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When my beagle was a 13-week old puppy, he suddenly started behaving aggressively. He started chasing us, biting us, he would even growl at us. After a week of tolerating this, we consulted a certified dog trainer with a question: Why is my Beagle Puppy Aggressive?
Being energetic in nature, beagle puppies require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Beagle puppies who do not get enough daily exercise will exhibit aggressive behaviors to release their excess energy. These behaviors can include biting, chasing, and growling.
He also told us that it is quite common among other breeds too. Your beagle puppy may seem aggressive, but he is not. The puppy doesn’t know the right way to interact and behave.
In this article, we will look into aggressive behaviors that are normal in beagle puppies, what’s causing your puppy to behave that way, and how you can control and reduce such aggression. We will even look into signs of true aggression in beagle puppies. So let’s get started.
DISCLAIMER: While this info has helped other beagle owners, it is always recommended to consult a veterinarian and have your dog checked for any possible health issues, which could be a possible cause behind the aggression.
Aggressive Behaviours which are normal
If it’s your first pet, then you might be a little concerned with the aggressive behaviors of your puppy. So it is necessary to recognize behaviors that are quite normal in beagle puppies.
Listed below are some Aggressive behaviors which are totally normal for a puppy:
- Puppy biting and nipping while playing with you. It is very normal. Your puppy is either teething or just doesn’t know how to interact with you.
- Growling while tugging on something. It is normal. Tugging on his toy or something else and growling is just his way to play. Beagles love to play tug of war.
- Barking at you. Beagles are very expressive about their feeling. Your pup is just trying to get your attention and asking you to play with him.
- Chasing after you and nipping your feet. Beagles are hunting dogs. Chasing is their instinct.
Now that you know that these behaviors do seem aggressive, but they are not, let’s find out how to stop each of these aggressive behaviors of your beagle puppy:
How to stop Puppy Biting/nipping?
I got my beagle home when he was just eight weeks old. I still remember those cute moments when my little pooch use to try to eat my entire finger. It was just adorable until he grew and became stronger, then it just became too painful. Even though he was just a puppy, his bites were quite hurtful. His pointy teeth have made me bleed so many times.
Sounds awfully aggressive, right? Let me tell you that it’s totally NORMAL. There are two main reasons behind his biting.
While teething, your puppy’s new permanent teeth start growing, replacing his old milk teeth. This causes irritation in your puppy’s gums. To ease this discomfort, the puppy would chew anything he could fit in his mouth, including your fingers or hand.
Teething usually occurs when the pup is around 3 to 4 months old and could last for more than three months.
How to Deal with it?
Well, you cannot stop teething, but what you can do is ease your puppy’s pain by offering him appropriate teething toys. Keep chew toys around, and whenever he attempts to bite, redirect him to the toy. Here are a few things you can do:
- Use an Ice Cube: Put some ice cubes on a clean floor and let your puppy play with it as it slips around. Nipping on the ice-cube will help ease the pain. To make things more interesting, you can add some peanut butter or chicken broth to the water before freezing it.
- Use Frozen Carrot: The low-temperature helps to comfort the itching caused due to teething. You can freeze a carrot and give it to your pup. It’s a healthy way to ease his pain.
- Get chew toys with different textures: Toys specially made for teething have different textures that can help with itching. So make sure you have different Teething toys for your beagle puppy.
Teething could last until they are 6 to 7 months old. The teething phase could be tough for you as well as your puppy, so please be patient with him and never punish him; it will just make things worse. Here’s everything you need to know about Beagle teething.
Beagles are affectionate and playful creatures. Your puppy would want to play and interact with you all the time. But the problem is that he doesn’t know the correct way to interact with you.
It is more common in puppies who were separated from their litter before they were ten weeks old. You will need to teach him how to interact with others. You will need to make your pup understand that biting is not the correct way to socialize.
How to Stop Play Biting?
The general idea here is not to allow your puppy to bite you and encourage good behavior with treats.
- Beagles are energetic breed. They need regular exercise. Make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise daily. This doesn’t mean that you put him on a hardcore exercising schedule, don’t do that. Mild exercise is recommended for a puppy.
- Teach your beagle puppy some basic commands. Training sessions can humanize dogs and bring discipline to them.
- Whenever your puppy bites you while playing with you, redirect him to a toy.
- When your puppy is playing with you without biting, give him a treat. In this way, you are encouraging his good behavior.
Here is an indebt article on how you can train your beagle puppy to stop biting.
Growling while tugging on things
For a first-time dog owner, it could be really scary to see their puppy growl like this and I totally get it. But I have good news for you. It’s NORMAL. It’s totally normal for puppies to growl, and this doesn’t mean that your puppy is aggressive.
Why do Beagle puppy Growl?
Growling is your beagle’s way of communicating with you. A beagle puppy could growl to express fear, display anger, or even encourage playfulness. So it is necessary to observe the situation and find out what’s causing your puppy to growl.
So let’s look into different types of growling:
Playful Growling: This is the most common type of growling among beagle puppies. You will mostly notice this when your pooch is pulling something from you or while playing tug of war. This is normal and healthy.
Aggressive Growling: Aggressive growling is when a dog growls aggressively, and they are longer and louder than usual. Beagles are less likely to display such aggressive growling. But if you have noticed something similar in your puppy, it’s still normal. Your puppy is trying to prove its dominance. It is a behavioral issue, and it will most possibly end once your pup becomes an adult dog. You can consult a Dog behavioral expert or a dog trainer and ask for some guidance.
