With their long floppy ears and miniature size, beagles can be irresistible to adults and kids alike. Furthermore, beagles are a high-energy, lovable dog breed. These dogs are short in stature, but they have a mighty bark. Perhaps you are thinking about adding a beagle to your family but are wondering, “is it the right fit?” Maybe you are asking, “will my kids and new beagle get along?” If you are, then you've come to the right place!
With a life expectancy of 10-15 years, adding a beagle to your family can be an incredible way for children to grow up with a furry companion. Also, their short coat makes these pets easy to groom and low maintenance. Low-maintenance grooming can be ideal for pet owners.
Beagle's Personality and Temperament
Beagles are friendly dogs who are great with kids. Their lively temperament can make them a fantastic addition to families. Even though beagles are small dogs, only growing to be about 14-15 inches tall, they tend to have a ton of energy! Their demeanor is great because their energy matches a child's energy. It is important to give your beagle plenty of exercise, playtime, and stimulation to keep them from becoming bored and getting into things you do not want them to get into!
Beagles are good with kids, cats, and other dogs. This is because they have a pack mentality. When you add a beagle to your home, especially if they are young, they will look to their new family as their “pack.” Beagles are fiercely loyal to their families because of this mentality.
Their hair is short, making them easy to groom. However, because of their short hair, beagles can be sensitive to cold weather.
Beagles are often described as adventurous and determined. Their determined nature is because they were initially bred to track and hunt game. The hunting trait is why they love to sniff! This breed's curiosity serves them well while hunting but can lead to trouble if they grow bored and lack stimulation. Playing nose games, such as finding the treat, is a great way to keep your pet occupied and put their noses to work. To play this game, place a treat under a cup, line it up with two to three other cups, and let your beagle sniff out their tasty treat!
Beagles have a mighty bark and are prone to joining in howling with other dogs. The more stimulation they need, the more they may bark and howl. The noise may make having a beagle in an apartment less than ideal.
Beagles are not known to be aggressive adults. Instead, they are very playful and joyful. This makes beagles perfect companions for children.
What a Beagle Needs
Although beagles are low-maintenance dogs in grooming, they still need a few things. Beagles typically only need a bath after they become super dirty or muddy. Their hair is short, and they shed a low to average amount. Brushing them once a week would be okay to keep their coat clean.
Beagles tend to be a healthy breed. However, there are a few concerns that you will need to keep an eye on.
Cherry eyes are a condition where the tear gland tissues move out of place. When this happens, the eye will look like a “cherry.” Infection can happen when your beagle has cherry eyes. Getting them to a vet for a visit is very important if this happens!
Pulmonic stenosis is a heart condition that can affect beagles as they age. This condition is part of a dog's DNA, making it present at birth. Signs to look out for are difficulty breathing, an enlarged abdomen, weakness, and lack of energy.
Hypothyroidism is another health condition that can affect beagles. This condition occurs when the thyroid has a dysfunction. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism include fast weight gain, fatigue, dull coat, and flaky skin. Hypothyroidism is not curable, but it is manageable. If your beagle has this condition, it can continue to live full and happy lives with the proper treatment and care.
Beagles can be prone to dental disease. Brushing their teeth once a week is a great way to keep the condition at bay. Be sure to use a special toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Human toothpaste has ingredients that can harm animals.
Beagles and Allergies
Beagles can be prone to developing seasonal allergies. These allergies are caused by pollen in trees, grass, and flowers. They can also develop food allergies, the most common food being grain. Symptoms to look for are dandruff, rashes, and skin irritation.
Beagles are not hypoallergenic dogs. Their dander, fur, and saliva can cause allergens in people. However, proper grooming and cleaning can keep these allergens at bay.
Cost and Maintenance
The average cost of adopting a beagle from a breeder is anywhere from $500-$2,000. Many factors go into this cost, including who the breeder is, the lineage of the beagle, the color and age, and more.
The average cost of feeding a beagle ranges from $15-$30 a week. Visiting a vet regularly is an important part of owning a pet. The average cost of vet visits can range from $50-$100 per visit. Also, keep in mind any additional treatments or procedures your beagle may need, including getting spayed or neutered, shots, etc. These costs have a broad range depending on what your pet needs.
The grooming cost will also vary depending on whether you do it yourself or take your beagle to the groomer.
These costs are all factors to consider before adopting a beagle into your home.
