I have this fun t-shirt “Life is Better with a Beagle”. I saw it on Facebook in one of those TeeSpring deals, and I got one for myself, my hubby, and my sister last Christmas.
I wore it to work one day over the summer, and I got this comment from someone “Is life really better with a beagle, Jan? I mean, all that barking. We had one when I was a child and all they did was bark” (or something like that). She tried to come across like she was half joking, but I know she wasn’t. Granted, this is someone I don’t really like anyway, and she often pushes my buttons (along with everyone else’s at our store). She tries to be understanding, but she’s not really a dog person.
It may not have irritated me like it did if it had been the first time I’d heard this. She’s not the only person who has made a face when we say we have beagles and commented: “Don’t they bark a lot?”
Yes, beagles are known for their “A-roos!” (which is music to a beagle lover’s ears). I’m not going to claim I’m an expert on the breed, Cricket is only our second beagle. But barking has not been an issue with her, nor was it with our late beagle Kobi. They haven’t barked any more than some of our other dogs.
Every dog of every breed can be different, but we’re probably all guilty of making generalizations at times. We got a second beagle because our first beagle was such a great dog. Kobi was laid back, easy-going, friendly to everyone, and he probably whined when riding in the car more than he ever barked. Kobi hated water and wouldn’t have dreamed of chasing a ball. When we walked, he stopped to smell everything along the way.
Cricket is almost his complete opposite. Cricket is high-strung, energetic, and cautious with strangers and other dogs. She is obsessed with balls, and loves to cool off in the pool. When she walks she intensely moves forward and rarely stops to sniff anything. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard her whine. I’m not going to try to tell you she doesn’t bark, but when people think of beagles, they think of a dog outside incessantly barking at whatever. The deer must have been around last night, because Cricket was out on the deck carrying on for a bit. But she wasn’t alone…Luke (our Lab mix) joined in. We don’t have very close neighbors, but they are close enough to hear the barking, and we’re sensitive to that. We don’t want to listen to it ongoing either.
We have a simple solution: we tell them to be quiet. If that doesn’t work (and often it works but only for a minute if they still feel the threat is near), we simply make them come in the house. There are also other positive training solutions if those don’t work with your dogs.
Cricket barks at me when I don’t pick up her ball and throw it fast enough. But Sheba also barks when we’re playing ball…just at the other dogs, and not me. I’ve never tried that hard to break Cricket of that habit, but I’m sure I could if I put the effort into it. She barks out the window when anyone pulls in the driveway, and even when we get home. She gets Luke wound up. But none of this is barking that goes on and on and would never deter me from getting another beagle.
Most dog people have a breed they love, and I think we’re all sensitive to criticism of our favorite breeds. Certainly Pit Bull lovers know that better than anyone. Humans have a tendency to generalize and I am guilty of it too. We will probably never get a German shepherd, because our cat was killed by our neighbor’s. But I know that not every GSD is like our neighbor’s, and I also know it’s more the humans fault for letting their dog out of their control. My prejudice is from my own experience, just as the woman who made that comment to me was. But I’m dog savvy enough to know that generalizing a whole breed because of one bad experience is not right. Upbringing and training have something to do with a dog’s personality along with their genetics.
There was a pit bull attack in our state recently. Two out of control dogs attacked a man and his dog (both are OK now). What I hated the most about the way our local news station covered this was that they said the words “pit bull” over and over again in the story. They never just called them “the dogs”. Any dog that is out of their owner’s control could attack another dog. I commented to my friend the other day when talking about this story that never in the story did they call the owners “the idiots” or “the careless dog owners”, which would have been more appropriate (these dogs had apparently had other run ins and should not have been loose).
Certainly if you are thinking of adopting a dog of a certain breed you want to know some of their basic traits. Just remember that every dog is different, and they are not going to necessarily have every trait that is common to their breed. Don’t rule out a breed because of one trait that may or may not show up in the dog you end up with. We adopted Luke because I always wanted a Lab mix like our late Maggie. Luke has turned out to be like Maggie in some ways, but totally different in others.
My sister has three beagles. If barking or anything else was an issue with her dogs, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have recently added this little cutie to their family:
Beagles are some of the cutest puppies. That’s the only generalization I want to make.
