When your beagle buddy is getting restless, chances are he’s not getting enough time outside for his favorite activities -- running, chasing and sniffing out scents. Beagles are a family friendly breed that love lazing about, but only when their desire for activity is being fully satisfied.
Among the most popular dog breeds in the nation, beagles were bred as hunting dogs, and their instinctive behaviors reflect that history. According to the American Kennel Club, beagles also have a cheerful disposition and are highly sociable with other dogs and human companions. This high-energy breed of dog will happily play the day away with children or follow you like a shadow as you go about your daily activities, according to the Beagle Club of Queensland.
Getting a Bad Rep, Sometimes
Beagles have earned a somewhat unfair reputation as noisy, restless pets. When pet therapy provider Kelly Larsen started looking into acquiring a beagle, all those stereotypical qualities -- hyperactivity, loud barking, difficult to train -- were on her mind, according to her report for the National Beagle Club. After doing more research on the breed, Larsen found a young female pup who she says has been both the ideal family pet and the ideal therapy dog. Many of the bad behaviors that come to annoy beagle owners are simply the result of in-born traits that go haywire as the result of poor training or unsuitable living conditions.
Beagles Behaving Badly
It’s a significant time and training investment to properly raise a beagle puppy or care for such an active dog. At the puppy stage, beagles are naturally very active and curious, which can lead them into all kinds of mischief and mayhem -- like turning your most expensive pair of shoes into a chew toy. As puppies and as grown dogs, beagles need daily interaction, as they are bred to be part of a pack environment. The fun-loving animals will also find ways of getting into trouble if left alone for long periods of time and may eventually grow restless or anxious without companionship and adventure. The outward signs of a restless beagle include excessive barking and a destructive streak.
If your dog has constant difficulty sitting still, learning acceptable behaviors or always seems anxious, this state of hyperkinesis -- think of Attention Deficit Disorder in children -- is likely caused by stress. So what makes beagles frazzled? Isolation, confinement or stressful living conditions are the top culprits, according to Beagle Savvy. Resolving those problems requires a commitment by the owner to create an environment that is both nurturing and safe for the pet and to help the beagle use up all her natural energy in positive ways, according to Ohio-based beagle rescue provider Kyleewood Kennels. “Barron’s Dog Bibles: Beagles” notes that providing plenty of consistent exercise and attention is the best place to start.
- The Beagle Corner: Are You Ready for a Beagle?
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Beagle
- The Beagle Club of Queensland: What You Need to Know About Beagles (PDF)
- National Beagle Club: Therapy Beagles
- Kyleewood Kennels Dog Training And Beagle Rescue: Dealing with Overactive Dogs and Puppies
- National Beagle Club of America: Information About the Breed
- Beagle Savvy: Hyperkinesis: Understanding The Over-Reactive Beagle
- Barron’s Dog Bibles: Beagles; Eve Adamson
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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