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Why Are Beagles So Stubborn? 3 Reasons & Breed Facts

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

a sick beagle dog lying on the floor

Are you new to Beagle ownership and wondering what you’re doing wrong? Beagles are widely known for their loving and social temperaments, as well as their trainability and intelligence. You may have found yourself asking your new Beagle, sometimes through gritted teeth, “Why are you so stubborn?” Whether you knew about the stubbornness of Beagles before you decided to bring one home or not, there is a reason for this character flaw of this lovely breed.Divider 5

The 3 Reasons Why Beagles Are So Stubbron?

1. Interesting Smells

close up of beagle dog outdoor
Image by: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

There aren’t a lot of reasons that you may be dealing with stubbornness in your Beagle, but you certainly aren’t alone. Beagles are scent hounds that have exceptionally excellent smelling abilities. This means that your Beagle may get distracted by an interesting scent, potentially even from miles away, while you’re in the middle of trying to work on training.

It might seem difficult to compete with interesting smells 5 miles down the road, but there are a few things you can do to keep your Beagle focused. Positive reinforcement will get you far with this breed, but it isn’t going to solve all of your training woes. You will need to make whatever you’re doing more interesting than the other things your dog might be smelling. This can be accomplished through interesting and fun training exercises, keeping training exercises short so your dog doesn’t have to stay focused as long and using high-value rewards that are specific to your dog’s preferences.


2. Changes

beagle puppy chewing spiky ball dog toy indoor
Image Credit: tetiana_u, Shutterstock

This breed also greatly appreciates a routine, and they tend to be quite resistant to change. When you’re working on training a young Beagle, you’re attempting to create a routine, but to do so, you’re having to take that dog out of whatever its routine was before you brought it home.

No matter the age of your Beagle, creating a stable routine in their daily life can be comforting to your dog and help them stay more focused and be less distracted by outside interests. Routines surrounding feeding and walking schedules, playtime, and even sleeping and waking schedules can be a good way to help your Beagle feel stable in their environment and enhance their willingness to listen with less stubbornness.


3. Boredom

senior beagle dog lying on the carpet
Image By: masch, Pixabay

Bored Beagles are far more likely to be stubborn and refuse to listen to commands than engaged Beagles are. Your Beagle needs an outlet for its energy and instinct to sniff every day. By providing entertaining games and toys for them, you’ll help your Beagle be better engaged when you need them to listen.

Puzzles are a great option for helping your Beagle focus, but daily exercise is also a necessity for most dogs within this breed. Whenever it is possible and safe, try to include your Beagle in whatever it is the family is doing. These dogs are extremely social and love to spend time with their people.

If you can find a way to include your Beagle, like taking them on your family walks or letting them stay near the family when everyone is watching TV, then your Beagle will feel more involved in the family’s activities and be more apt to listen. You also might consider signing your Beagle up for scent work, search and rescue, or canine sports so the two of you can enjoy activities together.

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In Conclusion

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when dealing with their stubborn Beagle is unintentionally encouraging their stubborn behavior. By showing your dog they can get what they want from being stubborn, then you’re encouraging the behavior, even if you don’t realize it. Providing treats at inappropriate times so that they may seem like a reward can be confusing for your dog and also encourage their stubbornness, so make sure that treats are given when your dog is responding to your commands and paying attention to you.

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Featured Image Credit: Elena Loza, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

After nine years as a veterinary assistant, Brooke Billingsley transitioned to a career as a nurse in 2013. She lives in Arkansas with her boyfriend, sharing their home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. A dedicated animal lover, Brooke has a special place in her heart for special needs pets, including a three-legged senior dog and a famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. is one of her hobbies, and she is constantly improving her knowledge to care for her aquarium pets. Brooke is an active yoga enthusiast, having obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2020. She believes in the importance of continuous learning and dedicates time each day to developing new skills and expanding her knowledge....Read more

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