The Beagle is a small hound most commonly used for tracking and hunting. These dogs are trained to hunt in packs and to howl when they catch a scent. Unfortunately, this behavior sometimes carries over into your home life and you may find that your Beagle barks or howls at inopportune times. Howling is part of your Beagle’s natural behavior so you shouldn’t try to completely eliminate it, but you can work with him to teach him not to howl indoors. Keep reading to learn how.
Why Do Beagles Howl Indoors?
Before you can address an unwanted behavior like howling, you need to determine its cause. Outdoors, your Beagle may howl when he catches a scent to let you know that he’s on the trail. Indoors, however, there isn’t anything for your Beagle to hunt. Sometimes Beagles will howl indoors when they are bored, lonely, or seeking attention – they may also howl when they get excited or simply because it is fun. To determine why your Beagle is howling, pay attention to when it happens. Does it happen while he’s playing a favorite game or when he’s confined to his crate? Does he howl at animals out in the yard or do you get reports from neighbors that he is howling when you’re gone. Many Beagles howl out of loneliness or boredom because they are pack animals – they need companionship, either from other dogs or from their owners.
Tips for Teaching Your Beagle Not to Howl
Once you’ve determined your Beagle’s reason for howling, you can start to address the behavior. If you suspect that your Beagle is howling out of boredom, try spending a little extra time with him each day or give him a little bit of extra exercise. Try giving your dog an interactive toy or a treat-dispensing toy that will engage him both physically and mentally. If your dog is howling or barking for attention, don’t give it to him! By giving in to your dog’s howling, you are effectively teaching him that howling is a way to get what he wants, so he will continue doing it. Another option is to teach your dog to sop barking or howling on command – here are some tips to do so:
- Identify something that makes your Beagle howl or bark – for many dogs, it is a favorite toy or the doorbell ringing.
- Place your Beagle in front of you and do whatever it is that gets him to start barking – right before you do, tell him “Speak” in a firm, clear voice.
- When your dog barks or howls, tell him “Good boy” and give him a treat. Repeat this sequence until your dog starts to bark or howl on command.
- Move on to the next stage in the training sequence by starting with the “Speak” command – when your dog barks or howls, praise him but don’t give him the treat yet.
- Tell your dog “Quiet” or “Hush” in a firm voice while looking him right in the eye – when he stops barking, tell him “Good boy” and give him the treat.
- Repeat this sequence until your Beagle is barking on command and stopping when you tell him to – you can then use the “Quiet” or “Hush” command in other situations where you want him to be quiet.
Beagles are a wonderful breed and, though they may be a hunting breed, they also make great family pets. As great as they are, Beagles do come with some challenges but that is true for any breed. It is your job as a dog owner to train your Beagle and to provide for his needs.