Why Do Beagles Howl?
[And How To Stop Them?]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 2, 2021

People who are thinking about buying a beagle often ask, “Why Do Beagles Howl?” This can be a very good question if you have owned a beagle in the past and wondered why it was always making its signature howl.

Beagles howl for many reasons, and they might do so more than other dog breeds. The answer to whether or not they howl and why they howl has a lot to do with the origins of this breed of dog. 

The Beagle Breed

Beagles were bred to be used as hunting dogs. They have a lot of the usual hunting breed characteristics, from the thick-set body and shorter legs to their ability to track scents and their pack mentality.

The beagle breed was made to chase after prey in the fields and circle the animals up as a pack. Once they located this prey, they would bay to let the hunters know that they were successful in finding the animal they were trying to hunt.
Despite their shorter legs and thick bodies, beagles can climb, jump and run through or over nearly anything! They are very athletic for a small breed. While this prey drive can sometimes lead to them getting out of the backyard to chase rabbits, beagles are also easy to call back if you give them so training.

Beagles are a unique hunting breed because they were not created to actually harm their prey. They were designed to track and notify but not hurt it. This is one of the reasons that they make great family dogs. Some training makes it possible just to say their name and call them back to you even if they have scented something.

Beagles were also bred to be good at having puppies, and their smaller size makes them an easy breed to care for in a whelping box. The howl of beagles was custom-made for their breed’s purpose, and they are one of the noisiest hounds around due to this breeding choice. There is nothing more delightful or louder than a whelping box full of beagle puppies barking and howling.

The characteristic howl and bay of a beagle are unique to almost any other breed. When you hear it, you know that you have heard a beagle telling its owner of littermates about a threat or something they have seen. Wolves howl, but the howl of a beagle is a totally different sound.

The next time your beagle starts howling, you will need to remember that this is what they were bred to do!

Do Beagles Howl a Lot?

This is a slightly complicated answer because not all dogs behave the same way. Some dogs will howl at the slightest sound, while another beagle will start howling only if there is a reason for concern.

A beagle may sometimes howl for attention or to warn its family of a potential threat. As a hunting breed, they were trained to locate a fox and then howl to notify the hunters of its presence.

While your beagle might howl a lot during certain hours of the day or while doing certain activities, it is essential to remember that they were bred and trained not to attack or harm anything they are howling at. This makes it much easier to give your beagle some training to help train them not to howl so much.

 

Why Do Beagles Howl?

Howling is a big part of beagle life. Their name is even french to describe their signature howl. A beagle howling is doing what it was made to do!

A beagle might howl if it has been left alone or cannot get to food or other dogs it wants to be with. This might be said of any dog, but beagles can make far more noise with their beagle howling skills!
Beagles howl at potential threats as well. If someone they don’t know walks toward their house or their owner, they will probably howl to warn of the danger. This might give your dog walker anxiety, but they can rest assured that this is one breed of dog that will not be likely to react to a threat beyond making noise.

Dog howling is rare enough that your beagle might scare some of its friends who live with it, but they are only trying to help the pack to come together. It is not uncommon for a beagle to howl due to separation anxiety. This is sometimes because the other dogs in the house don’t know why they are howling.

Due to their excellent hearing, beagles sometimes will howl, and you might think they are doing so for no reason. This is rarely the case, as their ears are so good that they are probably trying to tell you about a sound they heard that worried them.

Beagles love to howl at music and noises that remind them of howling. Everyone who has ever owned a beagle will tell you that sounds on the TV or someone playing the piano can be enough to set their beagle off a howling reply to the noises.

Some beagles will howl from boredom. This can be hard to deal with if you need to be gone for large periods of the day. However, some solutions for this can help you out.

What To Do if Your Beagle is Howling Too Much

If you have a beagle that is howling all the time, you are probably really stumped about how to keep them from doing so at inconvenient times. To the beagle, they are just telling you about things going on around the home or in the neighborhood. They don’t understand that they are waking you up from a deep sleep or upsetting the neighbors.

 

If you are working on halting excessive howling in your beagle, you will first need to learn the difference between howling and baying.

