Do you dream of owning a dog that sits quietly by your side like butter wouldn’t melt? One that doesn’t embarrass you constantly with their endless shenanigans when you’re entertaining guests or visiting friends?
Introducing the Beagle: the most well-behaved and obedient dog breed known to mankind.
You read that right.
Well, yes, you did – but it’s not entirely accurate!
The beagle is one of the most stubbornly intelligent, inquisitive, and food-driven dog breeds out there, which can make them a little challenging to raise if you have no idea of what to expect.
Do not fret though, as we have tons of experience and knowledge when it comes to these gorgeously cheeky and mischievous pups.
Here are our All-Important Tips for New Beagle Owners and First-Time Beagle Parents that’ll help you prepare for a happy life with these hounds!
37 Important Tips for Beagle Owners
Had we known the following beagle owner tips when we got our first puppy, it would have saved us a lot of guesswork, time, and money (not to mention a few migraines!)
All of these tips have been prepared by veteran beagle owners who have personal experience of what life is really like living with a beagle.
We don’t sugar-coat anything.
Instead, we provide useful and accurate information that intends to help you decide whether beagle ownership is right for you or to indeed help make life easier and happier with a new beagle around.
In fact, you’ll find this list so useful, that we bet it’ll become your top bookmarked beagle-related page!
So buckle up, and grab a cup of coffee (or something stronger), here we go…
1. Find Out What Your Beagle Needs – Beforehand!
We’re always surprised at the number of dog owners that are totally unprepared for what to expect when it comes to bringing home their new pup. It’s not as if dogs come with an instruction manual right?
For example, the gut-sinking realization that a child gate is absolutely necessary to keep your beagle contained. That’s not something you can just pop out and collect whilst you have a brand-new puppy in the house!
Before you bring your new beagle home, spend a little time preparing and considering everything that’ll be required over the next few months – trust us, it’ll save you a lot of time and unnecessary stress!
We’ve put together a list of everything you’ll possibly need for a beagle (and why) to make life that little bit easier.
2. Choose the Right Name for Your Beagle
If you’re not getting a new puppy, then you can skip this tip!
But for those who are yet to find an appropriate name, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve selected a name for your beagle that:
- They can react to quickly
- Is two-syllables (sounds less like other common words)
- Ideally contains the letters D, K, P, or S (better attention grabbers)
Beagles are very easily distracted and suffer with ‘selective hearing’ – so choosing a suitable name is a super-important tip.
So many people make the mistake of naming their dogs something that sounds similar to other commonly used words.
Not only will this confuse your beagle, but it’s also likely to lead to extreme frustration when they appear to be constantly ignoring you – and nobody wants that!
Here’s a list of over 350 Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Names for a Beagle
3. Don’t Unwittingly Encourage Beagles to Bark or Howl
When you get your first beagle puppy, you’ll no doubt find their cute little howl the most adorable thing you’ve ever heard.
However, joining in with their aroooos is likely to have only one real consequence.
And your neighbors will not thank you for it!
A well-known beagle fact is that, when you encourage barking or howling behavior, your beagle will grow up thinking that this is a desirable trait, and will continue to be vocal as a way to express all of its feelings.
Not that they need too much encouragement as they are naturally loud dogs, so you’ll need to work extra hard if you don’t want your beagle to be a barky nuisance.
4. Crate Train Your Beagle From Day One
Crate training your beagle as soon as you bring them home is an absolute must if you want to keep them safe – along with your home (and your sanity!)
Some people resort to crating when it’s too late, and it’s subsequently used as a means of containing their beagle to prevent destructive behaviors, without suitable crate training taking place.
This leads to a large proportion of beagles being crated, purely due to their tendencies to chew and destroy household items.
The honest truth is, beagle puppies generally cope better in a crate when left alone, compared to when they are left to roam around in a large empty house or room (which increases their feelings of isolation).
Plus, crate training does wonders for reducing separation anxiety and anxiety-induced destruction.
