Watching a Beagle crawl on the living room carpet or on the freshly cut grass is always a treat for his owners. Sometimes dogs act in strange ways that do not seem at all strange to them. Whether they are crawling under your bed covers to keep close to you or they’re crawling to relieve an itch, their reaction is the only tool they have to send their message across. Is this something that you should be worried about? In most cases, Beagles will crawl simply because they enjoy getting their bellies scratched by the tingling grass or carpet. Let’s find out more about this common behavior and see if you should encourage it or not.
The Root of the Behavior
We all learn to crawl before we start walking and this applies to your Beagle as well. The first thing that he learns to do is crawl to his mother for milk and protection. During the early days and weeks of his life, your pup will wiggle and crawl in his nest, constantly searching for the mother’s presence. It’s no wonder so many dog owners try to teach their pets how to crawl once they’ve reached adulthood… it’s quite adorable to watch them respond to their owner’s command in such a sweet and innocent way. You can consider their need to crawl under the bed covers as a means to feel warmth and companionship while snuggled up to the members of their human “pack."
For some dogs, crawling under the covers may be a common occurrence, while for others it may come out of the blue. This behavior is closely linked to an ancestral trait left over from when dogs were often born in dens. Being in a den or cave-like atmosphere may provide a sense of comfort and security for your pup. If you notice that your Beagle is crawling on the ground but did not exhibit this type of playful behavior before, it’s best to make sure there are no underlying health issues involved. Look for signs of bites or scratches, in which case this could be a skin irritation or a food allergy. You should also consider fleas and ticks, causing your dog’s belly to become very itchy and thus, making him crawl on the ground. Separation anxiety as well as a submissive demeanor could also trigger this type of reaction. If your dog does a belly crawl across the room when you arrive home only to discover that he’s pretty much destroyed your sofa, it’s not because he understands that he has done something wrong. He is simply reacting to your body posture and tone of voice.
Encouraging the Behavior
Unless you are dealing with a separation anxiety issue, there’s no reason to stop your Beagle from crawling on the ground, especially when he only wants to have his belly rubbed and there’s no one around to do it. Plus, who can resist their pup sneaking up next to them, searching for a little more warmth and companionship while slumbering under the blankets? If you do notice signs of anxiety, however, you should definitely reconsider your punishing methods, as these can only magnify the problem but diminish their confidence. Think about it… how is he supposed to know he’s done something wrong if you didn’t even witness him doing it in the first place?
You need to remember that dogs don’t have the mental capacity to make the connection between their actions ten minutes ago with your current disposition. If you want to keep your antique dining table in pristine condition, you’ll need to train your Beagle to act properly when left alone in the house. This may require a period of several weeks, although it’s best to shorten his home alone time as much as possible. Beagles crave human companionship and need to be exercised on a regular basis in order to maintain a good physical and mental state.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you want to train your Beagle to crawl again, you can start by teaching him the “down” command first. Once your dog sits, take a treat and hold it in your hand. Tell him to lie down and have him smell the treat, but don't give it to him just yet. You can then move the treat slowly along the floor until your dog lies down. At this moment, you can drag the treat toward you and reward your pup if he follows. If he doesn't, resume the "down" position and try again until he crawls. You can always repeat the process, but make sure you don’t overdo it if he’s not physically capable of keeping up with it.
Apart from being intelligent, energetic, and independent-minded, Beagles enjoy having a lot of fun, including physical exercises, playtime with the kids and outdoor activities. Crawling on the ground is another type of fun Beagles like to occasionally experience, especially as a way to get their tummies scratched. As long as the behavior does not stem from underlying medical issues or as a reaction to your punishment methods, we say let them enjoy themselves!