There’s not much bad to say about beagles. They are one of the most popular pets in America for a reason! They’re loyal, playful, loving, and fairly low maintenance. On top of all of this, they’re one of the cutest furry friends a person could ask for. That being said, any beagle owner can tell you that it isn’t always paradise (even though it usually might be).
If your beagle is snarling or growling, you might be thinking something is wrong with him or her, or there is something you are doing to agitate your pup. You might also think there’s something you can do to remedy the situation. The good news is, you’d be right! If your beagle is snarling and growling, read on to find out why and how you can help solve the issue!
Why Is Your Beagle Snarling And Growling?
The first thing you’re going to need to do to solve this problem is to figure out the reason it exists. If your beagle is snarling and growling, there are a number of reasons why this could be the case. Diagnosing the issue is the most important step in getting it solved. So why is your beagle so agitated?
Your Beagle Is Being Territorial!
As with many dog breeds, beagles are quite territorial. This means that they get defensive over space, objects, and people. If your beagle begins to growl when you approach it while it is playing with a toy, laying or meandering around in a certain spot in the house, or hanging around another person or animal, it could be that your beagle is being quite territorial.
Beagles happen to be a particularly territorial breed of dog. That being said, more often than not, if your beagle is growling, this would be the reason why.
This is a disciplinary issue. If your beagle is territorial, it means it is not properly respecting you as the head of the pack, so to speak. This is an especially prominent problem in younger beagles.
Your Beagle Needs Attention
Another reason that your beagle could be snarling and growling is that it’s looking for a little bit of attention! This could mean your beagle wants to be petted, wants some food, or has any other reason to command your time and effort.
The reason this happens is that when your beagle growls, you give it attention. Once the beagle learns that when it growls, it receives attention and then gets what it wants or needs.
Fear And Separation Anxiety
If your beagle continues growling, and it’s not for either of the above two reasons, it may be because your beagle is anxious. This could be because of things like you leaving for work or errands, or something like the beagle having to leave the house, perhaps to go to the vet, or do something else it does not want to do, like take a bath.
Beagles have fantastic memories. This is usually a great thing, as it makes them easy to train, and they know who you are starting very young! However, it also means that they are great at associating words and actions with negative experiences. For instance, to a beagle, the word “car” might mean “I’m going to the vet,” and they could begin growling even when hearing it in passing.
If you don’t think your beagle is afraid of anything in particular, unfortunately, it might be afraid of you! Some dogs, especially young ones, are afraid of their owners. Let’s face it; you’re far bigger than them. They have a reason to be scared! Fear not, however, as there are ways of solving this problem.
Your Beagle Is Warning You
Sometimes, a beagle will growl if it senses something is wrong. In the past, beagles were often used as guard dogs because of their great senses and their propensity to growl and bark when something was wrong or off. Obviously, this would be a great time to be growling. That is why you should not try to discipline out all kinds of growling from your beagle.
If your beagle only snarls and growls when there are strangers out the window, or a strange noise occurs, this could be a good thing, as it could alert you to something amiss while you’re asleep or not paying attention. This is a great thing for your dog to be doing!
What To Do When Your Beagle Is Snarling And Growling
So now you know why your beagle is snarling and growling. That’s great, but how do you stop it?
There are a number of ways to train this behavior out of your beagle. Remember, when you’re training a beagle or any kind of dog, patience is key. This will be a long project, but worth it.
How To Stop Territorial Growling
The key to stopping territorial growling is to let your beagle know who is in charge of the territory. It is important that your beagle sees you as the “alpha” of the pack, so it understands that it is not allowed to get territorial about possessions, spaces, and people in your home.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is quite simple. Start by giving your beagle a firm “no” when it begins growling at you over a toy or space in the home. Do not make yourself sound angry. Simply be firm and serious. Being aggressive will only make your beagle react with more aggression, which is a recipe for disaster.
If this isn’t working, consider teaching the beagle that it is not in charge by limiting its access and permission to certain spaces in the home.
Things like not letting it on the couch (or letting it on the couch for only 1 hour a day), restricting his or her access to bedrooms, and limiting the amount of time they are allowed to have toys can show the beagle that you are in control of the house.
This may seem a tad cruel on the surface, but it is extremely important for your beagle to learn that there are rules and structures in your home in order for it to be properly disciplined.
How To Stop Attention-Seeking Snarls
The most important thing to do when your beagle is growling in order to get some attention is to ignore it! On the surface, this might seem counterintuitive. However, if you succumb to your dog’s will and give it the treats or love or whatever else it wants at that moment, it will learn that growling is the best way to receive that thing.
This is why it is best to ignore it. If you ignore your beagle when it growls for attention, it will eventually stop and find a healthier way to try to get your attention when it needs you for something.
How To Stop Anxious Growling
Stopping your beagle from growling out of anxiety is a bit trickier. This is because you need to tailor your solution to the source of the anxiety.
In order to combat growling from anxiety, you’ll need to engage in a training exercise called counter-conditioning. This is where you find out what the beagle is afraid of, and associate it with something new that the beagle prefers in order to take the fear out of the equation.
The easiest example of this is if the beagle is afraid of you. Start fairly far away from your beagle, so it knows that it is safe. Then, very slowly, begin to approach the pup. Have an item that your beagle loves, such as a particular blanket, toy, or treat, with you.
Slowly approach until you find the point at which the beagle becomes uncomfortable and beings to growl. Once it begins to growl, back off. Try this a few times. Eventually, it should start slowly letting you closer and closer until you’re able to approach it fully and offer it whatever it is you brought with you.
