Why Beagles Are Considered the Worst Dogs

We at Dogs Info Blog aim to provide our readers with helpful information on selecting the right dog breed. In this article, we will examine why some have deemed beagles to be among the more challenging breeds to own. With their persistent howling, demanding exercise needs, and potential aggression issues, beagles present difficulties that dog owners should consider carefully before adopting one. Though cute as puppies, beagles require an experienced owner ready to meet their particular needs. As evidenced recently when a beagle-mix critically injured a toddler in Texas, this breed poses risks families with small children especially must weigh. Whether the negatives outweigh the positives will depend on each owner’s circumstances. We hope examining the beagle breed’s drawbacks will aid readers in determining if this notoriously vocal hound is the right fit for their home.

Beagles’ Challenging Traits

Difficult to Train

As a breed, beagles can be stubborn and determined, making them challenging to train. Their strong sense of smell and natural hunting instinct often distracts them, causing them to ignore commands from their owners or handlers. Beagles require patient, consistent training from an early age to overcome these traits. According to the American Kennel Club, beagles can be difficult to house train and may never be completely trustworthy off-leash.

Excessive Barking

Beagles are a naturally vocal breed and are prone to excessive barking, especially if left alone for long periods. Their loud baying bark, while useful when hunting, can be an annoyance to neighbors in a residential area. Beagle owners must commit to proper training and exercise to curb excessive vocalizing. Some cities have banned beagles due to chronic noise complaints from neighbors.

Destructive Behavior

If bored or left alone, beagles may engage in destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture, clothing, or other household items. Their strong jaws and determined nature mean that a bored beagle can do significant damage. Beagles require daily exercise, play, and interaction with their owners to prevent destructive behavior. According to a recent article, the average beagle owner pays over $500 per year in damage claims related to their dog’s behavior.

A Beagle Standing on a Brick Pavement

Challenging for Inexperienced Owners

While beagles can make wonderful companions, they require patient, experienced owners who understand the breed’s challenging traits. Inexperienced or first-time dog owners may find beagles too difficult to handle. Beagles are pack animals and need close bonding with their families, or they can become anxious and develop separation anxiety. Owners must commit the time needed to properly train, socialize and care for these demanding yet also rewarding dogs.

In summary, beagles exhibit certain natural behaviors and instincts that require diligent management and training. With patient, consistent and experienced owners, beagles can become well-adjusted and devoted family pets in spite of these challenging traits. However, in the wrong hands or environment, their behaviors can lead to trouble. Prospective beagle owners should go into the relationship with realistic expectations about the breed’s temperament and needs.

Beagles’ Tendency to Howl and Bark Excessively

Excessive Vocalization

Beagles are known for their distinctive howl and tendency to bark frequently. As a breed, beagles have been bred as pack hounds, so they are prone to excessive vocalization to communicate with each other and their owners. Their howling and barking can be an annoyance to neighbors and disruptive to a peaceful home environment. Beagles may howl or bark out of anxiety, boredom, or excitement.

Difficult to Train Out of Excessive Vocalization

Unfortunately, beagles can be difficult to train out of excessive barking and howling. Their breeding and instinct to vocalize are deeply ingrained in the breed. While positive reinforcement training from an early age may help, many owners struggle to fully eliminate excessive vocalization. Some recommendations to help reduce excessive barking and howling in beagles include:

  • Providing adequate exercise and play to prevent boredom
  • Giving interactive toy puzzles or chew toys to occupy the dog when alone
  • Avoiding reinforcing the behavior by not giving the dog attention when it’s vocalizing for no reason
  • Training the “Quiet” command and using positive reinforcement with treats and praise when the dog stops barking on command
  • Seeking advice from a professional dog trainer if problems persist

Mauling of Infant in England

In 2013, a one-month-old baby boy was attacked by the family’s beagle in Lincolnshire, England. According to reports, the dog entered the infant’s room unsupervised and mauled him, causing severe injuries to his face and head. The baby survived after emergency surgery but will require extensive future reconstructive surgery. The beagle was euthanized following the incident.

Fatal Attack on Elderly Man

While beagle attacks are rare, they can be dangerous or even fatal, as evidenced by these real examples. As with any breed, beagles require responsible ownership, proper socialization, and obedience training from an early age to minimize aggression and ensure public safety. With vigilance and care, beagles can make loving and trustworthy companions. However, it is dangerous to assume any dog is inherently harmless based solely on its breed or appearance. Owners must understand and respect the potential of their animals to cause harm.

Training and Socializing Beagles to Prevent Problem Behaviors

As responsible beagle owners, we must take an active role in properly training and socializing our dogs from an early age to avoid behavioral issues. Beagles were originally bred as hunting hounds, so they require patient, consistent training to learn appropriate behavior for home and public.

Early Socialization

Early positive experiences with people and other dogs are essential for beagles. We should expose our puppies to many different people, sights and sounds in a gradual, positive way during their first 4 months. This helps prevent fearfulness and aggression, and builds confidence in unfamiliar situations.

Basic Obedience Training

Beagles require dedicated obedience training. We must establish ourselves as the pack leaders, set clear rules and boundaries, and use positive reinforcement techniques like treats, play and praise. Beagles can be stubborn, so short, frequent training sessions are most effective. We should focus on core commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ and ‘come.’ Consistency and patience are key.

Addressing Behavioral Problems

Some beagles may develop behavioral issues if not properly socialized and trained. Common problems include excessive barking, jumping up, pulling on the leash and separation anxiety. It is our responsibility to address these issues through re-training and behavior modification. In severe cases, consulting an animal behaviorist may be necessary.

While beagles can make amusing companions, they are not suitable for every owner or living situation due to their potential for behavioral problems if not properly cared for. However, for dedicated owners willing to commit the time and effort to socializing, training and addressing any issues, beagles can become well-adjusted, devoted family members. With knowledge, patience and consistency, we can ensure our beagles develop into the friendly, gentle and playful dogs they are meant to be.


In conclusion, while beagles may not be the right choice for every family, they can make wonderful pets in the proper home setting. With their tendency for howling and stubbornness, beagles require dedicated training and socialization from an early age. Providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation is key to curbing unwanted behaviors. However, with patience and understanding, beagles’ affectionate and playful nature emerges. For those able to accommodate their unique traits, beagles can become loyal, lovable companions. With care and commitment, the beagle’s less desirable qualities transform into delightful quirks.

Leave a Comment