The biggest challenge for me is just knowing how to calm down – Desiigner
Beagles are a breed apart and a law unto themselves, and anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to have one of these happy-go-lucky hounds in their life will tell you that life with a beagle is a non-stop adventure. They embrace everything that the world has to offer wholeheartedly and without reservation and greet every day with an excited wag of their tail and joy-filled woofs.
It isn’t just beagles’ tails that are excitable, as every other part of them also does its utmost to keep pace with their endlessly wagging rear ends, and sometimes just watching a beagle flit from one thing to the next is enough to wear you out. Life might well be an adventure with these dogs, but that’s mainly because they never seem to stop and if they were plugged into the grid, a single beagle could power an entire city with their incredible energy and zeal.
And after a while, their relentless and boundless enthusiasm can drive you a little crazy, and make you wonder if your beagle is ever going to behave like other dogs do and just calm down.
The truth is, beagles aren’t like other dogs, and their puppyhood lasts a lot longer than that of almost any other breed. The Peter Pans of the canine world, most beagles don’t ever want to grow up, they just want to run and run and run all day long, they can’t help it, it’s who they are and who they were bred to be.
They’re hunting dogs, they were born to chase the rest of their pack and follow even the faintest scent for miles and miles, and they’ve got the energy to do all of those things and far more besides.
If you’re starting to worry, and think that your beagle is never going to calm down and that you’ll be pursuing your little dynamo every second of every day for the next fifteen years, don’t. Eventually, your beagle will calm down, and we’re to help you to understand when he’ll begin to slow down, why he’s so manic, and what you can do to help your boy to be a little calmer and take life at a slightly more sedate pace.
Why Is My Beagle So Crazy?
Your beagle isn’t really crazy, he’s just full of so much energy that he doesn’t know how to use it all up, and most of the time, it just gets the better of him.
It makes him act up, and as funny, quirky, and personable as he can be, trying to keep up with him can also be frustrating and infuriating. Attempting to point a finger at, and identify a single reason for his hyperactivity, is like buying a ticket to travel the road to nowhere. It won’t get you anywhere, and you’ll just end up wasting your time.
That’s why we’re going to guide you through the reasons why your beagle is still nuts, and when you can expect him to calm down, and how you can help him to become the happy, calm, and confident hound that he was always meant to be. So stop worrying, because it will get better and your boy will calm down. And the good news is, that it will probably happen a lot sooner than you think it will.
Growing Up Is Hard To Do
For whatever reason, a beagles pack mentality means that they just don’t mature as fast as other dogs do. They seem to be locked into a permanent cycle of puppyhood and are unwilling to leave it behind, and even though it can be cute, it won’t last forever.
Even beagles grow up eventually, but as it takes them a little longer to reach adulthood, mentally if not physically, we thought we’d take this opportunity to guide you through the important life steps of the average beagle, and what you can expect from your boy when he reaches them.
- Two To Four Months – Reputable breeders won’t let a puppy leave until they reach four months of age, as they’re still dependent on their mother for guidance, and while they’re not overly excitable at this stage of their lives, it’s at this point where beagles personalities begin to emerge and their lust for life begins to take hold.
- Four To Twelve Months – This is the crazy age and the point where most owners meet their beagles and they become part of their forever families. While most dogs will begin to slow and mature at around eight to ten months of age, at this point in their lives, almost every beagle is still a whirlwind of energy and chaos and will spend his life speeding from one calamity to the next unless you keep a careful eye on him.
- One To Two Years – If any beagle owner tells you that you’ll start to emerge from the eternal forest of puppydom at this point, take whatever they have to say with a pinch of salt. Your boy might appear to be slightly calmer, but that’s because he’s still growing, and this is the point where the gap between his physical and mental maturity is at its greatest. The chances that he’ll begin to significantly calm down before his second birthday are slim to non-existent.
- Two Years And Over – Somewhere after his second birthday and, usually, just before his third you’ll begin to notice a marked difference in the way your beagle behaves. He’ll start to listen to you more, he won’t charge everywhere at a thousand miles an hour and he’ll have settled into his daily routine.
Developmentally, his mental and physical maturity have finally caught up with each other, and between thirty and thirty-six months of age, he’ll enter adulthood and calm down. It won’t all be plain sailing, and there’ll be moments when he reverts to puppyhood, but for the most part, it’s at this point that your beagle will really begin to calm down.
- Eight Years And Over – This is the second-biggest life change for any beagle, and it’s around this point where they officially become a senior dog and will be happy to spend as much time cuddled up next to you on the couch as they possibly can. Your boy will still need to be exercised for around an hour a day, as beagles tend to pile on the pounds when they get older. In order to make sure that weight gain doesn’t become a health problem he’ll need to walk it off with a little help from his best human pal.
Keeping Your Beagle Focused
If you’re wondering why your beagle is bouncing around your home and can’t sit still and stay focused on anything, it could be because he needs more exercise and mental stimulation. Beagles are hunting dogs, they’re used to using their noses to track their prey and following a scent wherever it leads them, no matter how long it takes them.
