If you’re thinking about getting a Beagle as a family pet, you will naturally want to make sure that the breed isn’t an aggressive one. Are Beagles good around other people, including children? What about around other animals? Here’s everything you’ll want to know to make an informed choice.
So, are Beagles aggressive? Beagles are not an aggressive breed of dog. Although as with all dogs, there are some situations where Beagles may become aggressive. If a Beagle is trying to assert dominance, wants to protect his territory, is in pain, or feels frightened or threatened, he may resort to aggressive or defensive behavior.
Generally, the typical Beagle temperament is one that is highly desirable in a dog. We’ll explore that in the next section.
That being said, any aggressive displays are very context and circumstance-specific.
In fact, they would likely arise just as you would expect with any dog or even animal for that matter.
Nevertheless, let us now explore the average Beagle temperament before turning to those potential causes.
We’ll finish up with preventing aggression in this breed so that if you do proceed to get one, you will dramatically reduce the chances of this behavior even becoming a concern.
What Is The Typical Beagle Temperament?
The typical Beagle temperament is one of love, gentleness, and even-temper. These are generally very well-rounded dogs, calm in most situations, and excellent with pretty much all people, including children and strangers.
Beagles are popular dogs because of their excellent temperament: out of 195 breeds ranked in order of popularity by the American Kennel Club, Beagles came in 7th place in 2020!
Here are some aspects of their temperament that could explain why Beagles are so popular, as well as a few other essential things to know before getting a Beagle.
Beagles are bred to live in packs, so they’re highly sociable animals.
They can be fine on their own for short periods, but they do love to be part of the family. Beagles are known for providing excellent companionship to their families.
They are incredibly affectionate and typically loved to be stroked and cuddled.
At the same time, they have a keen desire to play and will get involved with all sorts of activities you engage them in.
Friendly Towards Other Animals
Not only are Beagles great with children, but they are known for being friendly towards other animals.
If you already have other dogs, cats, or other pets, chances are your Beagle will be eager to make friends.
Beagles are relatively easygoing and adaptable, making them great dogs to own whether you live on a farm or in an apartment.
They love having a large yard to play in, but they can be just as happy with daily trips to the park to run about and make friends.
Beagles tend to bark loudly and more often than other dogs.
If you live somewhere where a quiet atmosphere is needed, a Beagle might not be the best choice for you.
A Beagle can be a good choice if you want a hunting dog.
However, because they love a good hunt, they are known for being enthusiastic diggers.
If you leave your Beagle in your yard unattended, chances are he’ll start digging his way under the fence.
He isn’t looking to escape: he’s just looking for that fox or rabbit he smelled earlier!
Beagles are friendly animals, but they are known for being a bit on the stubborn side.
Beagles love to follow their eager noses, which can be a good thing if you’re looking for your coat or your keys.
But if your Beagle is left off the lead, he can follow his nose into places where you’d rather he not roam.
Beagles can be challenging to train, although it can be done.
And keep your Beagle on his lead during walks, unless you’re happy to chase after him if he picks up an attractive scent.
Are Beagles Known For Biting?
Beagles aren’t known for being aggressive, such as biting as adult dogs, although they do tend to bite (via nipping) as puppies.
They are usually curious, intelligent, playful, and affectionate.
Beagles love to explore, and they really enjoy the outdoors.
As puppies, this exploration starts with their mouths and little teeth.
Beagles require lots of exercise and stimulation, and Beagle puppies will play with each other with lots of biting, nipping, and chewing.
While these behaviors are normal in puppies, they need to be weaned away from engaging in such things as they grow.
With the right care, socialization and training this is something that can be done.
If done correctly, biting is not something that you should expect from the breed.
What Can Make Beagles Aggressive?
Aggression in Beagles is rare but is typically seen in dogs of the breed who are neglected, frightened, or in pain.
As with most dogs who aren’t naturally aggressive, there are some instances where Beagles can become aggressive.
If They’re Left Alone Too Long
Because Beagles are social animals, they want to be a part of the family.
They don’t do too well if they are left alone for long periods: this is when they might start chewing on the furniture or your shoes.
Beagles who are lonely may develop destructive tendencies such as wreaking havoc in your home or excessive barking.
They can also develop anxiety if they think no one will come home all day.
Beagles shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 or 5 hours per day.
If They Have Separation Anxiety
Along similar lines, another reason Beagles might display aggressive behavior is if they’re experiencing separation anxiety.
These dogs don’t do well if left for too long on their own, as they are used to living in packs. And you are part of their pack!