When it is delivered with compassion and done properly, beagles learn to use their crate as a safe, familiar space that they can retreat to, making life so much easier and less stressful for everyone.
And it doesn’t have to be forever, just until they have matured a little and can be trusted!
5. Prepare for Lots of Beagle Drooling
We’re not quite sure why there’s so much information out there that states the number one reason for beagles drooling is due to their attempt to cool down.
It’s simply not true.
Beagles are likely to drool the moment you step off the couch and make your way into the kitchen, even before you’ve opened the fridge door.
We suppose this could mean that their excitement is so overwhelming, that it causes an exponential rise in their body temperature!
Joking aside, beagles are fairly heavy droolers. Particularly when you’re in the middle of eating something that they know they’ll be getting a taste of shortly.
We’re talking puddles…
On the floor surrounding them…
Dripping down their chest…
Causing major slip hazards…!
One way to curb the frequency and amount that your beagle drools is to only feed them at set mealtimes, and without a constant stream of treats during the day (easier when they are not in training).
This way, they’ll understand that treats are not always on the way, and subsequently will not prepare themselves, reducing the likelihood of excess drooling.
6. Beagle-Proof Your Home and Yard
Beagle-proofing your home and yard should have been the number one beagle tip on this list. Heck, we may have to have a re-shuffle!
If you want to have a loving, happy relationship with your beagle, you have to beagle-proof your home, and that involves helping them to stay out of trouble, and on your good side.
Beagle puppies are extremely curious creatures by nature and will escape, steal, destroy, and chew on anything and everything they can get their paws on.
Here’s how to create a beagle-proof environment that’ll keep them (and your possessions) safe!
7. Prepare for Houdini-Like Antics
Beagles (particularly juveniles) are escape artists extraordinaire, and will take off at any given opportunity if it presents itself.
Unless you have a 100% fully fenced backyard (at least 6 feet high), you’re going to experience a beagle escape at some point!
Even with high fencing, beagles have been known to still find a way out – by digging under them or pushing through weak spots.
You’ll have to make sure you are extra vigilant in keeping an eye on your beagle, particularly when visiting other people’s homes.
8. Always Have a Supply of Durable Chews!
Keeping your beagle occupied with a good quality durable chew is one of the best tips we can give you.
Beagles have a tendency to love chewing on things they shouldn’t, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of appropriate options.
Plus, you never know when the need arises to keep them entertained at short notice with a chew, such as a last-minute online meeting, or a visitor calling out of the blue.
Not only will keep them busy, but it’ll also help clean and maintain dental hygiene.
Here’s our selection of tried and tested 15 Long-Lasting Chews for Beagles
9. Prepare for Carnage
Yup, we’ll just throw this one out there.
Preparing for carnage may sound a little extreme, but it’s no secret that beagles are known to be one of the most wired dog breeds around, especially when they are young.
As they were originally bred for hunting, their high-energy and constant need to be moving around and on the hunt for food, means that they do naturally seek out trouble wherever they go.
And beagle puppies will eat and destroy absolutely anything.
We’re talking socks, tissues, cardboard, the couch – you name it! They don’t discriminate when it comes to what goes into their mouth and out the other end.
Speaking of the other end…
10. Pick Up Their Poop Immediately!
One of the biggest beagle owner secrets is something that most dog parents rarely discuss in public.
Their beagles love to eat poop.
Beagles are particularly prone to eating their own and other dog’s poop. They find it incredibly appealing for a variety of reasons.
If you don’t clear up their mess as soon as they’ve done their business, then you’ll likely have to deal with their poop-eating habits.
Read our top tips on How to Stop Your Beagle From Eating Poop
11. Keep Up-to-Date With Worming Treatment
As a result of their poop-eating habits, regular worming has never been more important for beagles.
Worming treatment reduces health risks for both you and your beagle, as well as preventing the spread of parasites.
It’s one of the main ways that you can help to keep them healthy and free from roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and extremely dangerous heartworms.
