It’s 3 a.m. on a hot summer night, the windows are open and the neighbor’s beagle has climbed to the top of the kid’s slide in their backyard and is pouring his little heart out to the moon. They can’t possibly sleep through this racket either, so why don’t they do something to stop the dog howling?
Beagles can be highly vocal. They are a hunting hound with three distinct vocalizations: the bark, the bay and the howl. Each voice has a separate meaning. If you study your beagle, you can learn to interpret them. The bark is a short, sharp sound, the canine equivalent of “Hey, you!” It means he needs to tell you something: “I’m hungry,” or “I need to go out.” The bay is a longer, louder, more urgent and purposeful sound, more of an announcement, as in, “Got somethin’ here, Boss.” That “somethin’” may be a rabbit in the bushes or a stranger at the front door, but whatever it is, the beagle is on it. The howl is long, loud and drawn out, almost a wail, and it usually means something along the lines of “You left me here all alone, and I’m bored.”
If he won’t sleep and therefore you can’t sleep, try exercise. If a short potty walk doesn’t satisfy him, try some road work. Get your beagle tired enough to be nappy instead of yappy; they love a good snooze. Beagles love to play with their humans and if yours will retrieve, about 20 minutes of “fetch” with a ball or a squeaky toy should help settle him down.
Engage the Brain
If all the physical stuff is squared away, consider the mental aspect. A bored beagle needs company, since he is by nature a pack animal, and you may be his only pack. Help him exercise his brain as well as his body. The Dog Whisperer -- aka Cesar Millan -- recommends scent-oriented puzzles to utilize the beagle’s superior nose. Hide treats around the house or in a fenced yard and watch your beagle show his stuff. For some lucky beagles, this becomes a full-time job. Beagles exercise both their noses and their people-friendly personalities by finding things: contraband in airports for the government, termites for the exterminator or rabbits for a hunter.
Train, Train, Train
Training for the beagle also exercises his brain while it improves his manners. While beagles are listed on the internet site BarkPost as one of the 10 stubbornest breeds. They’re not untrainable, though -- just bull-headed and independent. Time to activate your own stubborn streak. As the beagle can be a walking appetite, your best training tools will be food, food and more food. Your most effective tactic will be repetition, repetition, repetition. As for commands, never mind “come” -- he may never be reliable on this. “Sit” and “stay” are low on the list. Start with the beagle basics: ”Speak” and “Quiet.” If you can achieve these, it will help control His Mouthiness and keep the neighbors from siccing the cops on you.