Beagles are gently natured, playful, loyal companions, and smart –it’s no wonder they are one of the most popular hound dog breeds out there that are kept as family pets. Although this canine is best known for its powerful nose that can recognize as many as 50 distinct odors, it is also talkative and stubborn. With a mind of their own, the focus on scent, hunting instincts, and vocal antics of Beagles, you have to be one step ahead of your dog all the time. By understanding their physical trains, personality, and everything in between, you’ll be able to better care for your four-legged animal.
So, do beagles talk back? As one of the most vocal dog breeds out there, your Beagle won’t hesitate to speak when asked. In fact, they can be so vocal that it bothers you and the neighbors. Like other dogs, this breed doesn’t use words as humans do, but they produce different sounds to communicate different things to their owners.
Have you ever wondered whether some dog breeds can do more than others? Like the talkative ones –those who like to hear their own voices and speak their minds. These chatty canines do more than engage in canine chitchat with other dogs. They like to express other things as well, like the fact that you left them alone for too long, their food bowl is empty, and so on. Talkative dogs have every right to share their opinions and thoughts. Today we talk about how Beagles communicate, so brace yourself for a course in dog lingo, and hopefully, this will bring you closer to your beloved pet animal.
Does Your Beagle Talk Back?
While some dog owners prefer quiet pets, some seek a pup with something to say, and the Beagle puppy has plenty to talk about. Dogs make different sounds, but this one is known for being very vocal. They standard bark, yap, bay, and howl a great deal, and will whine and whimper to get your attention and communicate what they want. Some are even trained to let out specific sounds based on what scents they recognize.
There are several reasons why your dog might be talking back to you. First, it’s in their nature. In the wild, it was common for Adult Beagles to bark and howl to alert their owners that they found prey. This natural hunting instinct doesn’t go away just because it is now domesticated. This breed still has a powerful nose and will make all kinds of noise to alert you when they catch a scent.
Secondly, being a social breed, barking back at you could be a social bonding activity. This would be more likely if they do it when you’re not trying to get them to do something.
Your dog could also be talking back to you because you’re encouraging the behavior. If you tend to offer extra attention, treats, or toys when they talk back to you, they’ll likely do it more.
When your dog gets intimated when you talk to it, like when you shout or have aggressive body language, it will bark at you. It would help to be calmer and use positive reinforcement training to get them to behave the way you want.
Last, but not least, this animal will talk back if they don’t want to do something you’re telling them to do. In this case, it would also help to use positive reinforcement training to get them to want and enjoy doing what you want.
Do Beagles Like To Bark?
We’ve already established that these dogs are vocally expressive. They will do so for all the normal issues, including when they need food, want to pee or poop, trying to get your attention, excited, out of fear, bored or lonely, to alert you of movement from an unknown source, etc. To say that they like barking is a stretch because this is one of their major ways of communicating, just like any other dogs do. However, they do produce a pretty deep and loud sound for a smaller dog, which is why some think they are noisy. Plus, as part of the hound group of dog breeds, they can also bay and howl.
This breed was trained to bark whenever they sensed some scent or found prey to alert other scent hounds and the hunters. This is part of their history, so their barking instincts still lie within even if they are not hunting. The good news is House Beagles have become lazy. Their hunting instincts are tempered and so will bark less.
That being said, sometimes your dog may show excessive barking behavior that is unwarranted –for example, repeatedly baking and baying to get your attention at unwanted times. Learn to ignore this cry for attention; otherwise, you’ll be teaching them that barking equals getting what you want. There are other ways to keep your Beagle from barking too much.
For starters, provide plenty of physical and mental exercises. When they are tired, all they’ll want to do is sleep. One of the reasons for excess barking is separation anxiety, so create enough time to spend with your dog, playing games, walking them in the neighborhood, or taking them to the park. Ultimately, using the right training program is key to having an obedient and happy dog. This is where teaching Speak and Quiet commands come in, as a way to only bark on command, thus avoid excess barking.
Note that every dog is different, even those of the same breed. In addition to their instincts, your dog might bark more or less depending on their personality and environmental factors. Avoid triggers like small animals, loud noise, boredom, pain or illnesses, etc.
What Is Dog Directed Speech?
You’re probably in the habit of saying, “Who’s a good boy?” “Come here!” in a really high-pitched and affectionate tone of voice. People have developed this special way of talking to their dogs called Dog-Directed Speech (DDS), which is similar to Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) used by adults when talking to babies. IDS is believed to actually attract the listener’s attention and aid the child’s linguistic development. This is why we also use it when we think our listeners don’t fully understand us, like when speaking to the elderly or linguistic foreigners. But do these benefits apply to dogs as well?
A study at the University of York in the UK found that dogs preferred it when humans addressed them in high pitches, slower tempo, and various speech exaggeration techniques instead of using a normal tone of voice. The experiment then wanted to determine what was driving the dogs’ preference for DDS. Was it the words and phrases being used, tones, the speaker’s intonation & inflections, or a combination of all that made the dogs prefer DDS?
First off, high-pitched sounds are often associated with positive events like play, treats, or toys. Perhaps it was simply the emotional tone that appealed to the dogs. However, the effect wasn’t similar across young and adult dogs. Puppies tended to respond to DDS regardless of what was being said, while adult dogs needed to hear dog-related content spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice to find it relevant. Overall, the results of this experiment suggest that DDS combined with dog-related content improves dogs’ attention, promotes word learning in dogs, and helps to strengthen the social bond between you and your dog.
That being said, note that there can be too much of a good thing. Constantly communicating with DDS can cause habituation to the sound, resulting in a reduction in response. Therefore, reduce this kind of talk to periods of play or training to maintain its effect for longer periods of time.
Hounds and Their Body Language
One of the most impressive attributes of Beagles and dogs, in general, is their ability to communicate. By now, you may understand when these hounds vocalize, but what about their elaborate second language without sound. When it comes to hounds’ body language, what clues are you missing in translation? Today we understand this elusive language to help make your relationship with your Beagle much stronger and loving.
Their eyes – We all love the wide-eyed look that dogs give. When they stare at you, and you stare back, both of you share a connection, and your dog looks the cutest. This look is for when your dog wants your attention. However, if they are staring straight at you and holding it, it could be a sign of aggression. You’ll want to de-escalate this situation before they or anyone else gets hurt.
The Tail – Wagging the tail slowly or enthusiastically while it’s lowered is a happy gesture. But if it is held high in the air without wagging, they are showing aggressive, dominant, or threatening behavior. Calm them down and keep them under control. If your dog’s tail is held very low or tucked between its legs, they are nervous or fearful.
Ears – Hounds have long, droopy ears to better help them trap smells. Their ears aren’t as expressive as pricked ears, but they still show emotion. For example, the more forward and high the ears are, the more confident they are.
Yawning – They are probably just tired, but it could also be a gesture in stressful situations. They may be frustrated and need a mental break. If you’re training them, consider altering the approach or vary the intensity.
These are just a few of the individual components, but understanding hounds and their body language requires you to look at their body as a whole. For example, a wagging tail means happiness, but only if it’s combined with the dog’s relaxed face. It’s important to look at the overall posture from mouth to tail and facial expressions before assigning a meaning. Generally, a happy dog will look natural and relaxed. If they are scared, they will make themselves look smaller and submissive. They can also make themselves look larger and more threatening to show dominance or aggression.