I have repeatedly spoken of the predatory instincts of beagle and how it was cleverly selected from the mists of time to reach the level that we all know.
The domestic dog, in fact, inherited from the wolf a series of behaviors in which they are naturally served to hunt in packs, to catch prey, and to consume them. This set of behavior is known as predatory sequence, so consider it roughly consisting of these phases:
- Identification of prey
- Localization with the look
- Approach procedure
- Block of prey
In the process of selecting through a variety of dog breeds (many, for today there are more than 300), the man was responsible, among other things, for accenting or softening some aspects of the character of the dog to make he/she perfect for the task assigned to every race.
It would be disastrous, for example, if the dog of a shepherd breed had the predatory sequence complete and kept catching and eating animals one after the other! 🙁
Entering a bit more accurately, in beagles the qualities that make it an excellent tracker were maintained, shifting the emphasis (or blocking all) to other stages as the killing and consumption. In fact, the task for which this beloved dog was selected was to chase prey and signal their position, leaving the hunter (who should be his human reference) the task to “terminate” the predatory sequence.
These sides of the character of the Beagle remain, and we must take it into account, even if you do not ever take it to chase the game in the woods.
It is important to consider these aspects of character because it can happen that in the face of small pets (cats, ferrets, etc.) or wild (squirrels, hedgehogs, etc.). Your friend can “lose his/her head” and chase the unfortunate creature, though, as mentioned above, without the intention to kill them, only because of the awakened ancient instincts.
At this stage of “madness,” it is almost guaranteed that the beagle will become deaf to all our requests and may roll away danger because he/she is only focused on achieving the goal.
So if you notice your dog circulating small furry animals that move fast, take great care to remove the leash from your dog, and let’s do it only if you are sure to maintain control of the situation (or if we are inside a fence).
On the other hand, for psychological balance, it is important to leave him/her free to vent his impulses regularly, even during races and playful pursuits in a dog area with playmates. There are also facilities dedicated to working trials for dogs, with lots of game bred and released in enormous fenced plots, a blessing for our beagle, but not widely used for obvious reasons of space and practicality.
Another noteworthy detail is the variety of the characters of the beagles that we can meet. Many can be extremely different from one another. Some of us probably have noticed that some dogs go crazy in front of a small animal, and others are not disturbed, or if they start to follow him, they return peacefully to the first call.
The reasons for these differences lie in the selection of the various bloodlines preferred by breeders.
Some have decided to commit to success in working trials (so their beagles have outstanding qualities of hunting, resulting in energetic character and “madness” at the sight of prey); others have chosen to focus more on exposures (with what many call “lines of beauty“) where, inevitably, priority must be given to other nuances of the character of the dog to make sure it’s more comfortable in these situations.
In any case, whatever the nature of this beloved breed, he/she regularly deals with predatory instinct through play and fun pursuits with other dogs and with us. They will have an edge to develop a balanced personality, living a fulfilling life that will only be good for you, too!