Luckily, it only needs to be administered once every three months (on average) in the form of a pill.
12. Watch Beagles Like a Hawk
Although this goes for most new puppies, beagles need watching on a whole other level!
Due to their inquisitive and mischievous nature, beagles will get themselves into all sorts of trouble if you’re not constantly on your tippy-toes.
Particularly when they are in unfamiliar territory, beagles will not stop exploring until they have sniffed out every inch, and hoovered up every possible crumb.
So if you’re around a friend’s house, at a yard party, or anywhere that’s not your beagle’s home, be prepared to watch them like a hawk at all times.
13. Don’t Leave Anything Within Reach of your Beagle
You know when you tell a child that they can’t have something – their first instinct is to grab it as quickly as possible?
That’s a beagle…day in, day out!
We have a saying in our household, and that’s “If it’s on the floor then it’s theirs.”
Until a beagle is fully trained and matured, you can forget about leaving anything lying around within reach, it’ll soon be dust.
- No cookies on the coffee table
- No shoes in the hallway
- No plants at ground level
- No exposed cables
- Definitely, no open food left on tables or counters!
14. Hide Food (all of it!)
When we say beagles are REALLY food-obsessed, we mean it.
Beagles are notorious for eating absolutely anything, and will put anything in their mouths – at least once!
A great tip is to secure their dog food in a good quality, airtight food container (like this Vault) which is then kept behind closed doors in a cabinet.
Beagle’s noses are super-sonic, and if they can constantly smell food it will drive them crazy, resulting in whining, barking, and generally playing up.
And never assume food is safe when stored at the back of the counter!
Some clever little beagles have been known to figure out how to reach it by pulling themselves a chair and climbing up onto it!
15. Don’t Buy Expensive Bedding (just yet!)
Trust us on this beagle tip, there’s absolutely no point in splashing out on fancy or expensive bedding just yet.
They’ll be completely destroyed at some point!
We would recommend going for a cheaper bed like this one, which is less appealing to chew than foam alternatives, but no big dramas if it’s devoured.
Alternatively, beagles love to ‘rough-up’ their beds and shape them exactly how they want, so nice thick blankets work a treat too.
Once they’ve calmed down and matured into their adult years, then you can upgrade to a good quality dog bed that’s more likely to last a while.
16. Prepare for Lots of Beagle Cuddles
Beagles might be high-energy dogs, but they most certainly love naps and cuddles too!
In fact, they love them so much that they’ll often take over your couch or bed and refuse to move (unless you’re going to the kitchen!)
Beagles love to snuggle up by placing their faces inside your elbow to keep their little noses warm, and will normally stay there for longer than most dogs, before getting too hot and needing to cool down.
Given the opportunity, these hounds are happy to nap and cuddle up with their humans for up to 16 hours a day, making it one of the best things about beagles!
17. Prepare for Endless Amounts of Beagle Fur
We’re not exaggerating when we say beagles are high-shedding dogs, so be prepared to pick up fur constantly with these little rascals around!
You’ll have beagle fluff in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, on the stove, in your suitcase – practically everywhere!
Most beagle owners frequently stop wearing the color black too, as it’s the worse for showing up beagle fur.
The best way to keep on top of the mess is:
- Weekly grooming with a double-ended bristle brush
- Monthly brushing with a good-quality de-shedding tool
- And if you can justify one, get a self-emptying robot vacuum
The robot vacuum is a complete game-changer for managing beagle fur, and one of our top tips!
18. Get Beagles Trained Asap
Particularly when getting a new beagle puppy, it’s important to start training as soon as possible – ideally before they reach the age of 18 weeks.
At this age, beagles are considered juveniles, and their minds are more impressionable, so it will be easier for them to learn and take in commands.
If you don’t train your beagle puppy, you can pretty much guarantee that they will start to train themselves – and you won’t like the results!
Out of all the top online dog training courses, we recommend K9TI Training Institute for their force-free, effective methods and comprehensive coverage of a variety of behavioral issues.
