Even if the bites don’t hurt, having a beagle that just won’t stop biting and nipping you, your family or your friends can get annoying quite fast. Don’t worry though – this problem is quite common, especially in younger dogs.
Just to be clear, I’m talking about play biting and not actual aggressive biting. If you want help with an aggressive or dominant beagle dog, I suggest you read this article instead: Solving Beagle Disobedience Problems
So now that we got of that way, let’s get started!
Early Signs Of Play Biting And Aggressive Playing
Notice how in the beginning I said that play biting is common amongst younger dogs?
Well it’s true. Puppies love to bite hands, feet, your clothes, your shoes, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your boss, your… well you get the point. They pretty much want to get a “taste” of anything in their sight. It’s how they play and interact with the world.
Usually puppies outgrow the nipping and biting stage and completely drop the habit. Other times, you might not be so lucky and your beagle will continue on to their adulthood.
Here are some classic signs that will help you distinguish play biting from actual dominant behavior:
- Your beagle is still a puppy – Puppies are almost guaranteed to play-bite at one point or another. It’s how they play amongst each other.
- Your beagle stops immediately if you act hurt – This might not be always true, but for the most part your beagle will know when to stop. If while playing he senses that he hurt you, he will stop immediately.
- He only bites you if you initiate play-time first – Puppies love to chase and play games. If you send a signal to your dog that you want to play and he bites you during playtime, then chances are your dog is not aggressive or dominant. He is just playing. Running, chasing, tug of war, keep away or any other aggressive game can get your beagle puppy in a biting mood.
- Biting doesn’t start over a spot on the couch – If you’re minding your own business and your beagle runs up to you growling and barking without you doing anything to him, he is probably trying to initiate some playtime. If however he growls at you whenever you deny him something or try to take things from him – then you have a completely different problem on your hands.
How Do I Stop My Beagles Constant Biting?
The first thing you must do is understand that biting is how dogs play and interact with each other. So your goal is not to “stop” the biting, but instead find a different way for them to play and interact with you.
- Stop playing aggressive games with our beagle – First things first, stop play aggressive games with your beagle. Aggressive games will only encourage your beagle to bite. It will also turn a small problem into a hard-to-get-rid-of habit down the line.
- Instead you should initiate different kind of games. I personally suggest you start teaching your beagle games that don’t involve any biting and instead focus on toys. Fetch is a great example of that. Your beagle’s attention will be on the ball or Frisbee instead of your hands.
- Show your beagle that biting is not “ok” – there are several methods that you can use to do this; like yelling out whenever he bits you, stopping the play time or changing his focus from your hands/clothes onto something else for him to bite (that’s what chew toys are made for).
You can also use a combination of those methods if you’d like. Just be sure you are consistent with your training. Always correct your beagle whenever he bites you. Make sure your puppy knows that biting and aggressive behavior is not “ok”.