Barking is to beagle as talking is to humans. This is a fierce, active and energetic dog breed, immensely protective of his territory and owner.
Beagles were originally bred to hunt game birds and hare. That explains their innate alertness.
As cheerful and lovable as beagles are, the excessively barking ones can pose quite a few problems for their owner, as well as the people who share their lives.
Here in this section, we’ll discuss about how to train a beagle not to bark.
The Beagle Personality At Glance
Originally, beagle dogs were bred to work as a pack. Packs consist of few to many dogs.
Since the beagle has been bred and trained to act as a hunting dog, they do not hesitate to run out in the field at the whiff of new scents.
As a domestic animal, they are fun-loving, merry and simply adore being around their conspecifics as well as humans.
In fact, the non-aggressive kind of beagle bonds exceptionally well with kids and felines. Even the beagles who demonstrate assertiveness or signs of intolerance can be easily trained.
Simply put, the Beagle is an expert hunter, bred to hunt game birds, hare and rabbits.
With a sturdy, athletic body, remarkable agility and a keen sense of smell, Beagles are perfectly suited for this task.
All in all, the Beagle temperament is unique and definitely one of its kind. While they are instinctively fierce and active, they are also very loyal to their owner and his family members, and thus make for wonderful family pets.
Do Beagles Bark A Lot?
By the rule of nature, all dogs bark and beagles are no exception. However, like with other breeds, how much a beagle barks is based partly on the individual personality and partly on the environment.
The reason why beagles are so notorious for barking too much is because of the quality of their voice rather than the quantity of barks produced during a particular period of time.
For its size, the Beagle produces a loud and mighty bark that may intimidate small children and guests.
The beagle’s voice is not only louder than other dog breeds of its size, but it also carries a certain passion that’s missing in other breeds.
The beagle howl is different from the beagle bark. Yet the causes behind the beagle howling are the same as barking- loneliness, frustration and boredom.
It is also essential to note that beagles were earlier thought of as outside dogs, meant for outdoors and were kept away from their people. This may be what spurred them to bark. Beagles love being around their human companions as well as others of their kin.
Outdoor beagles can be quite noisy at times and this reputation has carried over to their life as indoor pets.
However, as pets, beagles are usually no more or less reactive than any other breed. In fact, as compared to terriers and other toy breeds, beagles are far quieter. Yorkies are one of the most loudest dogs for that matter.
Most people seem to wonder “do beagles bark too much” or all the time. But the truth is that they rarely bark at all, unless the following conditions are true:
#1 – Arrival of new people: Even trained beagles are known to bark for a minimum of five minutes following the ushering of a guest. Barking usually stops when you reach over to them and pet them while whispering calming words at the same time.
#2 – Fenced beagles are more prone to bark at the sight of a wild animal in the yard or garden.
#3 – Beagles have an extraordinary nose, which is quick to catch any lingering scent. Once they detect the smell, beagles go out of their way to grab it or at least, find its source. Due to their inherent hunting instinct, they tend to bark and howl upon detecting a new scent. This is their way of communicating their discovery to the world!
#4 – Beagles just hate to stay in the company of small pets to the likes of hamsters, bunnies, guinea pigs, cats and so on. Even if they are out of reach, as long as they are present in the same house, that is enough to frustrate the beagle. Baying, howling and barking are the only ways for them to vent out this frustration and get undivided attention from the owner.
So, basically, the bottomline is that beagles do have mighty voices, and they do bark for about a few weeks after leaving their littermates. Nevertheless, with proper training, they learn soon that barking won’t yield any results and that it’s better to take a nap instead!
Causes of Beagle Barking
Barking is a common canine behavior. It is entirely normal and ingrained within their nature. It only becomes problematic when it gets too frequent and loud. This usually happens when your beagle is stressed. With that said, you shouldn’t expect your beagle to never bark. That is as unreasonable as expecting a human to never talk.
Beagles bark for several reasons. They bark when they are excited, when they are angry and when they are scared.
Here, we highlight the major forms of barking based on the actual cause behind them.
