If you have spent much time around beagles, no one has to tell you whether beagles bark a lot. The answer to the question “Do beagles bark a lot? is “Yes!”
Beagles are compact, adorable dogs. They have soulful eyes. They have cute floppy ears. They are intelligent, and they have a sense of humor.
Beagles have a sense of smell comparable to bloodhounds. They can instinctively track a scent. They are the right size to romp with the kids so nobody gets hurt.
And beagles bark and bark. Then they howl.
All dogs bark, but beagles are not shy about singing their emotions to all who hear in the form howling.
They are hounds after all, and hounds howl. Howling has been bred into beagles for nearly 200 years.
Beagles Are Vocal Animals
The Reverend Phillip Honeywood raised a pack of beagles in County Essex in England in the 1830s.
The reverend’s intention was to raise animals that made great pets but were also great hunters.
The English upper class kept beagles to hunt foxes and rabbits. Beagles were taught to bray (making a sound something like a-roo-roo-roo) when they caught the scent of prey, and to keep braying until their owners saw it.
Beagle owners “released the hounds” to find game animals, not to kill them. Beagles were too small to carry them, too.
Chances are you never put on a red morning coat and take your pack of beagles hunting. But it’s equally likely your modern beagle loves to make noise.
Beagle Barking May Be Temporary
There are some common situations in which beagles bark too much, but it’s not likely to become a long-term problem.
When you first bring a beagle into your home, it may bark and howl. It misses its mother. It misses its siblings. It doesn’t know you yet.
In this situation, your beagle is scared and needs comforting. If you crate your dog, place the crate close to you the first few nights.
You won’t get a lot of sleep the first night, but the problem will resolve itself faster. It helps if you bring your beagle home with something that has the scent of mama, like a blanket.
For beagles, smelling is believing. If they can smell their former home, they are much less traumatized.
There will also be times that your beagle’s barking can be a good thing. Like all dogs, beagles have an incredible sense of smell.
They might bark when they smell a gas leak. They might bark when they smell a family member or a burglar coming in late at night. They bark when they sense a tornado or an earthquake.
Like other dogs, beagles will bark when fireworks go off or when thunderstorms rumble. This barking doesn’t last forever.
But there is one condition that causes beagles to bark and howl all day, every day.
What to Do When Your Beagle Loves You Waaaaay Too Much
Some of the biggest beagle barking problems are likely to occur when you aren’t home.
As soon as you leave your home for work, or you go shopping, or you take a weekend getaway, your beagle starts barking.
You won’t be bothered by this. Your neighbors probably will, especially if you live in an apartment.
Animal health experts refer to this problem as separation anxiety. It can cause beagles not just to bark, howl, and cry, but also to have bathroom accidents and destroy your stuff.
If solitude leads your beagle to make noise and destructive behaviors, try these interventions:
- Wear out your beagle. Schedule your dog’s walk before you leave for work. Make sure it’s a vigorous experience for both of you. Or schedule a boisterous play session before you leave your home.
- Keep your beagle busy. Pet supply stores and superstores stock interactive toys. Busta Cubes and Kongs can keep your beagles so busy they forget to bark. These interactive toys hide treats. Your beagle has to figure out how to open the to get the treat. While your dog is chowing down on the goodies, you won’t be missed.
- Change your routine. Separation anxiety doesn’t always begin after you leave. Separation anxiety can start while your dog sees you getting ready to go somewhere. So, make sure your dog doesn’t always know when you are leaving. Put on your shoes and pick up your keys and then settle down to read the news online. Or pick up your purse and then go to the bathroom. The less time your beagle spends anticipating your departure, the less severe the separation anxiety will be.
- Don’t make a big deal of your departures. It’s a mistake to hug and kiss your beagle and apologize for going away. Your dog will think, “Oh no. I’ve lost them forever.” Instead, just say your goodbyes or maybe “Take care of the house.” Save affection and petting for your return.
- Put your dog in a crate, maybe. Some dogs feel better about being alone if they are confined to their crates. (They’ll still need their bathroom breaks.) A fun toy in the crate helps. So do leave something with your scent on it in the crate. Dogs sense we are around by our smell. Of course, this doesn’t work with every beagle.
- Consider doggy daycare. When your beagle is at daycare, your neighbors won’t be complaining about barking and crying. Your stuff will be safe. Your dog will have fun. You will have a mellow canine companion at pickup time.
- Take your beagle with you. Dogs can learn to love car rides if they aren’t always to the vet. Some employers even encourage you to bring your pets to work. There’s no separation anxiety because there’s no separation.
- See your vet. In the most extreme cases, treatment for anxiety may be necessary.
What Vets Say About Barking Beagles
Your vet doesn’t really want to tranquilize your dog with doggy Xanax.
Your vet will want you to make sure you have eliminated triggers for excessive barking first.
Here are the sorts of things vets and trainers suggest you look for when barking is unbearable.
Identify triggers for barking
Is there something that sets off barking in your beagle? Common triggers for barking include:
- Separation anxiety, which we previously discussed
- Canine dementia in older dogs
- Outdoor sounds, and also sounds beside, above, and below you, if you live in an apartment
- Dogs your beagle sees through the window, or on television
- Activities outside your home, such as construction or trash collection, or sirens on fire trucks and ambulances
- Illness that causes pain or constant irritation
Can you modify the trigger for barking?
- Play white noise or calming music
- Play your beagle’s favorite program on television in a loop all-day
- Block your dog’s view of the street or park whether other dogs are seen. Apply an opaque film to the window glass. Close drapes. Put up a screen
- Schedule a time to bring your dog to your vet or trainer to discuss barking
- Consider a pet sitter, dog walker, or canine daycare
- Don’t punish your beagle for barking. Avoid swatting your beagle, scolding your beagle, and electric bark collars. Your dog won’t be able to make the connection between barking and punishment. Your beagle will just think you are mean.
- Use positive reinforcement. Consider buying remote or robotic training machines that dispense treats when your beagle has been quiet for a preset amount of time. These machines are especially helpful when you have to be gone all day for a long day.
Hyper beagle to happy beagle?
Veterinary scientists tell us that barking in beagles has a lot to do with their breed, their genetics, and your expectations.
None of these factors is under your beagle’s control. If your beagle barks too much, you are going to have to be the one who makes change possible.
But beagle barking gets better as beagles get older. Here’s what veterinary scientists know.
Puppies are mouthier than fully grown dogs. A lot of their barking has to do with their waking up from naps. Some beagle puppies will be more active and noisier than others.
Dogs go through brain changes when they are fully socialized. They start to learn how to get along with different animals and people and situations about the age of four weeks.
The more different people and things and situations they encounter, the less adjustment anxiety they will have as adults.
A yappy beagle puppy can mature into a calm beagle adult about the age of two.
After age two, what you see is what you get. Pathological barking that needs veterinary intervention can show up at this time. But most beagles don’t have this kind of barking problem.
Cuprous, active beagles stay that way into old age, provided there is a human who cares enough to keep them busy.
Service beagles live longer and stay better controlled than beagles that don’t have a “job.”
Some beagles bark excessively because they want attention. Give them attention.
Some beagles bark excessively because they are environmentally sensitive. The older term for this was “high-strung.” Give them a quiet environment.
Some beagles bark excessively because they overreact to sounds and smells. Your vet can help these dogs with medication.
Your vet can help you find out if your beagle is that rare dog that actually needs pharmaceutical help to stay calm enough to enjoy life.
But the more attention you pay to your dog and your dog’s surroundings, the easier it will be for you to reduce barking on your own.
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