Growling due to fear/ Warning growl: Beagles growl when they feel threatened in some way. Some beagles growl when someone tries to get into their space, some growl when they feel threatened, some growl when they sense something unusual. Well, not just beagles, but mostly every dog breed does this, and it’s quite normal.
What to do when your puppy growls while tugging something?
Well, growling is normal, and you cannot do anything about it. But if your puppy has got a hold of something and is not ready to leave, when you try to get it, he pulls that thing and growls, then consider teaching him the ‘Leave’ command.
Teaching your Puppy the ‘leave’ command
Step 1: Motivate him to grab something, for instance, his favorite toy.
Step 2: Grab the toy from the other end and pull it a little. Let your pup pull it from his end.
Step 3: Hold the toy tight and say the cue word ‘leave.’
Step 4: Keep saying it until he leaves the toy.
Step 5: As soon as your pup releases the toy, give him a treat.
Step 6: Repeat this several times.
Beagle puppy Barking at you
Beagles are very vocal about their feelings. They like to communicate through barking and howling. So barking is not at all a sign of aggression, instead, it’s a medium of expression.
Now you might have noticed your beagle puppy barking at you. Don’t worry. He is not aggressive at all. If your puppy barks when you are looking at him, it means that your puppy is excited and wants you to play with him. If your puppy barks when you are not looking at him, then he is trying to get your attention, he wants to cuddle or play.
There are many reasons why your beagle puppy might be barking. Let’s look at the most common ones:
- Barking to gain your attention is quite common among beagles.
- Your pooch may bark just because he is bored and wants to play with you.
- Forgot to feed your puppy? There he goes barking. Beagles bark when they are starving.
- Beagles Puppies also bark if they wanna go out of the room or house.
- He might bark if he sees some another animal.
- Beagle puppies also bark when they are playing.
- Beagles are pack animals, and they don’t deal with the loneliness that well. When they are left alone, some beagles will bark on their highest pitch until they are exhausted.
How to stop a beagle puppy from Barking?
Let me be clear. You cannot stop your beagle from barking. Even the most well-trained, well-behaved beagle would bark at unnecessary things. Barking and howling is their instinct, and you cannot punish them for doing something that they are supposed to do.
But you can do one thing. You can make your pup listen to you. The ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ commands have helped me control my beagle’s barking and howling.
Teaching ‘The Speak Command’
Step 1: Make your Puppy Bark: Do something on which your puppy usually barks. My beagle used to bark whenever my girlfriend turned on her hair-dryer.
Step 2: Say the Command: As soon as your puppy barks, say the cue word ‘speak’ and give him a treat.
Step 3: Repeat: Practice this every day.
Teaching ‘The Quiet Command’
Once you and your pooch have mastered the speak command, now it’s time to introduce the Quiet Command.
Step 1: Make your puppy bark with the Speak Command.
Step 2: Once your pooch starts to bark, say the command word ‘Quiet’ and put a treat in from of his nose. Once he is quiet, praise him and give him that treat.
Step 3: Practice.
Once he has mastered both of these commands, you can use the quiet command whenever your pooch starts barking unnecessarily.
Ninja Tip: Beagles bark when they need something. Do not ever fulfill what he wants when he barks. If he barks because he wants your attention, do not respond until he has calm down, or else next time he would bark for longer until you do what he wants.
Chasing you and nipping your feet
If you don’t already know about the history of beagles, then let me tell you that beagles are hound dogs, and they were bred to be used by humans to hunt small animals. That’s where the chasing comes from. Chasing is a beagle’s natural instinct. And that’s the reason behind your puppy’s chasing and nipping you.
Chasing is not at all a sign of an aggressive puppy. But it’s essential to control this before it gets out of hand.
How to stop aggressive chasing and biting of your puppy
When your puppy is chasing you, your beagle just wants to play with you. The best way to end such behavior is to stop playing or doing things that cause your puppy to chase you.
Step 1: NO means NO: Whenever you find your pooch chasing you aggressively, firmly say NO. If he calms down, praise him, even give him some treats.
Step 2: Ignorance is Bliss: If he doesn’t stop when you say NO, stop playing and completely ignore until he calms down. The general idea here is to make him realize that this type of behavior would result in no fun at all.
Step 3: The Final Lesson: Even after you saying him NO and ignorance treatment, if he continues to show the aggression, then give him some time out. Put him in a room alone, take all his toys. Let him take time and calm down.
DO NOT run when he starts chasing. It will just trigger his instinct and encourage him.
DO NOT scold or scream at your puppy.
Signs of real aggression in beagle puppy
Aggression due to fear: Biting due to fear is a form of aggression. At this time the puppy is really trying to hurt you for his own protection. This occurs when the puppy is really afraid. You can notice this by the way the puppy behaves. He might stay in the corner and growls and bites whenever someone comes near him. In such a situation, here are a few things you should do:
- You need to be calm and patient.
- You should start by making him feel safe.
- You can keep his favorite toys around him.
- Talk to him in a low pitch voice.
- Give him some treats. Offer him some food if he is hungry.
- Do not try to drag him or pick him.
- Check if he is not bleeding, or hurt.
- Consult a veterinarian as soon as possible and have him check.
Aggression due to pain: Puppies could get extremely aggressive when they are in pain. Check for any sign of injury, bleeding, limping, swelling. Consult a vet immediately and have him checked.
It’s rare that a beagle puppy that shows aggressive behaviors grows up to be an aggressive dog. With age, your puppy will become more calm and civilized, so hang in there.