Beagles are well-renowned hunters with excellent scent tracking abilities, but can these adorable little scent hounds double as cuddly lap dogs? This is a common question among potential beagle owners because you need to make sure any breed you are considering bringing home is compatible with your lifestyle.
Unlike a lot of small dog breeds that were born and bred for companionship, beagles were born for the hunt. These dogs are active and do like to adventure and explore where their incredible scent leads them. After a long day of scent tracking and keeping busy, they will usually enjoy snuggling up on your lap for a nice, cozy nap.
Why Beagles Can Make Great Companions
Beagles Typically Enjoy Cuddling
Beagles are very loyal and devoted to their owners and will want to always be in their company. Some beagle owners even refer to their pups as “Velcro dogs” since they seem to follow their every move throughout the home. This attachment will also follow you to the couch or bedroom.
While beagles enjoy being active and do have more exercise requirements (up to 60 minutes per day) than your average small to medium-sized breeds, they will certainly enjoy cuddle sessions either up on your lap or right next to you on the furniture. It’s important to keep in mind that they are not couch potatoes and anyone interested in a beagle should be prepared to keep them active.
Beagles Are a Happy Breed
Beagles are a breed that exudes happiness. They are a very friendly sort that gives off very cheerful and infectious energy. To maintain a healthy mental and physical state, they do need to get in their daily exercise requirements since they can become very anxious and overstressed if their needs aren’t met.
They Are Usually Great with Children
Beagles are a very friendly and easy-going breed that typically do very well with children. They make great family dogs for this reason, and another plus is that they aren’t large dogs, so you don’t have to worry as much about their size around small children.
Of course, any dog no matter the breed or size should always be supervised around young children for the safety of both the children and the animal. The beagle will genuinely enjoy some backyard activity alongside the little ones, though.
Beagles Are Low-Maintenance
Not only are beagles fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming, but they are also an overall healthy breed with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. They do shed regularly, which can be excessive at times, but it is easy to manage with daily brushing to remove excess hair.
Beagles are much less prone to genetic health conditions when compared to a lot of other purebred dogs. The main concern for the breed is activity-related injuries since they like to be on the move. Like any breed though, health ailments become much more likely during the senior years.
They Are Very Social
These born and bred hunters were always put out to hunt in packs, which means they are very social animals. Beagles do thrive on lots of socialization, so they do better in multiple dog households or in the company of owners that are home most of the time.
While they do have a higher than usual prey drive due to their hunting origins, if they are well socialized with other household pets like cats, they typically do very well and will even befriend them at times.
Reason Why Beagles Are Not Compatible for Everyone
Nothing against beagles, but each dog breed comes complete with its wonderful qualities but also some drawbacks that could make or break compatibility with certain individuals or families. When someone is considering bringing home a beagle, they should keep the following in mind before committing.
Beagles Are Incredible Stubborn
Beagles tend to be stubborn and resistant to change. While they are very intelligent, it’s common to run into challenges during training because of this stubbornness. Beagles are notoriously difficult to potty train, so owners should be prepared for this and have plenty of patience during the process.
They Are Prone to Wandering
These incredible little scent hounds tend to wander wherever their nose may lead. They are known for being escape artists and aren’t’ a breed that you can typically trust off-leash. Always keep your beagle in a secure, fenced-in yard or on a leash when you are out and about.
They Are Very Loud
Beagles are a breed that is well known for barking and howling. If you are looking for a quiet breed, this may not be the breed for you. This is common among hounds and other hunting dogs, so you can expect your beagle to alert you of anything out of the ordinary.
This is a breed that is typically not recommended for apartment living for this reason. Chances are that your beagle will be loud enough to disturb the neighbors regularly.
They Typically Enjoy Digging
Another common theme among hunting dogs is the tendency to dig to get to their prey. Just because you don’t use your beagle as the hunting dog it was born to be, doesn’t mean they won’t come with those tendencies hard-wired in their DNA.
This doesn’t mean all beagles will be excessive diggers, but it’s a common theme among the breed so this should be taken into consideration and training may be necessary to get ahold of the behavior.
Separation Anxiety Is a Concern
Since beagles are such a social and friendly breed, they do not like being alone. As mentioned above, they were bred to hunt alongside other dogs, so they enjoy always having company.
If left alone for long periods, beagles are highly susceptible to suffering from separation anxiety, which can cause them to become destructive and display many unwanted behaviors. They do best in households with other animals or with a human companion that can be with them most of the time.
Beagles are an active breed that requires about an hour of exercise each day. While they aren’t exactly couch potatoes, if they get in their needed activity, they can certainly make incredible cuddling partners. Since they are on the smaller side, they don’t make the worst lap dogs, but they’ll take up much more space compared to the tiny toy breeds.
Featured Image Credit: Stock-Holm, Shutterstock