Some dog breeds have certain personality characteristics that can be difficult to understand. For example, why do pugs snort so much, or why do chihuahuas shake sometimes? For beagles, the most notable behavior is their excessive howling. They have a very low-toned howl that they tend to practice on the daily and it can get a bit excessive to neighbors!
But why is it that they howl so much? Continue reading below and we’ll get into the details.
Where Does the Howl Come From?
Beagles were historically used for hunting and tracking down prey—anything from fowl to hares. Large groups of hunters would take beagles (or other Hound dog breeds) out into the wilderness and use them to track the scent and sound of prey.
Their howling sounds mean that they can run off far into the distance to wherever prey is hiding and alert hunters of where they are. This allows for better chances of success during hunting and will cut down on the time it takes to find them.
Do Beagles Howl for Other Reasons?
Another reason that beagles may howl, if not hunting with their owners, is to express their emotions. This can be something like an injury, being in pain, or distress. When beagles are bored or lonely—for example being left alone outside all day—they will howl until they’re addressed. In other cases, they could be chasing after a ball, feeling stressed out about a social situation, or even afraid of loud noises.
Sometimes you’ll notice beagles will tend to react to loud noises, like sirens or someone at the door, by howling. It’s their way of communicating. It’s how they react to something they interpret as a threat. For beagle owners, they are likely howling at you to alert you to potential danger.
If your beagle has issues around being lonely or separated from you, they might howl to get the attention of their owners. It’s natural for dogs to howl to alert their pack members that they have been separated and are trying to find you. Dogs will eventually see you as part of their pack and when they can’t find you, they will tend to howl.
Can You Teach Your Dog Not to Howl?
If you notice that your beagle is howling a bit too much for you, there are ways you can help them understand that their howling is a negative behavior. Things like learning to control the howls or recognizing when they howl and keeping it from occurring are good starting points for stopping too much howling.
Howling can be a similar reaction to barking in dogs and can be controlled in a similar way. Teach your beagle that they shouldn’t be consistently rewarded for howling. If they howl every time the doorbell rings, teach them that this behavior isn’t positive—don’t give them rewards. If you recognize that there is something that always makes them howl, try to remove them from that situation.
For example, if they howl when they see people walk by the front window, try to divert their attention from the window. Alternatively, make sure they know this behavior isn’t acceptable by scolding them and avoiding giving them positive rewards.
Another way to keep your beagle from howling at strangers would be to stimulate them with other distractions. This could be things like giving them their favorite toys, taking them for a walk, or centering their morning feeding time with when someone might be coming by.
In summary, beagles might howl and bellow at different things, but it isn’t necessarily a negative thing or something to punish every time. Try to pinpoint when your beagle is howling and see if you can divert their attention elsewhere.
Keep in mind the behavioral reasons why your dog is howling, try to assess whether it’s a trained behavior that you can help change, and remember that it’s a behavior that beagles have naturally. Remember that if you reward the behavior your dog will think it’s an acceptable thing to do and won’t think they need to stop!
If you keep these things in mind, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping the howling at bay with your beagle. Much like other behaviors, this one can be trained to keep at a minimum.
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