A signature howl is instinctive for beagles, and all beagles learn to howl -- some sooner than others. Your beagle puppy may sing as early as 8 weeks of age or not until his first birthday. But once he starts, he won't stop. It's what a beagle does.
What Makes Beagles Howl?
Beagles are a hunting breed, and howling is their way of telling their hunter that prey has been sighted or caught. A beagle's howl can be bigger than he is, capable of carrying quite a distance. If there's no prey to be spotted in your house, a beagle will find other reasons to vocalize. Howling makes a beagle happy. Your beagle may consider many things fair game for howling: the mailman, squirrels in the yard, cars on the road. The wind. A dandelion.
The First Howl
Some beagles don't howl much at all and others bay nonstop. Howling can be learned while a puppy is still in the litter. If a beagle's mother or littermates howl, they will all learn to sing before they leave the whelping box. Beagles who don't howl as puppies may be inspired by other triggers as they get older. Your beagle might howl for the first time when he sees bird flying on a walk or hears a loud noise that triggers his instinct. The quiet beagle is a rare beagle, but chances are that a quiet puppy may be a quiet adult and howl infrequently.
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Beagles have three distinct vocalizations. The beagle bark is different from a howl. Beagles have a loud bark, and your beagle will use it to get your attention: for instance, when he wants his dinner. You'll know the beagle howl when he throws his head back and makes a high-pitched, long mournful sound that can't be mistaken for anything else. A beagle also bays, which is his third vocalization. That's a cross between a bark and a howl. It's not as long as a howl and has a sharper, harsher sound. A beagle will frequently bay to get attention.
Turn Down the Volume
Once a beagle learns to howl, it's tough to make him stop. If the noise is too much for you or your neighbors, you can teach your beagle to howl less. Redirect his attention when he begins to howl by throwing a toy for him to fetch or asking him to sit. Praise him when he obeys, and he'll quickly learn to simmer down. Beagles are dogs who love companionship and will sometimes howl because they're alone. Leave the TV or a radio playing when you leave to see if that helps, or give your beagle a crate for a security den to nap in when you're not home.