The adorable beagle breed is a medium sized dog that was first bred as hunting dogs for the European royalty. Beagles have a lot of positive traits to them like sociability, easy to groom, and big expressive eyes.
Below are a few traits that are inherent to beagles that should be taken note of when raising or breeding beagles.
- Hunting traits
- Hunting instincts. While long a domesticated breed, living indoors for companionship and the occasional participation in dog shows, it’s best warned that since they were initial bred as hunting dogs, these traits are still ingrained in the breed and may show up in the most inopportune time.
- Selective deafness. Also part of their hunting dog origins, adult beagles exhibit selective deafness that is a big help to hunting dogs, but is a bit of a hassle for domesticated pets. Sometimes, your beagle won’t be able to hear your commands or follow them.
- Excellent nose. Hunting breeds rely mostly on their sense of smell to find game and the beagle is no different. Unfortunately, beagles are also explorers and will often run off to unusual places if a particularly interesting smell leads them there.
- Other genetic traits
- Parent’s temperaments. Beagle obedience trainers always suggest that you observe the temperaments of your puppy’s parents to get a good idea of the kind of temperament your puppy is inheriting. Some common traits include aggressiveness or neurotic tendencies.
- Bored and noisy. Beagles seem to suffer from canine ADHD because they’re easily distracted with noises or smells. And when they get too bored, they begin barking and making noise. You need to consider your neighbor’s reactions to these kinds of noises before you decide to raise a beagle.
- Weight issues. Beagles’ metabolism is quite unique in that they don’t need to run a lot of miles to keep in shape like greyhounds or great Danes but they need more than just an afternoon walk. They need constant and regular exercise to expel any excess energy and to prevent them from getting fat.
- Escape artists. Beagles can climb chain link fences and can find ways over or under the fence. If you are going to keep your beagle in a pen in your backyard, be advised of these traits as you may spend a lot of afternoons looking for your escaped beagle. This inherent Houdini trait comes from their breeding as hunting dogs so they’re quite inventive when it comes to getting around obstacles.
- Poor potty trainers. Beagles are notoriously slow to housebreak so you need to begin housebreaking while they’re still puppies. The older a beagle gets, the longer it will take and harder it will be to train them properly.
Raising beagles is a rewarding experience because of their athletic nature, fun and energetic temperament and their social demeanor. But training your beagle to get over their inherent traits means that you’re going to have to work in concert with a dog trainer who has had years of experience training beagles. You also need a lot of patience as beagles can be pretty stubborn and could take a while for the training to sink in.