#1 – Attention Seeking Barking:
Beagles just hate being left alone, especially those that are suffering from separation anxiety.
Lonely beagles often resort to incessant barking to get the attention of their owner. Attention seeking beagles are quite a pain and difficult to train, because whatever you do in order to stop this habit actually encourages it. No matter how serious or angry you try to sound, you’re still giving attention to the beagle and that is, in turn, triggering the barking.
Basically, beagles think in terms of “cause and effect”. So, an attention-seeking beagle knows that if he wants to get your attention, all he has to do is bark and you’ll attend to him immediately.
It doesn’t matter if you show up just to scold him. As long as you have come over to his area, made eye-contact with him and spoken to him, he has got what he wanted.
One effective way to control this behavior is by rewarding your beagle every time he takes a break from barking. Instead of going running to him when he barks his lungs out, wait for him to stop and then reward him with a tasty treat.
Repeat this technique as necessary, and keep in mind to gradually increase the amount of time you wait after the silence has begun and before you reward your beagle for it.
Also, remember that a tired beagle is a happy beagle. This isn’t one of those dog breeds that performs well when left alone. He craves for company. So, if he seems to bark constantly, try to spend as much time as you can with him and also exercise him regularly. That keeps all his infinite energy channelized in constructive ventures!
#2 – Territorial Barking:
Beagles are a hound breed. That is why they are fiercely protective of their territories and can go to any extent to remove potential forms of threat from their vicinity.
If your beagle seems to bark excessively at the sight of every new guest, or animal in the front yard, then he’s most likely displaying territorial barking.
The important thing to remember here is that he is actually doing this to warn you of what he assumes as danger. This way he is protecting your home. Hence, getting angry and punishing or yelling at your beagle is not going to solve the problem, instead it will only aggravate it.
To stop this behavior, you will have to make sure your beagle considers you the alpha leader of the home. You can do this by separating his living area from the rest of the house so that he doesn’t share your space in any way.
Once you have established yourself as the alpha, your beagle will no longer feel the need to get aggressive and bark for protecting your home. Instead, he’ll leave that duty to you and feel calm and safe around you.
Another way out is to keep him in a secluded environment like the backyard instead of the front, where they are more chances of seeing people/animals walk by.
#3 – Frustration Barking:
Any kind of barrier like a window, baby gate, etc that keeps your beagle confined and limits his movement can be a big source of frustration for him.
In his eyes, not being able to catch that passing squirrel they see through the boundaries of their dog pen, is just not right. This invariably leads to frustration barking.
Frustrated barks are excited, consistent barks. A beagle that is stressed-out or confused about what you ask him to do can also produce frustrated barks to vocalized this frustration.
How to Correct this behavior? Changing your beagle’s behavior takes a lot of time, patience, dedication and plenty of canine treats. Yelling won’t cause him to stop barking, instead it will only heighten the excitement of his voice.
You’ll have to get up and go to your beagle, unless he’s already trained at coming when called in the presence of a distraction. If he understands the “look at me” or “watch me” commands, make use of treats to get his attention. When you succeed in distracting him, engage him in playtime to provide him with an outlet to release all that pent-up frustration.
If it is another animal in the yard that’s causing the frustration, take your beagle inside, or position yourself in front of him to block his line of sight. By staying patient and calm, you’ll find it easier to redirect his attention to you. When he complies, reward him with a treat or other positive reinforcements.
Hyperactive beagles often resort to frustration barking to alert their leader (i.e you) to come and see what’s going on. So yelling swear words or loud words like “shut up” and using rude hand gestures will sound just like barks to your beagle, and once he senses you’re working up an alarm, his insistent barking will escalate further simply because he thinks you’re reinforcing his need to bark.
#4 – Boredom Barking:
Dogs are social creatures and wish to be with their owner rather than spending time all alone in the backyard without mental or physical stimulation.
Many a time, beagles bark to entertain themselves. A bored, lonely beagle sees barking as the only available way to release the excess energy and tell everyone around how lonely he is.
Bored beagles will bark at ants scurrying through the grass, birds flying the sky, a mild thunder or a leaf falling from the tree.
