beagle as a puppy looking at camera

Can Beagles Be Service Animals?

They say that dogs are man’s best friend, with nothing encapsulating this relationship more than the relationship between service dogs and their owners. Fortunately, modern training means that service dogs can come in different breeds, so can beagles make good service dogs?

beagle with vest on running through snow deep snow
Dog running in deep snow. Beagle hound wearing cold protective dog jacket running through the snowdrifts to fetch the stick. Active dog pet enjoying outdoor winter activities

Beagles make excellent service dogs because they have the following traits:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Friendly dispositions
  3. Tidiness
  4. Great work ethic
  5. Fearlessness and adaptability
  6. Loyalty

However, some service dog tasks cannot be performed by beagles due to their small stature and high energy levels.

To better understand why beagles make good service dogs, along with the advantages and disadvantages of having a beagle as a service dog, we will be exploring the roles of service dogs and their characteristics in greater detail below:

What Are The Different Types Of Service Dogs?

beagle with a gun intron of him looking at it
Hunting Dog and Gun

Unlike emotional support dogs or therapy dogs, service dogs are trained to perform specific and essential tasks for people with certain disabilities and conditions that make them unable to perform these actions independently.

However, numerous service dogs also provide emotional support or therapeutic services, along with their service tasks. Some examples of service dogs include:

  1. Guide dogs
  2. Hearing dogs
  3. Mobility assistance dogs
  4. Diabetic alert dogs
  5. Seizure alert dogs
  6. Seizure response dogs
  7. Psychiatric service dogs
  8. Autism support dogs
  9. FASD service dogs (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders)
  10. Allergy detection dogs

What Are The Traits Of Good Service Dogs? 

beagle laying down with a vest on
A beagle mixed rescued dog that has been trained as a police dog basks in the sun waiting for a command.

Although there is a misconception that only larger dogs like Labradors and German Shepherds can become service dogs, any dog can fill the niche of specific services for people, provided they exhibit the following traits:

  1. Intelligent
  2. Friendly disposition
  3. Calm demeanor
  4. Tidiness
  5. High work ethic
  6. Adaptable
  7. Loyal

1. Intelligent

Service dogs need to be intelligent to be trained to perform a host of complex tasks, learn commands, and intuitively know when to assist their owners.

Fortunately, beagles are very intelligent and curious dogs that are relatively easy to train, provided you keep them engaged and match their energy levels!

2. Friendly Disposition

While not all service dogs are expected to be friendly and cuddly, most service dogs are valued for their ability to perform their tasks and provide emotional support for their owners if necessary.

Furthermore, service dogs are expected to go everywhere with their owners, meaning they need to be comfortable and friendly around other animals and people.

Because beagles are pack animals that were initially bred for hunting, they are very friendly dogs comfortable around animals and people.

3. Calm Demeanor

Like having a friendly disposition, service dogs may find themselves in stressful situations, depending on the needs of their owners and whether they are expected to perform tasks in moments of distress. For example, they need to act quickly and decisively if their owner has a panic attack.

Furthermore, they need to showcase a calm demeanor in public to avoid disrupting other people’s daily lives.

While beagles can be trained to control their high energy levels, and not all beagles have high energy levels, many do, meaning they lack the calm demeanor expected from certain service dogs.

4. Tidiness

Because service dogs will be in public places and/or made belong to people who have limited physical ability, it is preferable to find service dogs that are low maintenance, clean, and not prone to excessive shedding and/or excessive drooling.

Fortunately, due to their small stature and short hair, beagles are very clean and tidy dogs that are easy to brush and wash and are unlikely to cause damage or disrupt public places.

5. High Work Ethic

Service dogs are often expected to accompany their owners and provide services/perform tasks throughout the day. Therefore, service dogs must be alert and energetic, not lazy and disinterested.

Beagles are very energetic and curious dogs, meaning they are comfortable providing assistance throughout the day and using their intelligence/intuition to remain alert and perform their tasks.

6. Adaptable

Service dogs may find themselves in unfamiliar situations like airplanes, boats, skyscrapers, sports stadiums, crowded malls, the zoo, etc. Therefore, service dogs need to be comfortable and adaptable to their surroundings.

Beagles are curious dogs that enjoy encountering new smells, sights, and experiences, meaning they are adaptable and fearless dogs. Furthermore, their small stature makes them comfortable in spaces that might not suit larger dogs, like train compartments or airplane seats. 

7. Loyal

Finally, and most importantly, service dogs need to be loyal to their owners and their tasks and not become distracted or disinterested.

Beagles are known for being friendly and loyal dogs suited for people of all ages, making them the perfect service companion. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Beagles As Service Dogs?

There are two potential cons of having a beagle as a service dog:

  1. Beagles are small in stature, and
  2. Beagles are very energetic.

Many service dogs tend to be larger breeds like Labradors because larger dogs can perform specific tasks with ease that would be impossible/difficult for smaller dogs to achieve.

For example, beagles lack the size, strength, and height to perform various tasks like opening doors, putting weight on their owner’s body during an epileptic/psychological fit, and/or leading visually impaired people.

Although being energetic is not inherently bad, since service dogs need to have a high work ethic and mustn’t be lethargic, beagles require lengthy, regular exercise and stimulation.

Suppose their owner is unable to exercise their beagle due to their disabilities. In that case, this can lead to anxious and depressed beagles that won’t be able to perform their service tasks with due diligence.

However, despite these traits, which are only negatives in certain situations, beagles exhibit many characteristics that make them excellent service dogs:

  1. Beagles are intelligent
  2. Beagles are friendly
  3. Beagles are low maintenance and tidy
  4. Beagles have a high work ethic
  5. Beagles are adaptable
  6. Beagles are loyal

Conclusion

In conclusion, beagles that undergo service training for individuals who don’t require a larger dog and have the means to exercise them can form long-lasting relationships and perform their tasks well as service dogs.

References

https://www.newsweek.com/best-therapy-dogs-breeds-large-small-1605131

https://adata.org/service-animal-resource-hub/misconceptions

https://www.certapet.com/service-dog-certification/

https://www.k9ofmine.com/best-breeds-for-service-dogs/ https://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/10-types-of-service-dogs-and-what-they-do

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