Beagles are popular family dogs because of their “mild temperaments.” They’re not too friendly, but not too aggressive. Not too timid, but also not overly social. However as a parent, bringing home any dog, including a Beagle, can be a real concern.
Beagles get along great with kids and make perfect dogs for families with older children. And since they were originally bred to hunt in packs, Beagles will likely treat kids of the family as one of their own. With their sociable and friendly personalities, Beagles are great at developing close bonds with all members of their “pack,” including the kids.
Beagles are known for being a fun-loving and vibrant dog. However, because they were originally bred as scent hounds, Beagles may retain their hunting instincts. That said, there are still things parents need to be aware of before bringing the two together.
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Table of Contents
- Why Beagles Are Great for Children
- Training Beagles to be Around Kids
- Does Your Beagle Get Along with Kids?
- Are Beagles Suited For Every Family?
Why Beagles Are Great for Children
When you’ve got children, their safety and happiness are paramount. So, you want your family pet to be playful yet calm in its temperament. These are huge reasons why beagles make great family pets as they tick both of these boxes.
Beagles are very much like children. They are energetic, happy and love to play. They also do have a mischievous side, although Beagle owners say that this is not irritating but rather more endearing. You can see why Beagles and children have similarities!
Having said this, it’s important that when you’re bringing a Beagle into your family, they need to be of a young enough so that they can learn to socialize with children.
If you are bringing an older Beagle into your family, they may not have had the same socialization and may find family life a bit more difficult. Still, it’s possible to socialize an older dog – you’ll just need to be patient.
The Beagle’s Pack Dog Mentality
Not all dog breeds have the pack-dog mentality. However, there are dogs with past jobs that involve working in a pack. For example, Beagles are one of them.
Beagles were originally bred for tracking small game. In some cases, they still are bred for work in tracking, such as with the airport TSA. But these dogs never went hunting alone. They tend to work in groups at a time.
But how does this help Beagles get along with children? Beagles were bred to get along with others in the pack, otherwise they would be fighting all the time. In a family setting, Beagles will naturally think of family members as part of their pack.
This is great because they’ll naturally get along with kids of the family. Not only will Beagles treat them with respect, but their loyalty will be with the children.
Lively Beagles for Active Kids
Beagles are renowned for being one of the friendliest dog breeds out there. They are little bundles of bumbling fun! Given their temperament and energy, they love to exercise.
They wouldn’t make the best of pets if your family is more laid back. But for an energetic, outdoorsy family, they would fit in really well.
Even though they are energetic pets, they have the added bonus of being tolerant and calm too. This is one of the reasons why they’re great with small children.
We all know how over-the-top and rough little kids can be! Beagles are easy-going with a bit of the liveliness that young children bring.
Beagles are also incredibly sweet and curious dogs too. They are loving, friendly and happy-go-lucky. A full house is precisely what a Beagle needs: companionship, exercise and fun.
They are also extremely loyal dogs too. In fact, they’ve been known to follow their owners around! If and when your Beagle develops a strong bond with your children, they’ll be some of the best guardians for them.
You can always count on a Beagle to have your children’s back.
All in all, Beagles are some of the premiere dogs when it comes with families with energetic kids. There’s a good chance that your dog will be able to match your children’s energy.
Beagles and Infants (Toddlers)
Given their loyal natures, Beagles make great watchdogs too. They have boisterous, deep voices and will keep a family safe due to their ability to alert their owners if anything suspicious is happening within their home.
Despite this, if you have a very young baby or are worried about nap-time for children, a Beagle could be a bit of a challenge as a household companion.
All parents can agree that loud noises, such as excessive barking, and infants don’t mix well. It’s one of the fastest ways of waking up a slumbering infant. In the Beagle’s case, you may get some howling too.
Furthermore, Beagles are pack dogs. This means that they will suffer from separation anxiety (another similarity with the children of the house!).
Our beagle who is 8 months has severe separation anxiety. We keep him in a gate and it’s big enough to have his bed, pee pads, and water. Right when we walk out he howls, barks, and whines. He has gone on for hours before.– Eddiefiguer (Reddit)
The anxiety will mean that they will bark incessantly, could run around the home, and even rip things up. Without proper attention given, their destructive behavior can truly scare a young kid.
Depending on where your home is, a Beagle that’s barks a lot might not be ideal for infants. However, you can’t blame them. The Beagle’s tendency to bark is just instincts from their days as a hunting dog.
Beagles thrive on company and, as such, if you aren’t able to provide the necessary attention (like with a stay-at-home mom with baby), they might not be the best dogs for you.
Generally, I don’t ever recommend letting your Beagle (and any dog) play with an infant. Toddlers and infants are just too fragile, and the risk will never be worth it.
No matter how well trained your Beagle is, they are still animals. And, you can’t really predict how a dog will react to something a toddler does.
Training Beagles to be Around Kids
Beagles have to be trained well, as they are dogs that are very independent in their thoughts. If they are trained well, they will listen, obey instructions and respect the kids.
Despite popular belief, they’re fairly easy to house train if you do it correctly and with consistency. Beagles are smarter than you think and can excel in training.
