Ah, the beagle, cute long ears, sad-looking eyes, and cuddle monsters, this friendly breed loves to be included in the family, but do they make a good family dog? Beagles are pack animals, and by adding one to the family, you will become his pack.
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Is a beagle a good family dog?
For most families, the beagle is an excellent family dog. They are a social breed and love to spend time with family members. They are gentle and great around small children. Beagles require a moderate amount of daily exercise, so they fit nicely into active families that can take them on daily walks.
Adding a beagle to your family will give you years of fun and help create special memories between you, your beagle, and your family. You’d be surprised how special this breed is, especially with kids. There are a lot of benefits, let’s take a look at some.
Reason #1 They Develop Strong Bonds
A beagle is a very affectionate breed, and they thrive in families that can give them lots of attention and daily interaction. They love to be touched and to snuggle. Beagles develop strong bonds with their family members and possess loyalty like very few breeds do.
Beagles love to spend time with their masters. Many beagles follow their family members around the house and enjoy car rides. I know my Beagle wanted to go with me everywhere. He was a fantastic companion and accompanied me to many places.
The downside to developing such a strong bond is that Beagles can go through separation anxiety when separated from their family. So, if you are going to get a Beagle, make sure you understand that you are making a commitment to the dog for the entirety of his life.
Separation anxiety isn’t an issue with every Beagle. You can minimize it with proper training, exposure to new people, and positive reinforcement. It’s not something that should prevent you from getting one, but just understand that you will have to educate yourself and learn how to treat this if it arises.
Reason #2 They Love Kids
Beagles have cheerful personalities and are very gentle, though they do know how to roughhouse at times. When it comes to children, though, Beagles are very soft. This gentleness is suitable for small children; Beagles can sense the difference between a child and an adult.
Beagles in families are known to protect the children they are around. You can see this in beagles that follow kids around the house to protect, guard, and watch them. Beagles may be cheerful most of the time, but if they sense a threat or that their family member is in danger, they have a strong protective instinct and will be sure to act.
Since they develop strong bonds, a beagle may view your kids as their best friends. Having a beagle become your children’s friend gives them emotional support as well as a playmate that’s always available.
Even though Beagles are gentle, they can be highly energetic at times. They enjoy playing with kids, being taken on walks by them, playing fetch with them, etc. There are plenty of activities a family can do with a Beagle, and their Beagle will love them all the more.
Reason #3 They Make Excellent Therapy Dogs
Beagles are almost always in a good mood. They know how to enjoy life and love being with their family members the most. A healthy beagle will learn how to brighten up your family’s day. Beagles are also highly empathetic and can pick up on emotions.
These two reasons are why Beagles are popular as therapy and emotional support dogs. They are frequently seen in therapists’ offices, children’s hospitals, and nursing homes. They know how to comfort the hurting and how to bring joy to people who are feeling hopeless. If you have a family, you can trust that your Beagle will be there for them.
Beagles will be able to sense when your family members are going through tough times. The strong bonds they develop with their family can help them to feel what others feel. At times they will try to cheer you up and bring you back to joy. Other times, if they sense you are sad, they will just sit with you or cuddle. They know how to bring comfort to people.
Reason #4 They Love To Cuddle
Why do Beagles like to cuddle? Beagles are pack animals, and sticking close to their pack or their family members is what they are wired to do. Beagles are cuddle monsters at heart and love to be touched. Petting and cuddling are one of their primary love languages.
If you want a breed that will snuggle up with you or your family on the sofa, or even in bed, then the Beagle is right for you. Since they are pack animals, it’s hard-wired for them to sleep close to their pack.
Reason #5 They Are People Pleasers
Beagles are pack animals. In the wild, dogs live in packs. They are never alone. Beagles love unity and will strive to please their family members and keep the peace between everyone. They are people, pleasers, by nature and are happy when your family is happy.
While it’s true, beagles can be very stubborn at times; they are only stubborn when they are not getting enough exercise and interaction with family members. They are known to misbehave when their activity and social needs are neglected. Spending more time with your Beagle may quickly solve this issue when you run into it, and you probably will.
Reason #6 They Love Walks
Beagles have a large amount of energy, though this can decrease with age. They need regular daily walks. Since they have such a strong sense of smell and such a high energy level, this should be a requirement for any Beagle owner. Add into the mix their love of food and the tendency to become overweight, and you should see why daily walks are essential.
Reason #7 They Have A Super-human Nose
Beagles love games that involve using their sense of smell. Kids will love these games as well. It provides training and stimulation for you, your beagle, and gives kids something fun to do. This is one reason a beagle is a good family dog.
Hiding games will train your Beagle to use his noses properly. A typical game is to hide a treat in the house or backyard and tell him to find it. This is an excellent game for rainy days when your beagle can’t spend much time outside.
Many families turn this into a family game. It can be done indoors or outdoors. It’s straightforward to do:
Play Hide The Treat
Step 1 Get one of your beagle’s favorite treats, something that gets him amped up, and show it to him. The smellier, the better.
Step 2 Leave your beagle in a room, or crate, by himself and leave the room.
Step 3 Create a scent trail by letting the treat make contact with specific areas on the floor or particular objects. You want him to pick up on the scent and trail you are creating.
Step 4 Hide the treat in a place that is not too difficult for him to reach. Eventually, you will be able to hide the treats out of reach and have him signal you when he knows where it is but start small.
