Are Beagles Good with Kids? A Guide for Parents

Beagles are cute, energetic, and little- just like kids. Would it be a good idea to let them spend time together, let alone welcome one into the family? Here’s a guide for parents aspiring to make a dog your kid’s best friend.

Are beagles good with kids? Beagles are an extremely friendly breed which love to be around people. A lot of time and effort is required for training a beagle, but their curious personalities and sweet, gentle, playful natures make them a great match and friend for families and children.

Beagles would be an excellent addition to your family, but it’s almost important that you understand a beagle’s temperament and how much effort it will take for you to turn one into the puppy of your dreams.

A Beagle’s Temperament

Beagles are generally very calm, which makes them a good match for family settings, as they’re not going to get aggressive or too crazy when playing with the children.

Beagles were originally bred to become hunting dogs, which means they have a sturdy, athletic build that will help them maintain high levels of energy for a long time. If your kids have some energy to burn, then pairing them with a beagle will help them burn their excess energy. If your kids love the outdoors, then that’s another great reason to get a beagle.

All dogs are smart, friendly, and happy, and beagles are no exception. They get along with other pets and humans very well, and they love being in large groups; for beagles, the more the merrier, especially if you have a big family!

It can be worrisome when you have young children; if they’re still learning how to behave and treat pets, they might get some bumps or bruises along the way. Beagles, luckily, have a high threshold for pain; no matter how young or how rambunctious, beagles can better tolerate pulls, grabs, or tugs.

NOTE: When raising a puppy and a child together at the same time, it’s still very likely that no one’s going to get through childhood without a couple of scratches. While beagles have a high tolerance level, it’s still important to be cautious when your child is playing with one- even the most tolerant breeds can only take so much.

If you’re looking for a dog that can be left on its own for several hours while you’re out on errands or at work, then a beagle won’t be a good choice. They are a wanderlust breed that can become bored if left alone for several hours- they’ll either dig holes or climb things to “escape,” or they’re going to bark and howl.

Most beagles are noisy, which means they will be the one dog in your neighborhood that barks and howls at three in the morning.

Beagles are explorers and chasers. When they’re outside, they need to be kept within a securely-fenced area or on a leash, else they’re going to go wherever their noses want to go, no matter the distance.

Remember that this isn’t to punish them; it’s to keep them safe. If you’re uncomfortable with doing this to your dog, then you might want to consider getting a different breed.

Raising a Beagle Around Children

Children need a lot of attention to help them grow and develop steadily and healthily. Beagles need that, too. While you may be wanting to get a dog that can be friends with the kids, remember that it’s your ultimate responsibility to take care of it!

The best way to raise a child and a beagle to coexist is to have them interact with each other often. The parent needs to be involved in this; they need to spend time with both their child and their beagle together, and over time they’ll be able to grow to love each other.

If your children are toddlers, then be prepared to supervise all interaction between them. This is the best way to avoid any nipping or worse injuries.

With children, it’s essential to teach them to respect the beagle and not cause harm to them. For children who haven’t interacted with puppies or cats before, they aren’t aware that they are alive and can be hurt if not taken care of properly. With beagles, they need to be disciplined so they don’t feel like they can dominate your child.

A common thing with kids is how messy they can be when eating. During these eating times, keep the beagle away from the table. Beagles are “chowhounds,” so they will eat any food they can find and not care about what it is.

It’s very important to keep a beagle out of the kitchen or dining area, because not only will they snack on anything their noses catch onto, they might ingest something that is normal to humans but toxic to them.

Raising a Beagle Around Infants

Baby and Beagle Wating for Dinner

Now, what about if you’re expecting? Whether you plan on getting a puppy then or you already have a beagle, they can be good with newborns. Measures need to be taken to prepare your dog for when the baby arrives.

Here is a quick list of some behaviors that your beagle should learn:

  • No jumping
  • Being alone sometimes
  • Areas where they aren’t allowed (i.e., baby’s bedroom, rooms when the baby is laying on the floor)
  • Get them used to being put away at times
  • Not being alone with the baby when there’s no adult around

When should you start preparing your beagle? The latest would be 60 to 90 days before the baby is due to arrive, but the best time to prepare would be as soon as you know there’s one on the way.

Ample time is needed to get a beagle adjusted to the new lifestyle since they can be difficult to train.

When it comes to preparing a dog for a newborn, they need to believe that they aren’t being neglected because of the baby. Suddenly dropping this huge change on them will catch them off guard- if they were getting a bunch of attention to suddenly very little because you’re paying more attention to the baby, it’s going to make them jealous.

If your dog ever shows signs of jealousy, you need to stop them at once.

It’s also important to help a dog recognize what a baby looks like, smells like, and sounds like. During this stage of adjustment, you could associate your beagle with a baby doll wrapped in a blanket.

You can teach them how to behave around infants and what is not okay to do, such as playing or jumping.

Puppy Versus Adult Beagles and Kids

When it comes to ensuring that your pup is going to be friendly and loving towards your kids, consider getting a puppy. With puppies, they’ll be able to socialize with your children while young, so they’ll be able to get acquainted with, comfortable with, and learn how to behave around people.

Puppies are adorable and cute, but they require a lot of effort and training during the first year. Newborns need to spend the first few months being taken out several times during the day and a couple of times at night so they can use the bathroom. Housetraining is difficult for a beagle to conceptualize.

