If you have a Beagle or are considering getting a Beagle puppy you will be interested in knowing how their behavior and maturity change as they age.
Every dog is an individual even of the same breed. However, there will be traits and personality factors that are common across the breed as a whole.
Beagle behavior 2 to 4 months old
As a young puppy, a Beagle is curious and playful. Everything is new to them. They are moderately hyper at this age and have plenty of energy. However, activity should be kept to short sessions as they will tire quickly.
When they are not active they will sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Formal exercise is not necessary at this age. Free play with you and age-appropriate toys will suffice. As they probably will not be fully vaccinated before 12 months you should not take them for walks off of your property. However, it can be a good idea to get them used to a dog leash around the home and yard.
This period is known as the late sensitive period and they will learn much about the world and how to behave. It is not too early to start with short training sessions teaching basic commands and accepted behavior. Time taken now to set the rules and boundaries will help prevent any behavior problems later on.
Obviously, this is a crucial time for potty training. Allowing toileting problems developing now will make it much harder to fix in the future. Crate training can assist in toilet training and also teach other behaviors. Nuisance barking and howling can be a problem with many Beagles. By teaching them that they are not released from the crate while making a noise they will learn that barking and howling will not get them what they want.
Beagle behavior 4 to 12 months old
This is the period when a Beagle puppy will become more hyper and high energy than they were. They will require more exercise, activity, and mental stimulation to tire them. Exercise for a puppy is not the same as an adult dog. For a guide to puppy exercise see here.
By now they will have had all their vaccinations and you can take them for walks off of your property. Your vet will let you know when this is ok. The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is 5 minutes for every month of age. For example, at 5 months a walk of up to 25 minutes is good. This is only a guideline and if your Beagle puppy is lagging behind or seems tired you can end the walk sooner.
It is important to ensure that your Beagle puppy also gets plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment. A bored puppy will find ways to occupy themselves and may act up. For a guide to mental stimulation for puppies see here.
Continue with their training. This will help reinforce commands and behaviors they have already learned and new things as well. Training is not only about obedience. It is also a crucial bonding time for you both and provides mental stimulation for them.
Socialization and habituation are very important at this stage of a Beagle puppies life. Introduce your Beagle puppy to new people, friendly dogs, and different places and situations. This will help to build their confidence and prevent them from developing phobias and anxiety issues.
Beagle behavior 12 to 24 months old
This is the beginning of adulthood. Physical your Beagle looks similar to an adult and they would have matured to some degree. However, they still have the energy of a puppy and mainly reasonably hyper.
It is crucial to ensure that they are receiving adequate exercise. For a guide to exercise for an adult Beagle see here. Mental stimulation and enrichment are also essential to prevent boredom.
If you have given your Beagle good training, socialization, and provided to their physical and mental exercise needs in the first year of their life they should be well behaved and not have developed any behavior issues.
However, that doesn’t mean the job is finished. It is important to remain consistent with the rules and boundaries and meeting their exercise and enrichment needs. This will help prevent any new behavior issues from developing.
Beagle behavior 2 to 8 years old
By two years of age, your Beagle will have matured into a young adult. They will be at their physical peak and it is still important to remain consistent with exercise and enrichment. Although they may not be as hyper as they where at 1 to 2 years old they are still high energy. They would have settled and be more controlled and know when is playtime and when it is time to chill out.
Beagle behavior over 8 years old
From around 8 years of age, a Beagle is considered to be a senior dog. The life expectancy of a Beagle is around 12 to 15 years. Just because they have turned 8 years old doesn’t mean you will see a sudden drop in their energy levels. Exercise is still crucial but you can adjust the volume of exercise to fit their needs.
As they age they may develop normal old-age health issues such as arthritis. Exercise becomes a balancing act. Too much and they will become sore. Not enough and they will lose mobility and become overweight. For a guide to exercise for a senior dog see here.
If your Beagle as reached their senior years and hasn’t developed any behavior issues it is unlikely you will have any problems.
Potential Beagle Behavior Problems
Behavior problems in Beagles are generally the result of three things.
Boredom and pent up energy – being high energy and highly intelligent means your Beagle will require plenty of exercise and activities, enrichment, and mental stimulation. For more ways to calm a hyper Beagle see here.
Rules and boundaries – a lack of consistency with the rules and boundaries can result in a Beagle thinking they are in charge.
Fear – this can result in behaviors such as lunging and barking at people or dogs and anxiety such as separation anxiety.
These are some common behavior issues your Beagle may have and ways to fix them.
Barking and howling
Many Beagles can like to bark and vocalize. There are many reasons dogs bark including being overexcited, warning somebody is there, anxiety, boredom, and attention-seeking behavior.
Yelling at your dog to stop usually doesn’t work and often makes them bark more. To a dog you yelling is like barking. They think you are barking so they think they should bark some more.
With excessive barking, a dog will often get into a more aroused state the more they bark. The trick is to stop this state before it gets too high. Teach them a “quiet command” and provide redirection. This can be as simple as getting their attention from the first bark with a treat or toy they like.
Not all Beagles are diggers. However, many Beagles are. Dogs dig for many reasons including boredom, bury bones, or escaping.
Beagles are notorious escape artists and will often dig under a fence to make their getaway. For solutions to a dog digging under a fence see here.
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. Ensure your Beagle is not only getting plenty of physical activity but plenty of other forms of enrichment to challenge their minds also.
Another way to tackle this problem is to remove items they may chew if possible or use a deterrent such as a bitter-tasting spray. See chew deterrents on Amazon here.
Redirect the behavior by providing your Beagle with plenty of chew toys. Chewing itself is not a bad thing for your dog to do unless it is your stuff. Chewing is good for dental health, to occupy your dog, and for stress relief. When a dog chews they release endorphins to the brain making them feel calm and happy.
For the best chew toys for dogs see here.
Lunging towards other dogs and people
This behavior is based on fear and it is the perception by the dog of a potential threat or danger. It can also be an indication that the dog doesn’t see you as the leader and they need to protect you. This can also occur with dogs that haven’t been socialized well.
Often this can be a serious problem and you may need the help of an experienced qualified dog behaviorist.
There are many reasons a dog will pull on the leash. They may be in a hurry to get where they are going, to meet another dog, or chase something. Ultimately, all these things have the same cause. The dog is getting into an excited state. It is not about stopping the dog pulling. Rather about keeping the dog calm and relaxed on the leash.
Summary – Beagle behavior by age
A dog’s behavior will show signs of change as they go through the different age groups. Their energy levels and maturity will change.
Providing appropriate amounts of exercise and enrichment, socialization, and training will help to prevent any behavior issues arising. It is easier to prevent behavior problems than to fix them.
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