I need a golden retriever t-shirt like the beagle one I have, and maybe Labrador retriever too. I wonder what people might have to say to those shirts? This post was inspired by a blog post I read about golden retrievers, which might have the answer to that very question. You can use the link below to read it, and another post about Labs that was also inspired by it. Then let us know if your favorite dog breed has been criticized by sharing in the comments below.
How to Piss Off A Golden Retriever Owner from Something Wagging this Way Comes
How to Piss off a Labrador Owner from That Mutt
Today we are joining the Thursday Barks & Bytes blog hop. Thank you to our hosts 2 Brown Dawgs blog, and Heart Like a Dog. Please visit other blogs through the links below!
Groovy Goldendoodles says
First of all I think Beagles are PAWdorable, that said, we’ve just got to leave room in our hearts for people who should remain quiet sometimes vs. speaking out loud. I guess I could work on my post “how to piss off a Goldendoodle owner” now. After answering the common question “what kind of dog is that?” I heard her mumble as she walked away – “couldn’t make up your mind with which one I guess.” Talk about being pissed! But then I thought – “she’s in a bad mood, wonder if she’s constipated.” #yesIdid And then I laughed and all was right with the world again. Some people are just not wired right!
I’m so glad you were able to laugh about it, Cathy! That reminds me of the first time I met a goldendoodle in person…we were at the beach in Maine. I was so excited and I plied the woman with questions about its’ color, grooming, etc., and went on and on about how beautiful he/she was, and how it was the best of two awesome breeds! Kind of the opposite of that constipated woman you had the misfortune of running into! LOL
2 Brown Dawgs says
Beagles are hounds and you should expect them to be vocal in certain situations (hunting or situations that seem like hunting) if they are well bred. I agree that you can train it away, but it should always be there in their DNA and some people may not have the patience or skill to train it away. On the other hand, retrievers should generally be quiet (especially while hunting) if they are well bred. However, I do know very vocal retrievers and it can be difficult to train that away. We had to work with Storm and Freighter when they got excited sitting on the dog stand waiting to retrieve. They can get whiny but that is excitement and not the crazy vocalization I have seen in other retrievers (usually labs who should also be quiet and I would say is poor breeding). I guess I do not think it is generalization if someone expects a dog of a certain breed to possess certain breed characteristics that helps the dog do the job they were created to do. Thanks so much for joining the hop with this interesting post. Might spur me to write a post on expectations of the purebred dog. 🙂
I totally understand and agree with your points. I think people getting a dog for a certain purpose…hunting, showing, etc. might look at things a bit differently too. What you said about hounds being vocal when hunting does make me think of Cricket when she tracks something across the yard, or her siblings get ahead of her….she just yelps away as she runs. Of course, it makes me laugh, but I imagine some people might not enjoy that like I do.
You also made me think about the differences between Cricket and Kobi. Cricket was bred to hunt and Kobi was bred to be a show dog, so that could account for some of their differences right there.
I will look forward to that post if you decide to write it!
Lynn LaChance says
Great post, Jan, and comments-including the cute pic of our newest Nephew, Jack-lol! So agree on everything, and if I made the mistake of stereotyping dogs, it surely wouldn’t be Beagles barking that would make my list, having known a few-it’d be those little dogs, someone might have mentioned, terriers or something-our neighbors have one that just barks incessantly, never heard any beagles go on like that! And it’s loud, piercing and oh, so annoying! But I can guarantee my main thought, is it isn’t the dogs fault, it is indeed the owners, who leave the poor thing out there to do that all evening while they are gone or something.
That also reminds me of when we lived on Stevens Road. We loved those Labs next door but when they were left outside in their (pretty small) dog pen all day, they barked a lot. Barking that is out of control is often due simply to the owners not paying attention to their dogs, or leaving them outside alone when they’re not even there.
I never had a problem with our beagle mix barking. Hubby is the one who says no more beagles but I’m pretty sure there’s a beagle somewhere in my future. LOL We were busy with three kids and didn’t really teach her much, so when he says she was ‘stupid’ I tell him, WE were stupid. The last time the topic came up he acknowledged that “we didn’t know what we know now.” I’ll take that. 🙂
My dogs bark too, and if it gets to be TOO much, I tell them enough. If they don’t stop, I distract and redirect. One of the best compliments I ever received was from the woman across the street who told me she never hears them barking.