Boredom is the major reason why a beagle barks at night.
Boredom barking is quite easy to control. One way is to bring the beagle inside and spend plenty of quality time with him as often as possible. Bored beagles get happy and calm once they are inside with their pack.
Also, to negate chances of your beagle barking at night, keep some fun toys and interactive puzzles around so he can play with them and stay busy. Additionally, if your beagle barks when left alone, use some help for separation anxiety. This way he won’t take solace in destructive behavior like shredding the cushions or jumping into the garbage dump.
#5 – Alarm Barking:
If you have a nuisance barking beagle that wants to alert you of every possible threat by barking his lungs out, do not despair. That’s just his way of protecting his family.
Alarm barks are actually the type of barks most owners encourage. They want their beagle to warn them of incoming danger or a suspicious stranger. But the problem arises when alarm barks get out of control and everything or everyone, right from the delivery man to the neighbor’s cat is seen as a harmful invader.
You’ll know your dog is alarm barking if his barks are low in pitch and combined with intermittent growls. Then again, it is not easy to distinguish alarm barks from barks arising due to fear.
The first thing you need to know is that your beagle isn’t doing all that to annoy you, instead, he’s trying to please you. Once you comprehend this, you will find it easy to solve this barking habit.
One of the most effective strategies to solve this problem is by intervening in every situation physically.
All you have to do is place yourself between the danger and the dog. This danger could be anything: a person at the door, a kid playing in the garden, another canine walking in the opposite street,etc.
Whatever be the nature of the threat, just step in, position yourself in front of the “danger” and then use a hand signal or calming words to let him know he can depend on you, the alpha-leader. Once he understands you are in control of the situation, he will be able to relax once again.
Use your open palm or your hand in a fist when you intervene. Any other gesture would do too, provided your dog can see it. What works best is a body posture, like stepping in front of him. This relays the meaning that you’re the alpha-leader and only you are meant to tackle the “danger”.
To teach your beagle the meaning of the hand signals, you will need repetition.
Show the hand signal each time you step in front of him once his bout of alarm barking starts. Wait until your beagle stops barking and move away from the place, or give him another command to divert his attention to something else.
Over time, you’ll notice that your beagle will be able to relax faster.
Later on, all you’ll have to do is show him the hand signal from a distant location to tell him there’s nothing to get alarmed about. This way, you won’t have to physically intervene.
Needless to say, this practice takes a lot of patience and consistency on your part.
#6 – Illness-Related Barking:
While beagles are generally considered a healthy breed of dog, they still are prone to a variety of health issues afflicting beagles of every age.
Some diseases common with this breed are allergies, structural defects ( dysfunctional knees or luxated patella, dislocated disks), diabetes, epilepsy and Addison’s disease.
Many of these illnesses tend to spur frustration barking in beagles.
Another tricky challenge with this breed is maintaining the ears, which can be a haven for all kinds of pathogenic microbes if not cleaned regularly. Injured beagles produce a “yelp”-like bark. The beagle barking sound is usually very high-pitched and mighty.
One way to solve this problem is by providing your beagle with good care.
Most health issues can be precluded with proper diet and a regular grooming regimen. And if they still occur, consider taking your beagle to the vet for medical intervention. You cannot expect your dog to behave happy and calm when some a medical issue is bothering him internally.
#7 – Compulsive Barking:
Barking that is an utter nuisance is not like barking that is pathologically triggered.
While most of the barking we’ve mentioned before is largely normal, abnormal barking is not. Barking is abnormal when it occurs under pathological situations or from feeling separation anxiety for prolonged periods of time.
This sort of a barking is actually a result of an obsessive-compulsive disorder wherein the dog barks excessively or at irrelevant items like a leaf falling.
If your dog appears to get extremely aggressive during barking episodes, he may need to undergo behavior modification first to mitigate the aggression. Following this, you can attempt to modify his barking behavior.
For beagles with compulsive barking or other behavioral problems, it’s advisable to adopt a team-approach for solving the problem. This team should ideally consist of all the family members, a veterinarian and an animal behaviorist.
