Beagles are generally friendly dogs and if well-trained, biting should not develop into a serious problem. Having said that, beagle biting should not be ignored. You should start by identifying the cause and implementing adequate training.
Identifying the cause
This is a list of questions to ask yourself in order to identify what is causing the biting:
QUESTION 1 – Is your puppy teething?
Between the third or fourth month of age until the sixth to the eighth month of age beagle puppies teethe. Biting or rather chewing can simply be their way to seek relief from the pain.
Chew toys are wonderful, especially if you have left them a couple of hours in the freezer before giving them to your beagle.
Get a couple of chew toys for your beagle and then teacher your beagle to play with them, instead of biting or chewing something or someone else. If your beagle bites you, clap your hands to attract their attention, say “no” firmly and give them a toy to chew instead.
QUESTION 2 – Is your beagle properly socialized?
The first eight weeks that beagles spend with their mother and the rest of the litter teach them very important socialization lessons. If they bite too hard, their playmates let out a pain sound and stop playing with them. You should do the same. If your Beagle bites you too hard during your playtime, say “ouch” out loud and stop playing.
The socialization process is not completed in those 8 weeks. Once you bring your beagle puppy home, it is your responsibility to finish the job that their mother has started and socialize your beagle with other people and other dogs.
QUESTION 3 – Is the biting caused by separation anxiety?
If you notice that your beagle bites you when it is time for you to leave your home, read more about separation anxiety issues here.
QUESTION 4 – Is the biting caused by aggression issues?
Beagles are usually friendly dogs so if there is aggressive biting, start by checking with your vet to make sure your beagle is healthy.
If your dog is healthy, the aggression probably comes from lack of proper socialization or lack of alpha leadership in your household. If your beagle bites you, for example, they may be asserting their higher hierarchy over you. It is important to remember that beagles are pack animals bred to follow an alpha leader of that pack. You should be playing that role in your household to prevent and control any aggressive behavior. If your beagle doesn’t perceive you as the alpha leader that is there to protect them, they try to take that role over themselves to protect the family.
In the case of a young Beagle puppy that you have just brought home, biting can also be a form of answering to the unfamiliar. Everything is new for your puppy and this is the best time for you to train your beagle about what is okay to bite and what and when it is not allowed.
Another form of aggressive biting is a form of self-protection or territory protection. If they perceive you or another person or another dog as a menace, your beagles will resort to biting. Biting as any other form of aggression originates primarily from fear. Read more about how to deal with aggression here.
If they are hurt they might be afraid that you would hurt them even more. If your beagle is frightened and hiding, for example, if there is a thunderstorm, don’t force your dog to get out of their hiding place and do whatever it is that they don’t want to do.
Implementing proper training
Puppyhood gives you the chance to socialize and train your beagle about when to bite and when not to bite. Once you have identified the causes, start the proper training ASAP.
It is probably wise to avoid playing rough, like tug of war or wrestling games, until your beagle is properly trained.
If you’re dealing with aggressive biting, seek professional help. Keep your beagle safe as well as the rest of your family and other people and dogs until your beagle is properly trained.