Taking care of a pet dog such as the Beagle comes with a lot of challenges. Although it seems that this breed has great qualities admired by a lot of dog lovers, the number one drawback of owning this pooch is his tendency to run away.
The first and foremost priority of every Beagle owner is to keep the dog from wandering and escaping. Unfortunately, occurrences could be unpredictable. In just a blink of an eye, a Beagle can be instantly off your sight. Several lost Beagles end up in shelter homes and that would be comforting to know that he’s safe, but what if he isn’t in any of those places?
Depending on how trained your Beagle is, he could return home after a few hours of going MIA (Missing in Action) or get lost following a scent and wouldn’t be able to find his way back home. If you own a Beagle, this article is worth a read.
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What Makes Beagles Run Away?
Beagles are natural escape artists! While sighthounds follow what they see, scent hounds such as the Beagle go after what they smell. His nose is one of the most powerful compared to most dog breeds. In contrast to a human, the Beagle pooch’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times better. That means, the faintest smell our noses could no longer detect can be easily picked up by this dog!
Moreover, putting in mind that he was bred to become a hunting companion, the instinct to hunt is still strong for the Beagle. Matched with his high levels of energy, this medium-sized dog can’t be seen lazing around on the couch like a typical cat.
Naturally, his wanderlust will come off too strong for him to resist. How much more if he sees a squirrel, rabbit, or a mouse creeping cautiously in the backyard? You will never witness a dog such as this one to just settle by observing. He will find a way to catch what interests him.
With that, if the place is not well-secured, or even if you think it is, your pet will not cease from looking for a way to follow after anything he considers a prey. In a sense, Beagles don’t intentionally “run away”. It is simply the result of their nature and they don’t even know that they’re already off their territory.
Reasons Why Your Beagle Runs Away
There are several reasons why your Beagle couldn’t stay where he’s ought to be. As a Beagle owner, it is important to be aware of what triggers your companion to run off so you could prevent him from doing so. Also, this would keep the worst-case scenarios from happening such as having a missing dog.
- He loves to explore. This shouldn’t come off as a surprise to any Beagle fancier anymore. If given a chance to choose between a fenced yard and an open one, Beagles will go for the latter. This dog breed is filled with curiosity and it happens to be more intense if he did not have lots of exposure to different smells and environments when he was a puppy.
This British pooch is an excellent fugitive. Owners have cautioned other Beagle keepers never to leave their dogs unattended even if their yard is well-secured. Taking off your attention from the dog for even just a few minutes can already give him numerous chances to determine his way out.
- The Beagle is looking to mate. This happens often if you are having a typical day walking or jogging in a park with your Beagle. If another dog passes by and your pet wants to mate, he would try to follow after the other doggy. Since this is more common to male Beagles, consider neutering them.
- He saw prey. Most if not all dogs have prey drive, but the level of it would normally vary. For a Beagle who was bred to hunt, this instinct is skyrocketing. If he’s outside playing games or socializing with your other dogs, once a bird innocently lands on the ground or a squirrel tries to sneak to snatch a fallen acorn, the Beagle’s attention will be diverted.
He will run after the prey! Generally, the Beagle breed is quite determined. If he wants the quarry, he’ll insist on catching it.
- He is simply bored. This is why it is incompatible to pair an inactive person with the energetic Beagle. This dog loves to be stimulated both physically and mentally. Usually, if this little canine receives no activities to fulfill from his human for a day or so, he’ll look for means to be preoccupied on his own.
In some cases, he would try escaping through a small window- in fact, he would try any possible escape routes just to be free from confinement. Sadly, when this happens, he’s automatically prone to going missing since he has no one to monitor his whereabouts.
- He’s catching on some scent. The hunting history of the Beagle emphasizes his immensely powerful nose in catching hares and rabbits. His hunting companions made him familiar with what smell he should follow after. Beagle pets, however, even if they’re not trained to apply the hunting prowess they are bestowed, would act on following a trail without getting told to do so.
Any exciting stench can make your Beagle crazy! A great idea to keep him from fleeing is to keep him on a leash. In that way, you have control over him.
