Beagles – The Irreverent Vet’s Opinion on the Beagle

Beagles – When I think of beagles, I generally think of happy little dogs that are not very smart. They like to play, like to get into things and are generally very social. They like to be active.

In my mind, the behavior of these dogs differs greatly depending on their use. For example, if they are hunting dog versus a house pet. The beagles that are used for hunting seem quite happy and if they are well cared for they can have very nice lives.

Hunting gives the beagle a role to fulfill and they enjoy being rewarded for doing their job. House pet beagles may be more problematic. Although beagles are not big dogs, they really do need plenty of opportunities for exercise and stimulation. Beagles that are "bored" are likely to have behavioral problems such as whining, barking, and indiscriminate chewing. Some beagles can be very calm while other breed lines can be nervous, anxious and aggressive.

Next to basset hounds, beagles have the most comical yet annoying bark. They generally have a low pain tolerance and will be quick to whine and cry if injured. They are playful when young and generally become more laid back as they age. Some can be extremely food motivated and it is easy to overfeed them. Often, beagles are recommended for kids. However, it has been my experience that some kids may quickly become bored with the beagle personality.

Training is a great way to have a well-behaved beagle and keep him stimulated. You won't have to spend a lot of time teaching him tricks because he probably won't remember any (although there are exceptions, I just don't see any in my practice). If you don't train or give your beagle plenty of exercise, see if he comes with free set of earplugs.

The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another view. All opinions are those of the Politically Incorrect Vet and not the views of and are not endorsed by

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