The 14th January is Dress Up Your Pet Day – an event started in 2009 by animal behaviourist Colleen Paige to celebrate our furry friends. To celebrate, Perfect-Pets Books is taking a deep-dive into one of our favourite pet dog breeds, the Beagle.
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The Beagle is a small yet mighty breed, originally developed to work as a scent hound for hunting game. Many within this breed still have a powerful drive to dig and hunt, as keeping up with hunters on horseback meant this little dog needed to have very high energy levels. This breed is a real favourite for pet owners, and it’s no wonder why with their determined nature and loving personality.
In England, the breed was used to hunt rabbits and hares as early as the 14th century. Their powerful sense of smell has seen them used as sniffer dogs for a range of purposes throughout history.
Beagle Personality and Temperament
As a breed, Beagles are largely sociable and keen to get involved, so they’re likely to be fine with dressing up provided you make it fun rather than irritating. They value guidance and interaction due to their natural inclination towards pack life, and their personality when placed in a supportive home is often loving, well-tempered and obedient.
Beagles Need Plenty of Exercise
Beagles can live happily in the country or the city, provided they get enough exercise. First-time owners and families value this breed due to their size and adaptability.
Are Beagles Easy to Train?
The key Beagle characteristics of curiosity, affection and sweetness all make this breed the perfect candidate for Dress Up Your Pet Day, though obviously individual dogs will be more or less happy to participate. They’re great with kids and very playful, so they tend to make great family dogs. Occasionally causing trouble or running away, some pups will have a mischievous streak which requires careful training early on.
That said, they’re more than capable of becoming happy and obedient household pets. Beagles thrive off company and suit reasonably active homes where there’s always someone around. As always, consistency is key when it comes to training these intelligent dogs. They’re known to be willful, so you’ll need a firm but fair attitude. Asking the help of an accredited trainer may be a good move if you aren’t an experienced trainer or are a first-time dog owner.
Beagles can be prone to howling and barking despite not being violent dogs, as they can have very boisterous characteristics. They need plenty of attention and opportunities to burn up excess energy if you want to avoid unruly behaviour. Physical or mental stimulation will stop them from becoming too bored. Chewing, digging and other projects you don’t necessarily like may become a problem if they don’t get the mental stimulation they need. Most Beagles love nothing more than getting stuck into an activity with their family members.
Training a Beagle isn’t always the easiest task, and if you’ve only recently adopted one, you may find it easier to skip Dress Up Your Pet Day until next year when you’re a little further along in your lessons. Dogs of this breed will quickly show signs of resistance to training as their independent personality leaves them unamused. They don’t have the innate desire to please their owners that you’ll find in other breeds, and hounds in general tend to have a certain distaste for obedience training. Food is the only incentive to which they will reliably respond.
Without training, your Beagle is likely to chew things they shouldn’t and bark a lot, especially if they become distressed and bored as a result of being left alone.
The key to success when training your Beagle is to start early and take advantage of their love of food.
Friendly Toward Strangers
Of course, affection levels are determined by more than just your dog’s breed. If they were exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes and shapes of people as a puppy, any breed of dog will find it easier as an adult to respond positively to strangers. To ensure a well-behaved pet, you should also consider socialising them with humans and other animals.
If you can avoid it, it’s best to never leave your Beagle alone, or to do so as rarely and briefly as possible. Even just a few hours may be too long for this breed, and four hours is the maximum recommended time for any breed to be left alone.
The average Beagle’s energy levels will range from moderate to high. They tend to become lazier with age, but are very playful and energetic in their early years. For optimal health, it’s important to stick with a daily exercise plan as the breed is prone to obesity.
Your young Beagle’s higher energy levels mean they’ll enjoy being a part of everything you do – sometimes including dressing up. If you want to spend time outside with your pup, you’ll need to make sure your garden is Beagle-proof as this breed is a natural escape artist that loves to dig and climb. You’ll need to set aside at least an hour and a half each day to exercise with your dog.
Beagles tend to live to the age of around 12-15 years. Their life expectancy is longer than many other breeds due to their petite size. There’s plenty of time for dressing up!
For more information about building your relationship with man’s best friend, check out Perfect-Pets Beagles the Essential Guide. For more information on dog training The Essential Guide to Dog Training explains why positive reinforcement works much better than the outdated, scientifically disproved harsh methods and takes you step by step through the important elements of training that ensure your dog will be a pleasure to live with.