All breeds have certain needs to ensure they will suit their home and the Beagle is no exception. It is important that before you get a Beagle you are aware of their needs and that these needs can be met. The needs of a Beagle as a pet have originated out of their purpose as a hunting dog and if you keep this in mind, working with the instincts and nature that has been bred into the breed over hundreds of years, you will be able to ensure a loving and happy family pet. As with any breed there will be exceptions to all these rules but generally, these are the things that Beagles need to ensure they are happy, safe and well behaved.
The Beagle is often called the eternal puppy, as they are playful and fun loving their entire life. While this can sometimes make them a little mischievous, it can also make them an adorable companion for the fourteen or fifteen years they average for their life. Search the Internet and you will find hundreds of videos, images and stories of the antics of Beagles across the world.
A Beagle is not a dog that is well suited to life on their own. The Beagle was originally bred to hunt in a pack and as a result, they long for companionship. Being left on their own for long periods of time will make for an unhappy and often bored Beagle. A happy Beagle is one that has company for much of the day. Beagle owners often find that problems they have with one Beagle cease with the introduction of another Beagle or dog, or if the owners are home longer. Having two dogs or being home for long periods of time doesn’t suit all environments, so it is important to keep this in mind if you are considering a Beagle.
The most powerful trait of the Beagle is their inquisitive mind and strong sense of smell. This is what made the breed such a useful hunting dog and what makes it such a useful breed in today’s society. Beagles will want to smell anything and everything and always want to know what’s on the other side of the fence. Beagles will wander if they are able to and will love roaming the streets, seeking out new smells. A good secure fence – perhaps one that is secure at the base with concrete, bricks or wire – is a must for a Beagle, as well as being good dog sense for any breed. The fence would need to be at least 1.5 metres tall, as many Beagles will climb or jump a low fence.
In days gone by, when Beagles were in a pack hunt, they were often away from home for long periods of time without being fed. As a result, their instinct now is to try and eat anything and everything whenever they can. Obesity in the breed is common among pet owners as a Beagle will appear to be hungry even after a big meal. Many owners will tell you of stories of their Beagle eating whole roasts, working their way through a bag of dog food or even eating wedding cakes, only to turn around half an hour later looking for their dinner. A controlled balanced diet, along with regular exercise is most important for a Beagle. The rule of thumb is don’t wait for your Beagle to tell you when they are full because they will never tell you.
Their hunting instincts require them to be active and persistent on the hunt. As a result, they are an active dog that does require exercise, preferably out of their environment where they can exercise their nose as well as their body. Small back yards or townhouses are not the ideal environment for a Beagle, particularly if they do not get regular exercise. A good sized back yard and a regular walk will keep your Beagle healthy and happy.