Training Your Beagle
The tendency to sniff and roam can make training a beagle more difficult. They are instinctively treat-motivated, making positive reinforcement training better than training rigidly. The more fun you make training your beagle, the easier it will learn. Finding a good training center can be ideal for your pet. One of the most important things to teach your beagle is to come when they are called. This is because beagles tend to roam, following their strong sniffing desire. This breed may take off if they smell a squirrel! Training your beagle to come when called will benefit you and your pet. Agility and nose work classes can be fun for beagles because classes keep this breed motivated and stimulated.
Exercising Your Beagle
Beagles need a ton of exercise! Here are some great ideas for exercising them:
- Play fetch
- Nosework exercises, such as finding the treat
- Hide and Seek
- Agility classes
Are Beagles and Children a Good Match?
Yes! Beagles and children are a great match. They are both high-energy, joyful, and playful. However, there are a few things to remember when raising your beagle with your children.
Raising an Infant Around a Beagle
There are a few benefits to raising a beagle around an infant. First, because of their pack mentality, beagles can make excellent watchdogs. If you raise your beagle with your infant, the beagle will see your baby as a pack member and be loyal to them. Second, pets help teach children compassion. Raising a child and beagle together from a young age will give them both a companion they can have during their childhood and puppyhood.
There are a few downfalls to raising a beagle and infant together, though. First, beagles strongly desire to bark, especially if they sense danger. (the mailman!) This can make naptime a nightmare.
Your beagle needs a ton of interaction. If you are gone from them for a large portion of the day, they may have separation anxiety and become needy when you are home—making taking care of your baby and your beagle more difficult.
Raising a dog and a baby together can benefit both of them. However, it is important to remember that allowing a baby to lay on, play with, and pull at a dog, whatever the breed is, is never a good idea. You never know how your dog will react if they become agitated, no matter how lovable they are.
Raising Kids Around a Beagle
Beagles like to think for themselves, and they follow their nose. This is why training your beagle is necessary, especially if you have children. Teaching your beagle how to listen and respect your children is a great way to build a trusting relationship they both can thrive in. Beagles are patient and loving, making them excellent companions for your child. Adopting a young one is ideal if you are considering adding a beagle to your family. Because of their pack mentality, if the beagle is raised to believe the children are their pack members, they will love them more.
Teach Your Child to Respect Your Beagle
Always teach your child to be respectful of your beagle or any dog. It would be a good idea to have respectful rules for your children. Teach them to think of your pet more like they would a human and not like a toy. Sitting on or “riding” a beagle or any other dog is never a good idea. Instead, teach your child to treat their pets like they would their friends. Supervise your child and beagle's interactions together until you are positive your child can show their pet respect. Another great idea is to give your beagle a safe space, a crate, a bed, or a room if they feel irritated or overwhelmed.
What to Teach Your Child About Dogs
Being with dogs can be fun and exciting for children. Some children are not afraid of dogs. Having a confident mentality with pets can be great because most dogs love people. However, it's also important to teach your child safety rules regarding pets and other dogs that are not part of your family.
Some great rules to teach your children about any dogs, especially strange ones, are:
- Steer clear of your pets while they are eating. It is never a good idea to bother them during mealtime! Animals can become very territorial over food.
- Do not pull on your dog's face, ears, or tails. They may look appealing, especially floppy ears, but pulling and tugging may accidentally hurt your dog.
- Do not get into a dog's face, even a pet's! Doing so may irritate your dog, and you never know how they may react.
- Do not bug your pet while they are sleeping.
- Do not pull a toy away from a pet.
- If your dog seems like it is feeling unwell, give it plenty of space.
- Do not touch a strange dog, even if it looks friendly.
- Don't start running if a dog runs toward you, the dog may just be playing, but most love to chase. So instead, walk away slowly.
- Do not try to take one of their babies away; mommas can become very territorial!
- If a strange dog is scaring you, tell an adult as soon as possible.
Beagles were originally bred to hunt down deer. Then, the small breeds were bred for rabbit hunting. During the 1500s, foot hounds were very popular. Usually, people associate beagles with rabbit-chasing small foot hounds. These dogs are very popular among rabbit hunters because of their innate tendency to sniff, roam, and hunt game. According to the AKC, beagles are the seventh most popular dog. This bread is very lovable!
So, are beagles an ideal choice for families with kids? Yes, they are! The beagle is perfect if you are looking for a high-energy, lovable pet who gets along with kids, cats, and other dogs. These furry friends are loyal, making them great family pets. Beagles make a lot of noise with their bark and need a ton of stimulation. If you are a family who loves to be outside, exercise, and can commit to spending a ton of time with your beagle, like being able to work from home, this bread is an excellent choice for your family!