Why Are Beagles So Stubborn?


Beagles are amazing family dogs and make exceptional pets for grown kids. However, these dogs have a reputation for being stubborn. What could be the reason why beagles are so stubborn? Let’s find out.

Beagles are stubborn because of their “scent hound” nature. If a beagle catches an interesting scent, it will turn its attention to the scent trail and not respond to your call. Also, being an intelligent and independent dog breed, a bored beagle will find other interesting things to do and won’t respond to your calls.

Beagles were raised as active hunting dogs, and there’s a part of their brain that switches off when focusing on a trail. Beagles are smart dogs with minds that are independent and curious. Because of this, they can be taught to stop being stubborn.

What Makes Beagles So Stubborn

When a beagle picks up an interesting scent, it can’t help but follow the trail. This is their nature because they have a sharp sense of smell. This is what we perceive as being stubborn because the dog will not respond to any calls as his sole focus is following the trail.

Think about this for a second: a beagle’s sensory detector has 220 million scent receptors. That’s mind-blowing when compared to the 5 million scent receptors that we possess. It’s no surprise that a beagle’s nose dictates how the dog acts, and that’s why beagles are used as sniffer dogs in airports.

Boredom also makes beagles stubborn. For example, when the dog is left alone for a long period, it will start exploring the house and will not respond to you or your child’s call when it picks up an interesting scent.

Beagles are energetic and athletic dogs that make excellent climbers and explorers. They enjoy exciting chases, and when it gets too intense, it’s almost impossible to bring your pooch back to your side.

How to Make Beagles Less Stubborn

You can’t have a stubborn dog in the house, especially when you have kids who’ll want to spend time with the furry family member. It’s therefore important to fix this negative trait with obedience training from a young age. You’ll also need to socialize the dog from an early age so it can grow up as a family dog.

Beagles are energetic dogs and don’t like being left to their own devices for long periods of time. If you neglect your beagle or fail to give your pooch enough exercise during the day, you will reinforce this negative behavior.

So, it’s important to know that you and your little ones have an important role to play in making beagles less stubborn.

The following is how to make beagles less stubborn pet dogs:

Give your Beagle Enough Stimulation

Being energetic dogs, beagles enjoy being taken out on long walks. Make sure to keep him on a leash if you’re in a park that’s not enclosed. This is important if the dog isn’t fully trained yet, as he can get carried away and run off. Also, there are other dogs in the park, and if he is not properly socialized, he can have altercations with other dogs in the park or on walks.

Award your Beagle Playtime When in the House

Beagles are smart and independent, and if they get bored due to a lack of attention, they’ll find something else to do and won’t return when you call them. This means that when you’re in the house, don’t crate him. Let your pooch explore the living space, and if you have a backyard, you can play scent games with him.

Some scent games that you can play with your beagle include:

Find the Treat

Hide a treat, but make sure to leave a scent trail that your beagle can pick up and follow to find the treat. This is not just a game because you can teach your dog new commands like “go find it” or “search” before allowing the dog to start looking. You can raise the difficulty level of this game by having the pooch stay in a different room and hiding a treat in a difficult spot.

This is an important time for you or your child to bond with your beagle.

Pick a Hand

This is another interesting game that you or your little one can play with your beagle.

Place a treat in one of your hands while they’re behind your back. Hold out your fists and let your beagle sniff to see if he’s able to pick out the hand with the treat. Your dog will concentrate on one hand or use his paw to let you know his choice. Open your hand to reveal the treat (or no treat). If he makes the right choice, give him the treat; if he doesn’t, give him another go.

Again, this is not just a game, because you can use this opportunity to teach your dog impulse control. You should only open your hand when he’s calmly sitting down.

Hide and Seek

This is a popular game that you can play with your beagle or any other dog breed. Have the dog stay without being restrained while you hide in another room. Call your beagle once you’re well hidden to initiate the search, and if the dog finds you, give him a treat.

However, don’t give treats all the time to make it interesting. You can use this opportunity to teach the stay command because the dog has to stay without being restrained. Also, calling the dog to initiate the search will allow it to develop a stronger recall, which will make your dog less stubborn.

The Cups Game

Place three similar cups upside down on the floor or table and put a treat under one of them. Switch the cups while the dog looks on and challenge him to find the one with the treat.

At first, your dog will play dirty and knock over the cups to find the treat, but to make the game tougher, only allow the dog to nose the cups. Pick the one he concentrates on, and if it has the treat, allow the dog to take it; if it doesn’t, reshuffle the cups so he can go again.

