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Did you know beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in America? It’s true. The mischievous (and often noisy) beagle is the fifth most common canine in the states. We love these cheerful dogs with their endless curiosity and surprising intelligence. Let’s not forget, beagles are the original hunting dogs, bred to sniff out hares and other small prey animals. But are beagles loyal to their owners?
While beagles are known to be friendly with everyone, they tend to be loyal to one person. The breed’s history as a hunting companion makes it easy for them to develop strong affinity with the owner. But this doesn’t mean that beagles are one-person dogs, they do surprisingly well in families.
This article explores the temperament of the beagle and asks whether the breed’s fabled loyalty is genuine. Let’s find out more about it.
A Quick Guide to the Beagle
While it’s important to remember every individual dog is different, the beagle seems to demonstrate a high degree of loyalty. In the past, the breed has been utilized as a hunting dog, a watchdog, and a carriage companion. Today, some beagles are involved in hunting, but more work as airport security and medical alert dogs.
The beagle’s intelligence and history as a hunter has bred a keen willingness to please in these canines. They love to be engaged in ‘puzzles’ and derive satisfaction from completing tasks and being rewarded. Beagles are not huge and powerful dogs – they rarely grow above 41cm – but their high energy and independent mindset endear them to many.
The stories are true then. Beagles can be exceptionally loyal dogs. However, like the rest of this article shows, true royalty requires commitment and complete trust in an owner.
Why Are Beagles So Loyal to Humans?
The beagle’s loyalty is best understood by understanding its history. We’ve discussed the breed’s past as a hunting dog. They use to hunt small animals with humans. In fact,w beagles are still used as a hunting companion. A beagle would track down the scent and chase the animal, while the human would take a shot at the prey. Many of their jobs required the dogs to be bred, housed, and used in large packs. This activity has planted a seed of bonding and trusting their human in this breed.
Consequently, only the energetic and most sociable beagles were selected for further breeding. Over time, these dogs have become increasingly loyal and learned to relish responsibilities. Some beagles are less loyal than other beagles – there are atypical personalities in every breed – but most form strong bonds with their owners.
It’s worth mentioning the strong bonds beagles often have with children. Due to their manageable size and limitless energy, they make great family pets. Most beagles love physical contact, playing games, solving puzzles and going on outdoor adventures. In the past, Beagles were also used to guard babies; they can bark loud and easily sniff out intruders.
Are Beagles Loyal Towards the Entire Family?
Dogs are just like human kids. They may make a lot of friends, but they usually have one ‘best’ or favorite person. This is common in many dog breeds, but it is particularly true for the beagle. It doesn’t mean a pet won’t develop bonds with all family members. It means they’ll look to one owner as their primary provider and protector.
The instinct is more potent in beagles and similar hunting breeds because they would be tended to and directed by a single master. The outcome of a hunt depended on the dogs’ ability to identify, understand, obey, and please a sole owner. Beagles will pick their favorite person based on how effectively family members nurture, exercise, engage, and entertain them.
Training is essential if you want to develop loyalty in a beagle. These dogs are rarely used for hunting now, but they still thrive under similar instructions. Obedience training is recommended, not only because pet beagles can be naughty, but also because they need to have mental exercise. Training a beagle to respond to commands remains one of the best ways to develop a strong bond.
Are Beagles Loyal to Kids Too?
As mentioned, beagles were kept as guards for babies because of their friendly temperament and excellent detection skills. As they’re so playful, these dogs normally love getting attention from children.
For beagles to behave suitably around very young babies, they need to be trained and obedient. Otherwise, they may bark incessantly, not out of aggression, but due to excitement. When well trained, they make genuinely excellent watchdogs or ‘nanny’ dogs as some have called them. They’re too small to be security dogs, but they sure can make a terrible racket if they identify a threat.
When a beagle puppy grows up alongside a baby who shows love and respect, an unbreakable bond can form. It’s not unusual for a beagle to refuse to sleep anywhere but in the same room as their buddy. Kids who play with their dogs and speak to them often are beloved in a pet’s eyes. This is the same for most breeds, but beagles are particularly responsive to shared experiences.
How Do Beagles Show Their Loyalty?