If this isn’t working, try also getting down to eye level with the dog. This will cause it to perceive you as a little bit less of a threat.
Counter conditioning also works if your beagle is anxious about something else. For instance, if it is trying to defend a certain item, slowly show it that you can interact with that object or person without causing it harm.
Likewise, if your beagle is afraid of the car, give it treats before, during, and/or after car rides, and take it on rides that are not to places it doesn’t like (for instance taking it to the park instead of the vet) to show the dog that the car can be a positive experience.
Remember, counter conditioning takes time, patience, and effort. Do not give up because it doesn’t work on the first try. The whole point of counter conditioning is to slowly train your dog into trusting you more. This will not happen all at once, but over time it should become easier and easier until you’re the best of friends.
Want To Train Your Beagle With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your beagle properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your beagle completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
- Do Beagles Bark A Lot? (And Tips For Stopping Them)
- Why Do Beagles Howl (& How To Stop Them)
- Are Beagles Good With Kids And Babies (How To Make It Work)
- Do Beagles Get Along With Other Dogs? (Best Companion Dogs For Beagles)
- Are Beagles Good Guard Dogs? (Think Twice Before Buying)
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Just like there are a number of techniques that are great for dealing with growling and snarling of all types from your beagle, there are also techniques that aren’t as good. Here are a few things that, although they might seem like good ideas or you’ve seen and heard them elsewhere, should not be done to discipline or train your beagle.
Don’t Hit Them
For starters, and this should be quite obvious, never, ever hit your dog. Not only is it cruel and inhumane to physically harm your dog, but it does not help discipline the dog and can, in fact, cause long-term behavioral problems with the animal.
There is plenty of research to show that hitting dogs does not work, and it is also extremely cruel and defeats the purpose of having your beagle in the first place, so never do it.
Don’t Raise Your Voice
As briefly mentioned above, you should refrain from raising your voice or otherwise getting aggressive with your beagle. This will only escalate the beagle’s fear and anxiety and exacerbate the problem rather than make it better. You can not scare your beagle into being quiet or stopping growling.
Don’t Ignore Them For Too Long
We covered earlier that you should ignore your beagle if they are growling simply to get your attention. While this remains true, you don’t want to ignore your beagle for too long. Try not to ignore your beagle for more than an hour or so.
Beagles, like all dogs, have fairly poor short-term memory. This means that ignoring your beagle for more than a few hours will only result in them feeling ignored, not making associations with growling not being an effective way of getting your attention.
Don’t Take Things Away From Us
If your beagle is aggressively defending an object such as a bed, blanket, food bowl, or another person in the house, it does not help to outright take the object away from them. This will not only cause your beagle to lose some trust in you but also not effectively solve the problem.
It will be quite easy for your beagle to find something else to protect with the same kind of behavior. It is best to work around this sort of growling and snarling in healthier and more productive ways that can improve your beagle’s behavior organically, not simply trying to force the issue on it.
Avoid Spray Bottles And Anti-Bark Collars
Finally, using things like spray bottles and anti-bark collars might be effective and not particularly cruel, but they don’t solve the problem at its source. Try instead to use counter conditioning, as it will solve the problem more permanently than simply spraying the pup and stopping the growling and snarling for a small amount of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about beagles and other dogs that are snarling and growling consistently on a daily basis!
Are Beagles Known To Be Aggressive?
At a base level, all dogs are at least a little bit aggressive and territorial. This is because it is in their DNA, as they evolved from wild dogs that needed these behaviors to survive.
As far as beagles specifically, while not the most aggressive of dog breeds, beagles were originally bred to be hunting dogs, so some aggression comes with the territory of owning a beagle. That being said, this DNA also helps the beagles be very obedient if trained properly and very smart dogs to boot.
This means that when untrained, yes, beagles can be quite aggressive. However, with proper training, it is quite easy to stop this behavior.
Should You Growl At Your Beagle?
As we covered above, becoming aggressive with your beagle is not a fantastic way of dealing with aggression coming from the dog itself. This is because it will only make your dog more aggressive.
If you begin to growl at your beagle the same way it growls at you, you will only make the dog more anxious and uncomfortable, and it may see you as competition rather than a de facto pack leader.
Rather than growling at your beagle, use very firm “no” language and make eye contact. This body language is far more effective at dealing with an undisciplined dog than growling at the snarling pup.
Furthermore, if your beagle is growling out of anxiety or fear, growling back at it could potentially worsen this issue, causing it to lose trust in you and making training more difficult in the future.
So, if your beagle is growling, it is important to find out why! Whether it is because it is being territorial or dominant, scared of you or something else, or simply seeking attention, there are plenty of reasons that your beagle’s snarls and growls might be a constant sound in your home.
Make sure you are taking steps to fix this and make sure that those steps are correct. Avoid harming or causing more fear and anxiety for your furry friend, and instead make healthy, rational, and correct steps towards training your beagle to be a more peaceful member of your home. Try using counter conditioning and see if it works for you.
Finally, be patient. Training a dog is a difficult and time-consuming task. Your beagle will not stop growling in one day, or even one week or one month.
It will take repeated and constant healthy training for your beagle to be comfortable with you and your home and all the aspects of those things. For now, all you can do is try to train the pup and other than that, wait. Eventually, you’ll be the best of friends.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your beagle’s favorite blanket, bed, treat or toy and try to make it a little bit more comfortable in your home. Or at least approach it slowly and give it a nice scratch behind the ears. After a long day, it probably deserves a little bit of love.