Do Beagles bark or rather do Beagles a lot?
Beagles are not excessive barkers. What they have is a really loud bark and a really strong sense of smell. There are 3 types of Beagle barks the standard bark, the half-bayed howl, and the howl. These Beagle barks can be really loud and be a nuisance to your neighbors.
You may have seen online that Beagles bark a lot but that is not entirely accurate but stick around to learn why this is the case.
There are several reasons why this dog may bark, bay, or howl, and each of these can be controlled or managed to an extent. You cannot completely stop your Beagle from barking, it’s their way of communication.
Ever heard of the African Barkless dog? Learn more about the Basenji or the African Barkless dog.
But let us look at the different types of Beagle barks.
- The 3 types of Beagle barks
- Why does my Beagle Bark or howl a lot?
- How to stop a Beagle from barking or howling
The 3 types of Beagle barks
The standard bark;
This type of bark is the one most of us are used to hearing from most dog breeds.
A Beagle may bark to alert you of a knock at the door, when the mailman is at the door, when he is excited about seeing you after a long day, or even because of his favorite toy/tasty treat.
This bark can be really loud and deep, keeping in mind that the Beagle is a small dog breed.
The half-bayed howl;
Half-bayed howling or baying is also common in Beagle.
This bark is more of a mid-range howl or the midpoint between a bark and a howl. Baying is way sharper than a bark but does not take as long as a howl would.
Your Beagle may bay when he is excited of a scent, when he is bored or when he hears another dog bay.
Dog researchers believe that the half-bayed howl may have come from the dog’s wolf ancestry.
Technically, howling is not barking but a way of Beagle vocalization and it sounds more like deep yodel or a mournful sound that takes quite a while.
This may start when this canine friend is as young as 8 weeks old.
Howling stems from the dog’s hunting instincts and high prey drive.
You could always check out our guide on how you can manage a dog with a high prey drive. This may come in really handy when you are dealing with a Beagle.
When a Beagle is preparing to howl he will move his head back, point his mouth upwards as he opens it, then howl.
Remember how I mentioned that this dog has a high prey drive? We could attribute this to his really good sense of smell, to put it into perspective it is 1000 to 10,000 times better than that of humans. To make it even better, they can remember different scents in the future.
When a Beagle picks up a scent from a prey, wounded or not, his first instinct will be howling to alert you or other dogs of it.
Knowing these things will be helpful when it comes to managing the “excessive barking.”
You may be interested in- The Teacup or Pocket Beagle guide.
So, why did I claim that the Beagle is not an excessive barker?
From everything I have said so far, it may seem like the Beagle is a pretty excessive barker.
However, it a known fact that most if not all dogs bark. For the Beagle, most people may confuse the loudness of his bark to excessive barking but the two are not the same. Excessive barking is when a dog bark more than usual.
This is not to say that some Beagles don’t bark a lot.
Remember, dogs are individuals and the amount of barking may differ from one to the other.
With that said, there are reasons your Beagle may bark/bay/how excessively.
Why does my Beagle Bark or howl a lot?
Knowing why your Beagle is excessively vocal is paramount if you want to bring it under control.
1. Boredom or loneliness
Beagles are very social pack animals that should not be left alone for extended periods.
They easily become bored which can morph anxiety if they are left alone for long periods.
When this happens, these dogs can become super destructive chewing, urinating, and so on, or they could choose to express how lonely or bored they are by barking or howling.
A Beagle will enjoy the company of any other social creature, be it another Beagle or any other dog breed, a cat, or even a human company.
Most Beagle homes will have at least one other dog for the Beagle to socialize and play with to prevent bored or anxiety.
2. Attention seeking barks
As I mentioned above, Beagles are very social creatures that thrive on love and attention.
When he barks or howls a lot he may be trying to tell you to give him some of your time, which he values so much. He may also be after a walk to the park, a treat, a toy, or a simple belly rub.
A Beagle that does not get enough of your time will also not be mentally and physically stimulated which causes him to get bored. And remember a bored Beagle can be very destructive and excessively bark as well.
3. Prey drive
Beagles were bred to be hunters and they are some of the best tracking and scent hounds in existence.
When you combine the two, you get a pooch with a very strong prey drive.
Howling is very common when their prey instinct kicks in. This can be when they smell or spot prey to alert and let you know where it is.
A Beagle’s prey can be a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, the wind, or even a bird.
When he spots prey, howling is almost always accompanied by chasing after it. That is why it is always important to have your Beagle on a leash when you are outdoors.
4. Pack instincts
Being a pack animal, a Beagle is more likely to respond to a bay or a howl from another canine friend.
These dogs are notorious for partaking in howls from other dogs or anything that sound like one such as a musical instrument or any other high-pitched sounds.
So, if you Beagle is howling at sirens, horns, the piano, or howls from other dogs, this is the reason for that.
5. Territorial barking
Beagles are also territorial animals that are also very protective against any perceived threats.
This dog can bark or howl to mark his territory against other dogs, a vehicle, or even a stranger.
Territorial barking is not unique to Beagles but is done by other breeds against anyone or anything that intruding into their territory.
Simply put, this is a way for them to alert and protect you from any perceived danger.
6. Pain or illness
If your Beagle suddenly starts barking, baying, or howling excessively, it would be best if you checked him for any injuries, soars, or signs of illness.
However, you can easily differentiate this type of bark from the others because it is continuous and low-pitched.
If you do or don’t find any injuries or signs of an illness visit the vet to get him checked out.
7. Compulsive Beagle barking
This is where the Beagle barks even when he not triggered or “the let me just bark” bark or howl.