Each family member must train the dog in the same manner, using the same commands.
The role of the animal behaviorist is to take cues from unique traits in your beagle’s behavior and use them to help you set up effective training situations.
Your veterinarian will be able to give insights into the reasons or everyday stress elicitors that might be triggering this problem. He/she may also prescribe appropriate medications to help your dog become more responsive to the behavior modification program.
Remember, barking is the major aspect of your beagle’s personality, so do not expect to solve the problem completely. Your pet needs to be able to express himself and barking is the main way of doing this.
Does Anything Specific Causes My Beagle To Bark?
If your beagle barks relentlessly all throughout the day, you will need to figure out the exact triggers that are causing this behavior.
Can you train a beagle not to bark?
The answer is yes. For training a beagle not to bark, you’ll have to understand the root of the beagle barking problem.
Most of the time, barking is irrational and excessive, yet it can be controlled. However, before you rule out his behavior as just another passing phase or mood change, stop and think about the situations that he has to face in his everyday life.
With regards to these, ask yourself some basic questions like:
-Why is it that my beagle barks at everything?
If he is barking at the sight of new people or animals lurking around his resting area, then he’s most likely insecure of his territory.
-What time of the day does he bark mostly?
If he seems to bark before lunch hours, he’s quite likely unhappy with the frequency at which you feed him. Maybe he gets hungry fast.
Try putting in food in his bowl two hours before lunch time. If you find your beagle barking and howling at night, know that he is bored.
-Why does he bark when I come home after spending time outdoors?
That’s because beagles have an innate fear of getting separated from their owners. This is particularly true for dogs that have seen an abrupt change of owners or subjected to neglect and abandonment in the past.
-What are the reasons that result in my beagle barking all night?
Beagles bark at night when they are bored and feeling lonely. That’s their way of telling their world they need attention.
How to Reduce Anxiety-Driven Barking In Beagles
Most beagles bark out of anxiety. Commonly, barking can be a symptom of a much serious problem.
The problem with training anxiety-driven barking behavior is that whatever you do, however little attention you give them, they will see it as an encouragement.
Because beagles a game hound breed, their instincts are tuned finely- including their need to bark.
To stop beagle barking out of anxiety, your furry friend, use these following techniques that will train him to listen to you, rather than listening to his instincts.
Ignore your beagle when he barks.
As frustrating as it seems, you shouldn’t demonstrate any sort of reaction, positive or negative, once the barking begins. It’s important to remember here that he is doing this to get your attention. So refrain from coming to his line of sight because when you do so, he gets what he wants and repeats this behavior again. No matter how long he barks, try to be consistent and ignore his calls for attention.
Desensitize your beagle to all the triggers that are probably causing him to bark. This is important because however domestic your pet is, you can expect him to live a secluded life with no outside interests whatsoever.
If your beagle is prone to barking at new guests, offer him a treat and as soon as he stops barking to sniff it, reward his silence with the treat and a praise.
Teach your beagle the “quite” and “speak” command. While the “speak command” is to get him to bark only upon your request, the “quite” command gives him a cue to stop barking.
Use this command when he has been barking incessantly- don’t yell but be firm.
While giving the commands, make sure you’re looking at him directly.
Keep giving the command and when he finally stops, praise him and give him a treat.
Continue this ritual consistently and your noisy beagle will soon learn that responding to your commands gets him nice rewards.
Common Situations of Barking & Training Techniques Specific to Each
How to stop a beagle from barking?
Knowing how to train beagles not to bark is no rocket science.
Here we provide you with a list of the common situations where beagles bark along with solutions specific to each of them.
#1 – Barking at a passerby: Eliminate the motivation
Usually your beagle always gets some sort of a perk when he barks at a passerby. Maybe it’s the annoyance of a neighbor’s cat, or the attention of the child playing, or the squeal of the startled bird that gets him excited into barking again and again.
Figure out all the rewards he gets by indulging in excessive barking and remove them.
In short, if staying in the front yard is causing all the problem, move him indoors in a spot where he is away from the sights and sounds of “dangers”.
