Have you brought home a cute beagle but cannot fathom why does it howl so much? Have your neighbors already complained about your beloved pet?
Do not worry, we have you covered. There are certain reasons why beagles are prone to howling. We tell you why this happens and if there is something you can do about it.
- Is Howling Bad?
- Why Do Beagles Howl?
- Sounds That Can Trigger Beagle Howling
- Howling vs Baying: Things to Know
- Can You Do Anything to Stop Your Beagle from Howling?
- The Final Word
Is Howling Bad?
No, howling is not a bad trait. It is, in fact, an instinctive quality common to beagles and dogs in general. It is simply a way of communication for dogs, but sometimes, you may need to intervene to complement your dog’s habits to your own.
A dog that howls all day and night can truly be a problem, especially for people living around you.
Why Do Beagles Howl?
It Is Their Nature
Beagles were predominantly bred for hunting purposes. This dates back to the 1700s and 1800s. This is one of the key reasons they howl so much.
Beagles even have a type of hunting dedicated to them called ‘beagling’ because of their unique scent and sound abilities.
See their appearance closely (long floppy ears, short legs). They resemble foxhounds. Because of their hunting propensities, beagles are known to be very vocal and have a peculiar bark.
When They Find Their Prey
Beagles have retained their hunting traits and use their nose to sniff animal trails and in contemporary times, beagles use their unique howl to indicate that they have found their prey.
With time, the meaning of prey has also undergone monumental changes and beagles today can howl to indicate they have found a mouse, cat, any other small animal, or even a strong whiff of wind.
If you hear a loud, long howl from your beagle, he may be trying to tell you he has found himself some treasure!
A Testimony to Its Pack Mentality
Earlier, beagles used to howl to attract the attention of the other members of their pack or to save themselves from attacks of other animals.
They say one can’t let go of their primal tendencies. This is true for beagles as well. As beagles have a history of hunting, they still relish the pack mentality.
This is how it unfolds now. If they hear a neighbor’s bark or howl, they may join in because that is something they are used to and like.
Several other sounds, such as the sound of a siren or music, can also kick in their howling instincts.
To Show They Are Lonely
Beagles are used to roaming in packs. This is why they don’t enjoy loneliness. They are prone to developing anxieties because they are incredibly social by nature.
If you have been outside of home for long periods of time while leaving your pet alone, they may not like it. They will howl incessantly to draw attention and communicate their loneliness.
This is why many people tend to keep beagles with other pets (who are of course compatible with the beagle).
They have strong pack-dog tendencies and tend to have lesser stress when they are with other companions. It also increases their happiness levels.
Sometimes, beagles develop anxieties when alone and may howl to communicate this to their owner. At times, this anxiety is accompanied by some turbulent behavior such as chewing aggressively on furniture, shoes or defecating in places it is not supposed to.
This is why you must never leave your beagle alone for long time periods. They may not take nicely to this, leading to deviant behavior that is not always pleasant to deal with.
Also Read: How to Keep Your Beagle’s Ears Clean
They Are Incredibly Territorial
Beagles are possessive dogs. They are also very territorial. So, if you show affection to another dog for a long period of time when friends are visiting, your beagle will openly display their displeasure.
Beagles instantly tend to get alert when they hear the doorbell ring or see a car come into your driveway, or even new people coming to your house. They love attention and they want it all for themselves.
There is scientific evidence for this possessive behavior. Many studies claim that this is due to beagles sharing a lot of traits with wolves. Loud howls are a way of marking their territory just as it is for wolves.
To Tell They Are in Pain
Beagles may howl at times to tell they are in pain. However, the nature of the howl can be slightly different. These howls are marked by an undertone of pain and monotony. They are feeble and continuous.
It is very simple to the sound of a cry made by humans when they are in some pain.
If you deem your beagle to be a mediocre howler and suddenly see it howling for a prolonged time period and that too a low-sounding howl, chances are not everything is right with your beloved dog.
Several reasons may cause pain to the beagle. It could be a result of an injury, pain or infection in the stomach, or even something serious such as arthritis.
To help the beagle in pain, you should quickly check their body to see signs of pain. You can even gently massage it to see if it leads you to the injury. But if you can’t locate the source of pain, do not delay in getting due medical help.
It is better to not take it lightly because you don’t know the gravity of the situation.
They Crave Love
Beagles are needy dogs and want reassurances of love from their owner. If they feel neglected, they may howl to draw your attention towards them.
If you are busy devouring a match or binge-watching Netflix, you will hear a howl from the beagle that wants you to leave everything and make him or her the sole recipient of your attention.
If they are feeling playful and you are not taking them for a walk, be prepared to endure their howls and shrieks.
They work like children in this aspect and no matter how tired or busy you are, they are going to persevere till they have their way.
This is the reason many dog owners tend to train their beagles to escape being in such tricky situations, especially after long workdays.
Sometimes, although not usually, you can hear your beagle howling in the middle of its sleep. This may be because of a dream that is disruptive. Any unpleasant dream can elicit howling or barking as dogs are prone to dreaming.
This is not a cause for worry on most occasions. You should let your little friend deal with the dream in their own way. If you try to wake up your beagle at this time, he or she may not take very kindly to it.
Also Read: Are Beagles Good With Kids?
Sounds That Can Trigger Beagle Howling
Now that you know why beagles howl so much, it is also crucial to know if there are obvious triggers to this. Apparently, there are. These are two common triggers for their howling.
If you are having a party at home, or you are simply playing music while having a lazy day at home, you may be giving plenty of fodder to your beagle for howling. Beagles are instinctively driven towards high-pitched sounds.
