What Kind of Temperament and Personality Does a Beagle Have?
The Beagle dog is a popular dog breed with a tendency to be loving and good-natured if given proper training and socialization. If you have kids, you may be considering adding a Beagle to your family.
Is the Beagle a child friendly dog?
Although Beagles love interacting with children and are quite playful and tolerant of the antics of a child, caution may be in order if you have children younger than age six. In order for a Beagle dog to interact safely with a small child, he needs to understand that the child ranks above him in the pack hierarchy.
This is sometimes difficult to reinforce in the case of a young child since they are of such small stature, the Beagle may continually challenge them for pack position. The normally child friendly Beagle may exert signs of dominance and even aggression if left alone with a small child they consider small and non-threatening.
The normally gregarious, affectionate Beagle may become a less child friendly dog when it comes to the issue of food. Beagles love food and have a very advanced sense of smell due to their scent tracking skills.
If a small child whom a Beagle considers to be non-threatening playfully reaches for his food, the dog may respond with aggressive action such as biting which could cause serious injury to a small child.
Once a child reaches the age of seven or eight, a Beagle can be an excellent pet. Energetic and curious, a Beagle is the ideal dog to form a strong bond with an active and inquisitive child. Once the pack hierarchy is established and the child is deemed to be a higher up pack member, Beagles can be a remarkably child friendly dog who is both gentle and tolerant.
It’s important that the child be taught how to respect the Beagle dog and not pull at his ears or aggravate him repeatedly as Beagles will sometimes snap as a protective mechanism if he feels threatened.
Many of the problems associated with the interaction between children and Beagles can be solved by early training and by exposing the dog to children at a young age.
Children should also be taught to interact effectively with the Beagle. In addition to being taught not to taunt the Beagle with food, they should learn to keep doors and fence gates closed as Beagles are natural wanderers and can quickly escape if they detect a scent worth tracking.
By undertaking early training and adopting a Beagle only after the children reach a certain age, the happy-go-lucky, good-natured Beagle can be a very child friendly dog and a real asset to the family.