Do Beagles Attack?


Angry Beagle ready to attack

Any canine is capable of attacking. Some dog breeds are more likely to attack intruders, while others prefer a friendly approach. You are probably planning to get a beagle and are curious, do beagles attack?

It is very rare for a beagle to attack; it’s not in their nature. The breed is friendly, social, and affectionate towards humans as well as other animals. However, pain can trigger sudden aggression, which can even make a beagle to attack.

Although beagle dogs bark and can be quite loud and disruptive when bored, it is unlikely that they will attack humans unprovoked. However, you must always make sure you socialize your beagle puppy to contribute to a well-balanced adult dog. In this article, we will understand the temperament of beagles and look into various techniques for handling them.

Understanding the Temperament of Beagles

Beagle as a pet

Beagles are an ideal breed for a family dog. Although they have a sweet disposition, all family members should respect their boundaries. To reduce the instance of an attack, give your beagle a safe space, they can go if they want to be by themself. Examples of a safe space include a spare room, under the bed, or on a dog bed.

Beagles are incredibly loyal to their family. However, this loyalty does not make them a good guard dog. They are friendly to most strangers and passers-by. Their bark could be used as a deterrent to ward off unwelcome visitors, but they will probably be met by a wagging tail and a demanding beagle requesting a belly rub, rather than attacking them.

Poorly socialized beagles can bite if they are frustrated or annoyed; however, in most cases, these bites hardly cause any injury.

How to behave around a Beagle

Try not to touch your beagle’s mouth, paws or ears unless necessary. Many dogs don’t like being touched there, and it can lead to an attack. Don’t touch your beagle on the top of its head – this can be seen as a threat, and your beagle may retaliate. Do not hug your beagle tightly if he is not comfortable – although humans hug as a form of affection, dogs may view it as an attempted attack.

If you run from a beagle, it will probably chase you as its prey drive is immensely ingrained into its behavior. But, when it realizes you are a human and not a rodent, it will likely lose interest.

Prey Drive

Prey drive is a canine’s innate desire to chase small items. This behavior can be problematic. Your beagle can mistake small children for animals and chase them, but they will probably refrain from attacking.

A poorly socialized beagle is more likely to display such behavior.

How to socialize a beagle

Scared dogs are more likely to attack. Make sure, when your beagle is a puppy, that you introduce them to different experiences, sights, smells, and types of people.
Here are some things you should get your beagle used to

  • People of all ages
  • People of all races
  • People wearing different clothes
  • People with their faces and heads covered by accessories
  • Groups of people
  • Different places
  • Bridges, roads, beaches, train stations
  • Different types of smells
  • Noisy places

If your beagle is well adjusted to different situations, they are less likely to engage in a fear-directed attack.

Do beagles attack cats

If you have already had a cat or planning to get one, it is essential to know do beagles attack cats?

In the past, beagles were used to track and chase prey for their human companion to hunt but never attack it. A beagle who has never seen a cat before, may bark and chase the cat, but it is less likely for it to attack it.

If you intend to introduce a beagle and cat, you need to ensure you take your time and introduce them slowly. I would recommend introducing a beagle to an older cat because they are larger, more defensive, and will not run away from a chasing beagle.

However, beagles are completely capable to severely injure, if not kill, a domestic house cat. But this doesn’t mean that they will do it. Every dog has a different personality if your pooch tends to bark and try to chase cats while on walks, then you might want to think twice about getting a cat.

With some careful planning and introductions, your beagle and house cat can live in perfect harmony. Make sure your beagle and cat are fed in separate areas, as the beagle may get defensive over their food supply.

Do beagles attack rabbits

Beagles are less likely to attack rabbits. They were bred to track and chase small animals, but not attack it. However, a beagle can unknowingly hurt a pet rabbit.

Rabbits are prey animals in the wild, meaning their defense mechanism is to run away if they notice danger. For this reason, rabbits are very appealing to beagles. I would not recommend housing a beagle and rabbit together. The beagle will continue to stalk the rabbit, which will lead to a stressed and unhealthy rabbit. The beagle may become frustrated because the rabbit (which is one of their key hunts) is continuously out of reach.

I would advise against letting your beagle hunt wild rabbits. The rabbits may have a den of offspring, and without their mother, they will not survive. Furthermore, it is a cruel practice to let your beagle hunt wild animals and can lead to diseases being spread between your beagle and the rabbit.

Final Thoughts

Beagles are a natural family dog, with a friendly demeanor and desire to please. With the right training and a loving environment, they make fantastic companions for people of all ages.

To ensure your dog is well balanced, you should introduce them to different situations when they are puppies. Make sure everyone in the house respects your beagle’s boundaries and knows when your beagle wants to be left alone.

Beagles are bad guard dogs, but their bark can ward off danger. With proper training, beagles can be housed with cats, but we would advise against housing beagles with any other small animals.

Bryony Ravate

Bryony has an MSc. in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is passionate about Scientific Communication and interested in animal science, behavior and husbandry.

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