They are able to hear even those notes that might not be very clear and audible to you and their howling may be a reaction to that. The genre of music can also play a pivotal role.
There is research to showcase that beagles and dogs, in general, are more receptive to reggae music, which makes them howl more and even has a calming effect on them.
Sirens also have a profound effect on beagles who can respond to them by howling loudly. Truck sirens passing by your house are particularly more adept at invoking a reaction from your beagle.
This goes back to their ancestry. As beagles are descendants of wolves, howling is a way of communicating for them and a means of invoking brotherhood in its community.
Truck sirens leave an impression that it is another beagle howling somewhere else, leading to the howling instincts kicking in.
Another reason why beagles so actively respond to sirens has to do with their protective nature. They are bred to be companions to humans and hence, any sound that they hear is their way of telling you or warning you about any potential danger.
Siren represents something dangerous to them. They howl to alert you to the same.
Sometimes, the response to the siren can also be a way of telling you that it is intrusive and a sound that they are not enjoying. There is little scientific research behind this argument though and it remains a topic of debate among beagle owners.
Also Read: Can Beagles Get Bloat?
Howling vs Baying: Things to Know
Not all sounds made by your beagle are howling. There is also something called baying, a sound that beagles tend to produce. It is crucial to understand the difference between baying and howling.
Baying is a trait common to hunting dogs who were bred for their ability to howl for longer periods of time. It is more intense, more prolonged than howling and used to help hunters locate the prey and their dog.
Howling is a loud, wailing sound that is common to many other dogs. As a natural behavior, dogs are conditioned to howling and it is normal and in fact necessary for dogs to howl from time to time.
This is an instinctive social behavior common to dogs and there is nothing peculiar about it. In fact, if anything, the absence of howling may in fact be considered peculiar.
Can You Do Anything to Stop Your Beagle from Howling?
Gone are the days when dogs were bred for their hunting capabilities. Today, dogs are bred for their loving nature and because of their excellent credentials as loyal and loving friends to humans.
Beagles are cute little companions and sometimes their natural tendency towards howling can get a bit too much. Though you can’t and should not stop it completely, there are several things you can do to discourage them from unnecessary howling.
Train Them to Limit Howling
You can hire a good trainer to train your pet beagle. This will help you curb its unnecessary howling tendencies and reduce them to a point of the bare minimum. Your neighbors and guests will certainly be happy!
You should aim to control the behavior and not to curb it completely. You don’t want your beagle to become sad and unlike his or her real self.
For instance, if the sound of the doorbell propels them towards unnecessary howling, you may need to intervene and train your dog so that they cut down on this behavior.
Treat your beagle and teach positive social behavior. In no time, you will see a change. The trick, however, is to be gentle and kind and slow. Don’t expect a change overnight.
If you can’t do this yourself, hire someone who is good with dogs and understands them. You don’t want someone to scare your beagle into submission.
Don’t Lead With a Heavy Hand
Punishing your beagle for howling may estrange him or her from you and make them inherently sad beings. Therefore, your idea should be to distract your dog and not punish them.
If your beagle shows signs of restlessness after seeing a prey and starts howling, do not shun him. Instead, try to distract your dog by involving him or her in some other activity.
Beagles are not going to respond well to shunning and punishment anyway. The idea is to move the dog away from the external stimuli that are provoking that howl.
A cardinal sin is to treat your dog after howling in a bid to stop them. Dogs, however, read this signal wrong and may think it is okay to howl as they are being rewarded for this behavior.
Do Not Reward Howling
If your beagle is making it a practice to howl incessantly to draw your attention, do not encourage it by rewarding the dog with your love, affection and attention. They may make this a regular thing and always howl to draw your attention towards them.
You should instead take care of this during the training and teach your beagle other ways to feel love and draw your attention.
Engage Them in Lots of Activity
Beagles enjoy physical and mental stimulation. In the absence of activity, they may feel bored or unloved. You should therefore tend to their needs and engage them in ample activity.
Make it a part of your routine to play with them, walk them so that they are thoroughly engaged and find a way to channelize their energy.
If beagles have several means of distraction, chances are it won’t howl as much. You should bring home some pet toys to play with your beagle. This would keep them energized.
Pay Attention to the Triggers
A big responsibility of being a pet parent is that you have to be vigilant of the needs and habits of your pet. Watch out for signs and triggers that make your beagle howl.
If they are in your hand, you should try to block these out in order to reduce the howling of your beagle.
If you know that your beagle is not used to staying alone for prolonged time periods, make arrangements for a friend to sit your dog or play music or something that creates the illusion of companionship for your beagle.
Take the Help of the Hush Command
A big part of the pet training process is to train them to your commands. This works well in cases when the beagle is howling too much.
Teach them the importance of the hush command i.e. a sign from you that they need to catch and stop howling. It would take some time, but beagles get used to it.
You need to set some sort of consistency to this command to make it recognizable for your pet. For instance, a stern look, a firm voice and a consistent hand gesture.
Slowly, you will see the beagle respond to this by slowing down on howling. Just remember to be patient and consistent and all will be well.
If Nothing Works, Take Professional Help
Sometimes, everything you do may not be enough. In such cases, it is never a bad idea to take the help of a professional trained in dealing with dogs. They may be able to spot something due to their expertise that you may be missing.
Also Read: 23 of the Cutest Beagle Mix Breeds
The Final Word
Beagles are naturally disposed to howl. This goes back to the origin of the breed. The good news is that with proper training, you can cut down on the howling.
You simply need to be vigilant of the triggers and train your dog accordingly with love and patience.