Did you just get a new Beagle puppy who, to your dismay, loves to bark or howl at night? Are your neighbors complaining? Unsure of what to do about it?
If your Beagle wants to be the hound of your neighborville, howling away to fame and glory, should you be worried?
Could your furry friend be warning you about an approaching stranger, or is your Beagle trying to tell you something else? Read on to find out why your Beagle barks at night and what you can do about it.
Why Do Beagles Bark At Night?
With their soulful eyes, tiny size, and long floppy ears, a Beagle makes for a cute addition to your house. But did you know that of all the dog breeds, the Beagle loves the sound of its voice? It’s true. In fact, the word ‘beagle’ means loud mouth! So now that you’ve brought home a puppy that loves to entertain the neighborhood, let’s figure out why he wants to be heard.
Boredom is perhaps one of the foremost reasons why beagles bark at night. If you’re left alone for long hours with nothing to do, what would you do? And no, you can’t have your phone during this time! In the same way, if you leave your Beagle for long stretches, you can’t expect them to be happily asleep the whole time now, can you?
Beagles are super social. They enjoy being in packs, and more so, they crave the attention of their people. They simply hate being left alone. If you’re not around much during the day and leave your Beagle alone for most of the night, is it surprising that your Beagle developed separation anxiety? More so if your Beagle is the only pet in your household.
When they’re lonely and want your attention, they will bark. Give them that even in extreme anger or annoyance, and your four-legged friend has won the battle. As counter-intuitive as this may sound, don’t react to your Beagle’s barking as it will reinforce this behavior from them.
Dogs have an internal clock that is more accurate than a pacemaker, and they know when it’s mealtime. So if you’re late for dinner, they’ll bark.
If you’ve recently started placing your dog in his crate, chances are he might start barking. It simply means that he does not like the idea of being in a crate or isn’t used to it yet. If you remove him immediately and try again later, he will naturally bark again. And at this rate, you’ll never be able to crate-train them! So, the best way to train your puppy is to keep them until they stop barking. Once they stop, you give them a treat.
Strange Person or Object
Some beagles are habituated to bark at everything they see—from a tiny bird scurrying away in a branch out in your backyard to a shady man in a coat and hat approaching your porch in the dark. It is both good and bad —your Beagle is warning you of possible dangers. But you must train them to know what classifies as danger and what does not, as incessant barking could cause a nuisance in your neighborhood.
Fear or Alarm
As human beings, we fear what is beyond our realm. Similarly, our beagles, too, may fear certain sounds that they might perceive as dangerous. Your dog can hear sounds that we can’t—and so even the slightest of eerie sounds in the night could give them the screaming-meemies.
Not Enough Exercise
You’ve been out most of the day and haven’t given him his daily 60-90 minute walk. What is he going to do with all that energy that has built up during the day? Beagles being hounds need to be active, as they have for hundreds of years.
How Can You Stop A Beagle Barking At Night?
When He’s Bored
Barking is one of the ways that beagles keep themselves entertained. They don’t know what else to do when they have nothing else to do! So to solve that, you could keep some fun and interactive toys (like KONG or any of PetSafe’s Busy Buddy toys) around for them. That way they won’t get bored till you get home.
When He’s Seeking Attention
Beagles are intelligent and understand cause and effect better than most breeds. If an attention-seeking Beagle wants you to notice him, he’ll bark until you react in any way at all. To control this, it’s best to ignore their barking. When they stop, you reinforce and encourage silence with a tasty treat (food is their best friend, after all).
You condition them by rewarding them for being silent. Repeat as required, and gradually increase the time intervals between treats.
He’s Being Mr. Lonely
One of the ways to combat loneliness is by letting your Beagle sleep in your room. It makes him feel safe to be with his pack-mate. If this isn’t a feasible option, consider bringing him another dog for companionship.
He Hasn’t Got His Share of Exercise
If you leave for work and come home tired, it’s natural that you would want to relax. However, for your Beagle, who has been home and alone all this time, your return signals exercise time. A way to solve this is to take him out for a quick walk or jog after you get home so that you and your Beagle both get your workout before retiring for the day.
If you don’t have that kind of time, consider dropping him off at a doggie daycare where he can tire himself out with other playmates.
Noise or Sounds as an Irritant
Beagles have very sensitive hearing. When he finds some noises scary, he perceives them as a threat and barks. Playing soft music in the background can help distract him and mask the unpleasant noise that troubles him.
If your Beagle barks at everyone and everything on the street, it means he’s simply excited by moving things. To avoid him from barking at everybody, consider drawing the curtains or pasting a frosted glass sticker on your window.