Ideally, your beagle needs around an hour of exercise every day and should be pushed a little further and harder on weekends and, if possible, encouraged to run. He needs to use all that pent-up energy, and the best way to get him to do that is by covering the sort of distance that he needs to walk and run on a regular basis
As they’re bright, curious dogs who adore nothing more than exploring strange new sniffs and scents, beagles also need to be challenged mentally, or they can become bored and that boredom can easily be channeled into destructive behavior. If you give your dog interactive toys that can direct his attention to creative and non-destructive play, and train him to follow a series of simple commands, it’ll provide an outlet for him that should help him to calm down.
Part Of Your Pack
Beagles love to be the center of attention, and these naturally affectionate dogs adore spending time with their families, playing, and just generally being made to feel like they’re part of the pack. If they don’t get the attention that they need and deserve on a regular or semi-regular basis, they can become anxious, which in turn can manifest itself as excitable and destructive behavior.
It’s important to understand before you add a beagle to your family that they are time-intensive dogs who need a lot of attention, and if you can’t provide them with either, it can lead to them becoming hyper-energetic and destructive.
It isn’t just people who suffer from ADHD, dogs can be affected by it too, and while Hyperkinesis (canine ADHD) is incredibly rare if your beagle doesn’t begin to calm down as he gets older, there is a possibility that he could have this condition.
Even though it’s difficult to diagnose in dogs if your beagle displays some of the symptoms of this condition (short attention span, impulsive and attention-seeking behavior) alongside his usual manic behavior, there is a possibility that it might be an issue and it could be worth talking to your vet about your concerns.
If your vet does reach the same conclusion that you have, you’ll be able to control the condition with medication which should see a marked improvement in your beagle’s behavior and will help him to calm down.
Neutering Your Beagle
It’s a common misconception that as soon as you have your dog neutered, he’ll instantly calm down. Neutering your dog can reduce his aggression and territorial behavior, and will curb any of his sexually motivated urges and dominant behavior, but the age at which he’s neutered is just as important as getting him neutered is.
Dogs become physically and sexually mature at a far younger age than humans do, and between six and seven months of age, as they start to reach the age at which they can begin to breed, the resultant surge of testosterone that pounds through their bodies can lead to some behavioral changes.
That surge of testosterone can lead your beagle to become more aggressive, more self-confident, and can lead to him being driven solely by instinct, which will make him more difficult to train and increase the amount of time that it will ultimately take him to calm down.
Even though this behavior is originally fuelled by testosterone, and having your dog neutered will remove the source of that testosterone, if they’ve learned to behave that way, even without the testosterone being present, it can be a hard, and thankless task to try and help your boy to overcome it and learn to be calm.
If you want to ensure that your beagle is neutered at the right time in order to prevent any problems that might otherwise occur if you leave it too late, speak to your vet about when the best time to have him neutered is, and make sure you raise any concerns you might have about the potential impact that leaving it too long could have on your beagle’s behavior. He’ll be able to advise you about the timing and how you should proceed, and what, if any, effect being neutered will have on your dog.
The one thing it won’t do is alter your beagle’s sweet, loveable nature. It’ll help him to calm down, but having your dog neutered won’t affect his personality or change who he is. He’ll still be the same dog, he just won’t have some of the urges that he might otherwise have given in to.
A Little Help From His Friends
We all need a little help from our friends every now and then, and your beagle can benefit greatly from you becoming a little more involved in his life if you want to help him to calm down. And there are a number of easy, straightforward, and fun things that you can do to increase the pace at which your best friend begins to calm down and enjoy a more relaxed, and happier life.
- Discipline And Confidence – Even though they’re notoriously difficult dogs to train because of their stubborn, single-minded nature, with a little treat-based, reward training you can teach your beagle to do tricks and master an incredibly diverse set of commands. It’ll help to boost his confidence, teach him discipline and increase the amount of time that you spend with him, all of which will help him to become more grounded, and far calmer.
- Routine – If your beagle seems unusually energetic and active, you might need to take another look at his exercise schedule and increase the amount of time that you spend walking him. It might also be a good idea to take him to some obedience classes and begin a training regime that’s based on rewarding him for good behavior with treats. Beagles are notorious for being food-focused, and your beagle will soon learn to listen once he knows that there’s a tasty treat for him if he does. The additional training and exercise will provide an outlet for his pent-up energy and should help him to learn to calm down.
- Give Him His Own Space – It sounds a little strange, but if you give your best boy his own space and somewhere that he knows he can go to in order to relax if he’s feeling stressed or anxious, it should help him to eventually calm down. While they’re difficult to train for everyday life, beagles are ridiculously easy to crate train, which is partly due to their love of burrowing underneath blankets and nesting. If you provide him with his own crate and space, it’ll work wonders and help to guide him down the path to Calmsville.
The best thing you can do to help your beagle calm down is to spend time with him and be patient. It might take him a little longer to get there, but he will in the end. All beagles do.