About 5 years ago, I found myself looking for a new puppy. My old dog Zodian, had passed away a year before and it had taken me over a year to adjust to the idea of having a new dog. I wasn’t 100% sure of the breed that I wanted and started looking into various breeds that I had always liked.
One of those breeds was the Beagle. I’m sure that everyone knows what a Beagle is with its floppy ears and often tri colored coat. They are cute as dogs and even cuter as puppies and I have always had a soft spot for the breed. I decided that a Beagle was the way that I wanted to go and started looking into the breed itself.
I remember having a conversation with a Beagle rescue person who said to me, “Beagles are fatally cute.”
At first, I wasn’t sure what she meant by that but I quickly realized that many people purchase a Beagle because they are cute. They do not take into consideration the needs of the breed or any of the problems that can arise with them. Instead, they are drawn by the big brown eyes, the floppy ears and the little waggily tail that happily greets them.
When they finally get their beloved Beagle home, they soon realize that there is a lot more behind those puppy dog eyes and many times, it can be too much to cope with. This is where the term, “Fatally Cute” comes into the picture because the end result of these mismatched purchases is rarely positive and many Beagles are released to shelters or worse.
So if you are interested in purchasing a Beagle, there are a few that you should know before you do.
- Pack dog: Beagles were developed as pack dogs and are happier being in a home with other dogs. A Beagle that is alone all the time will not be happy and this can lead to destructive behavior. Another canine companion is the best environment for a Beagle.
- The Howl: you wouldn’t call a beagle a yappy breed but they do enjoy howling. This howling and baying, which is quite normal when tracking prey, is one of the main reasons why owners relinquish ownership. It is loud and can be done for a considerable amount of time.
- Stubbornness: It is surprising that such a friendly, good natured dog can be stubborn but Beagles seem to have more than their fair share of it. They need firm and consistent training, and their stubbornness can be very taxing on new owners.
- Wanderlust: It’s not that they love to wander but it is more that they enjoy wandering after an enticing smell. They need a yard with a fence and are not the best breed for hiking off leash since one smell can send them on the hunt.
- Mouthing: Beagles can be pretty destructive if they are bored or left alone for long periods of time. It is in their nature to find something interesting to do if it isn’t provided for them and this can mean digging, or simply chewing an expensive pair of shoes.
Even with their faults, Beagles are still wonderful dogs for the right owners. It is important to understand the breed and not simply rush out and buy the first cute Beagle puppy that crosses your path. Trust me, if you take the time, research the breed and understand what annoys you, i.e. howling, you will know without a doubt if a Beagle is right for you and not a “fatally cute” dog that you find annoying.