home).