Are Beagles Aggressive Dogs?
[In-Depth Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

People looking for small dogs for their family will often ask, “Are beagles aggressive dogs?”. Usually, when you look for a small pup, you would want one that doesn’t demonstrate any aggressive behavior.

Beagles are not on the list of dogs prone to aggression, and any Beagle owner will tell you that they are sweet, kind dogs who are great with kids. Beagle puppies are one of the most sought-after small dog purchases for a good reason.

If you have been thinking of getting a Beagle dog, this article will discuss reasons your Beagle may show aggression toward other pets and people and how training your dog can prevent this from being an issue.

The Beagle Breed

The Beagle dog was bred to be a work companion for humans. They were intended for use as a hunting hound but were also selectively bred to be family dogs.

This means that Beagles are great at obedience training, and a puppy can fit right into your family unit. This is a dog breed that is a nice size for apartment living as well as single-family homes. For people who have thought about getting a Lab, but don’t have space, a beagle may be the perfect fit!
A Beagle puppy has a high chance of being the perfect dog for your household because it is small but still enjoys attention and training work, and having a leader. The fact that this is still a working breed that came from hunting dogs makes the Beagle puppy a great pet for many people.

Reasons A Beagle Might Show Aggression

Just like any dog breed, a Beagle, adult or puppy, may display aggressive body language when certain things in their homes are not quite right. Dogs show aggression when they do not respect their pack leader, over food, and toward other animals in the house.

It is essential to know the difference between behavior related to the home environment versus circumstances related to temperament. Giving attention to bad behavior causes can change everything when you are dealing with a behavior problem.

  • Food Aggression: Some dogs will display protective control issues related to their food bowl or treats. Beagle owners report that their dogs do not commonly show this kind of problem, but any dog can show this sign of anxiety.
  • Dog Bed Aggression: Feeling protective of a specific space at times is common for dogs and humans. Beagles who are eager to feel safe will sometimes show this behavior when they feel like the circumstances affect their security.
  • Biting at Other Dogs: This form of negative attention can be a sign that the pecking order in your home is not sorted out. All dogs have a social hierarchy, and usually, one dog will try to be the pack leader.
  • Anxiety About Prior Treatment: The causes of fearful behavior can be complicated. Your Beagle may have come from a sad situation where humans were mean to it. Another reason your dog might show this kind of aggression is from prior training work done to teach them incorrect behaviors.

Can you Teach a Beagle Not to be Aggressive?

It is usually possible to teach any dog to stop being aggressive if you are able to find the reasons behind the behaviors. Most of the time, the problem is instinct, and giving attention and care to the cause will help everything. Dogs need a leader to feel safe at all times.
There are some ways to control aggression that are easy to implement.

  • Issues related to food can be solved in a few ways. These problems are usually due to the dog feeling a lack of control over their own safety. Offering food away from other animals in the home can help, and making sure to take the chance to train Beagle puppies to wait before they start to eat will help.
    Keeping your dog focused on you can help them pay the right attention to you and not to a hand or another dog near their meal.
  • Bed or kennel aggression is usually a sign that your Beagle feels insecure about their control while they are sleeping. Work on this issue by arranging their bed somewhere in your home where they will not be bumped or stepped on while they are resting.
  • Causes for biting at other dogs can be complicated, but step one is often being sure to give each pet in your home the care and attention they need. Do not allow an older dog to exert control over the others in the house.
  • Behaviors that have been caused by bad treatment in the past can sometimes make a Beagle or any dog a bad fit for your household. Something in the past can affect the form of behavior a dog shows as an adult. Negative actions toward a hand or other human gesture can stem from this.

Training a Dog to Stop Being Aggressive


Dog trainers will tell you that training your Beagle to behave properly is just like training any other animal to respect their alpha dog. You, as the owner, must always be the one in charge of your dog’s environment and actions.

You might be wondering how you can go about training your Beagle, or any other dog, to be less defensive or aggressive. This is a good question, and some simple exercises can help with common problems.

Always remember that a dog trainer can give you info that will help you work on issues related to training your dog or dogs. An aggressive Beagle may just need to be handled differently and looked at from a new point of view.

Avoid games like tug-o-war. These types of games can lead to accidental biting, either of other dogs in the house or humans trying to play with your Beagle. Games that are safe to play are fetching or water retrieval. These are soft-mouth games and discourage biting.

Teach your dog to look to you before making decisions. This is a part of their natural social structure and making your aggressive Beagle wait for you to guide them at all times is a great way to prevent them from taking actions you do not like.

Use a food treats reward system to distract your Beagle dog from aggressive behavior. Beagles love a good snack, so food can be an excellent way to halt behaviors you do not want them to display. Reward them with a treat for proper behavior and patience.

Health Reasons for Aggression

Always rule out health conditions as the root cause for aggression towards others. Beagle puppies and mature dogs of this breed are not inclined to be aggressive. This means that negative behaviors can be linked to health concerns that require a visit to the vet.

Injuries can cause Beagle aggression, and if you think that your dog may have hurt their back or a leg, you should take them to the vet to be assessed. Pain can make even the kindest dog lash out.
Some dogs show no signs of serious injury other than being quick to anger. X-rays can be a great tool to check for major injury or other internal problems that might be less apparent.

Blindness or lack of hearing can also cause a dog to react incorrectly to ordinary conditions. This is because they will be surprised by the normal activity around them. A frightened dog can show aggressive behavior out of fear. A veterinarian can assess your Beagle to check their eyes and ears for problems affecting their training.

Some disorders like hypothyroidism or epilepsy are linked with aggression in dogs. These disorders can lead to a lack of awareness on the part of your dog or a pain response that is very strong. 

Some medications can be given to your dog to help with many health conditions that could lead to aggression towards other family members. You may also need to educate family members in the home about these medical conditions to prevent unfair expectations for your Beagle.

A healthy dog is a happy dog, and it is the job of all dog owners to make sure that their pets are feeling as close to 100% as possible. It is always best to assume that an aggressive issue might be related to a health concern before being angry at your pet. 

Remember that Beagles and all other dog breeds usually love humans and other dogs. This means that unwanted bad behavior may be a sign of something more serious. 

Are Beagles Aggressive?

By now, you should have gathered that a Beagle puppy is unlikely to show any signs of aggressive behavior. This is a breed that is well-loved for its sweet nature and its smart brain.

Beagle owners will tell you that their dog looks to them as their leader and enjoys obedience training as well as peaceful walks in the park. Beagles have been part of happy families since the breed was first created for a good reason.

If you are looking to find a dog breed that is not as large as most working dogs but still has the same big heart and eager disposition, then a Beagle dog is the dog for you!