Aggressive Beagle Puppy
Puppies can be a lot of fun as long as they behave. However, all that fun can be easily ruined with a Beagle pup that doesn’t play well with others. Aggressive behavior can be very nasty and hard to deal with. If you’re dealing with a Beagle that is showing signs of aggression while he’s still a pup, you need to put a stop to it before it gets worse.
Here are some early signs of aggressive behavior:
- Biting and nipping
- Aggressively chasing
- Possessive of toys
- Dominantly jumping on top of others
- Growling and barking
Before we continue, let me just say that puppies are rarely actually aggressive. Most of the time they are only pretending. While the behavior might look aggressive, the intent behind it is not. He is not trying to display his dominance over you or hurt you.
He is just trying to play. If you know what to look for, you can even spot a lot of friendly playfulness in his body language.
A lot of first time dog owners get confused by this. When they see their little Beagle chase, growl and bark at them, they freak out. Even if the puppy is not much a threat, it can still be a little scary to see a little fur ball with sharp teeth chasing you. The natural response is to run away or even fear the puppy – which actually makes things worse!
ATTENTION: If you are dealing with a fully grown Beagle and not a puppy that exhibits aggressive behavior, check out: how to deal with an aggressive Beagle.
How to Deal with a Puppy That is too Aggressive
Just like children pretend to be astronauts and doctors, puppies like to pretend to be scary predators out on a hunt. And if you know anything about the history of this breed is that your pup’s ancestors were pretty good at hunting. So really, it’s a deeply engrained instinct for them.
Plus add in the fact that he is teething (which makes him want to bite and chew) and the crazy amount of energy that Beagle puppies can have (which makes him want to chase and run). What you end up with is a crazy, but playful, non-stop biting machine.
So you can’t really stay mad at the poor little fella, but it still doesn’t excuse the painful bites, the scratches and the holes in your clothes.
Will my Beagle Puppy Outgrow his Aggressive Behavior?
A lot of dogs can outgrow the rough playing once they grow up. Eventually the teething will stop and they will calm down as they mature. Having said that, it is not guaranteed that Beagle your puppy will stop acting like maniac when he’s playing.
The thing about this particular breed is that they are prey driven animals. Hounds have been breed for the ability to track and chase down prey. While other dogs might lose some of the desire to chase and bite once they have their adult teeth, Beagles will always have the instinct to chase and hunt things down.
Being aware of that fact should give you enough of a reason to end aggressive type of behavior before it turns into a problem. As I tell all my clients, it’s a lot easier to prevent behavior problems than it is to tackle them once they’re out of control.
Don’t worry, it’s actually fairly easy to do – but it is going to take some time.
How to Stop Aggressive Play Biting
While playing rough can be fun for your Beagle, mainly because it’s not him who is getting scratched or bitten, it’s not that much fun for anyone else. The solution to that problem? Stop playing those type of games with him! Sounds simple right? Well that’s because it really is.
Essentially, all you have to do is show him that playing rough will end all of the fun. Once he realizes that, he will have no choice but to be nice if he wants others to ever play with him. And here is how you do it:
- When he bites, stop and tell him “NO”, don’t continue playing until he calms down
- If he stops, wait a few seconds to make sure he doesn’t start again and give him some praise “Good boy/girl” then resume playing. Make sure you wait until he stops though!
- If he continues playing rough, stop playing with him for at least 10 minutes. Just completely ignore him.
- If he continues to try to initiate a game with you, bring him to his crate/kennel and leave him on time out for a few minutes.
- Only start playing again when he calms down and repeat the steps when necessary.
Don’t expect instant results here. The first few times you do this your pup might not even understand why you stopped playing. It’s only after a few instances of this that he will start to wonder why no one wants to play anymore. When that happens, he will connect the dots and realize why you don’t want to play with him. The more consistent you are the quicker he will learn.
Then once he figures out why you stopped playing, he will actually feel bad if he bites you – even if it was on accident. That goes back to what I said previously about puppies rarely being aggressive. Despite how mean and tough he acts when playing aggressive games, your Beagle doesn’t actually want to hurt you. The only reason he does it now is because he thinks it’s all a game and you don’t mind it.
You can even speed up this whole process by “yelling” out anytime his teeth come in contact with you. As silly as that might seem, it’s a very effective method. In fact, that’s how dogs react to a biter when they play among each other.
Additional Tips to Stop Aggressive Puppy Behavior
- Avoid Playing Overly Aggressive Games – Tug of war and other aggressive games will encourage your Beagle’s aggressive behavior. Instead play other games, like fetch for example.
- Make sure everyone in the household knows the rules – Despite your hardest effort to end rough playing, someone else in the house could be encouraging aggression without even realizing it. Educate them.
- Don’t do any of the “show your dominance” training methods – A lot of people are quick to suggest that you need to display your dominance while the dog is young. The best way to display dominance is by being a responsible owner, not by acting like an animal.
- Stay calm and don’t run away if your puppy decides to bite you – remember, beagles are prey driven. If they see something running, their first though is “I need to catch them!”
- Get plenty of chew toys – the biggest reason puppies like to bite is that they’re teething. Good way to help them out is by providing them with something that they can chew on. Healthy edible chew toys work very well for this.
In conclusion, your Beagle puppy may or may not outgrow this behavior once he is older, but why wait until then if you can stop it sooner. You should never let small misbehavior go unchecked. Nearly all troublesome behavior problems start off small before they get out of hand. With proper obedience training they can be easily avoided/prevented.
The key is to start obedience training early and to do it right. A well trained dog is a well behaved dog. So don’t let your puppy turn into a disrespectful and annoying nightmare, instead invest a few minutes of your time each day to ensure he grows up to be pleasant dog that you can feel proud of.
Next Article: Beagle Puppy Training
The Guide Book: Your Guide to a Happy Beagle