Is a Beagle a good family dog
A well trained Beagle can be an excellent family dog for an active family. They were bred as a scenting hound to work in a pack. Being a pack dog they tend to attach and bond well within a family group.
The Beagle is a delightful dog being friendly, playful, and outgoing. However, they can be a little independent and stubborn and it is important that time is put into training them well and providing strong leadership.
If you have an exciting dog in the home, a Beagle will get along well with them. See are Beagles good with other dogs here. If you have a cat in the home, it may be a different story. Being a hunting breed they will often want to chase a cat. However, Beagles can live in harmony with cats if they are raised with them from a young age or they are trained not to chase them. See are Beagles good with cats here.
An untrained Beagle can develop behavior issues such as barking and howling, destructive behavior, digging, and escaping and running away. See below for potential behavior problems that a Beagle may develop without the right guidance.
The Beagle, being a hunting dog, is also relatively high energy and active and quite smart. This means that providing sufficient activity and exercise is crucial to prevent boredom. Being intelligent they also require plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment. Boredom is one of the main causes of behavior problems with dogs.
So, if you are wanting a loving, playful, and outgoing dog for your family, a Beagle would be a good choice. This is conditional on you being willing to provide leadership and training and ensure they receive sufficient exercise and enrichment.
Why you should get a family dog
Getting a family dog is probably the single best thing that you can do for your kids. A child playing with a dog is not only a heart-melting scene. It is also very beneficial when it comes to your children’s upbringing.
You will experience pure bliss by merely watching your kids taking care of their canine pals. They will also learn how to be responsible and compassionate human beings. We all well know that children learn by impersonating. Seeing you interact with the dog will surely inspire them to adopt the best manners while growing up.
Your children will have the opportunity to learn how to treat animals and acquire social-emotional skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Before you pick out the perfect canine friend for your household, take some time for thorough research. Adopting a dog is a life-long project for all the members of the family. You also want to make sure that your family pet gets along with other dogs, as well as people.
Beagle Temperament and personality
Beagles have an ideal personality as a family pet. They are friendly, loving and affectionate. They are very playful and will keep your children busy and happy for hours on end. Beagles also are not an aggressive dog at all. There may be exceptions but this is more likely the result of past experience rather than the norm for the breed.
Other traits of Beagles are that they are curious and very driven by their nose. Being a scenting hound, once they lock on to a scent the ears tend to switch off. They can be quite independent and stubborn. This is why providing stable leadership and lots of training is crucial for a Beagle owner.
Beagles are very food motivated to the point of obsession. This can be beneficial in training but they can be prone to obesity if their diet isn’t monitored. They will steal food if given the opportunity.
Beagles are active and energetic and daily exercise of at least an hour is required. Regular exercise is not only important to release pent up energy but to manage their weight also. They also need mental stimulation and enrichment to challenge their minds and tire them mentally. For a guide to Beagle exercise see here.
Are Beagles good with kids
Beagles are excellent with children of all ages due to their friendly and playful nature. They are also very tolerant of children and will put up with more from a child than most breeds.
They are also the ideal size. Not too small that a child may hurt them by accident and not too big that they will knock children over.
Being an active dog they will also encourage your children to be more active and play outside. With their playful and outgoing nature, they are fine even with big families and will not be overwhelmed.
Beagles also make excellent watchdogs due to their loyalty to the family. They have a deep loud bark and will alert you if they are suspicious of somebody or perceive a threat to the children.
Even though Beagles are good with children I would recommend that they are supervised with infant and toddler age children. Although they should be fine with younger children they are an animal.
Teaching your kids how to treat a Beagle
Most kids naturally love dogs and gravitate towards them. They love to cuddle them and play with them and get in their faces. It depends upon the individual temperament of your Beagle whether they are ok with them or not.
Involve your children in the training of your Beagle. This will teach them how to read the dog’s body language and will strengthen the bond between children and dog.
Your Beagle is likely going to be happy to see your children and will quickly get used to them coming up and touching them. It is important to teach your children that not all dogs will be the same as your dog.
No matter how your dog interacts with your kids, you want to make sure your kids understand that not all dogs are the same. You should teach your children to ask permission before touching a dog they don’t know, not to annoy them while they are eating and to be aware of body language such as growling.
These important lessons will teach your children to respect dogs and keep themselves safe. Teaching children to respect dogs and your dog to respect children is key to safe interactions between them.
Potential Beagle behavior issues
As mentioned, ensuring a Beagle is well trained is essential due to their independent and stubborn nature. Failure to meet this requirement will most likely result in behavior issues. See Beagle behavior by age for more details.
They are also active and energetic and not providing sufficient exercise and keeping them occupied will have the same result. Some of these behavior issues that are common with untrained and under-exercised Beagles include;
Escaping and running away
Beagle are notorious escape artists. If they are bored they may want to go find their own fun. It is essential that your property is Beagle escape-proof.
Barking and howling
Many Beagles can be quite vocal. Dogs bark for many reasons including being overexcited, warning somebody is there, anxiety, boredom, and attention-seeking behavior.
Many Beagles like to dig. This can be a problem if they are digging up your yard or even your carpet and furniture. Digging is an instinctive behavior for dogs. You can’t train an instinct out of a dog but you can redirect it in a more constructive way.
Destructive behavior usually involves chewing and destroying your property. This can include furniture, clothing, and items around the house.
In puppies, a certain amount of destructive chewing is expected as they are exploring the world and around 5 to 6 months will also be teething. The most common reason for destructive chewing is boredom.
Caring for a Beagle
When selecting any breed of dog for your family it is important to be sure that you are able to care for and provide to their needs. Things you need to take into consideration are;
- Financial costs – take into consideration the cost of food, vet visits or pet insurance, boarding costs if going away, etc.
- Time needs – do you have the time to spend with your Beagle. They like to spend as much time with the family as possible. If they are going to spend a lot of time home alone, behavior problems may develop. See leaving a beagle home alone for more.
- Exercise needs – Beagles need at least an hour of exercise a day but more is preferred. They are also very smart and need enrichment and mental challenges to prevent boredom. For a guide to Beagle exercise needs see here.
- Grooming needs – although Beagles don’t need a lot of grooming they will require regular brushing and bathing. They tend to shed coat quite heavy and may leave hair all over the house.
Summary – Are Beagles a good family dog
A Beagle is an excellent family dog for families that are active and have the time to devote to them. They are loving, playful, and gentle. Being a pack dog they will be happy to be part of the family.
However, training is essential as they can be independent and stubborn. Without good leadership and training, they may choose to do what they want rather than listen to you.
Beagles are also energetic and smart. They require daily exercise and plenty of mental enrichment to release pent up energy and prevent boredom.
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