Have you ever wondered why beagles bark and howl so much? We interviewed a beagle to find out firsthand what some of the reasons are for barking and howling, and what you can do to make life easier for everyone in the household.
Interview with a ‘Beagle’ Begins…
Hey, The Barmy Beagle here! We don’t often like to admit it, but we are fully aware that when we bark and howl you find this really irritating. Most of the time, we have a pretty good reason for it. Other times, we really do like to just take the biscuit.
We can compromise though, so long as you are prepared to negotiate with us!
You scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours, right?
Let’s clear this up once and for all!
Why do Beagles Bark and Howl so much?
Of course all dogs bark, however, beagles are a very vocal group of canines so we tend to have an opinion on most things that simply bore other dogs.
We think our name comes from the French term ‘begueule’ which means open throat, so technically – it would be rude not to!
It can be rather annoying for you when we do it, so as a beagle, I wanted to answer some of your questions so that you can understand what causes us to bark, and what you can do to help.
Here are some of the more common things that cause beagles to bark and howl
1. We can smell something you can’t see
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to bark at my human to tell them that there is something under the furniture (that neither of us can see), yet they still doubt my nose, even to this day!
Our noses are not to be snubbed, we have superpowers don’t you know?
2. We are excited to see you
We love humans and are always pretty stoked and excited to see you. When our human has just got home from work or school, it’s likely that they’ll hear us barking away in the house like crazy!
It also happens with other dogs who come over too, although some dogs excite us more than others, if you catch our drift…
3. We bark when something is out of place
Us beagles like routine, so when you hang a big new picture up on the wall, or we can see people working on the roof next door, it kind of freaks us out.
We like to know where EVERYTHING is at ANY given time. No surprises. Thanks.
4. It’s in our blood
Many people don’t know this, but beagles are excellent hunters, and when a strange scent enters our territory (your yard), we have to investigate and let them know exactly who is the boss around these ends.
Plus, we can’t deal with those pesky foxes helping themselves to another poop on the back doorstep – who do they think they are!
5. When we get mishandled
We do like a bit of rough and tumble or bitey-face during playtime, but when others take it a bit too far you may hear a higher-pitched bark from us, like our voices have just broken!
We do find this highly embarrassing, so please don’t laugh at us otherwise we’ll continue to bark once our proper vocal cords return.
6. To let you know of intruders
We’re very good at warning people of intruders and will happily do so from within the safety of our home, with a couple of deep barks before returning back under your desk or sofa where we’ll settle down.
Unless they have come bearing sausages…
7. We bark to get your attention
Us beagles may have a few naughty traits and if we can get away with barking for your attention, we will!
We usually think this is normal behavior and that you’re happy with this arrangement, so unless you say otherwise we’ll continue with this. Thanks
8. We like to chase off squirrels
We bark at those irritating squirrels and chase them off, but to be honest, I’ve never caught one and wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I ever did.
If by some miracle I do manage to catch one, Mama has said that she will make a nice squirrel stew for us.
9. We were taught to howl from a young age
The other reason beagles howl is because that’s what our owners taught us to do when we were puppies.
They kept laughing and gushing whenever we howled, and so we learned that if we want our people to come and play with us, all they have to do is say ‘AROOO!’
These Online Dog Training Courses can help reverse some of our howling though if it’s a bit too much!
10. We bark to warn our brothers and sisters
We also bark to let other dogs know that there is danger in the area (we’re good at sounding alarms!), and that they should run away before it’s too late!
We’re happy to admit it, we’re not a particularly brave breed of dog.
11. Because we haven’t eaten for weeks
Ok, we may be prone to a little exaggeration here.
But when it feels like we haven’t eaten for weeks and our tummies get all rumbly, we have to bark so that someone will feed us. If we can get away with it, then we’ll continue to howl forever.
12. When we are sad
Some people think dogs can’t really feel emotions the way humans do… but that’s not true. Some of us beagles just feel very sad sometimes, and we need to howl out our pain!
If you can tell that your beagle is feeling down or upset (we often give signs like sitting alone in a corner or pawing at you), then make sure you comfort us. Especially if we’ve been at home alone for a long time, as we can suffer from separation anxiety.
Find us some food if our tummy starts rumbling – this will usually perk us up.
13. When we are happy
We also howl when we’re happy! Beagles are generally cheerful dogs, so it’s not uncommon for us to bark and then immediately follow up with our signature beagle yodel.
We’ll start singing on demand if you ask nicely!
14. We bark when we are scared
We can bark a lot when we are really scared of something. It’s our way of warning you. You can see it in our body language – we’ll be shaking or have our tail tucked between our legs, and our ears go all droopy.
Talk to us gently about what scares us so that together with your help the scary things won’t happen anymore. Special treats can help with this too, obviously!
15. We bark because we’re bored
We know that our barking annoys the hell out of you sometimes. That’s why when we’re bored, we bark so that you’ll play with us or give in to our demands.
Like when we want a treat, for instance. Did we mention we like food?
How to Stop Beagles Barking or Howling Too Much
We do love the sound of our own voice, but if we bark or howl a lot then there are a few things that you can do to help us.
1. Don’t pay us any attention
Like I said at the start of this interview, beagles bark and howl to get your attention.
When you respond by shouting, it means we’ve succeeded. Try ignoring us and see what happens, we’ll probably just go lay down and give you a cheeky side-eye.
2. Give us something to occupy our mouths with
If we’ve got something in our mouths, then we can’t bark or howl! This isn’t a trick one (we’re not suggesting food 24/7) but a tough chew that’ll keep us entertained for a while is a great idea.
Plus, chewing for 30 minutes is exhausting. My favorite is an ‘almost’ empty peanut butter jar – takes me about 45 minutes!
3. Exhaust us physically and mentally
We do love a long walk and play with friends, however, mental stimulation is also a great way to ensure we are too tired to bark or howl.
One of my favorite things is when dad hides treats around the house when I’m in the garden and then tells me to go look for them.
I still spend another hour making sure they are all gone before settling down for a snooze. Fun times!
Here’s a list of 13 Ways to Keep a Beagle Mentally Stimulated.
4. Give us a long-lasting puzzle
The beagle community recently discovered a very long-lasting puzzle that gives us jaw-ache like no other!
Seeing as we’re obsessed with making sure every little ounce of food is cleaned up, the Lickimat keeps us busy for ages. Sometimes, mama makes life harder by putting it in the freezer before giving us frozen yogurt on the mat. We won’t complain too much though.
The most important thing is that you know what to expect from beagles as we tend to be a little noisier than most other breeds.
I’ve got lots of beagle friends that have successfully negotiated with their humans and live a quiet and happy life without barking or howling too much.
And then there are some beagles (total anomalies) that were quiet from birth (I can’t vouch for them though!)
Hope you enjoyed this frank interview, I do try to speak the truth on behalf of all beagles around the world!
Until next time, The Barmy Beagle
That’s a wrap!
These are just some of the most common reasons why beagles tend to bark and howl, it’s part of what makes them so special.
With a few pointers straight from the beagle’s mouth, hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to deal with a noisy beagle and some great tips to help along the way. Check out some more interesting beagle facts here!
Did you enjoy this interview with a beagle? If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive fun facts, useful guides, beagle-proof product ideas, and more!