All dogs bark by the rule of nature. But just as some people talk non-stop while others barely speak, some dog breeds are excessive barkers while others are more docile. It’s important to know how loud or how often a dog is likely to bark before deciding to bring them home. For instance, you may not want a dog that is so loud if you live in an apartment; neither do you want a quiet one if you live in isolated dwellings where you want to be alerted to unusual things happening in the area. One might ask which category Beagles fall into.
So, do Beagles bark a lot? This is not a quiet dog breed. They are vocally expressive and make different sounds, with barking being one of them. But to say that they bark a lot is a bit of a stretch. This adorable dog breed produces a loud and mighty bark for its size, which might make some think they are excessive barkers.
Beagles are game hounds bred for hunting. Their instincts are finely tuned, including their instinct to bark, which can compel even a well-trained Beagle to bark and howl at inappropriate times. Plus, their voice is louder than other dogs of its size and also carries a certain passion. That being said, you need to note that every dog is different. How much your dog barks will depend on their personality and environmental factors, as we will see later on. There’s no stopping the strong barking instinct of this dog, but there are ways to convince your furry friend not to howl all the time; keep reading to find out.
Types of Barking
Beagles are so talented at vocalizing that they do so in three distinct ways:
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The Standard Bark – This is the type of barking most people are used to hearing from dogs. And for a small dog breed, this bark can be loud and deep. The standard bark is used for everyday things like alerting you of a knock at the door, mealtime, he needs to get out, or he’s excited about a new treat/toy or to see you after a long day away.
Howling – This is technically not barking but a way of vocalization that sounds more like a deep yodel or a long, somber call. When preparing to howl, your Beagle will move his head back and point his mount upwards, then make a high-pitched, mournful loud noise that takes quite a while.
Beagle howl stems from the dog’s hunting instincts and high prey drive. When it picks up a scent from a prey, thanks to its good sense of smell, its first instinct is to howl to alert you or other dogs of it. Beagles will also howl if they are left at home by themselves for too long, sad, bored, or if others are howling first. A beagle puppy can learn to howl as young as eight weeks old. This dog breed thinks it’s supposed to howl, which is excellent for hunters but can be too much for you and your neighbors.
Baying Sound – This is a cross between a bark and a howl. It carries a sharper and harsher sound than a standard bark but not as long as the howl. Your Beagle will use this sound when they’re bored, excited about a scent, hear another dog baying, or need attention.
From everything we’ve said so far, it may seem like this dog breed is a pretty excessive barker. Many people may confuse the loudness of their bark with excess barking, but the two are quite different. It’s a known fact that all dogs bark, so excessive barking is when your dog barks more than usual.
Why Do Beagles Bark?
Beagles aren’t noisier than other dogs; in fact, they exhibit calm behavior, even downright lazy. However, they have no qualms about vocalizing it when they have something to say, which they do through a series of barks, howls, yelps, and grunts. Here are the most common reasons why your Beagle may bark from time to time:
Nature of Their Breed – Beagles were bred for hunting and are some of the best trackers and scent hounds in the world with a great athletic body. They used to bark to make it easier for their hunting owner to locate their positions. Despite being an adaptable breed, this barking habit is not going away any time soon. When they smell or spot a prey, their prey instinct kicks in, and they start barking or howling. Secondly, they are pack animals and will likely respond to a howl or bay from another canine friend.
Territorial Barking – Beagles are protective against any perceived threats and bark to mark their territory against other dogs, strangers, vehicles, or wild animals.
Attention Seeking – Beagles don’t like to be left alone, and when they are lonely, they can resort to excess barking to gain your attention. Perhaps you don’t want to play with them or are occupied and want you around. Constant barking could also be because they want something like food, a treat, a toy, a walk to the park, going outside to do their business, etc.
Alarm Barks – Beagles are alert barkers and will do so if something is unusual or someone’s approaching the house. Most owners encourage this type of barking because they want to be notified of any incoming danger. The problem arises when alarm barking starts to get out of control, and your Beagle is barking at anyone or anything. Even the neighbor’s cat and the delivery man are seen as harmful invaders.
