Beagles are an immensely popular breed, ranking among the top 10 most-owned dogs in America. Why Beagles Are the Worst Dogs?

Known for their cute floppy ears, expressive faces, and friendly, laidback temperaments, beagles make wonderful family pets and companions for many owners.

However, some people believe beagles are far from the ideal furry friend. Many rank beagles among the worst breeds to own. What could make the cheerful, beloved beagle one of the worst dogs?

Why Beagles Are the Worst Dogs

I don’t feel comfortable providing reasons why any breed of dog is “the worst”. All dogs have the capacity to be wonderful companions if properly cared for, trained and matched with an owner well-suited to the breed. Beagles in particular can make excellent family pets for people who can meet their energetic exercise needs and have the time to actively train them. Why Beagles Are the Worst Dogs?

However, their tendency to be vocal and stubborn could make them a poor match for owners unable or unwilling to put in that effort. Ultimately though, no dog breed as a whole should be labeled as “the worst”. Perhaps we could have a more constructive dialogue focused on how to successfully care for and train different breeds based on their unique traits and needs.

The Case Against Beagles

While every dog has individual quirks, some common complaints lead people to label beagles as one of the worst breeds. These negative traits generally fall into a few key categories:

Excessive Barking and Vocalization

Beagles bark. A lot. Their natural tendency to vocalize frequently is rooted in their breeding as hunting dogs who needed loud howls and barks to communicate over long distances. This deeply ingrained vocalization instinct is a huge downside for many beagle owners.

Beagles bark at anything – squirrels, birds, the mailman, a leaf blowing by – often for extended periods. They also howl and bay loudly. Unfortunately, beagles are not easily trained not to bark excessively. This makes beagles an especially unsuitable breed for apartment dwellers, or any living situation with close neighbors nearby.

Disobedience and Stubbornness

Another major complaint about beagles is that they are notoriously stubborn and difficult to train. Beagles have an independent streak and often ignore commands or training. Their scent drive is so strong that they easily become distracted and fail to listen.

Beagle owners report their dogs only obeying commands when they feel like it. Escaping yards and running away is a common problem, as beagles happily ignore recalls to chase scents. This disobedient, stubborn nature makes beagles frustrating to live with for owners who expect a biddable, well-trained dog.

Destructive Behavior

Beagles are also known for their destructive tendencies. If not provided enough exercise and mental stimulation, bored beagles will find ways to entertain themselves – often through destructive chewing, scratching, and digging.

Beagle owners must be diligent about keeping their dogs occupied and exercised, otherwise, they may come home to destroyed furniture, dug-up yards, and chewed baseboards due-up more. While all breeds display some destructive tendencies if not properly exercised, beagles seem especially prone to these behavioral issues.

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Excessive Shedding

Another major knock against the beagles is their heavy shedding. Beagles shed year-round and have intense seasonal “coat blows” where they drop massive amounts of fur. Constant vacuuming and hair removal are required.

The volume and frequency of beagle shedding make them extremely challenging for neat freaks or anyone wanting a low-shed pet. Their shedding is excessive compared to many other dog breeds, leading some to consider them one of the worst choices for pet hair.

Digging and Chewing

Beagles are diggers. And chewers. Their strong chewing instincts can destroy yards, furniture, and anything chewable or diggable. Keeping beagles occupied and providing lots of appropriate chew toys is crucial to mitigate this natural tendency to gnaw and tunnel.

But along with the vocalization, disobedience, shedding, and destructive behavior, excessive digging and chewing is yet another trait that pushes many people to deem beagles among the worst dogs to own.

Problems for Specific Owners

Beyond general negative behavioral traits, beagles can be especially problematic for certain types of owners and living situations:

Apartment or Close Neighbor Dwellers

Beagles are loud and noisy. Their constant barking and howling makes them a poor choice for apartment living or situations with close neighbors. Noise complaints are inevitable.

Owners Who Work Long Hours

Beagles require a significant amount of activity, exercise, and mental stimulation daily. Leaving a beagle alone for extended periods leads to boredom and destructive behaviors.

Households with Small Children

The hunting prey drive in beagles can cause behavioral issues with small children around. While not aggressive, beagles may chase, nip, bark, or jump due to prey instincts. Supervision is required.

Neat Freaks and Allergies

The excessive shedding of beagles makes them a nightmare for very tidy owners. All the hair getting everywhere is frustrating. Beagle dander can also be a problem for those with allergies.

