Dogs Community
Mild Aggression in Beagle
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding your pet dogs!

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Mild Aggression in Beagle

We just got a new Beagle baby for our family Saturday from the local Shelter.  He's a great dog, seems to have been housebroken already, and wonderful in so many ways.  We are still teaching him basic trainings and hoping to get that done soon.  He is not fixed however (we are doing that next month) but so far only marks his territory outside.

Now my question is the temperment of this breed.  We were told they were great and wonderful for kids... however if he is laying down (on a couch or a bed) and you try to grab for his harness or touch his back he gives a warning growl then will snap.  I find this behavior totally unacceptable in any pet, especially when I have children (ages 14, 10, and 8 weeks).  I think he might have a former injury to his back that makes it sensative but won't know till we get him into a vet next month (waiting on paychecks).  

Has anyone else ever had issues or do you have any suggestions to stop this behavior?
Tags: Dogs, food
Related Discussions
14 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
274158_tn?1276350787
I have an american bulldog, which are known for agression if not trained properly. I noticed when he was younger and my husband would try to move him, he would do the warning growl and try to bite. We enrolled him in training and that really helped. My husband would also mess with him in his sleep, (touch him, try to pick him up, etc) and he eventually got used to us doing that. It seemed like he was scared of the touching when he was asleep and now he has gotten over that. With your dog it seems like he might be hurting. What your dog is doing seems like he is trying to tell you he is hurting and not to touch that area. I think once you get him to the vet and figure out if he has a back issue, he won't do that anymore?? (one of my dog has back issues and he is quick to tell me when he is hurting) Have you tried to lure him with cookies to get him off the couch? Maybe if he relates food with getting up/grabbing his harness he will change? I would just take it easy on him until he goes to the vet and make sure everyone leaves him alone for the meantime. I know my suggestion seems not too helpful, but hopefully it will help some??? Good luck and good for you for getting a pound dog!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have 2 beagles at home.  Beagles are great dogs, but they can be very stubborn and can have a tendency towards aggressive or posessive behavior.  Ours did the same thing when we first got them.  He wasn't hurting or anything he just didn't want to be bothered while he was sleeping.  They need to learn that you are the boss- and need to get used to being touched everywhere and at any time.  we hold ours on their back a lot in our arms like a baby.  They'll scream and growl and try and bite you the first few times you do this because you're showing them that you are the one in control.  Just keep holding him there until he submits- until he stops struggling to get away and just lays there.  Eventually when you do this there will be no struggle at all- he'll just lay in your arms and let you do whatever you want to him.
Also, they aren't big water dogs so if you get a squirt bottle whenever he snaps or barks or does something you don't like spray him directly in the face.  
Hope that helps-
Blank
13167_tn?1327197724
EEEKS,  no no no.  American bulldogs,  and beagles should NOT be aggressive to humans.

Fourpaws,  your  dog should NOT be human  aggressive if "not trained properly".   That dog should accept being stepped on,  tripped over,   having toys bonked against his head by small children,  etc.

Same with beagles.  They should cheerfully accept any human commands or direction.  In beagles,  the word "cheerfully" is actually written into the breed standard.

With some breeds,  aggression is acceptable.  Chowchows,  sharpeis,  minpins,   basenjis,  look out if you try to nudge them over on the couch.  You're about to get bitten.

Not so with Beagles and American Bulldogs.  

ImmortalOne - you need to find out why this dog was released to the shelter.  My guess is, he had bitten one too many people.  A small purebed dog that is released to a shelter needs further investigation,  because if he were an excellent pet,  they could have sold him for $200.  But instead,  he's in the pound.

I've done a lot of rescue work,  and humane society cruelty investigations,  and foster dog work.  Certain breeds should NOT be aggressive,  and if they are you need a trainer.

best wishes,  and kudos to you for rescuing a shelter dog.   Look into the "alpha roll" on google,  it will probably help in the interim while you look for a trainer.

Blank
274158_tn?1276350787
I didn't mean human aggression, oops I meant dog agressive without proper training and socialization. That was my boo boo. He does loves people & kids. At first when he was very young, he was showing aggression towards other dogs. Now he is fine at 10months. He wouldn't hurt a fly!
Blank
13167_tn?1327197724
Fourpaws,  that is really a perfect American Bulldog.  You're right dog aggression can be a problem.  

i'm not sure you can ever trust him 100% around other dogs.  But humans,  you should be able to know for SURE he won't hurt them.  

