A friend of mine (who lives in an apartment) called me recently and mentioned that he was considering getting a Beagle puppy for his daughter and wanted to know how much exercise this breed of dog needed – especially considering that he didn’t have a backyard for the puppy to roam around in.
Beagles need a medium to high amount of exercise every day – around 30 to 40 mins a day for puppies and up to 90 mins for adult dogs. The reason Beagle puppies need less exercise is because they don’t have the strength in their developing bone structure until they are around 18 months old.
Limiting the amount of stress and strain on their joints from over-exercising them at an early age helps to avoid problems as they mature.
Through many generations Beagles were bred to hunt…oftentimes all day with very few breaks. Their stamina to keep chasing a scent, even long after the scent is gone, is legendary.
Although these days the need for hunting all day is not necessary, that natural instinct to “follow it’s nose” irrespective of whether you are calling out for it to stop and return often prevails.
The point is that because of this inbuilt stamina needed to keep chasing a scent they may find enticing, Beagles need a regular and consistent amount of exercise every day.
They are mostly high energy dogs that often love to either climb or digging up things. They’ll often have a short attention span unless they are following a scent..in which case they won’t stop until they find it.
What types of exercise are best for Beagles
Apart from taking daily walks with your dog of at least 30 mins twice a day, specific games that are designed to use their incredible sense of smell are the best.
Beagles are often used as quarantine sniffer dogs at airports. They love to sniff things out and get a reward when they find it. Try hiding a yummy treat somewhere in the house and let them find it.
Make sure to show it to them at the beginning of the game so they can capture the scent, then hide it somewhere and let the fun begin!
Whilst having a large backyard for your dog to frolic around in would be ideal, it’s not always possible for owners with smaller or even no backyard for their Beagle to run around in.
It’s also not always possible to schedule long 30 min walks twice a day so it’s always good to have some alternative exercise activities to change things up.
For those with a small apartment where space is limited a treadmill can be a good choice as an alternative to a walk outside in inclement weather such as rain, snow, ice etc.
Dog treadmills are slightly different to human treadmills – they typically are wider with lots of room to move. If you are going to get one make sure it’s made purpose built for dogs and not humans.
It takes a little getting used to for your Beagle to get the hang of the treadmill but once they do, it becomes a great convenient exercise that can tire him out.
Start off very slowly as walking on a treadmill is different to normal walking. Treadmills are constantly running therefore your Beagle won’t have an opportunity to stop and sniff things as he would outside.
Other types of exercise
Swimming can be a good option but our experience is that it’s best to start getting your Beagle used to water at an early age.
We have seen many cases where adult Beagles dislike water although as with all dogs it can be different from dog to dog.
Let him splash around in some puddles, take him for a walk along a creek or beach if one is nearby and let him run through the shallows in search of that favorite toy or ball that you are throwing out for him to fetch.
Before long he will be so used to playing in water that when it comes time to immerse himself in deeper creeks or shallow rivers it will be no problem.
Fetching exercises are also especially good for Beagles to keep them mentally stimulated. A tennis ball is a great favorite for many beagle owners as are frisbees.
Running alongside you whilst you’re jogging can be beneficial for both you and your adult Beagle.
Remember, Beagle puppies don’t have the strength in their developing bodies to withstand constant pounding whilst running – if you do desire to take them with you when you’re jogging wait until they are at least 18 months old.
Beagles aren’t long distance athletes and will often get a little bored with just running alongside you. They will want to explore every nook and cranny they come across, even if you have them on a short leash.
Be prepared for lots of pulling in another direction towards the source of their latest new interest. More on that in a second.
The common theme for exercising Beagles though is to have lots of variety in order to keep their mental stimulation at a high level.
What happens if I don’t give my Beagle enough exercise?
Beagles have a tendency to eat too much and put on a few extra pounds so regular exercise can help control their weight.
High energy dogs like Beagles need to be physically and mentally stimulated.
They don’t mind occasionally lounging around the house with you but if they don’t get the chance to burn off pent up energy they can quickly become bored and sometimes even destructive.
How long should I exercise my Beagle?
It depends on how old he is. As mentioned, young puppies need their bone structure to grow to their maximum which occurs around 18 months old.
Try to limit it to 30 – 40 mins a day of easy paced walking (no running) for puppies under 18 months. After that you can start to take them on your daily jog and also stretch their exercise times out to 60 – 90 mins a day.
Distance is not as important as time so make sure you allow your dog to go at their own pace.
Do Beagles like to exercise?
They love to explore using their acute sense of smell so Beagles really enjoy going to parks and other outdoor settings – especially places where there is lots of activity going on to keep them stimulated.
In fact they enjoy it so much that you have to be careful that you don’t let them roam free without a leash because they do have a tendency to run away – often oblivious to your calls to come back.
If they capture a scent that they find interesting they will chase it for however long it takes – calling for them to come back is often a fruitless exercise with Beagles once they latch onto a smell they like.
Using a long leash, which enables them to run around easily but still gives you the ability to rein them in if they decide to chase that irresistible smell, is advisable.
What’s the best way to walk my Beagle on a leash?
Beagles get distracted constantly while they are on a leash and as a consequence will often pull against you as you walk.
Other dogs, animals or especially interesting scents they encounter will be irresistible to them so they will want to investigate.
Stopping your dog from pulling on the leash comes down to proper training. You first have to make sure your dog knows that you are the pack leader even though you are not inside the confines of the house anymore.
This means making sure your dog follows your instructions and is calm and obedient before you take him outside.
If you don’t take the time to do this while you are in the confines of your property then there is little chance he will follow your instructions once you’re outside and off the property.
Once you get your dog outside and start the walk continue the calm but assertive manner. Don’t have the leash too short so he doesn’t have the freedom to move around when he wants to.
If you have taught him how to walk alongside you with a loose leash in your property then that should hold you in good stead once you are on the street or park.
Elise is the owner of HMD. She has spent her whole life around dogs starting from when she was growing up on her parents farm. She is a prolific writer and blogger who passionately writes about her love for her canine friends.