Some beagles become couch potatoes as they get older, others like to do different activities. Our beagles tend to be on the more active side of life. Here are some of the activities you may consider doing with your beagle.
Agility - The AKC and other groups have agility trials around the country. Even if you don’t compete, learning the equipment with your beagle and learning how to maneuver the agility course can be fun and challenging. Beagles know they have options sometimes though and tend to be crowd pleasers and make up their own course on occasion.... Hunter Blue loved to do agility, he was fast and accurate with the equipment but he told me when he’d had enough and started to make up his own course and be a complete brat. Piper and Mocha are VERY fast, but like to make up their own courses. We haven't tried this with Shelby yet.
Flyball - If your beagle loves to play with balls and especially loves catching, check out Flyball. We know a few beagles who have loved this sport!
Canine Good Citizen - Or any advanced obedience training falls into this area. Different organizations and training centers have different requirements and systems that they use. With patience, you can have your beagle doing many different tricks, winning awards and wowing friends.
Therapy Dogs - Because of their smaller size and friendly dispositions, beagles can make great therapy dogs. Check with your local hospital, hospice, or home for their regulations on additional vaccination or obedience certifications needed for your area.
Field Trials* - Want to watch your beagle pack and flush but don’t care for hunting? Consider running your beagle in field trials. There are many organizations that do different types of field trials and have different levels that can be achieved.
Hunting* - Beagles are scent hounds are are used for flushing game in hunting. Ours like to chase after birds, squirrels, deer, wild turkey, raccoons, opossumes and especially rabbits! We do not hunt our beagles, but know people who do.
Hiking* - Beagles love to hike! Do remember that they are controlled by their noses though and keep them on a good leash. We’ve worked hard with our dogs to be able to take them on shorter hikes near home off leash, but we keep treats in our pockets and leashes in hand just in case they start to get a smell of something and stop listening to us.
Traveling - Hunter Blue has been to Canada and all of our beagles have been to a few different states. Traveling with your beagle has a few extra challenges but can be very fun. We like sites like dogfriendly.com to find pet friendly hotels, parks, and restaurants. The better behaved your beagle is, the easier it is to travel with them. Many of the activities above can involve some travel with your beagle if you start to compete or look into the activity from more than just playing at it.
Working Beagles - Many beagles have regular jobs, working in the beagle brigades with customs at many airports, sniffing out termites and other pests for extermination companies, companion dogs for people with different health issues and even acting. Their smaller size and unassuming demeanors make them a great breed to have out in public.
Dog Shows - Hunter Blue, Mocha and Shelby come from some very impressive champion show dog lines, Piper has a little of that but she is definitely more pet. Dog shows can be fun if your beagle meets the breed standard. We don't like them, tried it with Shelby and all of us decided we were done with that, but many really love that world. There are different organizations and groups that put on dog shows, look for one in your area and see if it is something you are interested in.
*Note - we hike with our beagles and since they are scent hounds, they like to stick their noses in every hole in the ground that they come across. If you are active outdoors with your beagle and there are bad snakes in your area, consider looking in to snake avoidance classes. All of our beagles have been through these courses and it does work as none of them will go near a snake and will bark like crazy at the snake from a good distance.