The boisterous beagle has a very big reputation for being naughty and stubborn. As one of the most popular and well-known breeds on the planet, it’s a friend to all kinds of people. Beagles are great with children, friendly towards other dogs, make excellent pets for older people, and don’t need much indoor space. If you ask me, they’re the perfect canine companion. But is it true, are beagles stubborn?
Beagles are stubborn in nature. They have an independent mind. This can make it difficult for dog owners to train them. But with the right training and positive reinforcement, a beagle can be disciplined.
Everything that makes beagles wonderful – energy, intelligence, free-spiritedness – makes them stubborn, capricious, and infuriating too. Further, in this article, we will look into various reasons for their stubbornness and how to deal with it.
The Big Beagle Dilemma
It’s not to say beagles aren’t worthy pets. They make excellent companions to those who commit to proper training. Unfortunately, it’s common for these dogs to end up in shelters because people don’t do the necessary research on the breed and its temperament before owning one. With beagles, in particular, this can mean months of fun with a cute puppy that quickly turn into years of unruly behavior.
Beagles are not impossible to train, but the process can be lengthy and repetitive. These intelligent canines are genetically hardwired to leap, bound, and, most importantly, problem solve. Their history as hunting dogs gives them a need for constant stimulation. They are always looking for opportunities to play and, without proper training, find them in feats of escapology, daring kitchen raids, and demolition dives into a home’s fragile items.
If beagles were children, we’d call them very naughty. While their stubbornness makes the breed a high maintenance choice in puppyhood, it’s also why we love them so much. If you are considering a beagle for your next pet, first learn what this breed needs to live a rewarding life. Often, their bad behavior is due to a lack of mental stimulation and play.
The Reason For Beagles’ Stubbornness
Beagles are exceptionally intelligent dogs. It’s both a blessing and a curse. These smart pooches can play complex games, perceive emotions, figure out puzzles, and perform incredible feats of smell. You can read this article about how smart are beagles. With these big brains, they get bored easily. Beagles need lots of attention and cannot be left home alone for long periods.
When beagles aren’t trained correctly, and they get left alone, their owners come back to the carnage. Say goodbye to your toilet rolls, fancy ornaments, and dirty laundry; when a beagle plays with something, they really go all out. Many owners will punish their dogs for this behavior without acknowledging their boredom.
Beagles need regular short walks, plenty of play and games, lots of exciting things to sniff, and opportunities to demonstrate their obedience. When trained, the breed performs exceptionally well. These dogs love to show they can respond to commands, follow instructions, and be rewarded for it. This type of interaction nurtures the problem-solving regions of a beagle’s brain. Tell a puppy that, though, and he won’t believe you.
We know beagles can be trained. They make exceptional sniffer dogs and are still used as hunting companions in some parts of the world. The problem is they don’t always believe you’re worth listening to. Like human children, they hear you. They just think their newly discovered scent trail, chewed handbag, or hole in the garden is more interesting.
To some degree, this is just the breed’s nature. Even the most specialized, highly trained beagles in the police force retain an independent streak that sees them run away mischievously when called. Some beagles will always be a little naughty regardless of how well they’re trained. The perfect owner for one of these crafty canines is somebody who’s patient and firm but also forgiving (because they’ll probably lose a shoe or two).
How To Control A Stubborn Beagle
One good thing about beagles is their small stature makes them fairly easy to manage (physically at least). You can quickly scoop up a marauding beagle and remove him from whatever carnage he has created. The secret to a happy partnership, though, is early and consistent obedience training. The older your dog is, the harder it will be to effectively train him. This is why it’s important to implement rules and discipline your beagle.
Obedience training not only teaches a dog to respond to commands, but it also eliminates unwanted behaviors such as nipping when overexcited. Proper training also teaches a beagle to come when called, which is extremely valuable. We can’t promise it’ll be effective 100% of the time – this is beagles we’re talking about – but ‘call and respond’ is vital when your dog is chasing a squirrel in the park like he’s racing for a title at the dog track.
Owners only fail at training their beagles because they’re not persistent. Yes, it can be frustrating and take a long time. Often, it feels like it’s not making a difference. Patience is essential. The moment you give up and give in, you’re undoing any previous progress. The message becomes confusing to your pet, and they start to regress. Beagles can take a little longer to train than other small dogs, so keep repeating and keep reinforcing.
Initially, don’t leave your pooch unattended. Crate train your beagle and put him in it when you are busy. Avoid leaving your pet home alone for long periods. Beagle proofing a room and keeping him in it when you go out might save your home some destruction. However, it doesn’t solve the problem with your beagle. He’s still bored and going without any mental stimulation. With a quick Google search, you’ll find plenty of footage of bored beagles figuring escaping from enclosures.
If you plan to keep an unsupervised beagle in an enclosed yard, the yard’s fence must be significantly taller than they are. You’d be amazed at the type of fences beagles have been caught climbing over. Similarly, you shouldn’t keep one of these dogs in a yard with a chain-link fence. Beagles can use their toes to hang on, shimmy up and leap right over the top.
The Right Match For A Beagle
If all of this talk of intelligent, stubborn beagles has you thinking ‘what amazing creatures,’ you might be the perfect match for one of these dogs. The best type of owner for a beagle is a person who understands these dogs are not naughty because they’re ‘bad’ or unwilling to cooperate. Independence, single-mindedness, and determination is in their blood just as it is for many humans who also feel rebellious at heart.
To be a truly brilliant beagle owner, you just need to appreciate a little bit of wildness every now and then. In exchange for stubbornness and mischief, you’ll get a furry friend who’s capable of deep affection and loyalty.