Are Beagles Aggressive? (And What To Do If They Are)

Beagles are known for being friendly and affectionate. While these conveniently sized canines make great playmates and cuddly companions, they are not entirely dependable when it comes to protecting you and your home from intruders. Your adorable protector may bark, but that’s the end of the confrontation. Considering their gentle nature, it is rare to see a display of aggression in beagles.

Beagles are not the top aggressive dog breed, but they can be if placed in certain stress-inducing circumstances. As a beagle owner, you must identify what is causing your best bud to behave unusually. You have to consider the several factors that evoked this unpleasant dog manner and find ways to make it better for the both of you.

Again, beagles are one of the sweetest breeds with their soulful expressions and good-natured personality. So if your dog suddenly becomes aggressive, there is a bigger picture that you need to piece together.

Are Beagles Aggressive?

Under normal circumstances, beagles are not aggressive. They are smart, curious, and happy dogs with a mild temperament.

Like any other dog breed, they can exhibit hostile behavior when triggered or threatened. Several factors influence why your beagle started nipping, growling, snapping, and generally misbehaving. You need to isolate and examine incidents and identify triggers to regulate your dog’s behavior and nip such habits in the bud.

Are Beagle Puppies Aggressive?

Beagle puppies can be considered aggressive as they love to bite, chase and even growl, but this aggression is not intentional.

After all, this behavior is typical of any puppy.

It is natural, even instinctive, for your beagle to play in this way. And since your beagle pup still doesn’t know the right and safe way to play with you, you must react with patience and firmness. If it bites you, you can explore training tips like saying a firm ‘no .’ Sometimes, you can stop playing with your pup to reinforce boundaries. Be patient and consistent, and your beagle will learn that biting is unacceptable.

What Causes Aggression in Beagles?

Aggression in beagles will always be for a reason. The onset of this unwanted behavior change is not instantaneous. So, if your pup begins to show signs of aggression, it is of utmost importance that you identify the factors contributing to the barking, snapping, growling, and even biting.

Beagles use their aggressiveness to communicate with you. This is one way that they can get your attention with the hope and confidence that you will help them.

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If you weren’t familiar, there are several types of aggression. We’ll help you explore and understand these so that you can identify which kind your sweet pup is displaying and take appropriate action accordingly.

Anxiety or Fear Related Aggression

This is the most common reason for changes in your dog’s behavior. Your pup may have interpreted a particularly forceful disciplining effort as threatening. If your puppy is still young and undergoing training, ensure that you discipline firmly and consistently but not aggressively. Brute force, other forms of physical harm, and even constant shouting can cause dogs to become anxious or feel threatened. While your dog may be submissive during the training, he will snarl and snap if you corner your dog. Revisit your methods to examine if something was overly harsh, and speak with family members as well. If you have young children, observe if they pull your beagle’s ears and tail. Young children, like puppies, need to learn acceptable behaviors.

Territorial Aggression

Changes in your household dynamics may also cause your beagle’s aggression. If another person or pet joins the family, your beagle may take this as a threat to its perceived territory, especially if it has been the sole four-legged family member for the longest time.

Beagles by nature were bred to be hunting dogs, so this is where their territorial personality comes from. They don’t perceive strangers as threatening to themselves or their human families but will do what they can to guard their space from other dogs. Your beagle’s tendency to be aggressive will be higher if it considers itself as the alpha-leader of your household.

You can identify if the barking and the growling is caused by territorial aggression when your beagle is directing it only to a specific person or animal.

Possessive Aggression

This type of aggression is also referred to as resource guarding, and it is usually directed toward another animal or person who makes your beagle feel threatened.

One characteristic trait of a beagle is its possessiveness towards toys, food, and even corners and resting spots.

Your beagle may see this animal or human as someone who will take away his belongings like a favorite ball. You will notice that this is more common when a new animal comes for a visit and begins sniffing around. Your beagle perceives this as a risk to his possessions and begins to bark or growl.

Pain Related Aggression

Like most humans, dogs also become irritable when unwell. You want some quiet time. You want to be left alone. Beagles, like other dogs, tend to act this way too. Your beagle can become irritable when sick or in pain.

Be proactive if your beagle’s aggression is due to a possible underlying health issue. Other symptoms that accompany behavior changes include loss of hair, loss of appetite, weight gain, and your furbaby being lethargic and general discomfort.

Redirected Frustration Aggression

This form of aggression is typically noted in pets when they are frustrated. Experts would refer to this as emotional arousal. It happens when your beagle cannot reach an object that it perceives as annoying (the doorbell, for instance) and then redirects his frustration at another person, animal, or object.

Social Related Aggression

You can identify if your beagle has this form of aggression by its behavior, such as crouching and tucking its tail under its body.

This kind of aggression is usually driven by an inner struggle and is shown during social interactions. Your beagle’s non-existent socialization can cause this. So when it encounters new people or animals, it doesn’t know how to react to this set-up and resorts to aggression instead.

