Why Does My Beagle Follow Me Everywhere

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Introduction

It's impossible to deny; Beagles are awfully cute dogs. From their long, droopy ears to their sweet, mournful bay and patchwork quilt markings, Beagles are hard to resist. The Beagle is one of America's most beloved dog breeds. Those who are fortunate enough to own one note that they make ideal family pets. They are gentle-natured, playful, and affectionate. Best of all, they are exceptionally well-suited to life with children. Game for adventure, the Beagle is up for anything your family wants to do. Ready for a road trip to the beach? Fido the Beagle will grab his surfboard. How about a walk in the woods? Fido's nose is all revved up and prepared to hunt for rabbits. Whatever you're thinking about doing, your Beagle is only too willing to join you. But you can't help but ask yourself this question, do all Beagles follow their owners everywhere? It seems you can't get a minute to yourself these days, even in the bathroom. Wherever you are headed, Fido wants to come along too. After all, you might be doing something exciting, and he doesn't want to miss out on a thing! Do all Beagles like to follow their owners around, or is yours just a little on the strange side?

The Root of the Behavior

Beagles are a breed that is exceedingly popular; of this, there is no doubt. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has rated Beagles as the fifth most popular dog out of a distinguished group of 192 kennel club registered breeds. If a Beagle shares pride of place in your home, you've definitely got a member of the "cool clique" in your pack. Beagles come in two different standard sizes, the shorter 13-inch and his taller counterpart the 15-inch. They are judged separately at kennel club conformation shows though they are considered the same breed. Their height differences are merely attributed to varieties within the breed standard. Characterized by their loving, happy, and affectionate natures, this breed is known for its intense loyalty and cheerful spirit. Sourcing the precise origins of this amiable breed is challenging at best. The Beagle is invariably one of the dog world's oldest breeds. Some experts profess that the Beagle takes his name from the ancient Gaelic word "beag." Beag, a word interpreted in English as "little," is a term which is apropos for the Beagle given his small stature in comparison with other prominent members of the hound group. However, other breed enthusiasts insist the derivation of the Beagle's name is French and taken from the word "be'guele", meaning to bay or howl. 

Both names seem to make logical sense given the breed's distinctive "bark" during periods of excitement and particularly when on a hunt. History shows evidence of Beagle-like dogs in existence prior to the Roman invasion of England in 55 B.C. As such, it is considered an English dog. The Beagle is highly prized for his keen hunting ability, making him the ideal companion for Englishmen who enjoyed rabbit or fox hunting as a leisure activity. In earlier times, Beagles were particularly attractive as hunting dogs because of their ability to traverse vast amounts of terrain under their own steam. They were low maintenance dogs for their owners. Because of their gentle natures, they also got along well with other dogs and easily travelled and worked in large groups during a hunt. Though today Beagles are not limited solely to functioning as hunting dogs, they are still highly esteemed for their skill in scent detection though they are not categorized as scent hounds exclusively. The Beagle falls within the category of a "foot hound" which is indicative of their role on a hunt. 

Encouraging the Behavior

It is interesting to note that while Beagles enjoy the company of their owners and seem eager to please, they can be exceptionally difficult to train. Any dog valued for his intense scent-tracking abilities always proves to be more of a challenge when it comes to teaching new skills. Beagles tend to keep their noses to the ground and distract easily when scents are present. They are not exceptionally stubborn, but they are motivated differently than some other breeds of dogs. This means that your Beagle likes being around you and doing what comes naturally to him, but he may not be all that interested in learning anything new. So, what precisely is it about your adorable Beagle that causes him to cling to you like Saran Wrap? Though Beagles are well-known for their loyalty and attachment to their owners, there is nothing specific to the breed that would cause them to engage in this behavior over other dog variants. However, there are several different explanations which could help to shed some light on this interesting phenomenon. Dogs enjoy traveling in groups, and Beagles, in particular, were bred to work in packs. Because of this, it is their nature to seek companionship with the members of their family. Close proximity to you provides your Beagle with a sense of calmness. 

It is well-known that Beagles love to eat, and their digestive systems are designed to process food differently from other dog breeds, resulting in the feeling of satiety taking longer to achieve. YOU are the source of food and all things good in your home, and your Beagle knows it. Wherever you are, the good stuff is going to be too, and he wants to get in on anything you might be offering. Sound a little mercenary? It is! But Beagles are incredibly food motivated and are intense and stubborn in their pursuit to acquire more of it. Of course, it is important to note that Beagles have been selectively bred through centuries of purposeful breeding to function in a pack of dogs who work in tandem with an owner on a hunt. Though Beagles can be prone to wandering off on their own, they rarely lose the connection to their owner entirely. In fact, if a Beagle ever manages to escape your yard, you are likely to find him a few feet from his escape hatch, sniffing something delicious or that smells like prey. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

Communication with the Beagle's owner is critical and remaining with his pack a powerful and true instinct. The baying sound a Beagle makes when tracking prey served as an alert for the hunter, so while the hunter and his pack of dogs might become separated during the hunt, they were always readily connected via that distinctive Beagle call. A Beagle will wander if allowed to do so, but his instincts always draw him towards home. This is not a breed that craves independence, quite the opposite. Though many Beagles live in homes as pampered pets and no longer perform hunting responsibilities, the desire to fulfill this role still remains alive and well in them. For this reason, they may choose to stick nearby their "master" as this would be their proper place when out on a hunt. You may have no intentions of hunting and killing your very own Easter bunny, but Fido is ready and willing just in case you decide it's a good idea. 

Dogs also respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement, and Beagles do love to please. If you show delight every time your Beagle is near to you, he will quickly learn that this behavior leads to a positive response, and you will continue to see it time and time again. Fido might be sticking to you like glue simply because he loves you, and he can tell that you love him too. Equally possible is the fact that your dog is bored and looking to you for something fun to do. Dogs are creatures of habit, and if Fido knows that you always take him for a walk at a certain time of day, he just might be following you around as a reminder that it's getting close to the time when you need to lace up your shoes and grab his leash. Our dogs can become expert canine "naggers" indeed.

Conclusion

Is your Beagle the original "velcro dog?" Impossible to go anywhere without Fido attached to your hip? He may be following his natural instincts, love you an awful lot, or just hope that you have food. Regardless of his motivation, it is a great joy to dog owners to develop such a close relationship with their dogs. If you can't beat them, join them. Curl up for a cuddle with Fido today!