Dealing with Beagle Aggression
Aggression is one of those behavior problems that you must take very seriously and approach with caution, especially when it originates from dominance issues. A dominant Beagle will not want to step down from his alpha role that easy. Read on to learn more about Beagle aggression and behavior.
Food Bowl Aggression
When you were young, your parents probably warned you about not bothering a dog while he or she is eating. The reason it’s important to give the dogs some space when they’re is eating is because they don’t think of food the same way we do.
Your Beagle lives in the present moment without giving much thought to the past or the future. Instead they live in the “Now”. They don’t fully understand that there is more food left for later, so they eat while the food is available. This is especially true for food they really love, like tasty meat and big juicy bones.
So when someone reaches for his food bowl, the dog assumes that this is his only chance to finish the food and feels the need to defend it. And what might look like aggression is just their defensive instinct to defend what is theirs from others to survive. However, this behavior isn’t necessary true for all dogs. Some will just give you an odd look while you take their precious treat away from them.
If your Beagle shows signs of food bowl aggression, it’s important to be careful with them when they are eating. Don’t tempt them by taking their food away or teasing them. It will only make them more anxious and nervous when they are eating.
Aggression Towards Children
If you suspect that your Beagle is showing any signs of aggression, it’s extremely important to never leave the dog unsupervised with children. A lot can go wrong if the dog is provoked to bite with no adult nearby.
Children, especially younger ones, might accidently hit or slap the dog while playing, so it’s important to explain to the kids how to handle a dog. Explain to them that dogs don’t like to be annoyed and that they should be treated with respect.
Show them what games they can play and how to play them to avoid any potential problems. Beagles are generally get along with children really well. However you still a good idea to be cautious.
Aggression Towards Other Dogs
Dominance and social structure is very important for all dogs. You might not realize this, but your Beagle has already decided on the role of every family member to help him understand who does what and why. This same concept extends to other dogs as well.
When there is conflict between two dogs, they solve it the only way they know how – through displaying dominance and aggressive behavior. The more dominant dog will defend his role to maintain the little perks he might get from it (better seat on the couch, first one to get out the door, more attention, treats).
If however the Beagle’s aggression is towards dogs that he never met before in public places, then it’s due to lack of socialization more than dominance. You need to take him out more to meet new people and dogs so he feels more comfortable and at ease in social situations.
When the Beagle is barking or growling at dogs when he is in familiar territory (at home, backyard, on a familiar street), then he is trying to defend his territory. There are lots of ways to deal with this type of behavior, but the best place to start is obedience training.
Dealing with Dominance and Aggression
The best way to deal with a dominant or aggressive Beagle is not through showing more aggression. Instead it’s by fitting into the role of the alpha dog. This means you have to start showing the characteristics that your Beagle would associate with the alpha dog. Here are some suggestions:
- Teach the rest of the pack – This is why teaching even the basic commands like sit and come is so important when it comes to Beagle behavior and obedience.
- Reserve the most comfortable spot for yourself – Keeping your Beagle off your bed is a good start to showing him that you have the first pick of where you get to sleep.
- Leading the pack – Walk through doors and hallways before he does. Approach strangers on the street before your Beagle and show him that you are the alpha.
- Provide food – Get your Beagle to work for his food by doing a command before you give him his food. This will show him that you are in control of the most important resource, his food.
Next Article: Beagle Escaping and Running Away