Do Beagles Kill Small Animals?


Beagle attacking a bird

Before domesticating dogs, they lived in the wild and used to hunt to fill their stomach. They are known to be direct descendants of wolves. While beagles are affectionate, social, and friendly breeds now, back in the past, they were used for hunting small animals. They still have instincts of chasing. So do beagles kill small animals?

Even after being domesticated for hundreds of years, Beagles still have instinctive desire to chase, bite, and try to kill things that may look like prey. Small animals like rabbits, rats, chickens, birds, and even snakes can trigger this hunting instinct and lead beagles to kill it. 

Do Beagles kill Cats?

Even though beagles were used as hunting dogs, they are incredibly social and friendly with other animals, including cats. They are intelligent and smart enough to learn that they are not supposed to harm your pet cat. Due to their gentle and affectionate nature, beagles get along well cats.

Do Beagles kill Coyote or Foxes?

Beagles are not aggressive in nature. They may instinctively kill small animals but do not usually show aggression towards bigger animals. While an adult beagle can defend himself from a coyote or a fox, it is less like for it to kill them.

What to do if your beagle kills an Animal?

In an unfortunate event, if your beagle’s instinctive drive kills a small animal, here are a few things to do.

Do not punish your beagle

The punishment system works differently on dogs. If you punish your pooch for something he did a minute ago, he won’t even understand his mistake. What’s done is done.

However, if you catch him while he is trying to hurt an animal, you can say NO or make some sound to grab his attention and then make him stop.

Take your pooch to vet

If you suspect that your beagle has come in contact with some small animal, take him to your vet immediately.

You see, even small animals try their best to defend themself. So if your dog has attacked an animal, that animal might have scratched or bit your pooch. Explain the situation and have him checked up by the vet.

Also, make sure that he gets all the necessary vaccinations on time. Consult your vet and make sure he gets quarterly vaccination against Spirocerca Lupi.

Do not let your beagle eat the prey

Do not let your beagle eat the prey. Small animals have small bones that can seriously injure and even cause internal bleeding. So if you are lucky enough to catch your pooch in between the crime, leave everything behind and rush to stop him.

Try to rescue the prey

Being an animal lover, I would request you to try to save the small animal that was hurt by your dog. If you think it alive, then take him to a nearby vet. However, be cautious, the little animal might b traumatized and can attack you when you try to rescue him.

Personal Story: A couple of months ago, my 2-year-old beagle was playing in the yard, and I was busy doing my work, and suddenly, I heard a low pitched but loud voice. To my arrival at the crime scene, I saw that my pooch was trying to hunt down a bird. He had that poor thing in his jaws and was running all over the yard.  I immediately screamed NO and rushed to stop my dog from killing it. The bird was lying down still on the ground as if he was dead. I went to check on the bird, and suddenly he attacked me and flew away. My dog was fine; however, I had to take an injection.

Train your Beagle to Not killing small animals

beagle ready to attack

I learned it the hard way how important it is to train your beagle to control his instinct and not attack small animals.

The first time your beagle will attack an animal out of instincts. The second time it will be for fun. And by the third time, it will become his sport. This can make your dog aggressive, and he may escalate to attacking pet animals like cats and dogs too. So put this to an end before it gets out of hand.

  1. The general idea is to social your beagle to a few small animals, so he is comfortable around them.
  2. Try to get a few small animals that can trigger your beagle’s instinct. You can get a pet rabbit, rat, and chicken. For this training, we will go with a rabbit.
  3. Keep the rabbit in the cage before you bring your dog.
  4. Put your pooch on a leash and bring him near the cage.
  5. Slowly start moving towards the cage. If your dog remains calm and moves with you, give him a treat. If he gets excited and tries to rush, then gently pull back the leash and command him to sit.
  6. Repeat the process until your beagle drains out of excitements and moves gently and slowly.
  7. Now let him smell the animal in the cage. If he barks or shows any sign of aggression, then gently pull him back and let him calm down.
  8. Once your beagle gets used to the small animal, let him out of the cage. See how your pooch reacts to it.

Doing this regularly with different animals will familiarize your beagle with them and minimize his chances of making a kill.

Final Thoughts

Beagles are not at all aggressive in nature. They are smart enough to understand that it’s not right to kill animals; they just need a little training. Even if your pooch kills an animal, do not be hard on him and avoid using punishments.

Raaj Mehta

I am a parent of two adorable beagles and I share everything I learn about them, along with lots of tips, tricks, and advice.

Recent Content