Know Your Breed: Beagle

by April 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0

From Rachel Jones. Email her at rjones[AT] She is the owner of K-9 Divine and a professional dog trainer.


Beagles are always hunting. (Rachel Jones)

The beagle is one of the most common breeds found in our local private rescue organizations.

This is because local rescues get dogs from West Virginia, Virginia and the Carolinas, which tend to be hunting or herding breeds.

City dwellers think that the beagle is the perfect size for an apartment. It is important to know what you are getting into before choosing any breed of dog.

Beagles are hunting dogs. They have been bred for hundreds of years to chase foxes and other small animals. This is work they do independently from humans. This means that they are not naturally inclined to take direction from humans or be “team players.”

So expect them to be lower on the trainability scale than breeds that do work together with people, like retrievers or herding dogs. This doesn’t mean they are not intelligent, just that it will take more time and patience to train them. Beagles are also not very reliable off the leash, as they tend to follow their noses and get lost.

Beagles are very sweet tempered and love affection and company. They are good with children and other dogs. Beagles that are raised as hunting dogs live in huge packs in kennels. When they get rescued and brought to the city, they can have a hard time being alone while owners are at work.

Beagles have a very loud bark, and if they feel anxious and express it vocally, it can mean tension with neighbors. Before choosing to adopt a beagle, make sure you have understanding neighbors and a training program in place. As a trainer, 95% of the separation anxiety cases I see are beagles, and all of them are in apartments.

If you are willing to devote some extra time to training and your neighbors can tolerate some noise, a beagle can be a wonderful addition to your family.

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