How Much Exercise Do Beagles Need?
Animal file: Beagle
Beagles are a scent hound breed, whose not-too-distant ancestors hunted in packs over long distances. They are therefore very energetic dogs, although they are also very loving and sociable. Beagles need to burn off lots of energy and practice tracking, as it is part of their nature.
It is your responsibility to provide your Beagle with the activity that they require; failure to do so can lead to problems such as anxiety. Keep reading to find out how much exercise Beagles need as well as ideas and tips to play and spend your energy together.
What are Beagles like?
Before going on to explain how much exercise Beagles need and the common questions of whether they are hyperactive or destructive, it is important to understand their temperament.
Beagles are robust, medium-sized dogs with quite adorable faces; they are very popular because of their easy-going, friendly, fun and affectionate character. It is best to train them from a young age, as they are somewhat stubborn. However, Beagles learn easily and quickly.
The most important thing to consider is their strong instinct for hunting, tracking and searching, as Beagles have a magnificent sense of smell. It is very common to see your dog spending long times with its nose stuck to the floor, tracking the scent that it has picked up.
Because of this characteristic, Beagles need daily physical exercise. They need to go on at least one long daily walk and one or two shorter ones to prevent health problems such as obesity and anxiety.
Exercises and basic games for Beagles
Just like any other dog, Beagles need social activities. Their daily walks will allow them to interact and play with other dogs, and one of them must be at learn an hour long.
It is good for Beagles to live with other dogs, and to have an open space such as a terrace, patio or garden so that they can go out whenever they want. One of the best games for Beagles involve balls, frisbees and similar toys that they can chase and fetch. Remember that normal frisbees can hurt the dog's mouth, so you should get one specifically for dogs.
It is possible that this won't be enough for your Beagle, especially if they are still a puppy. If he or she doesn't channel their energy, you will notice they are stressed, restless, and maybe destructive. This is normal, as Beagles prefer walking for miles, tracking scents and tiring themselves out; they will be happier with humans who love outdoor sports such as hiking.
Intensive exercise for Beagles
Although not all Beagles are hyperactive, they are suited for intensive exercise that will tire them out as well as develop their physique.
- Long walks: Walking at a reasonable pace for a fairly long time is a highly recommended activity for any dog, and especially for a Beagle. It is a great option whether you live in the countryside or in the city.
- Go running or do canicross: Find the time to go for a run with your Beagle, as they will truly appreciate it and it's a great way for you both to stay in shape. You can simply run together with a lead, or you can join a canicross team. The latter is the safer and more comfortable option for both of you.
- Go roller skating or ride your bike: Other than running, two fantastic options to get your dog running alongside you at a good pace are skating and riding your bike.
- Agility circuits: Create circuits of different activities, which you can modify as you go along. Jumping over a wheel or hurdles, going through a tunnel or over a walkway, and weaving in and out of a slalom are activities that energetic dogs such as Beagles love to do. These activities will keep them in good shape and also challenge them mentally: an agility circuit is therefore one of the best all-round exercises for dogs that require high amounts of physical activity.
- Toys: Balls and frisbees are some of the best toys for Beagles, as they love running after them and looking for them. Provided that you use them well, throwing toys will also help to tire your dog out. If you play these games with your dog for at least thirty minutes straight a day, you will be giving them good exercise and keeping it entertained.
Tracking and searching exercises
Lastly, we will tell you about exercises that are specifically tailored for hunting breeds such as Beagles. These are search and tracking exercises, which provide the dogs with great mental and physical stimulation and help them feel fulfilled and happy.
- Tracking food: You can use your dog's favorite treat or simply its normal food, while ensuring it doesn't end up eating too much. Place the food in a different place every time: behind a door, on another floor, behind a plant, etc. You can leave a little piece along the way to help it follow the scent.
- Tracking a toy: If your Beagle has a favorite toy, teach it to identify it with a key word. By doing so, you'll be able to hide it somewhere and then ask them to go and find it.
- Tracking a person: You can have a fun time with the whole family. Make one of the family members go and hide without the Beagle realizing. Once they are out of the dog's sight, show it an item of clothing that the person has worn. Let it sniff it well and then ask it to find the missing person. You'll see how your dog starts following the trail until it finds its objective!
It is very important that you reward your dog each time they successfully perform one of these exercises. You could give them a treat or stroke them and say they have done very well, always bearing in mind that too many sweets can cause health problems for your dog. It's best to keep rewards varied.
As you can see, Beagles are excellent companions for outdoorsy owners, and they are kid-friendly although they may be too much to handle for toddlers or very young children. Beagles are smart and easy to train, and they are not naughty or destructive unless their physical requirements are not met.
Don't miss our article on the best names for Beagle dogs!
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