Why are beagles so naughty?

Beagles have a well-earned reputation for being rowdy, destructive, and disobedient.

This innate disobedience stems from the breed’s origin as a scent hound used for hunting rabbits. Beagles were selectively bred for characteristics that would make them excellent hunters – specifically persistence and endurance. It’s their single-minded determination for completing the task at hand (i.e. catching a rabbit) that makes them so difficult to control. Once a beagle has picked up a scent, recalling it is very challenging.

Beagles were bred for stamina to allow them to chase prey for hours at a time. In a domestic environment where they can’t get sufficient exercise, this stamina makes them susceptible to boredom. Like all dogs, they like to dig, chew and run to burn off energy. Similarly, their history as a pack animal makes them especially prone to separation anxiety; which tends to result in destructive behavior.

So, to recap, Beagles are a breed with a lot of energy, a propensity to boredom and tendency to ignore commands from their owner. All of these factors make an untrained Beagle an absolute nightmare to deal with.

Beagles are a breed that demand an owner willing to put lots of time and effort into training and behavior management. Lots of play time, frequent walks and training exercises (with treats!) can be used to tire them out and alleviate boredom. If you don’t have a lot of time and energy to invest in your dog, you should probably consider adopting a more placid breed.

14 thoughts on “Why are beagles so naughty?

  1. HELP!!! We have a 3 month old beagle girl named Ellie. We just love her to pieces but she has a huge problem with biting. She bites our arms legs and hands. It looks like we’ve been through a war! When she plays she bites. When we walk by her she attaches herself to our pant leg biting. She is biting constantly! We’ve tried saying NO sternly, doesn’t work, we’ve tried turning around and ignoring her, doesn’t work, we’ve tried spraying water on her face, she loves it and runs around like a lunatic! We just don’t know what to do and we are losing our minds. Please could someone give us some suggestions? Thanks

    1. All puppies like to bite when teething. I’ve had 3 Beagles, and when they bite I give them a substitute—a toy or rawhide, after a firm NO!

  2. I’ve crate trained and been very persistent with my beagles training since she was allowed to be away from her mother.

    Time, love and persistence. My beagle never howls or barks or destroys. I can leave her out all day in my house when I’m at work. Shes calm and happy.

  3. We just purchased a baby beagle puppy what are the first things we have to do right now he is 11 and a half weeks old

    1. A lot of play time and walks to burn off that puppy energy, and get into a training school as soon as possible.

    2. Socialize Socialize Socialize. This breed is fearful and proper socializing is must.
      https://www.la-spca.org/file/puppy-socialization-checklist.pdf

      Enroll him in puppy training classes as well. They love Cheese and Freeze dried treats.

      All the best!

  4. Naughty Beagle , a clue right there. Do not set your Beagle up to do wrong. If you leave your Beagle alone he will chew, if you leave a bin unattended he will be in it, if you let him off the lead he will run. The list goes on. 95 percent of the time it’s down to the owner. Simple answers: crate train your Beagle, keep rubbish bags out of his way, use a tracker lead on walks, do not leave food unattended . It’s not rocket science. Enjoy your Beagle because they are the best breed out there. Sort your training out before the dogs.

    1. I agree as long as the human knows how to behave , love and understand your dog, then you have a good one. Time and consistency is key.
      I am blessed with an inquisitive angel, 5 months old, knows what’s mummy’s and doesn’t touch, just lays on my shoes to sleep while I’m out. Love them for what they are, not what you want them to be. I’m glad you say the same. Humans deffo need the training first.

      1. Hi Ajordan,
        It looks like I may be adopting a 5 month old Beagle pup who hasn’t really been trained properly and they’ve given up on her.

        How did you train your angel? Is a 5 month old too late to start training?

        Many thanks

  5. Crate train! Has worked wonders for me after mine destroyed my carpet then my wood flooring after that was replaced and also a full sofa which needed to be replaced

    1. don’t go too above and beyond with that, though. My pupper (7-year-old pupper) was raised in her crate because she was destructive and unruly, but in her defense, she wasn’t walked, played with, or really cared for, so it’s no surprise that almost as soon as she got used to my family, she became an absolute angel, though she still barks when we’re gone. She thinks we’re gonna leave her forever 🙁 anyway, as long as you don’t leave them in there for too long, it works just fine. As earlier mentioned, don’t go too above with that, tight spaces make dogs anxious

  6. My beagle is so naughty that he cannot be left alone in the house for 5 minutes. He will surely destroy something. What can I do?

    1. This is a high energy breed. You need to tire him out. Train him for fetch, if he is older than 1 year then enroll him in agility training, run with him, take him to the dogpark and let him run around with other dogs. If possible drop him at Dog day care alternate days.

    2. hey just so you know you do not need “puppy school” or expensive training classes if you have the time to properly take care of them. get him dog gates or make him a play pin with a bunch of toys and he can learn that he has a place to play where he can be energetic. you can also crate train him and when you do that have him eat in his crate too to get them comfortable with the crate and they will learn that it is a safe place. you can get them special teething toys to prevent chewing. just keep a close eye on him and keep him busy. i hope this helped.

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