Step 5 Let your beagle out of the room or crate and tell him to find the treat. Do not bring the treats with you. Show him your empty hands if you need to.
Step 6 Pick a command and a tone that communicates what you want him to do. Experiment until you find something that works
Step 7 When he finds the treat, lavish praise, and affection on him. You want to create a positive association when he does something right.
Step 8 Repeat the game as often as you want. If he doesn’t find it the first time, then try hiding it in a more accessible spot. You can make it more difficult as he progresses.
Step 9 Keep records. Track his progress and how long it takes him to find things.
Step 10 Graduate to the backyard.
You’d be surprised how long it takes him to find it at first. As you continue this game through the weeks and months, he will get better and better at tracking a scent trail.
Beagles may have super-human smell but, like any superpower, they have to learn how to use it. Hunting beagles are trained to track people, objects, and other animals, but there is a training process involved.
Beagles Should Not Be Let Off-Leash
A beagle’s sense of smell is so strong it can consume 100% of his attention. If you let your Beagle off-leash, he might obey you at first, but as soon as he picks up a scent, which won’t take too long, he will follow his nose to wherever the scent leads. Possibly, even into oncoming traffic. They need to be protected from this.
Many Beagles have a hard time diverting their attention away from the trail they are on. It’s such a strong instinct for them to track a scent trail. With proper training, they can be taught to stop and return to you, but this is difficult to do. If you want a Beagle that will be safe off-leash it might be best to invest in professional training as the amount of training it requires can be difficult for an average family.
Reason #8 They Love Food
Ask any beagle owner, and they will tell you that the secret to a beagle’s heart is through his stomach. You might not understand this until you get one, but Beagles love food, unlike any other breed.
Beagles were originally bred for hunting. Their nose is much more sensitive than your average dog. Some experts say up to 300 times stronger than humans. Their long floppy ears were a desired trait for the breed and thus bred into them. Their ears help to trap scents near their nose when they are on a scent trail.
Beagles can smell many things that humans can’t. Beagles can be trained to use their sense of smell in tracking animals and humans. They can also be trained to detect the presence of certain illnesses in humans. Other beagles are trained to detect bed bugs in a home. There are many other things Beagles can use their nose for; the point is, they have a superhuman sense of smell.
The smell of food, especially rich foods like bacon and dog treats, can make Beagles go nuts. They will do just about anything you want them to do if food is involved. Their sense of smell is unlike anything we humans can understand.
So, they are easy to please if you have food available for them. The drawback to this is they are prone to gain weight when overfed. So create rules for the family and limit treats.
Reason #9 They Love Dog Parks
Two of a beagle’s favorite things are being outside, tracking scents, and being social. By taking him to a dog park, you can accomplish all three! Most beagles get along well with other dogs and enjoy socialization. It’s a great way for the whole family to get together too.
Beagles should be socialized with other dogs, starting as young as possible. While they are young, they may not know how to behave around other dogs. By spending time with an older, more mature dog, your beagle will learn good behavior. Mature dogs can put your beagle in check and teach him when he crosses a boundary line.
Beagles should only socialize with dogs that already have healthy social skills, especially beagle puppies, as they will learn the behavior of the dogs they are around. As pups, they absorb everything up like a sponge, much like young children do. You don’t want your beagle to learn any bad habits.
Reason #10 They Like To Sing (Unless You Train Them Not To)
Beagles do make their fair share of noises. Though, it’s not always barking. Beagles have unique vocal cords that give them the ability to produce sounds many other breeds cant.
A frequent howling sound they make is called baying; hunting beagles often do this when they are tracking a scent, but family beagles frequently howl to music. I think this would be fun for kids to experience and is another reason a beagle is a good family dog.
My beagle would howl every time I played certain music and started singing along. I didn’t have to train him to do this. I just started singing on the radio one day, and he joined me. For fun, I used to howl with him. His reaction was priceless. If you are wanting a family dog, I’m sure your kids will enjoy this.
I never had any issues with my beagle baying uncontrollably or being too loud. He only did it when I was singing or when I wanted him to.
Reason #11 They Are On the AKC’s Top 10 List For Best Family Dogs
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has Beagles on their Top 10 Family Dogs list. The AKC is an organization that has been trusted for decades. They are dedicated to furthering the health and well-being of pureblood dog breeds, including beagles. They have standards that breeders who register with them have to maintain. So if you are looking to buy a beagle, getting one from an AKC registered breeder is a good idea, but they do cost more.
Reason #12 They Are On Cesar Millans Top 10 Best Breeds For Family Dogs
Cesar Millan is a famous dog trainer, although he doesn’t refer to himself as a dog trainer. He likes to say that he “rehabilitates dogs and trains people.” He is famous for rehabilitating difficult dogs and walking with 6 or more, off-leash, at times. He demonstrates what it means to be a pack leader, and dogs view him as one. He gained popularity in 2011 when his show “The Dog Whisperer” first aired on National Geographic.
Cesar Millan has beagles listed on his Top 10 Breeds For Families list. He is an expert in his field, and I am sure he has worked with his fair share of beagles.
So, is a beagle a good family dog? Yes, absolutely, but as you have probably already guessed, I am biased. A Beagle will make an excellent addition to most families. Just be sure to get one from a responsible breeder or a dog rescue organization. Stay away from the puppy stores that use puppy mills if you can.