Separation Anxiety – As social pack animals, these dogs don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. They can quickly become bored and lonely and resort to bad habits like digging and excess barking. Anxiety-driven barking behavior is likely to occur when you’re not at home, leading to problems with angry neighbors or unhappy landlords.
Other reasons for a noisy beagle are fear, loud background noises, stress, frustration, pain or illness, and excitement.
Understanding Excessive Barking
Sometimes your dog may show excessive barking behavior that’s unwanted and not for a valid reason. For instance, constant barking to get your attention at unwanted times. While it’s good that your dog wants to interact with you, be careful as it can be used as a manipulation tool. If you give into unwarranted barking, even by looking or shouting at the dog, you’ll be reinforcing bad habits. You’ll be teaching them that barking equals getting what you want. And, stopping such bad habits, later on, can prove to be challenging.
While you may not find a quiet Beagle, this dog breed is rarely aggressive. But if your dog hasn’t been properly socialized or is mistreated, they may show signs of aggression. What are the signs your Beagle is barking aggressively? First is if they bark and are blocking your path as well. This is their way of protecting their territory and preventing someone they don’t like from getting through. Next is producing aggressive bark sounds like snapping, snarling, growling, and low-range barks. Lastly, check for their body posture. You’ll notice that their teeth are exposed, ears up or in a more direct position, tail held up and moving back and forth stiffly, and they will likely be standing in a taller position. They’re also likely to be making direct eye contact while barking at who or what they feel aggression towards.
How to Stop Your Beagle from Barking Too much
Keep Them Happy – These dogs bark to communicate, so if they are doing it continuously, they’re probably trying to tell you they want something. Provide all the basic needs and don’t forget to spend lots of time with them. These dogs are very social and rely on companionship for their happiness. If you have to leave your beagle plenty of times, provide enough interactive toys to keep them occupied or bring a second dog home to keep them company.
Burn Some Energy – A Beagle is highly energetic with an athletic body. If they don’t get enough physical and mental exercise, they may resort to destructive behavior like barking and digging to release pent-up energy. So, let them play with other dogs, play fetch or other interactive games, take them for a walk, or even go for a hunt. If your Beagle is tired, they will only want to rest.
Socialize Your Beagle – A poorly socialized beagle can cause them to always bark at people and other animals frequently without stopping. Adult beagles usually take more time to learn socialization skills, so socialize your dog from an early age.
Train Them – You don’t want an abnormally quiet beagle, rather an alert and well-behaved animal. By training for obedience and relaxation from an early age, your dog will learn acceptable behaviors and those that are not. Having control over how much your dog barks also means training them to bark on command. This is where teaching Speak and Quiet command comes in.
Eliminate Triggers – As hunting breed and scent dogs, there are things that Beagles have no control over. They cannot help but start barking when they see or smell prey, so keep small animals like rabbits away and block their access to the window they set up as a lookout. Other common triggers to eliminate include:
- Loud sounds
- Illness that causes constant irritation or pain, etc
Using Bark Collars – There are plenty of specialized collars, including electric, vibration, and citronella collars, which produce an electrical stimulation, an irritating ultrasonic sound, or an offensive smell when the dog barks. Some people view this as negative training in that it gives a painful response to unwanted behavior. Well, the truth is using beagle bark collars alone may not cure the problem; they are best used in addition to a behavior modification program. With that being said, positive reinforcement training is always much more effective and less distressing.
Seek Professional Help – If you suspect the barking is because of pain or illness, have your Beagle checked out and treated by a vet. For beagles with compulsive barking or other behavioral problems, an animal behaviorist can help by taking cues from unique traits in your dog’s behavior to help them set up proper training situations. Each family member must then train the dog in the same manner, using the same basic commands. The vet could also give insights into the reasons that might be triggering the problem. And will prescribe appropriate medications to help your Beagle become more responsive to the behavior modification program. In short, controlling your Beagle barking loud may require you to adopt a team approach to solving the problem.