Are Beagles Good Watch Dogs?

are beagles good watch dogs

Beagles are alert, vocal and curious.  All breed qualities that are beneficial to being a good watch dog.

Beagles today are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.  They are a very popular family dog in the small to medium-sized dog range. They are known to be a loving, playful and affectionate breed – perfect for families with small children.

There are several types of beagles, all of which are part of the hound family.  Beagles can be found in a variety of colors and two common sizes; 13 inch and 15 inch – measured from the ground to the top of the shoulder.

Beagles have so many endearing qualities, it begs the question – Are Beagles Good Watch Dogs?

Are Beagles Good Watch Dogs? Best Advice To Decide

The beagle is a fun-loving, playful and loyal companion.  They are social dogs that historically have thrived as pack animals.  

Beagles are energetic, alert and quite vocal by nature – these are the qualities make them perfect for being great watchdogs at home.  

However, don’t confuse being a good watchdog with being good guard dogs.  Beagles are too friendly and lack the temperament and physical size to be an effective guard dog.

What's Difference Between a Guard Dog and a Watch Dog?

A watch dog and a guard dog have different characteristics with distinct roles when it comes to protecting their owners and property. The main difference between the two is their level of training and their specific duties that are asked of the dog.  

Many dog breeds don’t have the mental or physical makeup to be an effective guard dog, yet if they’re alert and vocal they can be excellent watch dogs. 

A watch dog is a dog that instinctually, or is trained to, alert their owners to potential threats, such as intruders or strangers.  This is done by barking, growling or making other noises.

Watch dogs are not trained to attack or physically confront intruders, but rather to alert their owners to potential danger.  Some breeds that are commonly used as watch dogs include Beagle, Basset Hound, and Shih Tzu.

On the other hand, a guard dog is a dog that is trained to actively protect their owners and property by physically confronting strangers or threats. Guard dogs are typically larger, more aggressive, and intimidating breeds. 

Some common guard dog breeds include; German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Doberman Pinscher. They are trained to confront, attack, and subdue intruders. Guard dogs are often used in law enforcement and military settings where the combination of an excellent sense of smell and intimidating presence make them a force to be reckoned with.

Watch dogs rely heavily on their natural instinct.  Guard dogs, also instinctual, require proper training to learn how to correctly attack and detain intruders without causing serious harm. An improperly trained guard dog can cause serious harm and even death to both humans and other animals.  

Utilizing a professional trainer is your best option if you own a breed that you’d like to develop further into a guard dog.  It is a good idea to provide the right training, the last thing anyone wants is a guard dog attacking friends, family members or young children.

To summarize, while both watch dogs and guard dogs are used for security purposes, watch dogs are trained to alert their owners to potential threats, while guard dogs are trained to physically protect their owners and property by confronting and subduing intruders. 

are beagles good watch dogs

Why Are Beagles Good Watch Dogs?

Two of the main qualities that make beagles good watchdogs are their excellent sense of smell and their vocal nature.   

Related Topic:  Are Beagles Loud?

Beagles are scent hounds and were originally bred as hunting dogs so their sense of smell is one of their strongest attributes. They are capable of detecting scents that humans can’t smell, and are often used in law enforcement and other security settings to detect drugs, explosives, and other illicit substances. This makes them a good choice if you’re looking for a dog that can help you detect potential threats to your home or property.

As a hunting breed, beagles have been bred to be loud and noisy when they are on the trail of prey – often times used for hunting rabbits.  With well developed vocal cords and a great instinct to use them, your beagle will be well suited to act as a watch dog over your home and property.  

Most beagles that watch out the windows during the day will be alert when someone or something new walks in front of the house.  Often times, their alertness will escalate if this person or animal approaches the house – signs of a quality watch dog.

Another quality that makes beagles good watchdogs is their natural curiosity. Beagles are energetic and curious dogs that like to explore their surroundings, which can make them more alert and aware of their environment. This can help them detect any unusual activity or behavior, and alert their owners to potential threats. 

Lastly, the beagle breed a member of the hound group and known for their distinctive howl, which can be an effective way to deter intruders or alert their owners to any suspicious activity.

Qualities That Make Beagles Poor Watchdogs

While beagles have qualities that make them good watchdogs, there are also some factors that make them less effective in this role and reasons that they should never be relied upon as GUARD dogs.

One of the main issues with beagles as watch dogs is their friendly and sociable personalities. Beagles are known for being affectionate and playful with both humans and other dogs.  This means they are less likely to view strangers as a potential threat. They may even wag their tails and greet visitors positively rather than a loud bark or howl to warn their owners of potential dangers.

Another issue with are beagles good watch dogs is their size. They are small dogs, which means they may not be as intimidating to intruders as larger breeds.  This is a significant factor why beagles should not be viewed as a guard dog, an intruder or mid to large-sized animal would likely be able to fight off a beagle guard dog.

Lastly, they are not known for particularly aggressive behavior or being territorial, which can make them less effective in deterring intruders or protecting their owners.

What Breeds Make Great Guard Dogs?

According to the American Kennel Club, here are a few popular dog breeds that are some of the best guard dogs:

  • Akita
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherds
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler

What's Next?

So, are beagles good watch dogs? The answer is, it depends on what you’re looking for in a watch dog. While the beagle dog breed has personality traits that make them effective in this role, such as their excellent sense of smell, loud vocal howl, and natural curiosity.  

They also have some limitations that make them less effective, such as their friendly and sociable personalities and their smaller size. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine if a beagle is a good choice to watch over your home environment is to consider your individual circumstances and preferences. If possible, also spend time with the dog to see if they exhibit any of watchdog qualities you are seeking.

Given the common traits of the beagle breed, it’s fairly safe to assume that beagles won’t make excellent guard dogs.  Their smaller size and friendly temperament make them better suited to be a watch dog rather than a guard dog. 

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