Their generous free workshop will give you a fantastic taster of what to expect from their courses, and shows you impressive results in real-time.
Here’s a full list of our Top 13 Recommended Training Courses for Dogs
19. Train Other Humans!
Like training your beagle isn’t enough of a tough task, you’ll also have the responsibility of training the other humans in the household too!
Beagles need consistency to learn how to behave appropriately.
If you’re the one doing all of the hard restraint work, only for someone else to come along and ruin it all, then that beagle is going to walk all over you!
Rules, boundaries, command words, feeding schedules – you should all be using the same methods to avoid confusing your beagle and subsequently turning them into a little menace!
Consider the different types of dog training tools and gadgets that’ll help make life a little easier for you.
20. Be Patient and Consistent with Training
One of the most important tips for new beagle owners is to be patient and consistent when training your hound.
Beagles are intelligent dogs, but they can also be a little stubborn, so it’s vital that you keep up the commands and train them consistently.
Using positive reinforcement (rewards) is the best way to train a beagle, and will make both your lives much easier in the long run.
21. Don’t Become a Treat Machine
When training a beagle pup, you’ll be using lots of food treats as a way to reward them for desirable behavior.
However, there will come a point where you must gradually reduce the number of occasions you give treats to your beagle in order to encourage calmer behavior.
If you’re viewed as a constant treat machine, beagles will struggle to relax whenever you get up and move around the home, believing that they’ve earned a treat from you just for breathing!
It will encourage them to follow you around like your shadow, resulting in them constantly being on high alert.
This is also likely to make them prone to separation anxiety if this ‘treat machine’ has left them alone at home, as your absence will be ever more present.
Giving beagles treats constantly throughout the day can escalate excitement to the point of stress. Instead, cut back on treats and gradually train your beagle to be a little more independent.
22. Prepare for Unbelievable Thieving Antics
Beagles are one of the most cunning creatures you will have the pleasure of raising, so prepare yourself for thieving antics as you’ve never experienced before!
This includes taking food off the counter, raiding the trash can, stealing clothes and shoes, and anything else they can get their little paws on.
The only real way to help curb these behaviors early on is by removing the opportunity, and beagle-proofing your home appropriately.
That involves processes like getting a more secure trash can, scanning the house for any vulnerable items before you leave, and being obsessive about not leaving food lying around, even on high countertops!
23. Provide Sufficient Physical Exercise
Giving your hound plenty of physical exercise is one of our top tips for new beagle owners if you want to help reduce the amount of destruction and general behavioral issues they can start to display.
After all, ‘The devil makes work for idle hands’ (or paws and jaws!)
When your beagle is exhausted, it’s far less likely to have a wandering mind, subsequently reducing general or anxiety-induced destruction.
And just like all dogs, beagles receive a huge dump of endorphins after exercise, making them feel far happier and can actually help increase their lifespan.
It also ensures that your beagle has the opportunity to burn off all those treats and calories they’ve managed to successfully beg off of you all day, which can help prevent them from becoming obese.
24. Resist Their Begging
If there is one breed of dog that has mastered the art of begging, it’s the beagle!
We’re still convinced that they go to cuteness elementary school in the womb, as they know exactly how to behave when they desperately want whatever you’re having.
The issue is, if you always give your beagle whatever it wants, it is likely to ruin your relationship with them further down the line.
Particularly if you’re giving them too many treats, they’ll learn to constantly keep begging for more, potentially leading to obesity and other undesirable or unwanted behaviors, especially with other people, visitors, and guests.
25. Make Sure Beagles Work for Their Treats
Apart from giving your beagle plenty of physical exercise, mental stimulation games are a great way to make beagles work for their treats.
From their perspective, having a ‘job’ to do gives them purpose, and makes for much more content and happier hounds.
With so many different ways to keep beagles busy and entertained at home, it’s easy finding them something that’ll exhaust them mentally for hours on end.