I really love that breed.  They're big huggabunnies.  ;D
Blank
274158_tn?1276350787
This is my first American Bulldog, I have a boxer and a boxer/bull mastiff mix. I absolutely love them all!!! I am having a little problem with fence aggression, but with constant watching while he is outside, he is getting a lot better with that. It doesn't help that the neighbors 2 dogs are aggressive though. Titus is a big cuddler and follows me everywhere! I love it!!
Blank
175662_tn?1282217256
The reason he was given to the shelter is that the owners felt it was too much responsibility.  I live in a state that is falling apart quickly, we are the Foreclosure capital of the USA and have the highest unemployment (and rising) in the country.  So I can imagine someone couldn't afford to keep him and their home or something.  I also assume by his behaviors that he was possibly abused, he flinched when I used the hand signal for "stay" then understood I wasn't swatting him or anything.  He has no food aggression at all (in fact half the time won't eat his food unless handfed, and is very gentle about that).

We've been working with him and instead of grabbing him up by the harness when he's on the bed, I bring the leash and let him know what is going on and what is expected.  This way he doesn't associate being grabbed up with unpleasantness.  I also use voice commands, and he seems to see me as the alpha since he snapped at me yesterday and I grabbed him up anyway and put him in his crate (yes it was punishment).  

Normally the crate is only where he is "put" when we leave the house, or are eating.  I don't want him to associate it with being "bad" and only intend to put him in there when he growls or snaps.  

Anyhow he is starting to listen and associate (Sit, Stay, Down, Let's Go Home, Outside, etc), he is really a smart fun loving dog, I'm happy with him except for the growling when getting him off the furniture.  We are looking into a trainer (and vet) starting in the next month or so, but will be moving soon (hopefully) to a larger place.

Even if he's a pure breed, he isn't show standard or anything, he's long legged for a Beagle (16" at the shoulder), with a narrower muzzle and sleek muscle structure, not the heftier/stockier looking types of the breed (narrow legs and body).  I've wondered if he is a slight mix, or perhaps I just have a Beagle Harrier which would make more sense with his features.  I'm hoping to get pictures of him this week.
Blank
82861_tn?1333457511
I'm so glad you're here!  You've given some really excellent advice, and obviously know your dog breeds well.  Hope you hang around for a long, long time.  :-)

ImmortalOne, congratulations on adopting a new family member!  Good for you for wanting to first rule out a physical problem as well.  One of the things you need to know about beagles is that they are high-energy dogs.  You can hardly give them enough exercise.  It's wonderful that you're working on the basics of obedience training, but even more, your little guy needs to get out of the house.  Take him for long walks - at least 45 minutes, twice a day.  Eventually, you may be able to work up to taking him on bike rides or roller blading with you.  That is, with him on the leash and running - not as a passenger!  Always remember: A tired dog is a good dog.  :-)

I have a high-energy shepherd mix who turned into the misbehaving bi***h from H*ll because we didn't see to her exercise and socialization needs.  She just got more and more neurotic, protective of us, and aggressive to other people and dogs the older she got.  Sadly, (and totally our own fault) she spent most of her life shut away whenever we had visitors.  That just made her even worse.  

I seriously subscribe to Cesar Milan's (The Dog Whisperer) dog psychology as well as basic obedience training.  After 11 years of our poor dog trying desperately to take care of us, the other dog, the entire house, and being on-duty 24/7, and losing her mind over the worry of it all, I got off my rear end and did something about it.  Who knew that a good walk every day was all she needed?  I can now trust her anywhere we go, and the people who knew her as a "bad dog" all these years just marvel at how nice she is now.  The best part is the heightened communication between me and all my critters.  Watch the show on the National Geographic Channel, or rent the Dog Whisperer videos, or check out his books at the library.

As for future training, hopefully you can get your new little buddy into basic obedience training soon.  Try to find a place that also offers training for the AKC Canine Good Citizen program.  It's really what it says: socializing your dog so it can be welcome anywhere you go.  The Canine Good Citizen certification is open to pure breeds and mixed breeds of all kinds.