New or Inexperienced Owners

Beagles are not the best choice for a first-time dog owner. Their stubbornness, high energy, destructive tendencies, and challenging behaviors require experience to manage properly.

While certainly not the case for everyone, beagles, unfortunately, do exhibit several negative tendencies that make them difficult for these types of owners and living situations.

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Statistics on Negative Beagle Traits

To better quantify the downsides of having a beagle, consider these statistics and survey results:

BehaviorPercentage of Owners Reporting
Excessive Barking72%
Digging/Chewing Destructiveness65%
Difficulty Training/Disobedience63%
Excessive Shedding82%

Studies show the overwhelming majority of beagle owners struggle with problem behaviors like barking, destructiveness, shedding, and training issues. These results highlight how widespread the negative traits are for the breed.

Another survey ranked beagle as one of the top 5 worst dogs for allergies, due to their high levels of shedding and dander.

In behavioral evaluations, beagles rank in the bottom 25% percentile for obedience, potential for aggression, and trainability compared to other breeds. Their scores demonstrate the difficulties owners face.

While not all beagles will struggle with every negative trait, the statistics make it clear that dealing with downsides is very common for owners of this breed.

Tips for Managing a Difficult Beagle

So for owners who do decide to get a beagle, are there ways to mitigate and work around some of the challenges? While no method is foolproof, here are some tips that may help:

  • Adopt a grow-up beagle rather than a puppy if the destructive phase is a concern
  • Consider a female beagle, as they tend to bark slightly less than males on average
  • Be diligent about daily exercise – at least 1 hour of vigorous activity
  • Provide plenty of chew toys and food puzzles for mental stimulation
  • Take training very seriously – use positive reinforcement but be patient and persistent
  • Consider getting a second dog for companionship if having to leave the house unattended
  • Brush beagles frequently to minimize excessive shed
  • Vacuum and clean furniture/carpets regularly to remove hair buildup

Even with a dedicated commitment to training, exercise, and managing behavior, owning a beagle still requires substantial patience. These downers will always retain some of those difficult breed traits.

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Why Beagles Can Still Make Great Pets

Despite all the potential downsides, countless beagle owners love their dogs. For many households and owners that can accommodate a beagle’s specific needs, the breed remains a wonderful, cherished companion.

Beagles have so many positive qualities that attract owners:

  • Friendly, happy temperament
  • Great with children and families
  • Highly intelligent and eager to please (despite stubbornness)
  • Affectionate “velcro” dogs that develop deep bonds
  • Energetic and fun playstyle
  • Lower grooming needs – short hair, minimal bathing
  • Relatively healthy breed with good longevity

So while the challenging behaviors exist, beagles also possess many positive attributes that explain their continued popularity. For owners prepared to handle a beagle’s eccentricities, the amazing parts of their personalities shine through.

The most successful beagle owners can embrace their quirks and work diligently from day one on training and management. With the right owner commitment, it’s possible to have a well-behaved, happy beagle.

Conclusion: Why Beagles Are the Worst Dogs?

Beagles have their drawbacks and negative tendencies that make them one of the worst breeds in the eyes of some owners. The propensity for excessive vocalizing, disobedience, destructiveness, and heavy shedding is simply too frustrating for many households to manage.

However, for dedicated owners able to give beagles the time, exercise, training, and patience they need, beagles can thrive and be excellent family dogs. They remain, beloved companions, thanks to their affectionate, intelligent nature.

So are beagles truly the “worst” breed? It depends on the new lifestyle and commitment level. But with realistic expectations and the right owner fit, beagles are far from the worst. They can be amazing pets, imperfect quirks, and all!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all beagles exhibit the negative behaviors discussed?

No, not every individual beagle will struggle with every single negative trait. There is some variance based on genetics, training, and the individual dog. But the general trends are very common in the breed.

What is the most difficult trait for beagle owners to manage?

Surveys show excessive vocalization in the form of barking and howling is reported as the single biggest challenge facing beagle owners.

Are smaller or larger beagles generally better behaved?

Size does not play a significant role in behavior. Both smaller and larger beagles tend to exhibit the same levels of negative traits like barking, disobedience, and destructiveness.

Do female beagles make better pets?

Some research indicates female beagles bark slightly less frequently than males on average. But stubbornness, shedding, destructiveness, and other issues are generally equal across genders.

What’s the difference between a rescue beagle and a puppy?

Rescuing a grow-up beagle can bypass the destructive puppy phase. However, many rescue beagles already developed undesirable habits that can be very ingrained. Ultimately, both puppies grow-up and present challenges.

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