You have to give people time to get on and answer your question, this board isn't always busy.
It is rare for beagles to attack but they can get aggressive in some situations. My two beagle girls really used to go at it but I was always able to break it up. How are the two getting along with the 3rd gone? Are they all males or all females? I am sorry for your loss.
First let me tell you that I am sorry for your loss.
Mom2Beagles is correct, this sort of behavior is rare and very serious.
I would like to help you if possible but I need a little more information:
What are the ages of the males?
Are they altered (neutered) ?
Was the dog that was attacked also a male and was that dog altered?
Please share a little of the background of the dogs, i.e. how long you have had them, were they adopted.
Are they outside dogs or do they live in the house with you?
Are they typically aggressive toward other dogs?
Are they people aggressive?
I know this seems like a lot of questions but it really will help me to form an intelligent response. My goal is to help you.
All three were not altered. Penned together for quite some time. 6x8x4 high. Hunting dogs.
The one that was killed was older than the other two. The only time any of my Beagles
show any aggression is at feeding time. We have 29; Males with males and females with females.
We have had the older male for about a year and the other one for 2 years and the third
for close to 4 years. My husband went out earlier that day to see if the kennels could be hosed
out, but it was still frozen. We went out a couple of hours later to get some to do a little rabbit hunting
and found them. He said they were acting fine. So I just know.
I think she has a good point with her suggestion that the older dog may have been ill and aggressive.
Since you mention they are hunting dogs, I assume that they do not display people aggression.
The food guarding/aggression that you mention is not, as you know, uncommon with Beagles. There are things you can do, from a behavioral training perspective to address this but, I really doubt that is what caused the incident.
I also assume that it was not rabies or something like that because I would think that as hunting dogs, they are current on shots.
One suggestion that I would offer is that you may consider taking the other two dogs involved in the incident to a veterinarian to rule out any health issues.
I am really sorry that I don't have anything more constructive to offer.
Again I am sorry for your loss. I know that with 29 Beagles you too are a Beagle lover as am I. I bet they are a joy to watch on the trail!
Your experience parallelled mine from 20 years ago. Of course the best one was my oldest male that got killed. I had recently bought a rather surly big male and thought everything was going good til I found out . It was nearly devastating. I got rid of the newer big male shortly after, as I was suspicious of him, though I never saw him aggressive. IT taught me to never kennel 3 or more males together. Even though my pen was much bigger it made no difference I assume.