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Beagle Breed: Pros and Cons of Owning a Beagle

Yes, there is good and bad to owning a Beagle that many people do not realize. We find people do not know or understand the Beagle breed, so many Beagles are placed in rescue because of it. We want to prevent that if at all possible. It is always better to know what you are jumping into before you actually do.

Beagles are very unique little characters. Do not even consider adding a Beagle to your family based on looks alone. Behind that sweet face is a very stubborn and single-minded scent-hound!

Why a Beagle isn't for everyone:

Beagles have been bred for hundreds of years to follow their noses, so now... they do! And it tends to get them into lots of trouble!!

Beagles can be difficult to train. This is often a recognized characteristic of the breed.  Beagles are not known for winning ribbons in obedience competitions!  They can learn to understand what you're telling them, they just don't always decide to listen - especially when food is involved! They can be quite stubborn, HOWEVER, with time and patience, they CAN be housetrained, as well as obedience trained using positive reinforcement.


Beagles generally cannot be trusted to be off-leash, or to consistently obey their owners when they are outside.  A house with a securely fenced yard is very important, unless provisions are made for consistent daily walks with the opportunity to exercise in a securely fenced area.  When a Beagle catches a scent, his nose will hit the ground and he will go off to follow it. All other senses will be turned off, and no matter how loud you yell "COME", a Beagle will not listen and will not come back. It's not that they don't love you and want to run away, or that they are being purposefully disobedient... they are just following their nose. That's the job of a Beagle. We humans, as their guardians, need to make sure that they are safely contained so that their noses don't get them into a dangerous situation.


Sweet Pea, friend of CBR-East looking for food scraps in the most logical of places!

Beagles generally cannot go on walks or hikes off-leash. For the same reasons as above, they always need to be attached to their human when they are outside.  They are not the type of dog that can go hiking or camping with you and just 'hang out' by the campsite. You need to have them on a leash at all times.



Beagles can be howlers. They have a very distinctive singing voice and use it when they are excited. If there is a knock at the door or a bird in the yard... you will hear...

Beagles are not good outside-only dogs. They are very social and people-oriented. They are not happy in the yard by themselves.  Beagles need to be part of the family and allowed to live with you in the house. They like to be on your lap when you watch TV and in your room (preferably in your bed!) when you sleep. They aren't happy in the background.



So after reading all of that...why would anyone want a Beagle?


Beagles are wonderful family dogs. They are loving and affectionate, they are great with kids, and they are real cuddlers. There is nothing better than having a Beagle jump up on your lap, give you a kiss, and curl up for a nap under your arm.

Beagles do not need a lot of grooming, do not shed a ton, and although they will bark if there is something to bark at, they are not a 'yappy' breed.


Beagles are very people-oriented. They are the type of dog that wants to be with you and will follow you around from room to room. They want to be part of your family and will give you lots of love.


CBR-West Director, Susan's Pippin

Who can resist "those eyes"? Or those velvety ears?  Beagles must be one of the cutest, handsomest breeds. They are a wonderful size: either the 13” variety or the 15” variety, measured at the shoulder height. They weigh from 20-30 lbs.


Beagles are great with kids.  Generally, Beagles love the companionship of kids of all ages. They love a walk in the park (on leash!!), and to romp around with the members of their family (in a securely fenced yard!).

In our experiences, people either love Beagles or hate them. You have to understand their distinct characteristics and accept them... not try to change them. Anyone who gets a Beagle expecting to be able to train it not to wander away from an unfenced yard or not to follow its nose is going to be very disappointed and frustrated. And chances are, that Beagle will be looking for another home within 6 months. 


If you can live with the descriptions above, and can provide lots of love and time to dedicate to a dog, then a Beagle can be the perfect family member for you.











































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