Are Beagles Good Guard Dogs?
[The Complete Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

As cute as Beagles are, don’t get fooled by how they look! Beagles are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs and are very valuable to humans. Beagles are highly energetic, always ready to go, and very unique.

The Historical Value Of Beagles

Originally, Beagles were bred to hunt (mainly hares and rabbits). Even today, they are used for hunting small prey in different parts of the world. They are from Great Britain, but their usefulness to humankind was such that they quickly spread worldwide.

Beagles’ breed has come from popular dog breeds like the southern hound, the Talbot Hound, the Harrier, and the North Country Beagle. Beagles resemble the Foxhounds the most. They are also known to be scenthounds.

Beagles Now

In the past few years, the population of Beagles has gone up by a high number. Their good looks, combined with the charm and statement they bring to the owner, make them a popular choice. They get along very well with humans, especially babies and small children. A lot of people bring them home for safety and security reasons.

Governments have used beagles on projects and jobs requiring an acute sense of smell and good memory of scents. 

Although not all hunting dogs have been reported to be good guard dogs, there’s something about Beagles that stands out.

Are Beagles good guard dogs? Should you get a Beagle to be your safety squad? Can Beagles be trained to be guard dogs? 

All questions have been answered in this article, so keep reading.

Qualities Of Beagles That Make Them Good Guard Dogs

While Beagles aren’t officially and commercially labeled as guard dogs, this breed has specific characteristics that make them seem to be fit for the job.

  • Good family dogs

This may almost seem absurd to those looking for robust muscular security force dogs, but hey, I already told you that Beagles aren’t Guard dogs officially
This point is essential for those looking for a dog that’s useful for security purposes and friendly. Beagles are a fantastic kind, social as well as strong and determined. A rare combination to be found in dogs. 

  • Alert, Aware and Loud

A good guard dog has to be alert and aware of its surroundings and be loud enough to wake you up from the deepest of slumbers. In this aspect, Beagles are almost perfect for the job. They are loud, always on their toes, and aware of the smallest movements happening around them.

  • Protective in nature

Many would say that their loving nature is a weakness that harms the cause of guarding. But Beagles are so protective of their family that they will do anything for their humans. Beagles are loyal and caring. They are always on the lookout for the ones that look after them. 

They are especially careful and more alert when around babies and children. This quality makes them good family dogs and is great for watching kids and even other family members.

  • Focused

A good guard dog must not be moved by anyone. Focus and strength are two important characteristics that they must possess. And Beagles pass this test with excellent marks. 

Beagles are attentive and stubborn. This stubbornness works in your favor when they go in the guarding mode. An intruder will generally try to distract or play with a dog to get an easy pass. And Beagles are far from being ‘easy.’ 

Once they get a sniff of something cooking, they will bark relentlessly till someone they trust comes out and straightens out the matter.

  • Sniffing the unsafe

Beagles are gifted with the great physiological asset of one of the strongest smell senses. They have 220 million scent receptors! And can identify more than 50 distinct odors! A beagle’s Olfactory lobe is 40 times larger than a human’s, and their wet beagle nose can attract and hold scent molecules (this helps them in better evaluation). I once read an author describe one of his relative’s Beagle as “a nose with feet.” Very well said. 

But here’s the best part! These smells and all that they come from are stored in a Beagle’s memory. This means, if they have smelled you, they will remember your scent and, therefore, you even after months of that first encounter.

How is this for a good guard dog?

Cons Of Beagles As Guard Dogs

  • Small size

Beagles are super cute, and that might just be the problem. Their compact size is excellent as a pet, and they are perfect family dogs. But for someone who’s specifically looking for a guard dog and wants intense security, Beagle’s small size doesn’t fit in that mold.

  • Strong smell sense

Think I mistyped the heading? I know, I put this as their good quality already! Just think about the times when you answered “my strength is my weakness” in interviews. This is sort of the same scenario. 
As much as their amazing trait of smelling the farthest scent is useful, it is also quite destructive in guarding. A Beagle’s nose is so powerful that it is constantly catching new smells. This keeps them occupied almost always and leaves close to no brain space for guarding! 

A Beagle as a guard dog might run after any scent they sniff, leaving you unguarded (and laughing at their cuteness).

  • Easy weight gain

One might feel that regular exercise will keep a dog healthy and fit. But that’s not the case. Some dogs require extra attention to keep their weight in check and health in the green zone. Beagles are one of those.

Even though they are active, energetic, and highly enthusiastic about playing and going out, they still hold the risk of getting overweight easily with the slightest leniency in their diet or workout regimen. To keep a Beagle in shape, you have to be disciplined and consistent to your last awake minute of every day. 

This is where actual guard dogs show the difference. Good guard dogs require regular exercise and a good diet too, but unlike Beagles, they don’t easily gain weight after a small break or minute changes in their diet or exercise routine.

  • Canine Foodie

I won’t be wrong if I say pretty much all dogs love food. Yeah, we love it too. Food is great. And Beagles have a special connection to food, and their active nose has a huge part to play in it. While we may be able to get hold of two or maybe three types of scents from an item, a beagle must be smelling a whole range of smells. This definitely adds to their food experience.

While this is tasty for them, it’s not that safe for someone who’s expecting the dog to actually do some guarding. 

A new recipe in the making, a tin can opening in the kitchen, chicken boiling in the neighbor’s house are just some of the common scenarios where a Beagle gets its tongue moving in anticipation.

Now imagine a stranger, a potential intruder at your door. This person is only one food dish away from your Beagle, and then the rest I leave to your imagination. 

Training To Be A Good Guard Dog

A Beagle comes with its set of valuable qualities but not necessarily apt for being the perfect guard dog. However, like all other behavioral lessons, specific training programs exist to train a dog to be a good guard dog. Beagles, along with their other sharp senses, can be trained to become one of the most brilliant, undistracted, and composed guard dogs you know.

You can choose to train your Beagle by yourself or hire a professional trainer like us. However, I would like to add here that while Beagles are fairly well behaved and manageable to train for regular behavioral modifications and grooming, training to become a guard dog is exceptionally challenging. 
Nonetheless, it’s your call, and if you are confident, you should go ahead by all means. Do the proper research, plan out your program, and you will see considerable results.

You can also enroll your dog in a training academy where they will be taught regularly and trained with discipline and certain strategized guidelines.

Final Verdict

I have seen a Beagle grow up very closely, and if I had the opportunity to bring home one more dog, it would definitely be one from this precious breed. Their loyalty, friendliness, and smartness really make them attractive.

But everyone has a different lookout and, therefore, must find a dog that suits their needs the best.

Beagles are great for families (especially with children). If you’re looking for a cute package with multipurpose uses, a Beagle is pretty awesome.
But if you have specific needs and want a security specialist, you must honestly reconsider and think about other options. Larger breeds like the German shepherd, Mastiffs, Rottweiler, or Hounds of different kinds might be your cup of tea. 

In the end, all dogs are pretty awesome. You just take home the one that fits in your space the best.