6 Tips to Keep Your Beagle From Running off
It is necessary to check for anything a Beagle can take advantage of which will eventually give him a chance to get out of your property. However, whether your area is fenced or not, the best choice is to never take your eyes off your Beagle either if he’s in or outside the house.
Here are bulletproof tips you can apply to prevent the escape artist from his wanderlust:
- Invest in a quality fence. Make sure that your enclosures are more than 4 feet high since Beagles can jump in the air for about 4 feet. Not only that, but the base has to be deeply buried or your dog will dig his way out if he realizes how shallow the bottom is. Good quality barriers delay the possibility of having a runaway Beagle, so this is the first thing your yard should have!
- Limit the time your Beagle spends outside. Never compromise if your dog is a Beagle. Leaving him alone outside for too long is a bad recipe that may result in a missing dog at the end of the day. Limited time spent outside also discourages the onset of developing bad behaviors while guaranteeing his safety.
- Never leave him unattended. It is advised to not only accompany your Beagle but also to place a GPS tracker on him. Knowing that a Beagle is highly prone to going to unfamiliar places if ever he couldn’t find his way home, you, as an owner, would be able to track him down in real-time instead.
- Remove any high objects from your yard. Lawnmowers or anything the Beagle can use to get off the fence should be kept away. The dog can outsmart you in any way so it would be wiser to take away the possible means the pooch could use for his escape plan.
- If an area is open, the dog should be in a harness. Many suggest using a harness over a leash since the former is less destructive to the throat, esophagus, and trachea. Aside from that, you would be able to restrain your Beagle from going somewhere which could put his safety to risk.
- Keep your Beagle well-exercised. A bored Beagle is not a good sign. Discontentment will make him look for an exciting adventure even if you wouldn’t be with him in doing it. To prevent him from going somewhere else, give him proper exercise. Don’t let him have pent-up energy but rather exhaust him so he’d no longer have the spirit to run away.
Additional Tip for a Beagle Owner
To be successful in keeping your Beagle within his area, make sure that it is not just you who is enforcing the tips and suggested training written in this article. Every family member who gets to bond with the dog should be aware of the possibility that the Beagle could run away or go missing.
Train Your Beagle Not to Skedaddle
Fortunately, aside from following the tips, there are more things you could do to lower the chance of him going missing. Ideally, these should be done right when you bring your Beagle home. Teaching him skills and training earlier will positively solidify his good behavior!
- Obedience Training. Establishing yourself as the leader of the pack has to be instilled in the mind of your Beagle. By simply teaching him simple commands such as “stay”, “sit”, and “come” while reinforcing every desirable behavior with praises and rewards could prevent him from scampering.
If the dog grows up to be stubborn, once he dashes off away from you when he gets the chance, it’s going to be hard to make him come back to where he came from. He’ll keep on running and sometimes, an owner can hardly keep up with a running pooch.
- Off-leash Training. Testing how your Beagle behaves when he’s free from the leash will get you the idea of whether it’s safe to let him have his freedom or not. My advice is to exercise the dog first before doing this so the chance of escaping is near zero. In trying this training out, do so first in a controlled environment.
If not, chances are that he’d get hit by a speeding car or bump into a larger and dangerous animal nearby.
If Your Beagle Goes Missing and You Can’t Find Him
Every Beagle owner should always know what to do in case the dog goes missing. First, it is important to stay calm and rational so that you can find your dog more quickly. Here are a few things you could do to speed up the searching process:
- Prepare pictures of your dog. It is necessary that passersby know what your dog looks like and it increases the chance that your lost Beagle will be found in no time.
- Contact all near shelter homes and animal centers immediately. It would be a huge relief if the Beagle is in one of these places.
- Print posters with your full information such as phone number, address, including the picture of the dog and his identifiable features. If you can, place a reward too. People are more likely to help when they could get something in return.
- Don’t wait for a few days before posting up your flyers and posters. Set them all up around your neighborhood including pet shops and clinics.
Having a missing Beagle is the worst feeling for any dog owner. If this happens, it is important to stay hopeful. Sometimes, a dog returns after just a few hours, but during that time, you should already be in search of your pet. Every ticking of the clock is important and anything could happen to your wandering dog.
You don’t have to experience losing your dear pet, however. Apply all preventive measures mentioned in this article so your pooch stays on your vision!