Howling is a sound meant to be a warning or to communicate with others in the pack about possible threats. 

Baying is the sound made when they are hunting and have located their prey. The mindset behind baying is very different, and the intensity of this sound will match that high drive feeling in your beagle.

A howl is usually used to communicate a need. This might be a need for some attention, an attempt to state that they are in pain, or other requirements that the beagle cannot meet on its own.

Baying is specifically a hunting-based alert, and the behavior that leads to this form of a howl is more likely to do with aggression or conflict. This would be the noise your dog might make if someone tries to harm them or your family. They might also make this sound if they are frustrated with another dog’s behavior in the family unit.

Separation anxiety 

Beagles are pack dogs and don’t like to be left alone. To handle this kind of unwanted howling, you can make sure there is another dog in the house. You can also turn on background noise that will make your dog think you are there, even if you have left the house for a while.

Many beagle owners who do not use hunting boxes for their dogs find that creating a security den in their home helps their beagle to calm down when they are away. This is normal dog instinct, as they love a good den to sleep in. With a beagle, part of the breeding built into them is to like small, dark places to sleep.

If your beagle is displaying separation anxiety, it may also be paired with their fright and frustration at the noise and other stimuli invading their sleeping time. Other breeds might bark at these invasions, but a beagle will use their vocalization of a howl instead.

Remove Sounds That Bother Them 

If your beagle is always howling at a specific sound, try to eliminate that noise from your daily routine. You may not be able to control what the people living near you do, but you can make sure that your beagle doesn’t howl at a piano located in your own home.

Reward Good Behavior, Not Bad

Many first-time beagle owners get themselves into trouble by not rewarding silent or patient behavior in their beagle. Beagles love to please, and they will be willing to work against their instinct to howl if you reward them each time they do so. All dog breeds can be taught to behave against their genetic coding if you spend some time rewarding the behavior you approve of.

Teach Them to Howl on Command

This might seem counterintuitive, but it can help a lot. Taking control of your beagle’s howling behavior makes it possible for you to decide when they howl. Dogs who are trained to wait for a command before doing an action will be far less likely to take that action on their own. This means that you can stop howling you don’t want because your beagle will look to you for approval before howling.

Address Baying

Baying is not a desirable behavior unless your beagle is actually being used as a hunting dog. Even if your beagle saw another dog or has been left alone, baying is not an acceptable response. 

Your beagle may howl, but the aggression that accompanies baying is not acceptable. Give your beagle more boundaries surrounding its howling behavior to prevent baying. Baying should only be done in response to prey, and you do not want your beagle to be thinking about other dogs or people around you as prey.

Keep Them Busy and Active

Beagles are very energetic dogs. Their howling vocalization can sometimes mean that they are not getting enough exercise for their age. They need the chance to play with each other or to be played with daily to help them with a howling problem. 

If you have been exercising your beagle but it is still exhibiting unwanted howling behavior, add some distance to your walks. This is a strong breed that was designed to hunt for prey through fields with hunters. They love a long walk and often need this much exercise to help them ignore sounds and listen to their owners.

If you have a beagle puppy wearing you out, remember that they often improve quite a bit in their self-control after their first birthday.

Is a Beagle Right For Me?

Now that you have learned some more about this breed of dog and why a beagle might howl at all times of day, you need to consider if you can give a beagle enough attention.

One reason that many people feel frustrated with their beagle is that they were not prepared for the amount of exercise and attention that this dog breed needs. If you have lots of neighbors living around you or don’t have time to get your beagle out of the house for a walk a lot, you may not want to get one.

Beagles make great dogs for many people, but they need a committed effort to helping them use their hunt skills for useful purposes. This is something that not everyone thinks about when they get a beagle puppy.

Conclusion

Beagles howl because they were made to.

By now, you have probably realized that beagles how because they were bred to do so. They were also born to be great family dogs and to protect their owners with commitment.

If you choose a beagle to be your pet, you will have picked out a lifelong companion who will love you forever. This is a wonderful breed that suits the needs of many owners perfectly.