At this point, your Beagle’s barking is simply a nuisance to you an to others. He may begin barking at any moving objects such as leaves and lights.
This is mainly a behavioral issue that you should avoid reinforcing.
If you give your Beagle attention when he is having these barking episodes it will make things worse for you. And by attention, I mean even looking or shouting at the dog.
This can be correct by ignoring the barking the rewarding the dog when he stops barking.
If it gets out of control, you should seek professional help from an animal behaviorist to mitigate the problem.
How to stop a Beagle from barking or howling
1. Exercise the dog enough
Both mentally and physically stimulating exercises can help reduce excessive barking.
This helps to reduce boredom and anxiety which are some of the reasons that may cause a Beagle to bark.
Also, if your Beagle is tired he will be best inclined to bark or howl and will only want to take his time to rest.
You can exercise your Beagle by:
- Taking him for a walk.
- Going for a hunt.
- Playing both physical and brain games.
- Letting him play with other dogs.
Here are some great indoor exercise tips if you are stuck in your house.
2. Avoid encouraging a Beagle to bark
This is where ignoring your Beagle when he either howls, bays or barks helps manage it.
You may be unknowingly reinforcing the barking by yelling at the dog to stop or looking at him as he does it.
This may seem absurd but remember that these dogs thrive on human attention and if they are not getting enough of it, they are less compelled to bark.
You can ignore this barking by leaving the room or completely turning your attention away from the dog by turning on the Tv and not looking at him. The dog then slowly and eventually learns that barking takes away what he loves and craves the most, attention.
After he stops howling or barking, wait for 2 to 3 minutes and if he does not do it again turn your attention to him, hold his chin and give him a treat.
However, this will only apply if you Beagle barks for the following reasons;
- Barking for attention
- Compulsive barking
- Territorial barking
3. Socialize the Beagle to reduce territorial barking
Not many people will tell you this but socializing your Beagle can come in really handy if you want to keep his territorial barking at bay.
Because these dogs can easily get trigger by strange people, animals, or objects, getting them used to it can help control his barking.
Start socializing the dog from an early age as early as 10 weeks.
When he has positive experiences with new people and animals whether it is at the park or at the neighborhood, he stops perceiving them as a threat.
Also, introduce him to busier places with more vehicles, people on the bikes, and sirens to get him used to them. But always remember to have a leash on when outdoors.
4. Distract the Beagle when he about to howl
Distracting your Beagle when he is about to howl at prey or bark at a stranger can be very helpful.
You can distract him with a treat, a toy, rubbing his belly, or by introducing another scent using a dog distraction spray.
Distraction can also mean blocking some of the triggers. For example, if your Beagle barks while looking out at people passing by, close all the curtains. If he is barking at objects while he is in the yard, take him indoors and close the door.
Do not try to use any aversive or aggressive means to stop him from barking. These do not work and will only make the howling worse.
5. Train your Beagle to stop howling/baying/barking
Training a Beagle to stop barking takes time, so, you should be very consistent and patient with the training.
Also, use a firm and clear voice but do not shout.
Train the dog to bark/howl on command
Having control over how much your Beagle barks will also mean training him to bark when you command him to.
This may seem counterproductive but if you can get him to bark or howl on command he will be less compelled to do it if he is not commanded to.
Here is how to do it;
- Find the Beagle’s barking trigger. This can be anything from the ringing of the bell to a prey scent.
- Introduce the trigger.
- If he barks on the introduction of the trigger, reward him. Repeat.
- The next step is introducing the “bark” or “howl” command before introducing the trigger. Praise and reward him if he barks after the command. Repeat this several times.
- Proceed to use the “bark” or “howl” command but do not use the trigger this time. Praise and reward the Beagle every time he barks or howls on the command.
- Repeat this several times in different environments and use different triggers for perfection.
Train your Beagle to stop howling or barking on command
After you are done training your Beagle to bark on commands (may take several days), you can proceed to teach him how to stop barking on command.
Here is how to do it;
- Get the Beagle to howl or bark on command.
- Give him a treat and as he eats the treat, introduce the “quiet” command in a firm but clear voice.
- Hold his chin, look at him as he eats the treat, and wait until he is done eating the treat. Say the “quiet” command once again.
- Wait for some time (ideally 60 seconds or more) and if he stays silent praise and reward him. Let him know that his silence is a big deal. Repeat several times.
- Get the Beagle to bark again but this time do not give him a treat. Say the “quiet” command and every time he responds stopping the bark, praise, and reward with a tasty treat.
- Do several repetitions and interrupt him in between the barks with the “quiet” command and rewarding him if he stops barking.
Please note that perfecting this will take time and consistency but if you do it right you will be able to control most of the Beagle’s barking/howling.
6. Seek professional help
You should visit a Veterinarian in case you suspect your Beagle is baying due to pain or illness. Get the issue checked out and treated.
Your vet may also be helpful even if the dog does not have a health issue but the barking is out of control.
You can also seek help from a dog behaviorist or therapist to mitigate any obnoxious barking and howling problems.
These individuals are skilled enough to understand why it may be happening will also help control it accordingly.
My final thoughts
As we have seen, most times a Beagle howls, bays, or barks, there is almost always a reason for it. Knowing why it happens can be very helpful in managing and keeping it at bay.
However, you should remember that this is their means of communication and you cannot completely stop it.
If you are a hunting enthusiast, you may actually find this howling very essential when you are out hunting with your Beagle.
So, did you find these tips help? Leave us your feedback or questions in the comment section below.
There you go, WOOF!