Dogs are a wonderful way to deter people from stopping by your home uninvited and helping themselves to your valuables, but not all dogs are great for this – although having any dog on the property may cause criminals to think twice. However, you still probably want to know which dogs are the best when it comes to keeping your home safe, and how you can train them to do so effectively. You might be wondering, are beagles good guard dogs? They are such loving dogs, how do they fare when faced with a home intruder?
If you’re looking for a great guard dog, it may not be a beagle. They aren’t terrible guard dogs, but they also aren’t fantastic. Why? Well, firstly, they aren’t really big enough to be a threat to home intruders. Secondly, they are too friendly to make great guards.
So, what makes a dog a great guard dog, and how can you train beagles to enhance these tendencies? We are going to look at this, as well as where a beagle’s skills reside and what they are best at doing if it isn’t guarding. They can still increase the security of your home, so they may make a great option, even if they won’t be able to actively take down a threat in most situations. Don’t dismiss beagles just because they are smaller than, for example, a Doberman would be!
Are Beagles Good Guard Dogs?
Beagles are certainly loud family dogs with a distinct bark, and this might be an advantage if you want outsiders to be alerted to the fact that your home is being broken into. However, most people expect guard dog breeds to be able to take down or at least frighten off a potential intruder, and a beagle is not going to be able to do this.
Beagles (Scent Hounds) are usually only around twelve inches tall (to the shoulder) and often only weigh around ten kilograms, which means they aren’t much of a threat to any full-grown adult. They are also not really fighter dogs, as they were bred to hunt, and while they enjoy chasing, they aren’t particularly confrontational in most situations.
These dogs are not keen biters, and they will usually bark loudly and angrily when something disturbs or upsets them. However, they can sometimes attack if they are provoked enough, or they believe that one of their pack members is in danger.
Some beagles are more defensive than others, and if your beagle has had a traumatic past, it is likely to be aggressive if it is threatened. On the whole, though, beagles are not the go-to for home security, and if you really want a dog that will protect your house, they probably are not a top option.
They are too friendly family pets and can be easily won over with treats and conversation. If you have ever watched your beagle interact with a new person, you’ll know that it doesn’t take much to convert a beagle to your side. That said, there are ways to train a beagle to be better at home security, and we’ll cover this next.
How To Train A Beagle For Home Security
It is worth noting before we start this section that this independent breed is notoriously hard to train, and an adult beagle will be even harder. They are stubborn creatures that are more interested in exploring and adventuring than they are in understanding what they are expected to do. It can be done, but you will need a lot of patience and a lot of treats!
You will probably want to start obedience training your beagle when it is quite young, as puppies are easier to train and generally have a more willing approach. An adult beagle could feasibly be trained, but this will take even more work than training a puppy. Don’t get me wrong this is an intelligent breed who will do almost anything for their human family, they are just a bit stubborn and not a perfect breed for a guard dog (you may look into larger dog breeds like German Shepherd).
You will need to teach your beagle how to recognize the boundaries of your home so that it understands the line that an unfamiliar human should not cross. You will also need to think about when you want your beagle to respond, and how. After all, you don’t want it attacking a new mailman, but ignoring a nighttime robbery.
It’s often a good idea to attend a bit of training classes specifically tailored to this subject if possible. This will give you ideas about how to ensure your beagle does not view everyone as a threat but is able to accurately identify a problematic person so that it can quickly alert you. These classes may also help you pick up some guard dog training techniques.
Make sure that you socialize your dog well so it recognizes friends and does not simply treat all strangers and visitors with aggression. This is crucial, or your beagle will live an unhappy, stressful life, and won’t help with your home security.
You should praise barking to alert you to someone coming to the door, and try to teach your dog to make a specific bark to alert you to a specific thing (e.g. someone is approaching the house). Make sure you praise your dog so it has a sense of achievement when it gets this right.
Are Beagles Good Watch Dogs?
Yes, beagles are much better watchdogs for children than they are guard dogs. They are highly alert and good at making a lot of noise, and that makes them perfectly suited for this role. The job that they were bred for involved alerting hunters to the presence of an animal – so they can easily tell you when someone is around your home.
Beagles can make a lot of noise, so even if you aren’t home, your beagle may be able to alert neighbors to a problem in your home through their terrific bark ability. Of course, this won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth considering if your beagle could do this.
Again, teaching your beagle different kinds of barks could be useful here, as this will let you know whether your beagle is alerting you to something reasonably every day but still notable (such as a visitor coming to the door) or alerting you to something much more unusual (someone sneaking around).
Encourage your beagle to vocalize when it notices something, and you will have an extraordinary pair of eyes and ears, plus a highly sensitive nose, guarding your property at all times. Don’t underestimate the value of that, even if beagles aren’t very suitable for taking down potential threats to your home security.
Are Beagles Protective Of Babies And Children?
Beagles can be protective of anyone that they consider a member of their pack, and this certainly extends to children. Indeed, because beagles are such loving dogs, they are often very protective, and they will guard the home loyally and effectively.
It is very important to socialize them with babies and children well, particularly when your dog is young. Do not assume that because most beagles are good with children, your dog will be. Training and familiarization are key to a good relationship.
A beagle should never be left alone with a baby or young child, even if it is very good with them and protective of them. Accidents can happen fast and lead to tragedy, so don’t take this risk, no matter how good your dog is or how much you trust it.
A beagle will happily act as an excellent watchdog for your child and will bark to let you know if something is wrong. You can train them to do this (again, classes may prove useful) if you have the patience. However, do bear in mind that beagles can be fairly easily distracted, and they are not a substitute for watching your child yourself.
Your beagle will protect you or your children (and any other members of the “pack”) fiercely if necessary, but they are not fighting dogs, and they won’t be of much use against an aggressor. Instead, they can alert you to the problem with their resounding and relentless bark.
So, to answer “are beagles good guard dogs?” they are in a way, but they aren’t good if you want a strong, aggressive dog to keep your home safe. Instead, beagles are best if you want somebody to alert you to any issues or unusual activity around your home.
They don’t have the size or weight to take down an intruder, but they do have the voice to let you know, and potentially frighten the criminal away from the property by raising a huge racket. Beagles may not be the top in the defense department, but they are unbeatable as an alarm system!