You're certainly on the right track, and I suspect you'll do very well with your new "son" in the house.  I look forward to hearing updates on your progress.  :-)
Blank
175662_tn?1282217256
Oh that boy gets lots of outside!  In fact he's learned to get excited at being taken outside.  We have worked out the following:

Oldest child takes him outside to potty and hang out.  She takes him for walks.
Second oldest child takes him outside for the same reason.  When she gets home part of her "chore list" is to take the dog out back into the yard and play with him.  Run him around the yard, take him for a walk down the street, etc.
Mom takes him outside for the same reason and if the baby is up and the weather is nice (and mom isn't feeling horrible) for a short walk that gradually gets longer depending on health.
Everytime he's taken out of his crate he goes immediately outside (where he's put during dinners/meals and night time or if I need to leave the house).  --- now to teach him what "Go potty means"  lol!

We all are working on the obedience thing and I have succeeded in "Sit, Stay" - the Stay for the part sometimes even if I leave the room (but I come back and he gets excited).  I'm hoping to get some minor hiking in with him today (depending on how I feel) when we goto the cider mill.

This morning he got a hold of some human food, I'm not sure what it was, but when my DD#2 tried to take it away from him he growled and snapped at her.  I'm hoping that getting him fixed soon will help curb some of the aggression as well... *crosses fingers*  He still doesn't seem to like his dog food.... think I'm taking the unopened bag to the local shelter donation site and getting him something else I guess, I don't want him to starve but if he won't eat I need something else.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
One of our beagles was a rescue dog, and wouldn't eat her food in the beginning either.  We went through 3 brands of different dog food until we found one that she would actually eat.  Our two beagles both seem to like science diet the best.  You can also try mixing in soft food or chicken with the regular dog food to get him to eat if you are concerned.  Just not too often- the beagle is the #1 dog breed for obecity, they are very driven by food.
Also, everyone is suggesting training.  We took our dog to training as well, but it didn't work at all.  They are very social dogs, so the distraction of being around so many other dogs was difficult for him.  Training him at home alone just with us seemed to work the best.  For socialization skills we take him to the dog park.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have a beagle.  Beagles are not aggressive dogs, however, they can be very possesive and obsessive about food.  Other than food aggression which can easily be resolved, it is not normal for a beagle so show aggression toward people.  It is possible your children are startling him while he is asleep and that is causing the reaction.  Always make sure children know how to gently approach and animal and that they know how to pet a dog not pull hair and lay on the dog.  A dog can easily become frightened by children and become aggressive out of fear.  Since you adopted the dog from a shelter you my never know what has caused this behavior, perhaps, he was traumatised in some way.  You just need to create a new history for this dog, show him that you won't hurt him, monitor him will small children for a while and hopefully someday he'll realize he is in no danger at all.
Blank
172023_tn?1334675884
I tend to agree that you should be wary of why he was released.  People sometimes are not honest, fearing if they say the dog is aggressive, he or she will be put down.  So they make up a nice sounding reason like "we have to move" or other such reasons.  

Watch this carefully.  Get professional input right away.  Make sure all the children know to never try to approach the dog's food or toys.  
Blank
175662_tn?1282217256
As an update to this situation, we have been dilligently working with Eureka (a goofy name in my opinion but I was out voted).  He's learned well the basic commands of "Sit, Stay, Down, Off, Out(our room)".  We don't need to remove him from furniture anymore just tell him "Off".  He needed to learn his place in the "pack" and the DH and I made it clear we led things and then had to help the kids with teaching him that they were in higher positions in our pack than him.  Needless to say he's gotten pretty cool now.

He still gets a little high strung when he gets food he shouldn't have, but has started eating his food without a problem (he doesn't eat much but he does eat but he's a small dog so I guess that's normal.

He's not aggressive about toys now either, it seems to be just people food related.  He plays with all kinds of stuff (and with him getting in his adult teeth he's been trying to eat all kinds of things... my breast pump (1 down 1 to go), socks, shoes, stuffed animals, his harness, and especially the cat toys.

He has also taught how he needed to be potty trained/house broken.  He doesn't bark to be let out, but he will harass the hell out of you to take him outside.  He also will only go poo in the backyard for some reason...

In retrospect we really enjoy him in our household, now if we can keep working on the no jumping on people issue we have we should be doing really well.  Thank you everyone.
Blank
82861_tn?1333457511
Sounds like you're all coming along really well!  Congrats!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Dogs Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Dogs Answerers
974371_tn?1364538460
Blank
Margot49
Central Valley, CA
462827_tn?1333172552
Blank
Misfits4Me
OK
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
675347_tn?1365464245
Blank
ginger899
United Kingdom
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
lindapalm
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
amielynn24