Puppies are filled with energy, so they need to be watched constantly to ensure they don’t get into trouble. So, basically, puppies are like 2-year-olds.

If you think you have what it takes to raise a beagle pup, make sure that includes having the time to take care of one. Make sure your work and family schedules can accommodate your beagle’s needs.

And if you don’t want to deal with puppy care, then consider adopting an older beagle. Even if they’re up to a couple years old, they’re still young, but they’re no longer puppies and are a little easier to handle.

Training a Beagle

Like all dogs, if you want to have one that loves your children and gets along with other people and dogs, you need to introduce them to families when they’re young so they can socialize. It also makes it easier to train them when they’re younger.

Don’t mistake me saying “easier to train” to mean that it will be smooth-sailing with training a beagle. Beagles are smart but stubborn when it comes to training, especially housetraining. It will take a while for them to understand and pick up on things.

Beagles have incredibly powerful noses and, coupled with their single-mindedness, can get distracted very quickly and easily. Humans follow their hearts and heads; beagles follow their noses.

Beagles have something called “selective deafness,” as do all hunting hounds. Their focus is on their noses, so they might not always come back when you call them. This also means that they’re not going to pay attention to any cars driving by.

This is why it’s very important that they get their exercise in an area where they can’t run away (i.e., while on a leash or in a backyard).

Beagles are alpha breeds, so they will try and establish dominance. As the owner, you need to establish your authority so your beagle can see you as the alpha dog and master. Training will be a little easier if they understand this.

When it comes to establishing this authority, do so in a way that is firm, but loving and patient. Attempts to do this through punishment-techniques will not teach respect, but it will teach worse and dangerous behaviors.

Beagles need plenty of daily exercise. They’re bred to be hunting dogs, which means they have plenty of energy to burn. Be sure to let your kids play with them, but also remember to get yourself involved by taking them on walks.

If not exercised enough, they’ll become bored, and they’re going to find a way to burn their energy- most likely in a way you don’t approve of.

If you have a new puppy that needs to be housetrained, understand that they need to be taken outside a few times a day and once or twice at night. Beagles are capable of being housetrained, but it can be really difficult.

If they manage to pee on the carpet, even if you scrub that spot several times, a beagle’s nose will still pick up the scent and lead them back to that spot. Consider training them to go outside or even cage training- they are capable of either!

Cost for a Beagle

Animals are expensive: the initial purchase of the pup, the toys, food, and regular vet bills will make beagles cost a lot of money.

PET EXPENSES*ESTIMATED COST
Initial cost (one-time)$400 – $1000
Toys$55 / year
Food & Snacks$120 – $150 / year
Spaying / Neutering (one-time)$200
Vet check ups$200 / year
Miscellaneous$100 / year
TOTAL FIRST-YEAR COST:$1050 – $1650
TOTAL ANNUAL COST*:$650 – $700

*Not accounting for other other medical bills due to health issues, such as worms, fleas, or other health problems.

Beagles have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, so it’ll be upwards of $11,000 for caring for regular necessities. If your dog develops any medical problems, the total bills can be much more expensive. Before you get a puppy, you need to ask yourself, “Can I commit to this for the long haul? Can I afford this in the long haul?”

Now, just know that this cost isn’t perfect or absolute. Buying or adopting a beagle will still cost a few hundred dollars, but unless you’re looking for a beagle who has a more superior lineage (say its parents were show dogs), it’s going to be more costly to buy it. You might also be able to find a good dog food brand that runs cheaper.

Regardless, it’s important to understand that raising a dog is expensive. So make sure you can afford to buy and raise a puppy while you’re also raising children. Can you comfortably afford diapers and doggy treats?

Potential Health Problems

There are some dog breeds that are known to develop health problems, and beagles are one of those breeds. Here are the potential health problems that beagles are prone to develop:

  • Hip dysplasia: hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which eventually leads to arthritis.
  • Epilepsy: a brain disorder which can lead to seizures.
  • Hypothyroidism: underactive thyroid gland, causing lethargy, coat changes, and weight gain.
  • Meningitis: inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, causing fever and neck pain.
  • Cushing’s syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism): hormonal disorder resulting in the production of too much cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone).
  • Intervertebral disc disease: a ruptured disc (or “slipped disc”) which puts pressure on the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, causing pain and weakness.

Bottom Line

Beagles would be a fantastic breed to welcome into your family! They will get along wonderfully with your children, young and old. They need a bunch of effort and devotion to train and raise them, but it is very much worth the time. In the end, you will be rewarded with a very loyal and loving pup.

Related Questions:

Can I raise a beagle in an apartment? Beagles can thrive in an apartment, as long as they can have an area of their own for food and water and can still get enough exercise. If you have kids and you are thinking of adding a dog into the mix, considering doing some decluttering or organizing so children and puppy toys are in their own places.

Do beagles shed? Beagles are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming, and their short coats don’t require much attention. They usually only need to be brushed weekly. During the springtime, when beagles shed their winter coats, they’ll need to be brushed a few times a week to keep shedding under control.

Are beagles good with cats? It could be assumed that beagles would have the natural instinct of chasing cats and causing trouble (being hunting dogs and all). In actuality, their calm and gentle natures make many beagles get along well with cats. Just make sure both sides are prepped before introducing one another.

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