The beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized hound, similar in shape, physical structure, and temperament to the less known foxhound. Created during the late 19th century, Beagles were primarily used for hunting foxes and hares. As of recent, due to their strong sense of smell and high intelligence, Beagles have made the transition from hunting dogs to other specialized jobs such as bomb detection and hostage rescue.
But the same characteristics (bravery, tolerance, loyalty, and intelligence) has made them one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, becoming almost ubiquitous in domestic households. As a current or potential Beagle owner, it is your job to meet the dog’s needs for physical exercise and affection. Here are a few general tips and advice about the Beagle’s temperament, ways of play and ideal toys.
Ideal Toys for Beagles
Due to the fact that Beagles were traditionally bred for hunting activities, they have an instinctual urge to go on long chases. These dogs need to be socialized from an early age, especially if the household includes more than one members and other non-canine animals. Beagles can be extremely stubborn and hard to control, and if they are not provided with obedience training right from the start, when they are puppies, they will wreak havoc in your house, destroying furniture and chewing every object that catches their attention.
Therefore, the ideal toys for Beagles should be designed in such a way that they will teach him, through play, healthy eating habits and how to behave. While there are many toys on the market, they can be categorized in the following types:
Puzzle toys – Beagles are highly intelligent and perceptive, so they need constant mental and intellectual stimulation in order to stay happy and healthy.
Comfort toys – Although all breeds suffer from some version of separation anxiety, Beagles, due to their dependent and sociable nature, are more likely to be affected by the symptoms of this condition. Comfort toys should serve as a sort of surrogate companion, while the owners are out doing various daily activities. They can resemble anything that the dog finds familiar, like stuffed toys in the shape of ducks, bones, foxes and even a Beagle, or various other toys that you know the dog finds calming. If comfort toys do not seem to do the trick, you should consider buying a second Beagle to keep him company.
Teething toys. This is one of the worst life phases for Beagles, because teething is extremely irritating, uncomfortable and, at times, painful. To calm the dog’s urge to chew, you can buy dental health toys designed especially for this purpose. By providing your Beagle with these instruments, you will not only calm the dog’s drive to chew, but also teach him healthy chewing habits that will last him well into adulthood.
Training toys. Like we have stated previously, Beagles need to be socialized from an early age to eliminate his destructive tendencies. For this purpose, any toys that encourage positive teaching and reinforcement are ideal (for example, balls that can be filled with treats)
Ways of Play
Because beagles have strong hunting instinct, play sessions such obviously tap into this aspect. There are many games that you can play with your Beagle, and you can expect the best results out of the following examples:
Kibble Hunt Game. Instead of having your beagle trace the rabbit’s course by smelling the ground and inspecting its footprints, you can initiate a treasure hunt with him. First, keep your beagle out of sight (preferably in another room). Make a trail out of his kibble, or place the kibble in random spots, such as under the rugs or behind table legs. Release the dog and let him do his magic.
Hide ‘N Seek Game. For this game to work, you will need a second person to help you keep the Beagle while you search for a good hiding spot. After that, simply call your Beagle and let him trace your location. After he inevitably finds you, reward him with a delicious treat.
Canine nosework game. Your Beagle will love having their sense of smell stimulated by this game. Have a friend hold the beagle while he watches you place a treat in an empty cardboard box. After that, position the box between other empty cardboard boxes, and let the dog find the treat using his 220 million scent receptors.
The Beagles has an even temper and, overall, joyful and gentle disposition. In a study conducted in 1985 by Ben and Lynnette hart, which rated dogs by the levels of excitement, the Beagle obtained the highest mark.
Your duty, as a Beagle owner, is to engage with the dog in such a way that his hunting (and sometimes destructive instincts) are calmed, by scheduling frequent play sessions, caring for the dog with patience and gentleness, and buying the best dog toys for beagles. If you want to see more examples of good toys for Beagles, you can check out Toy Pet Reviews, a specialized online portal that covers all subjects related to pets.
Similar to other dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers, they are generally amiable and friendly towards or people, although the level of friendliness and acceptance of strangers can vary from dog to dog. Beagles love company, attention, and engagement, sometimes to the detriment of the house’s safety, a factor which makes them extremely poor guard dogs. But if you are thinking about getting a Beagle, chances are it is not due to safety concerns, so we will give Beagles a pass in this regard.
On the flipside, the same traits that make them so sweet and ideal for families with small children are the ones that some owners might feel overwhelmed by this breed. Due to their intelligence, and the fact that they were bred to be physically active and remain in close vicinity of humans, Beagles can sometimes be extremely hard to control and recall once they have picked up a particular scent.
Beagles are sweet, gentle dogs that love to engage and play with humans. But in order to stay happy and healthy, they need constant physical exercise, as well as a constant stimulation of their hunting instincts. Fortunately, there are many toys on the market designed specifically for this purpose and, by coupling them with a few breed-specific games, your Beagle will surely have the time of his life.