All Things Dog

Beagles: The Dogs That Bay

Half bark, half howl, the Beagle's mournful bay is one of the hallmarks of your breed. But where did this distinctive sound come from?

Beagles were originally bred to be hunting dogs. They would chase down game and generally would be far in front of the hunters. Employing a breed with this vocal talent allowed the hunters to stay in auditory contact with their dogs at all times.

As a Beagle owner, you probably know that Beagles don't reserve their baying just for the hunting trail. They may also bay loudly when they catch a scent while on a walk or when playing with other dogs. Beagles are also prone to baying when left home alone, something that can be troublesome for people who share walls with others.

How to keep baying at bay

If you have a noisy Beagle, you can teach him to turn down the volume a bit. By praising your dog when he is quiet, he'll learn to associate the silence with something pleasant. When your beagle does begin to howl or bay, turn away and ignore him. Then, when he stops, give him praise and a small treat for being quiet.

Keep in mind that although beagles make great pets, they were originally meant for another purpose—one that may sometimes conflict with what you want in a dog. Just try to understand that your Beagle's bay is his unique way of communicating with you and others.

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