If you’re thinking about adding a new dog to the family, why not consider the Beagle?
The Beagle is a small to medium-sized hound, similar in size, shape, and color to the foxhound. Beagles are extremely competent scent hounds that were originally created to track and chase for hunters, particularly foxes, hares, and other small animals.
As of recent, the Beagle has transitioned from hunting to other specialized jobs, such as detection, bomb sniffing, and tracking prohibited imports, particularly smuggled goods.
Apart from this, the Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world; their ubiquitousness, and especially their constant presence in the media makes this breed almost synonymous with the notion of “dog”. Think: Snoopy!
However, the purpose of this article is not to discuss the breed’s cultural impact, but rather how to properly care for and train one to be a happy family companion.
If you plan to add a Beagle to your life, there are several things that you should know beforehand. Take a peek at this in-depth look at the Beagle.
Let’s talk briefly about the Beagle’s temperament, breed traits, and shortcomings:
- Similar to other breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors, Beagles are generally amiable and friendly towards people. Although this can vary on a case by case basis, their general fondness for people is what also makes them poor guard dogs, so if you want to get a dog for
security reasons, you should consider a different breed.
- Beagles are typically great family dogs because they have an affinity for children of all ages.
- They are joyful, highly energetic dogs that require lots of physical activity. Their exercising demands will encourage you to be more active, too.
- Beagles suffer from what experts call ‘’separation anxiety’’. While this condition is typical of many dog breeds, many Beagles seem to be more affected by it. Therefore, pet parents should do their best to ameliorate the symptoms either by adding another dog to the home to keep the Beagle company or by providing the appropriate toys to keep the dog entertained and active when you’re away. To find some of the best dog toys for beagles, make sure to check out Toy Pet Reviews, a website dedicated to animal care. There, you can find competent toy reviews, as well as guides and tutorials that will provide great tips for caring for your pets.
Games and Toys for Beagles
So, what sort of toys should you have on hand for your Beagle? These are just a few ideas:
- Training toys to properly socialize them from an early age and prevent their destructive instincts from developing and growing out of control.
- Comfort toys to ameliorate the Beagle’s separation anxiety.
- Puzzle toys to enhance and stimulate their mental capacities.
- Teething toys to satisfy their urge to chew. These are especially important to provide for puppies, because teething is very painful and uncomfortable for them.
Because Beagles have one of the best senses of smell of all dog breeds, games should be built around stimulating and enhancing this particular sense. Moreover, another purpose of playing games, apart from having fun, of course, is to manage your dog’s energy levels and teach them good habits – especially as puppies, when they are even more prone to causing havoc and destruction. Naturally, the toys have to accommodate this process.
Below are some fun and useful games that you can play with your Beagle to keep him entertained and active. You might like them, too!
The first game that we will talk about is called ‘’Round Robin Recalls’’. For this game to work, you will need the assistance of a few friends. Hound dogs, especially Beagles, are famous for having extremely poor recall skills. However, this issue can be easily fixed with the proper training.
Through this particular game, your Beagle will learn how to respond to his name and several other commands. The first play sessions should be organized in locations with as few distractions as possible, preferably in fenced areas. As your dog becomes more adept at playing it, move the game setting to more distracting areas.
As for the game itself, it is pretty simple to play: supply several friends with treats and ask them to sit in different areas. Have them take turns calling your beagle by name and rewarding him with treats. After several weeks, your pet will learn how to respond to his name.
To stimulate the Beagle’s 220 million scent receptors, you can play the canine nose work game. Have one of your friends hold your dog while he watches you hide the food (or his favorite stuffed toy) in a cardboard box. Place it amongst other empty boxes, then release the Beagle and let him search for it using his sense of smell. After he finds it, do not forget to reward him with a delicious treat.
If your Beagle gets bored, you can always pull out the old hide ‘n seek game. Like the first game we described, this one is a great method to teach your dog how to respond to recalls. Have a friend hold the dog while you hide the treats (as always, they should be high-reward, otherwise the dog will lose interest in this game), under a rug, behind the couch, or other locations that the dog can easily reach. Release your Beagle and watch as he enthusiastically sniffs his surroundings to find the treats. As soon as he accomplishes the objective, reward him with another one.
The Beagle’s high energy levels can overwhelm even the most seasoned of dog owners, so the games and toys that you offer him should be specifically designed to manage this issue. Playing games such hide ‘n seek, robin recalls, or the canine nose work game, as well as using the appropriate toys for your dog, will ensure that your beagle will lead a happy and healthy life and fit beautifully into your family and home.