Maternal Aggression

This aggression type is expected if you have a pregnant beagle. Your little-mommy-to-be will become defensive of her puppies and space, so expect some attitude from your pet. This is especially true and completely natural if it is your dog’s first time giving birth because she is still uncertain and a little stressed about the whole experience.

It is vital that you note which situations triggered her anxiety. Too much toy or furniture guarding, frequent barking, snarling, snapping and growling, or excessive whining, can turn into biting if ignored.

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Why Is Your Beagle Puppy So Aggressive?

Beagle puppies are always fully charged. They have more energy than they can handle, and sometimes, their playfulness can be mistaken for aggressiveness. But it is not intentional aggression.

They tend to run around, snap, growl, and even try to bite you because they are in their learning and development phase. They don’t know that biting can be painful or that snapping at someone can cause alarm. They will only learn this when you teach and discipline them consistently.

Puppies who come from heart-wrenching situations might be more aggressive because of the experiences they’ve endured. This, too, can be changed and the aggressiveness removed over time, with love and patience.

How To Stop Aggression In Beagles

Beagles are naturally mild-tempered. If your pup or dog shows frequent and escalating signs of aggression, then ease your worries because, with the correct approach, some training, and quality attention, you can reduce your bud’s aggressiveness.

The perfect and ideal window for training and socialization for a beagle is between its third and twelfth weeks. This is when puppy training should start because this is the time where it can learn how to relate and interact with humans and other animals. If you have passed that ideal training window, you can still control and eventually stop the aggression in your beagle.

Establish the Alpha of the Pack

You are the alpha in your household. You are the pack leader, and that role and authority should be established clearly, especially to your furry friend. The expectation should be clear that you give the commands.

Sometimes this might be hard to do consistently, especially if you have an overly friendly relationship with your beagle. But remind yourself that letting your beagle know that you are the alpha means lesser aggression problems for the both of you in the future. Take note that alphas always eat first when in the wild, so do this too. Eat your meals completely, then feed your beagle. If your dog tends to beg while you are eating, both of you would have to learn to wait.

Additionally, create house rules and strict boundaries in your home. There should be spaces in your home where your beagle is not allowed—your bed or the kids’ nursery, the kitchen, or other specific rooms.  Ensure that your beagle knows that these areas are off-limits. This will minimize territorial aggression and teach your dog obedience.

When you are out on walks, subtly remind your excited friend who leads the way, and that is you. The good thing is, with their small to medium-sized frames, leading these dogs when walking is more manageable, and most of the time, they are just happy just to be walking beside you.

Alphas are calm and rational because they make decisions for the whole pack. They don’t act out of anger. So if you need to discipline your beagle, be firm but calm. You can control your beagle without violence or shouting both of which can result in fear-related aggression.

Consider Obedience Training

If you get your beagle while still a puppy (instead of adopting an older dog), it is smart to invest in obedience training. A beagle that follows and obediently responds to your commands such as come, down, sit, and stay, among others, is easier to manage when it’s having a behavioral fit.

At the same time, when your dog responds to you, it helps you re-assert your role as the pack leader. What your dog can learn from obedience training can help you snap them out of their aggression. An example would be if he is growling at the neighbor at the door, you can ask him to ‘come’ to you. There might be some initial hesitations on your beagle’s part, but it will pause his barking, and eventually, he will do as he is told.

Studies show that obedience training is vital because it gives you better control over your beagle. It can at the same time be used to cease and prevent any aggressive behavior.

Stop Any Physical Punishment

Sometimes, due to your frustration and all the human stress you are going through, the last thing you need is an aggressive beagle—physical and violent disciplining results, including angry shouting in between.

You are mad. Your beagle is scared, humiliated, and also upset. This is a bad place to be for both of you.

Unfortunately, beagles don’t handle physical punishments very well. Hitting your dog, even a light spanking, and shouting at them would only cause them to be scared of you and result in anxiety-related aggression. You won’t reduce your beagle’s hostility this way. You will only heighten it. Never resolve aggression with another form of aggression.

If your beagle is aggressive, leave your dog alone. Turn away from your dog and let them feel that their behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. If your dog is having one of his aggressive moments, give him less attention. After all, it goes back to you being the alpha of the pack. Do not give in to every whine or growl.

While doing this, you have to subtly observe how your beagle responds to this treatment because it may also lead to redirected frustration. Also, always remain calm. Remember that you are the confident and dominating leader of this pack.

Spend Time With Your Dog

Have you ever considered the possibility that your beagle is aggressive because it is seeking attention?

Many people say that having a dog is like having a child, and there are times when children are naughty for the sole purpose of getting their parents’ attention. For your beagle, being aggressive could be a way of communicating with you. It might be the only method he knows to express his frustration or his pain.

Set a ‘Beagle Time.’ You can use this time to refresh his training, play with your dog, talk to your best buddy, or cuddle on the sofa while watching a show. This quality time may lead you to discover the root cause of his aggression, like a growth or a cyst on his leg.