Particularly as they as incredibly food-driven and have an incredible sense of smell, they are likely to keep going for as long as you can!
As veteran beagle owners, here are a few examples of our favorite ways to keep them occupied:
- LickiMat with frozen yogurt
- Hide treats around the house whilst they’re in the yard
- Extreme Kong with peanut butter or banana
- Cube Treat Dispenser (100% indestructible)
- Yak Milk Chews (very long-lasting)
- Snuffle Mat sprinkled with kibble
26. Have a High-Reward Treat Available
Having high-reward treats up your sleeve is the ultimate tip for beagle owners in situations when you need their undivided attention.
Particularly when they’re off-leash, or you need them to be extra well behaved for a specific occasion.
Our ultimate attention-grabbing, high-reward treat for every beagle is Homemade Liver Cake
From the first time we used it we knew it was different from any other treat we had given our beagles. The pungent smell of liver drives them crazy, and they’ll be at your beck and call whenever they get a whiff.
We’re normally surrounded in the park by other dogs and their beady little eyes too, often referred to as the Beagle-Back-Cake Lady for having a great knack at keeping our hound’s attention off-leash!
27. Get Beagles used to Eating Vegetables As Snacks
Getting your beagle accustomed to eating vegetables as snacks can help prevent several issues.
Firstly, using ‘safe-to-eat’ vegetables can prevent excess weight gain in beagles that have a continuous drive to seek out food, and replacing high-calorie treats with this healthy option can help them feel fuller for longer.
They also reap the nutritional and physical benefits of eating fresh vegetables which can provide:
- Healthier Skin
- Shinier Coat
- Cleaner Teeth (when fed raw)
- Healthier Digestive System
- Physical and Mental Exercise
Our beagles often get a carrot each for lunch, which takes them a good 5 minutes to eat when given whole.
Here are some sneaky ways we manage to get more veg into our pup’s diet!
28. Train Beagles Off-Leash Early On
If you are committed to owning a beagle that you can walk off-leash, then training from an early age will make life so much easier.
As soon a puppy has had its essential vaccinations (usually at 12 weeks), take them on walks in enclosed parks and areas where they cannot escape.
At this age, their noses are nowhere near as strong as they will be at six months old, so they are far more likely to stay close by your side, plus they are easier to catch up with too!
As they learn to walk off-leash within close proximity to you (and your liver cake), this will help shape their walking habits for the future.
29. Don’t Let Beagles Run Off-Leash Everywhere
During the time you are training a beagle puppy, and until they display consistent behavior when walking off-leash – try not to let them loose in public areas, especially close to passing traffic.
Beagles are notorious for running off as they are easily distracted by all the smells around them, and they have one very strong nose!
Particularly when there is food involved, no amount of training or recall normally helps.
We still vividly remember the time when our first beagle ran over to a group of picnic-goers from a fair distance, before ransacking the food and then parading around the park with their cocktail sausages!
We were absolutely mortified, but luckily, they saw the funny side.
30. Prepare for ‘The Terrible Twos!’
Not all dogs go through the Terrible Twos, but you’re almost guaranteed to have a challenging time if you own a beagle during this phase.
Beagles instinctively want to test their boundaries and figure out who’s boss, and the Terrible Twos is usually the time when they start doing this in earnest.
It’s important to set rules and limits from the get-go, as trying to train them when they’re older can be difficult.
Tips for handling the Terrible Twos in beagles:
- Remain consistent with rules and training
- Make sure you’re rewarding good behavior as much as possible
- Give them plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and chew toys to keep them busy
- Try not to get frustrated, it’s only a phase that they’ll soon grow out of!
Even though you’ll think that they have forgotten or dismissed all of their training up until now, we promise they will remember and revert back to it soon enough.
31. Rotate Their Toys
This little beagle tip is a gem, and one we should have figured out far sooner than we had!
Rotating a beagle’s toys will help keep them interested, especially with items that are not edible.
Beagles can have fairly short attention spans when it comes to playing with toys that they either cannot eat or destroy completely.