Beagles who feel loyalty towards their owners demonstrate great affection and curiosity towards them. Ever been shadowed by a cheerful dog who follows you around just to be a part of your every experience? This is typical behavior for beagles. They often shadow their favorite person, staying close at hand.
A beagle will want to please his owner, and he will show his loyalty by following each of his owner’s commands. You can notice a behavioral change when the beagle’s loved one enters the room. He will become more playful and happy.
Behaviors which are often misunderstood as Disloyalty
Ignorance: One thing to be aware of is a tendency towards selective deafness. As with other hunting breeds, beagles are so efficient at scent tracking they can essentially ‘turn off’ their other senses to better isolate smells. This can seem like disobedience because the dogs will appear to be ignoring their owners when occupied with a scent.
It’s not strictly true. As far as we can gather, beagles really can ‘mute’ their hearing when otherwise occupied. Of course, they’re also capable of outright ignoring their owners if they don’t like a particular command. It can be challenging to tell the difference between the two behaviors, sometimes, which is why pet beagles need obedience training.
Loyal beagles are rambunctious and can undoubtedly be naughty pets. For the most part, however, they listen to commands. They are rarely aggressive, usually only if a beagle perceives something or someone as a threat to their family. They are inquisitive dogs and delight in opportunities to show their owners their exciting discoveries.
Stubbornness: We mention this because beagles can be notoriously difficult to train. Their boundless intelligence and energy often manifest in a keen stubbornness. It’s adorable and amusing until you’re up at 2 am trying to convince a beagle puppy not to tear the ottoman to pieces. They’re worth the hard work, I promise, so be patient and persistent.
It is why many families prefer to adopt beagles as puppies rather than mature dogs. As this creates problems for animal shelters, it’s still worth considering an adult beagle if you can spare the time to socialize and train him. Otherwise, a beagle puppy’s obedience training should start as early as possible. Once this breed develops a bad habit, it can take a frustratingly long time to eliminate it.
Disobedience: Well if you procrastinate training your beagle, then, of course, he will turn out to be disobedient but this doesn’t mean that the beagle isn’t loyal to his owners. It’s just that the beagle and the owner don’t have proper communication. Beagles who are in rescue shelters may take a little more time to develop trust. Though the process may be time-consuming, they are capable of behavior reform. However, you can through this guide to teach your beagle discipline.
Gaining the Loyalty of a Beagle
Firstly, the same rules apply to beagles as it does to all other canine breeds. These dogs develop bonds with people who show them kindness and respect. Often, they’re BFFs with the person who feeds them most, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one for now. In any case, true lifelong loyalty requires commitment.
The person in your family who engages with the beagle most often will likely become their favorite human. Food is essential, of course, but beagles need stimulation. They flourish under the supervision of an owner who plays games, takes them out on long walks, and treats them as a real companion. Beagles are not lap-dogs. This breed is bursting to be involved with every adventure and experience.
There are four steps to develop loyalty in a pet beagle:
- Proper Communication: It is necessary that your beagle and you have clear communication. You can create it by teaching your beagle some basic and essential commands.
- Regular exercise: Always remember ‘An exhausted beagle is a happy beagle’. Beagles are an active breed and they need to release their energy daily. Regular exercise is a must for a beagle.
- Teaching Tricks: Teaching tricks to your beagle is more important than you think. Teaching tricks is a perfect way to create and strengthen the bond between the dog and his owner.
- Balanced diet: What beagle eats affects his behavior. You can go through this Beagle feeding guide for more info.
Final Thoughts On Beagles and Their Loyalty
Not every beagle is a superb companion or good at showing loyalty. Certainly, rescue dogs adopted from shelters are more likely to have behavioral issues regardless of breed. Let’s not forget, canines are individuals and as unique as you or I. While discussing on breed characteristics, you should always keep this in mind.
Generally speaking, the beagle is capable of great loyalty. It has been bred to derive satisfaction from serving a master and enjoys the stimulation of being a ‘working’ dog. The other side of this, of course, is they need plenty of exercises, entertainment, and affection to thrive and be happy. Beagles are very intelligent breed dogs; their loyalty correlates with how well they are treated and how happy they feel in a family.