If you are a beagle owner, you have probably asked this question more than once – why do beagles howl? Beagles are known for being noisy dogs, and if yours is constantly making noise, you might be wondering why. What causes beagles to howl in such a distinctive and plaintive way? It can be both annoying and alarming, so it’s a good idea to find out why they do it. Fortunately, there are some fairly concrete reasons that your beagle may be howling. Once you have pinpointed the cause, you might be able to stop your dog from howling so persistently or at least reduce it.
Beagles howl for a number of reasons. It is often a response to spotting something that they view as prey (yes, even in the house), but it may also be because your dog is lonely, afraid, or looking for attention. Howling can be a sign of territorial behavior or an indication of pain.
It’s important to learn what might be making your beagle howl because unless you know what’s wrong, it’s just noise – and often frustrating noise, too. Understanding your dog is key to building a good relationship with it, and we are going to look into the top reasons that beagles start howling. This should help you to pinpoint what your dog is trying to tell you. We are then going to cover the best ways to discourage and decrease howling, which will hopefully lead to more peace in your home, and a happier beagle.
Why Do Beagles Howl?
The fundamental reason that beagles howl is that they wish to communicate something to you. They are using their voice – as all dogs do – to tell you about something, just as you might use yours to tell them (or another family member) about something.
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Howls and barks are a means of transmitting information between pack members, and other beagles would likely understand the howl perfectly. Howling only becomes a problem when it is used as a way of communicating with humans because we simply don’t speak the same language, and that makes it hard to understand howling.
So, what makes a beagle howl? There are a few top reasons.
Often, your beagle will howl because it is lonely, and it wants attention from you. This may be because you have been out all day, or your dog might simply be bored. You must not respond to the howls with attention, however, or your dog will learn that this works and will howl more.
Your beagle might also howl because it has detected prey. Beagles used to call hunters to the hunted animal with their voices. It may seem that your home is not the appropriate place to have found prey, but this is very instinctual behavior, and your beagle may still turn to it at times, even if you can’t see a “prey” trigger.
Alternatively, the beagle may howl because it feels its territory is being threatened, and it wishes to warn off intruders. Howling marks the home as belonging to it, and is thought to be a message to other dogs. If your beagle is feeling insecure or if a new dog has come to the local area, this may result in howling.
Howling can also show that your dog is in pain, but this sort of howl is usually quite distinctive because it is low-pitched and often ongoing. Your beagle needs to be taken to a vet as soon as possible if it starts constantly howling in a distressed manner.
Why Do Beagles Howl At Night?
Howling at night can be extremely annoying, especially if you need to get up for work, you have nearby neighbors, or your children are trying to sleep. Unfortunately, howling at night is quite common among beagles.
You may have noticed that it always seems to happen just after you’ve settled down for the night, and everything has gone quiet. This is because beagles generally howl at night due to loneliness.
If your beagle sleeps in a different room to the rest of the family, it might start to get lonely or anxious, especially if it is young, has learned bad habits, or has recently joined your household.
If you think about it from the beagle’s perspective, it is abruptly separated from its pack at bedtime – just the time when many animals rely on their family members to provide extra security. Dog packs usually sleep together, and your dog may be very unsettled by the idea that all of its family goes away.
Your beagle may howl as a means of trying to locate you. Just as wolves in packs howl to reunite their members after a long hunt, it is letting you know where it is and calling you to return to it. It may be expecting a howl in response.
Howling at night can be difficult to deal with, because if you respond to the dog howling, it has got what it wants – attention and your presence. This will cause it to howl more frequently. You need to ignore the noise, but this can be very challenging.
Consider letting your dog sleep in your room, or practice crate training with it. Teaching it a “be quiet” command (preferably during the day) can also be valuable.
Spending lots of time with your beagle before bed may help to make it feel settled and relaxed, and a proper bedtime routine will make things easier too. Your dog needs to feel secure and safe, so do what you can to make this happen.
Why Has My Beagle Started Howling?
Your beagle may have started howling for a number of different reasons. It is possible that a new dog is nearby, and your beagle feels that it needs to assert itself and claim its territory as loudly as possible.
Your beagle may also have started howling because it is lonely. If your work hours have changed and you are out of the house for longer than usual, or some other change to the routine is leaving it unsettled, you might find that it starts howling. This is an attempt to show you that something is wrong.
Alternatively, it may be that your dog has found something that excites it, and it wants to alert you to the presence of this thing. Beagles have an extremely powerful sense of smell, so they can pick up all kinds of smells even from inside the home. Howling may indicate that your dog has seen or smelled prey, and wants to tell you about it.
Your beagle is much more likely to take up howling on a regular basis if it learns that howling leads to a reaction. Howling is almost always an attempt to get your attention – even if the reason for this varies – so if you do respond to howling, your dog will howl more. It will learn that howling works and will keep doing it.
How Do I Stop My Beagle From Howling?
Howling is a very challenging behavior to handle, and you may have to take your dog to behavioral classes or a special trainer. However, there are a few things you can do at home.
Firstly, check your dog is not in pain or ill by taking it for a checkup. Once physical discomfort has been ruled out, you can start being firm about the howling.
If you refuse to respond when your dog howls, either during the day or at night, it will turn to other methods for getting your attention. Don’t answer howling, but do respond to other methods, and your dog will start to use those instead.
Don’t shout at your dog for howling. They do not respond well to negative reinforcement, and you will get better results with positive interactions.
Try to play with your dog lots, especially in the evening, to reduce its loneliness. It’s a good idea to exercise your beagle plenty too; beagles need at least an hour of physical exercise every day, and if you can satisfy this requirement, your dog may howl less.
Beagles howl to tell their owners that there is a problem of some kind. If your beagle has started howling excessively, you need to try and work out what the root cause of the howling is, and address the problem if you can.
There is something wrong, even if it is only a minor thing, and if you can work out what it is and fix the issue, your dog (and you) will be happier.