Additionally, you can close the curtains also to mitigate his tendency to bark at other animals viewed from the living room window.
#2 – Barking in Confinement: Ignore the barking
Beagles hate being alone. But situations may demand you to stay away from your beagle for long periods of time.
During these moments, he may try to capture your attention by barking excessively. While it’s a common instinct to go out immediately to stop him, that will only end up aggravating the problem.
So when he resorts to barking next time on being left alone, ignore his calls. Reward him only when he decides to take a break. If you’re in the same room as him while he is barking, don’t talk to him or touch him or even look at him.
To implement this method successfully, you’ll have to wait as long as is needed to make him stop barking. If he stops barking only after an hour and you get so frustrated that you go over to him and attend to him just to calm him, he’ll probably bark for two hours next time. This is because he will begin to understand that by barking for as long as possible, he’ll get your undivided attention.
- To start off, put your beagle in his crate and ignore him after that.
- Once he stops barking, move over to him, make eye contact and praise him. Give him a treat as well.
- Very soon he’ll understand that barking does no good to him and that staying quiet gets him tasty rewards. Gradually lengthen the period of time he should stay quiet before being rewarded.
- Ensure to start by rewarding him for stopping for just a couple of seconds, before moving on to longer periods of time.
- Keep the training sessions fun by varying the interval of time. Reward him after 10 seconds and then 5 seconds, then 25 seconds, and so on.
#3 – Barking at Other Dogs: Desensitize him to the stimulus
If your beagle bark at the sight of new dogs, get him accustomed to that stimulus.
Start by introducing the stimulus to him from a safe distance. Initially, this must be placed far enough not to trigger a reaction in him. Gradually move the stimulus closer to him or alternatively, move him closer to the stimulus. Consider feeding him treats at the same time. Once the stimulus moves out of his sight, stop feeding him treats. This way, your beagle will learn to associate the appearance of other dogs with treats.
- Ask your friend to stand with a dog far away at a distance that’s not likely to elicit a reaction out of your beagle.
- Now let your friend with her dog gradually come into view, starting from a few inches to few feet. As they start approaching, feed your beagle plenty of tasty treats.
- Stop giving him the treats as soon as they disappear from view. Ensure to repeat the process multiple times and on a regular basis.
Ensure not to attempt making progress too fast as it usually takes days to weeks before your beagle can finally ignore the stimulus to pay attention to you and your treats.
#4 – Barking at everything: Teach him the “quiet” command
The first step of this method is to teach your beagle to bark on a specific command. Nonsensical as it seems, this goes a long way in establishing order and time his barking schedule.
You don’t want a calm, quiet and abnormally quiet beagle, rather you want an alert and well-behaved beagle. So, when you teach him to respond to the “speak” command, he looks up to you before barking and does as you say. Give him the command, wait for him to bark and then stick a yummy treat close to his nose. As soon as he stops barking to get a better whiff of the treat, praise him and let him have the treat. Repeat this until he learns to start barking in response to the “speak” command.
When the doorbell rings, give him the “speak” command before he starts barking, and once he responds, give him the treat and let him calm down.
This way, by using a combination of command and reward, you can train him to listen to you, the alpha-leader and bark only upon your insistence, not otherwise.
#5 – Barking at a guest: Use the “speak” & “quiet” command in conjunction
If your beagle barks at every new guest, consider using the “speak” and “quiet” commands in conjunction.
But before that, make sure to have taught him the “quiet” command in private. So the next time there is someone at the door, do this:
- Toss a treat near his dog pen and tell him to move to his place.
- When he has reliably gone to earn the treat, open the door to attend to your guest while he is busy with the treat. If his body appears to arch and his muscles go tense on seeing you talking to a new guest, close the door immediately.
- Use the “quiet” command to make sure he stays in the dog pen. Repeat this pattern till he learns to obey you every time the door opens. Also, make sure to reward him if he listens to you and stays in place.
Once you have taught him this technique, practice it in increasingly distracting scenarios until your beagle learns to stop barking immediately when asked to, even in the presence of the “intruder” at the door.