Sampson is an AROOOO dog. I personally love it, it’s one of those traits that makes my heart happy.
I don’t understand why people have to be such A-Holes. Maybe the next time she says that you could say, “Yes, actually it is, a lot better actually than working with certain people.” 😉 (that’s my inner bitch.)
Thanks for joining the blog hop.
Ha ha, I would love to say that, Jodi, except this is the boss’ wife! Long story there, and even though there’s very little chance she would ever read my blog I’d better not say anything else (don’t get me started)….LOL.
Okay, I’ll give you that. Probably not the best thing to say to the boss’ wife. 🙂
Hawk aka BrownDog says
Love the photos! What a cutie!
Y’all have a great weekend,
Hawk aka BrownDog
Every dog breed has its own issues. Beagles like to talk, and so do GBGV’s, but our howls are a bit deeper. If you want quiet, a hound is probably not the right choice, but we can learn to be quiet too.
I at least find the deeper howls easier to listen to then some high pitched yappy dogs. However, Cricket has a high pitched bark at times too, and that’s usually the one she uses in my ear when I’m bending over to pick up her ball. LOL
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
What a cool shirt! And lots of people judge Chesapeakes.
I suppose almost every breed has it’s critics, right?
Caren Gittleman says
This was a wonderful post, not only in defense of the adorable Beagle but for ALL breeds!
I know that many don’t care for Shelties because they are also known barkers. That being said, I know people who say their Shelties rarely bark.
Just like the use of stereotypes with religion, race, career, etc with people, the use of stereotypes with dog breeds needs to stop…….but as long as people are around, they never will
I agree, Caren. I think issues with dogs barking has far more to do with training than breed. I’ve known some yappy Shelties, but their owners were the type of people that let their dogs run wild in every way anyway. My niece has had some very nice Shelties and I remember hers being quiet. Personally, I don’t have a problem with dogs that bark anyway…that’s what dogs do.
karens cantlin says
Our lives are definitely better 3 times over with our 3 beagles. I can tell you there are many dogs on our road, and I can safely say our beagles do not bark the most. They can get a little carried away barking at neighbor dogs walking by, but when I go out to quiet them down, the neighbors walking their dogs always tell me not to worry about it, it doesn’t bother them, that’s what dogs do. Susie had a toy under the bed his morning that Jack wanted bad and he put his little head in the air and you should have heard his bay. It was beautiful and so funny, it made me smile all day.
I agree with everything you said, and unfortunately it is true about both pets and humans. One bad apple shouldn’t spoil the whole bunch.
I remember that story you mentioned and I kept thinking the same thing about how they said pit bull over and over and it was entirely unwarranted. I saw a super sad story about another pit bull this week who had been abandoned and abused. Dogs deserve so much better.
Thanks for putting Jack’s picture in, he’s so cute!! as are all dogs in my opinion.
Certainly Luke barks just as much as Cricket, and they both get each other going.
Yup, so true, Karen, all dogs are cute! Even our Shelby with her scruffy looks was adorable to us!
The Island Cats says
The mom has always loved beagles. They’re one of her favorite breeds of dogs. If she didn’t have us, she’d have a beagle. 🙂
I always say that Beagles and cats have a lot in common…it’s that independent streak. 🙂
Cocoa is a hound and so many people would say, oh she is going to howl all the time. What?? Do you know her!! Daisy was a lab mix that didn’t like water. I have known PitBulls that are so sweet. Why do people sterotype. Crazy.
It is crazy. Our golden retriever Moses did not like to swim. He would go in the water, but never over his head. And then there’s Sheba who swims like a fish!
I never knew much about beagles until I started fostering. Then I ended up falling in love with several beagles and beagle mixes who came into our home.
When we were walking our foster beagles around the neighborhood I’d hear people talk about the barking. And I had no idea what they were going on about. Yes, that aaroooaaaahhh is distinctive. But when I think of dogs I hear barking through windows as we walk by it isn’t beagles that come to mind. Instead, it’s protective dogs and many tiny terriers.