With all the human activities going on, your beagle might be feeling overwhelmed and needs a little reassurance and attention, and his favorite human is the best person to give him that guarantee.

Socialize Your Beagle

Beagles are not apartment dogs. Since they’ve been bred for hunting, they don’t do too well when cooped up indoors for long periods. They are playful and friendly and meant to be outdoors.

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At six weeks old, it is time for you to start your pup’s socialization and continue till he has reached fourteen weeks. During this time, get friends to stop by, and if they have puppies and dogs, invite them too. This will help your beagle become familiar and comfortable with family and guests. Try to supervise naughty or rowdy children around your beagle, though.

During these visits, ensure that you, as the alpha leader, are also well-behaved as a good example for your pup as he will mirror your attitude and behave similarly. From here, you can start going to the park and meeting other dogs and friends.

Respect His Territory

A beagle can be possessive. In particular, they are paw-fisted about space and food. The best way to address this behavior is to respect his need for space and not touch his belongings and food when he doesn’t feel like sharing. Designate a beagle-only area and discourage other pets and children from encroaching, even in jest.

Once you have addressed territorial issues, your beagle would be less aggressive and more secure when you fetch his food or toys. Just to set the right expectation, your dog will not extend this courtesy to strangers. So don’t ask a friend or a neighbor to feed your dog or remove his water or food bowl.

By nature, beagles are aggressive when they eat and may growl or snarl when people pass by during their meal. This is another reason why you should designate an area for your beagle to eat, sleep, and be at peace. Once you have set these areas, you should also respect his boundaries.

Get Professional Help

If your canine friend’s behavior is getting out of hand and becoming more frequent, or there is now a risk of your dog hurting a person or another pet, it is time to involve a professional trainer.

An experienced professional can help you identify possible triggers and simultaneously recommend workable solutions.

If you are not confident about handling the aggression you see in your dog, ask for professional help. Do not wait until your beagle has already hurt someone. There are strict laws that seek to curb dog-related injuries, and you do not want to bring that upon yourself or your beagle.

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What Should You Avoid Doing Around With Aggressive Beagles?

Always remember that human aggression should not counter aggression in beagles. It will never work and from it causes bigger problems.

When your usually sweet beagle becomes aggressive, avoid yelling or shouting at them. Avoid physically disciplining and humiliating them. These actions would cause their behavior to get worse.

Instead, be firm and calm and let your beagle know that they did something unacceptable. After that, walk away. Ignore your dog for a while so that they can feel remorse over their undesirable behavior.

If their aggression is towards other animals or pets, avoid having unfamiliar guests in the house until your dog’s aggression is under control.

Most importantly, avoid making excuses for your dog’s behavior. You have a responsibility as a pet owner. Do the right thing. Do not delay or tolerate aggression. Always take action and get help if needed.

Odie, Shiloh, Snoopy, Gromit, And Courage The Cowardly Dog, Are All Beagles.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     Are beagles known for biting?

The short answer is yes. Beagles are curious, smart, and playful, but they have a mildly destructive nature, including barking, nipping, and shredding, especially as puppies. As a pup, biting can be due to teething.

When your beagle puppy is between four to eight months old, they tend to ease their gums’ discomfort by biting. Don’t worry since this is not an early sign of aggression and it is not deliberate. A chew toy will be your beagle’s best friend at this stage.

Play biting also happens when they still live with their siblings. This is where they learn essential beagle lessons. If they bite too hard or play rough, their sibling will yelp in pain, or their mother will growl at them.

If your beagle is no longer a pup and is still fond of biting, especially your ankles, then you can consider separation anxiety. This is your beagle’s way of saying, “Don’t leave me, hooman!”

You can address this habit through training and assurance that you will always return even if you leave. Training can ease the anxiety that your beagle feels when home alone.

2.     Are beagles aggressive to other dogs?

Beagles are friendly, and they love to play and meet other dogs. Generally, they are not aggressive towards other breeds, but they can exhibit this behavior under certain circumstances.

With other dogs around, your beagle might turn aggressive when trying to establish and prove its dominance – especially for the new dogs in the block.

Expect your beagle to be aggressive at first, especially if there is a change in family dynamics in your household. If you’ve recently brought home a new pet, the beagle will not want to share his territory. At least not until they’re befriended each other.

If your beagle feels threatened or is scared of another dog, it might recourse to being aggressive. But overall, if they are happy with the situation they are in, your beagle can get along very well with all dogs.

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Recap

For all beagle owners and those considering getting a beagle, be confident with your decision. These balls of energy are perfect for families with kids as they make great companions.

As they are rarely aggressive, the first sign of unwanted behavior needs to be taken seriously.

Aggression in beagles, when identified early, can be controlled and even reversed. With so many ways to correct your pup’s behavior and professional assistance readily available if needed, you can ensure that your pudgy and soulful beagle will always remain loveable.

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