Your dog will worry if you are gone for too long and he is left alone.
Some Beagles will even nip your ankles or feet as you leave, as if to say, “Don’t leave me!”
If They’re Teething
When puppies are in their teething phase, they are much more prone to chewing and biting to ease their gums, regardless of their breed.
Beagle puppies are usually teething from about 4 to 8 months of age.
If your Beagle bites you during his teething phase, he doesn’t mean to hurt you.
Give your puppy some frozen dog chews (suitable for teething) so that he can ease his gums in a healthier way.
Teach your puppy how to use his teething toys, and make sure to use distraction techniques to take his attention away from the furniture or your shoes.
If They Are Frightened
If your Beagle is scared, he may nip or bite as a means to defend himself. Usually, Beagles are fine with meeting new people, unfamiliar animals, or exploring unknown places.
If, however, your dog is prone to anxiety, this could cause him to lash out in fear. An anxious dog will often give off signs that say, “stay away,” but some people can miss these warning signals.
Don’t let your Beagle be aggressive for long because he will start to think he is the dominant one in the household.
Seek the help of a professional trainer if you feel you need one to nip this behavior in the bud.
Some Beagles are more prone to anxiety than others, so check the temperament of both parents if you can.
If They Are In Pain
If your Beagle is in pain, this is another reason why you might see some uncharacteristically aggressive behavior.
Usually, aggressive behavior is a dog’s natural response to pain as they attempt to conceal and hide their injury or illness from their owners.
So, if you notice your previously happy and friendly dog start to become more aggressive suddenly or notice other potential signs or changes, a trip to the vet is the best place to start.
You want to be sure that your dog isn’t in pain – he can’t tell you, after all, if he is hurting. It’s up to us to make sure our dogs are healthy and happy.
How To Prevent Aggression In Beagles
Here are some ways to prevent aggression in Beagles if you find yours starts to nip, bite, chew, or display other aggressive behavior.
Let Out A Yelp
As puppies, dogs learn from each other what’s acceptable and what’s not.
If a puppy bites or nips another one too hard, their sibling will let out a high-pitched yelp to let them know that what they did is not OK.
The sibling who has been nipped will then ignore the biter because of the pain they’ve experienced.
If your puppy nips or bites you, he may just want to play – but don’t be tempted to play back, as that will encourage him to do it again.
Instead, let out a loud yelp or whine as if you were a hurt puppy. Then ignore your puppy for a few minutes (easier said than done, but it works.)
Your dog will get the message immediately that what he has done is not acceptable if he wants attention from you. He will soon stop on his own.
Use Crate Training
Use crate training from puppyhood so that your Beagle gets used to being left alone for short periods.
Suppose your puppy learns that his crate is a safe place where he can go to relax.
In that case, he will be less likely to experience separation anxiety and, therefore, not as prone to destructive or aggressive behavior.
Teach your Beagle that his crate is a safe haven, and do this as soon as you bring your puppy home.
Beagles can be trained from as early as 8 weeks old – your Beagle can become housetrained at this age, too.
Give Your Beagle Plenty Of Exercise
Beagles need to run to maintain good mental and physical health.
A stroll around the block isn’t sufficient for Beagles – and given that they don’t do well off lead, enclosed areas like dog parks are ideal.
Despite their small size, Beagles need lots of stimulation: dogs get hits of feel-good chemicals from exercise just like we humans do!
Get Your Beagle Accustomed To Outside Stimuli
The earlier your Beagle meets new people and animals (once vaccinated, of course), the better.
Beagles are very adaptable, provided you introduce your puppy to his new world gradually: their adaptability makes Beagles excellent therapy dogs as well as family pets.
A dog who is accustomed to making friends and exploring new places will be, overall, a happier and more well-adjusted dog.
If you are looking for a non-aggressive breed of dog, the Beagle breed will be pretty high up on your list.
In fact, they are one of the least aggressive breeds you could get.
That being said, it’s important to be aware of the potential for aggression and what can trigger these displays.
Besides, these things will generally help you take much better care of and help raise these wonderful family-orientated dogs.
In doing so, you’ll have a much better-behaved companion that can interact and play with the family without issue or concern.
Related guides you may want to read:
- Best Crate For Beagle [This Is The Crate To Get & Why]
- Do Beagles Smell? [Does This Breed Smell Doggy Naturally?]
- Do Beagles Like To Cuddle? [Reasons They Do & May Not]
- 19 Remarkable Beagle Statistics
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.