On a good day, I assume people are just trying to make conversation and they make silly generalizations about a breed. On a bad day, I write cranky blog posts. 🙂
Loved reading your take on this.
Thank you, Pamela, and thanks for the inspiration.
You are right, I think it all depends on what mood you’re in as to whether someone pushes your buttons and causes a reaction or not.
I’m sure there’s been plenty of times I’ve said stupid things when just trying to make conversation. 🙂
Kimberly Gauthier says
Great post! I don’t understand judging a breed myself. I happen to love all dogs. Every dog comes with rewards and challenges; if you’re up for it, it’ll be a great life.
Very well said, Kimberly, and thank you!
Great post, Jan! I couldn’t agree more about that News 9 report. I love your beagles and Karen’s…have had beagles as a kid. Their barking is distinct…and like all dogs…music to my dog-loving ears. ❤️????
Hailey and Zaphod says
It is true we need to stop judging dogs by their breed and more by their temperament.
That’s so true – people do generalize about dog breeds. I always like to turn the tables and ask if they generalize about people the same way – “do you think all blondes really have more fun?” “are people with glasses really smarter?” Because I think those generalizations are just as ridiculous. Yes, there are some traits that are inherent in certain breeds, that’s absolutely true, but a lot has to do with a dog’s training and background. Bichon/Havanese mixes like Daisy are known to be very loving, sweet and loyal, but I did meet one that was nasty as anything because of its lack of training and anxiety issues from its owners. As soon as we were within a few feet of it, it started snarling. That’s not a typical trait. Its owners yelled a lot…so no mystery there. That’s my long-winded, soapbox way of saying “I agree.” 😉 LOL
Thank you for weighing in, I agree with and enjoyed your take on it as well! Unfortunately, I suppose many people do generalize about humans, so it’s no surprise they do the same for dogs and even cats.
Sable my black labrador’s best friend is a lovely Beagle called Lucy. Sable makes more noise than Lucy does! Life is definitely better with a dog and we all have our favourite breed. I’ll amend that to
Life is better with a pet!!
I couldn’t agree more…life is definitely better with a pet, barking or not! We’ve certainly had cats that were more vocal than others as well. Our Sam is pretty quiet, but she chooses to use her voice at about 4am….LOL
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
I’m right there with you, Jan!! And with Pamela. Yes, we humans are all guilty of generalizing at times. But I try to stop myself when I catch myself doing it. Yet, since I was a kid the first dog I thought of whenever I’ve heard “beagle” was – and still is – my hero, Snoopy. How could anyone not love a dog who takes off atop his dog house to fight The Red Baron in the skies over Germany??! Or, whose best non-human buddy is a little yellow bird that flies upside down?! (I love Woodstock too!)
When you think of Snoopy, it would make you wonder why anyone would not like a beagle, since he’s the most famous one!
M. K. Clinton says
My first dog as a child was a Beagle named Barney. He lived to be a very old man and I loved him dearly. I think a Hound’s bark is wonderful and Bentley’s deep voice always makes me smile. We had 4 German Shepherds and they were they sweetest dogs. My children were raised with them and I never had any fear that they would harm a hair on their heads. Yet, they were at one time considered a dangerous breed. I understand why you feel the way that you do too. Prejudice towards an entire breed or entire race of people is simply wrong. It is up to humans to take responsibility for their dog regardless of their breed. This is a great post on the subject. ♥
Thank you, Melissa. I remember you writing about your German shepherds and they sounded like the most wonderful dogs. I’m glad the stigma attached to that breed has gone away, and I hope the same happens for pit bulls soon too.
Two French Bulldogs says
We have 2 adorable beagle friends that are very funny!
Lily & Edward
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Love the shirt! And I love Beagles. My neighbors have 2 of them and every morning I get to pet them and talk to them while we wait at the bus stop with the kids. Awesome dogs.
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Beagles are some of the most friendly dogs out there I think, and they are so great with kids. Our Kobi just LOVED kids and always had to see them. He was originally brought up with 4 boys, and I always felt bad that we didn’t have kids for him to enjoy when he came to live with us!