If a Beagle learns early on who its master is, it will be fairly obedient toward them. The dog won’t see children as “masters” but rather as fellow pack-chums. It’s here where you may see a Beagle’s protective nature coming to the fore.
Beagles love having tasks to do given their breeding history. As such, you need to involve them in short learning exercises.
They will enjoy this and not see it as work. By keeping them both mentally and physically stimulated, they will be less likely to exhibit behavior that could harm or scare a child.
But, the training needs to be consistent. By that, I mean everyone in the home needs to use the commands in the same way and reward the good behaviors (using positive reinforcement).
A Beagle owner needs to remember that any training takes time. It will not happen overnight. So, the key is patience when it comes to training these dogs.
Socialization for Beagles
As with all dogs, it’s important to socialize your Beagle with people. They make great pets for kids because of their patient and loving personalities – but these personalities need some grooming.
The relationship only works if they’re used to children and have been socialized at a young age to accept them. According to the AKC, week 7 to week 16 is the optimal time to do so.
Beagles love to play fetch and catch with children as well as hide-n-seek with their favorite toys. All of these are fantastic games perfect for socializing Beagles with children.
The more they interact with the kids, the more they’ll love your kids (and other kids too!). At least in the beginning, I would set aside some activities for both the children and dog to participate in on a daily basis.
Teaching Kids to Respect a Beagle
If you have the opportunity, start socialization at an early age. We can’t stress this enough. However, the moment your puppy comes home, you’ll need to teach your children how to respect the dog. Respect is a mutual thing.
Let’s be real. Some children can be extremely rowdy and cause a lot of discomfort to a small fragile puppy, including a young Beagle.
The last thing you’ll want is for your puppy to grow up being afraid of your kids. If your dog is scared of your kids, they could potentially lash out and bite them.
Tell your kids that they should not sit on the dog, pull their long droopy ears or push them around. They should treat the dog as a human being – that is, with respect.
If your children cannot do this or are too young to understand, you would need to supervise every and any interactions with the dog. At least, until they’re mature enough to understand.
Does Your Beagle Get Along with Kids?
In order to really get a sense of how these dogs get along with children, we asked real people with Beagles and kids. We surveyed the popular Beagle Sub Reddit forum for responses. Here’s what they had to say.
One Beagle owner explains how her children are too rough, saying:
We got a gorgeous new beagle…she is beautiful and so placid. The only problem is that our children a boy and a girl aged 4 and 3 are just hyper around her. They are running after her and literally won’t leave her alone.
Another owner suggest giving your Beagle a “safe space” for them to retreat to: “Having a “nest” or “safe place” is imperative for a dog. For some it’s their crate. For my beagle he knows his bed, my bed, and myself are safe places. I never violate the feeling of safety in these spots.“
Note: I highly recommend using a dog crate to provide your Beagle with their safe haven. The Midwest Homes iCrate is by far the best crates for these dogs.
They’re sturdy, affordable and come with all the features you’ll ever need. Get the 36 inch and your Beagle puppy will certainly grow into it.
Another owner says his Beagle gets along great with kids, explaining:
We had him when he was 10 months and I remember being surprised how he’d let neighbor kids, my nephews, etc pretty much lay on him, etc.
This Beagle owner says his dog was the most patient dog ever: “Even when they were doing their “I’m a kid so I’m going to aggressively pet them and pull their tail” thing she would always just either take it or try to gently get away from them. That said she was an especially docile and easy going dog, even for a Beagle.“
Our last Beagle owner has a dog that truly loves children: “Our Beagle Absolutely loves kids! He starts wagging his stubby little tail, and moves towards them submissively.“
Are Beagles Suited For Every Family?
So, do Beagles get along with children? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Beagles make great family pets and are fantastic with kids for all the reasons mentioned above.
They are sociable, friendly and loyal animals who love nothing more than being around people and children.
With a Beagle in the home, children will have a long-term friend and companion. They are easy to groom and don’t come with too many health problems, which are extra bonuses for raising these dogs.
However, it’s not just about whether a Beagle would suit a family with children. It’s about whether a particular family with children would suit a Beagle too. They’re certainly not suited to all families.
Families That Shouldn’t Get a Beagle
Families that spend a lot of time indoors and don’t like exercise would not make ideal Beagle owners. They need a significant amount of exercise.
This is part of the reason that there are so many overweight Beagles out there: their owners didn’t understand the amount of exercise they needed. If this is a problem, consider going for frequent swims with your Beagle.
Beagles can also become heavy chewers when they are bored or not exercised enough. They will eat anything (even stuff they’re not meant to) and so do require some vigilance if you want to keep them in good shape.
Parents that work long hours with kids at school all day would also not suit a beagle. Beagles need their people (including the children) around them otherwise they will bark all day long.
So, whether a Beagle is right or not for your family is a tricky thing to answer. And only you can decide! But, as for the question “are beagles good with kids?” the answer is definitely yes. Provided they have the right nurturing, socialization and training of course!
Do you own a Beagle and have children? let us know how you were able to make the relationship work. Does your Beagle play well with your kids? Leave a comment in the section below!
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