Rotating them gives each one more value, particularly if you make a big deal whenever you reveal it again to them!
32. Don’t Leave Beagles Alone for Too Long
Of course, this goes for most dogs.
However, beagles are a high-energy breed and incredibly social animals that do not cope too well when alone for extended periods of time.
Left in isolation, beagles can develop anxiety-induced destructive behaviors as a way to expel their energy and deal with the stress, leaving owners in despair and often resorting to giving up on their pups.
If they are being left for over 4 hours, then consider hiring a dog walker to take them out for a long stroll to burn off some of that excess energy, which will also break up the day for them.
33. Practice Separation
One of the best tips for preventing separation anxiety in beagles is to start practicing it when they are young.
As we mentioned, beagles are incredibly social animals that crave companionship.
By introducing short periods of separation, you’ll help them get used to being on their own and reduce the chances of developing any serious anxiety issues as they age.
Start with just a few minutes at a time and gradually increase the duration as they get older.
Here’s a complete guide on Preventing Separation Anxiety in Beagles
34. Avoid Feeding Beagles from the Table
Ok, this beagle tip is a lot harder than it sounds, especially with those cute little puppy eyes staring up at you, so be prepared!
If you feed your beagle from the table during (or immediately after) eating your own meal, you can expect them to start displaying the following behaviors:
- Barky demands
- Impatient and persistent whining
- Drooling all over the floor
- Jumping up at you or the table (with drool all over your legs)
- The expectation to be fed whenever you eat, snack, or pick up any food
- Plus, all of the above behaviors x10 – when you have guests over for dinner
We’d be lying if we said that we completely avoid feeding from the table 100% of the time, as we do break this rule on special occasions.
But we can say for certain that when we do, it triggers the little devil in them, and they’ll display the above behaviors for the following day or so, until they realize we’re swiftly back to reality!
35. Socialize Your Beagle Early On
Getting your beagle socialized early on is key to their development as a well-rounded dog.
Not only will they be able to meet other dogs and people, but they’ll also learn how to behave around them too.
Beagles can be extremely boisterous as puppies, and sometimes the only way they learn is by being told off by another dog.
When possible, try to get your beagle puppy to regularly meet with another friend/family member’s dog so that it’s a fairly controlled environment, and you are all familiar with each dog’s temperament.
36. Get Beagles Used to Being Handled
Getting them used to being handled from an early age is one of the best beagle tips we can give you.
At the least, they are going to develop endless ear infections, need regular nail clipping and grooming, and at some point, you’ll need to administer oral medication.
When your beagle is familiar with being closely handled, and trusts you not to cause any harm to them, it makes your life (and your vets) so much easier!
Plus, beagles are extremely forgiving – so long as any groping is swiftly followed with a drool-inducing treat!
37. Consider a Buddy for your Beagle
It’s no secret amongst owners that their hounds cope far better with one or more other beagles (or dogs) around.
This is especially true when it comes to helping your beagle become less dependent on you – subsequently preventing separation anxiety and other issues commonly developed by the beagle breed.
Plus, two beagles doesn’t necessarily mean ‘Double the Trouble!’
Watching them endlessly entertain each other, play bitey-face, and do zoomies in the yard does wonders for burning off all of that excess energy, and can help improve their overall health and wellbeing, including yours!
READ: 14 Dogs That Do (and Don’t) Make a Great Match for a Beagle!
Wrapping Up Our Top-Tips for Beagle Owners
Owning a beagle doesn’t make you an average dog owner. They are one of the most lovable and funny dog breeds around, but they also come with their own set of unique challenges.
Their high intelligence coupled with stubborn characteristics, means they are likely to test your patience on numerous occasions.
It takes a little extra work, understanding, and love to raise one of these social creatures – but the rewards are most definitely worth it!
We hope these top tips for beagle owners help make life easier for you and your hound. As always, if you have any questions or tips of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments below!
Happy beagle owning!