These are easy, interesting, and bonding games that you can play with your beagle at home while teaching important commands.

Improve the Relationship with Your Beagle

If you have a strong and positive relationship with your beagle, your pooch will not be stubborn around you. Most sites and even dog trainers advocate for dog owners to be the alpha male, but this doesn’t always work with beagles.

Your entire family should have a positive relationship with your pet beagle. Therefore, your dog will grow up looking up to you instead of fearing you.

Don’t hit out at or shout at your beagle if he fails to respond to your call. Dogs are more likely to respond to a normal human tone than a harsh one.

Also, dogs respond positively or negatively to their owners’ emotions. So, if you or your child is anxious or stressed, the dog will pick up on these emotions, be less likely to respond to your call and be stubborn.

If your beagle responds to your call or completes a task, give him a treat. This encourages them to stop being stubborn and respond every time you call them or complete a specific task.

Train Your Beagle to Stop Being Stubborn

A stubborn beagle can really frustrate you. This behavior must be stopped dead in its tracks, and the best way to do it is through training.

Train your Beagle to Know What You’re Asking For

For a beagle or any other dog to react to a command, like come when called, or complete a specific task by following a cue, he has to know what the command is and the exact cue to follow.

The dog should know what you expect from him, and the following is what you should do:

Use words when training—don’t throw commands left, right, and center if your beagle is just going to ignore them.

Have daily training sessions—create a training program that lasts 30 minutes, preferably 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. The training should take place in a quiet place with no distractions. Take the time to teach your beagle to listen to and respond to your commands. Use positive training to reward good behavior.

Start slow—start with the basic commands when you start training your dog. Only move to the next command once your beagle learns the previous one. Some commands that you should teach your dog include:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come here
  • Stop (when barking or acting up)
  • Drop it
  • Leave it

Don’t Go Easy on Your Beagle

When raising a beagle as a family dog, you or other members of the family, especially kids, can develop a tendency to go easy on your beagle.

A beagle is a smart dog, and once it realizes that you’re going easy on him, he’ll take advantage and give you puppy eyes when he does something wrong.

Do not reward bad behavior by allowing your dog to get away with the little bad behaviors. You’ll need to be assertive to get your dog to listen to you. For example:

Your dog should sit any time you provide them with food; teach your beagle the sit command any time the food dish is placed down or when handing over treats. Your dog should sit on cue, not when he feels like it. Use treats to get your beagle to respond to that command.

Never allow your beagle to enter or exit the door first. When a beagle learns his place in the family hierarchy, he will stop being stubborn and will respond when called by any family member. Entering or exiting the door first might seem like a small matter to us, but it means a lot to dogs. If your dog leads the way, he will see himself as the leader and will not be cooperative.

Your beagle should always be on a leash when crossing the doorway. You or your child should always escort your dog outside; he should never lead the way. Don’t allow this to happen because dogs sense it as a sign of weakness.

When on a leash, always position your body to take the lead and make sure to cross the doorway first. This should be done by anyone in the family taking the dog out for a walk.

Train Your Beagle to Always Respond to Your Call

Your beagle should always respond when called. It doesn’t matter whether he’s doing something more fun or being forced to endure something unpleasant like bathing, nail trimming, or being brushed.

The trick here is to give your dog a pleasant experience for a few minutes every time you call him over. This can be patting him on the back, giving your furry friend a quick rub, or playing a quick game. If you’re in a park, don’t just call your dog and immediately zoom off in your car. Spend a few minutes just relaxing and give your dog some treats or water.

The pleasant experience that you provide when you call your beagle over acts like a transition period, and this gets your dog to stop being stubborn when called.

Final Thoughts

Beagles are excellent pet dogs, especially if you have a family with grown kids. They are great dogs to have in your home, and they can even live in an apartment. However, all family members should know how to act to make beagles less stubborn. 

Don’t be frustrated when your pooch fails to respond when called; beagles get carried away by an interesting scent. Train them from an early age and be patient; with time, you’ll have a great furry family member who shows up when called.

About Daniel Ladet

Meet Dan, an avid nature enthusiast, and animal lover who spends his free time exploring the great outdoors with his furry friends. Whether he's penning a novel or a blog post, Dan's passion for nature and pets infuses every word he writes, transporting readers to a world of wonder and adventure."

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