TIPS to PREVENT NUISANCE BARKING IN YOUR BEAGLE PUPPY
Teaching your newly adopted/purchased beagle puppy barking habits from the beginning is undeniably easier than changing his behavior once it’s become a bad habit.
Remember, some habits you think of as cute and adorable in a puppy may not be all that cute in an adult beagle. So, think ahead in order to preclude potential problems.
While behavioral modification from a young stage does help, most beagles don’t grow up to be silent and calm dogs. Those aged below 2 years can be quite hyper but they’ll surely calm down as they settle down and get used to the vibes of the household.
If you wish to instill appropriate behavior at the puppy stage, here’s what you should do:
#1 – When you first bring in your beagle puppy, put his crate in your bedroom. This way he’ll feel more secure and not get bored or anxious.
Remember, security builds trust and trust dissipates the chances of separation anxiety in the future. Do not give him attention if he’s whining- that will only serve to reward his unacceptable behavior.
#2 – By training your puppy for obedience and relaxation from an early age, you’ll be able to reduce nuisance barking in an adult beagle.
Train him to listen to your commands and most importantly, acknowledge your presence as an alpha-leader.
#3 – Teach him the basic commands of “speak” if you wish to bark on your will or in a certain situation.
Also, teach him the “quiet” command to get him to stop when needed. Also, teach “enough” at the puppy stage, especially if he is an alert barker.
#4 – Socialize your young beagle from an early stage.
Introduce him to situations that can cause anxiety later on. Get your beagle accustomed to walking on the pavement alongside a busy street.
Expose him to everyday sounds like hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and other noises. However, take things on a slow scale so that your beagle doesn’t get anxious while getting exposed to new things. Reward him when he calms down and becomes relaxed.
#5 – Puppy training classes are a great starting point to train a beagle puppy.
These classes teach him to stay alert but not overly anxious of everyday situations. Most importantly, he learns to obey you even in the presence of numerous distractions.
Simply put, it will be so much fun when your puppy learns to communicate simply through the wag of a tail and look up to you for guidance rather than resorting to relentless and noisy barking.
USING BARK COLLAR for BEAGLE to CONTROL BARKING
There are plenty of collars out there that produce electrical stimulation, an offensive smell, or an irritating ultrasonic sound when the beagle barks.
You can use these as an adjunct to barking behavior modification.
However, keep in mind that collars alone won’t cure the problem.
For most of the problem barkers, simply meting out a punishment for barking won’t be enough to get them to stop. Nuisance barkers would rather bark and be punished by you than not bark at all. And for beagles who bark when they’re anxious, corrective collars can make them even more anxious.
With that said, corrective collars have been proven to be useful in quite a few situations.
For example, a citronella collar that emits a citrus smell when the beagle barks alerts you of the fact that he was barking whilst you were away, since the citrus smell continues to linger around him.
This way you can keep track of his progress and devise training situations accordingly.
If you’re stuck in a situation where it’s mandatory to control his barking habit quickly else you might end up losing him or the apartment, consider using a beagle bark collar. This will help you monitor his barking behavior even while you’re out of his sight.
Keep in mind that while using such a control, you should not only take steps to stop this behavior, but also reward him adequately when he shows improvement. Your beagle won’t learn the suitable alternative to barking without your presence and praise.
Another type of collar that comes handy is an halter collar.
Head collars or halter collars offer a quick way to exercise control over your beagle’s aggressiveness. To control him, all you have to do is tug on the leash part. When you do this, the portion of the collar around the dog’s muzzle tightens. Couple this to the “enough” command and that will signal him to calm down. Take care to reward him when he mellows down. This way the training process will go faster.
With everything said and done, it’s important to note that barking is inherent to a beagle. You don’t want to eliminate it completely, you just want to tone it down to levels where it is tolerable.
Barking need not be a big problem provided you follow this blueprint for your beagle from an early stage.
Once you understand how to train a beagle not to bark, you’ll become the proud owner of a healthy, contented and well-behaved beagle!