Other ways to stop your beagle barking at night:
Ignorance Is Bliss
Well, not always, but when you’ve tried everything you can, and it still doesn’t work with your furry noisemaker, ignore it. Your Beagle just wants attention. If you give in, he will bark more.
Condition Your Dog
Your Beagle could bark out of fear when someone rings the bell. In that situation, command him to ‘speak,’ then have someone ring the doorbell to stimulate your dog into barking. When he barks, you bring a treat close to his face, so he gets distracted by it. Continue to condition him such that he barks only when you command him to, without any outside stimulus (the bell).
Try this with other triggers too. And acknowledge his bark so that he knows you’re aware of the stranger at the door.
The ‘Quiet’ Command
You can also condition your dog with the ‘quiet’ command—wait for him to stop barking and then give him a treat.
Assert That You’re The Alpha In The House
Beagles often consider themselves to be the protector of the realm. But, when you command him and show your authority, they begin to perceive you as the leader of the pack. This results in a shift as your pup will no longer feel the need to bark and protect you from dangers. They realize that you’re capable of doing that and, in turn, feel safe in your presence.
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Harsh Training Tools
Shock collars, zap collars, noise devices – all of these are too cruel for your dog. These collars are designed to give a mini electric wave or a high-pitched noise every time your dog barks. When a shock-sensation follows their bark, it isn’t helping your Beagle. It’s just helping you. They’ll grow up to be frightful and meek. If you love him, don’t put any of these around his neck.
Reacting to His Howling
So you let him cuddle in bed first thing in the morning. And you took him out for a walk, played fetch with him, and ran with him for a good hour. You gave him his favorite meal with turkey in it.
And yet, just as you’re almost asleep, he’s barking in his crate (next to your bed). If you get up instantly, you’re just going to encourage his barking. So, avoid reacting to his every bark—Beagles are known for feasting on attention.
Shouting at Your Puppy
When you shout or yell at your beagle puppy, he thinks you’re joining him in noise-making fun and barks even louder. Instead of stopping him, you’re just encouraging your Beagle’s barking in the night.
Rewarding His Barking
Did you try to silence your Beagle by handing over a chew stick or something that he loves? If so, expect him to continue barking the next time he wants a treat. Now he knows that whenever he barks, you’ll reward him.
Providing Him Reasons to Bark
When your puppy barks at the very sight of life down the street, letting him stay in that position encourages him even further. Avoid triggers such as an unrestricted view of the road outside your home. Instead, place him in a room without a view to remove those triggers.
Being Inconsistent With His Training
Everybody in your family must use the training methods you use every time your dog starts barking. If there is no consistency, your Beagle may just get confused, and you wouldn’t get your desired result.
Should You Ignore a Beagle Barking at Night?
Barking is more common in beagle puppies than in adults. If they’re not trained to stop barking, it could continue from puppyhood into adulthood.
Yes, I have mentioned earlier that ignoring is one of the most effective ways—even if it requires a truckload of patience. Because who can sleep with all that noise?!
Do remember, though, that ignoring is only one half of the corrective measure. You also need to observe why your Beagle is barking and act accordingly. Simply ignoring your dog would make you a bad parent now, wouldn’t it?
If your Beagle is whining or making sounds of distress, he could be in some discomfort or pain. You’ll know by looking at him. If your puppy is still a few months old and appears sad and weak, it’s best to take him to a vet.
Older beagles don’t bark as often as younger, energetic pups. So ignoring them may not always be a great idea. If they’ve been quiet at night for months or years and have suddenly begun howling, then check for the following:
1. Illness or pain
2. Danger/threat outside
3. Old age/dementia
4. Behavioral problems
There could also be other disturbances, like unwanted guests, that have unsettled your Beagle. Check your house for pests like mice who may have caught your dog’s attention by entering the backyard or your house.
If none of these are the reason, then I reiterate—simply ignore your Beagle while he barks into the night. Ignore him for as long as it takes to make him stop.
Don’t yell or shout at them—don’t even look their way. You would just make him bark louder.
If your Beagle is barking well into the night, it’s essential to understand why your dog is barking, so you can either help them or train them.
They’re mostly bored, feeling lonely, or simply want your attention. If you’ve recently started crate-training them, they aren’t used to it yet. Or they saw something move—anywhere from a harmless squirrel to a menacing burglar. They probably haven’t exercised for that day. The list is endless because Beagles bark more than most other dogs do.
Ignoring them seems like the easiest solution, but you’d need the patience of a tortoise to reach that finish line. Further, ignoring without finding out why he’s so yappy isn’t responsible.