Proper exercise can extend the life expectancy of your Beagle. This is a breed that is meant to stay active. So, no matter the weather or how busy the day is, do schedule daily windows to bring your Beagle out for purposeful activity.
There are 2 types of exercise that should a Beagle should receive:
• Moderate exercise - going for walks
• Cardio exercise - short but more intense bursts of activity, such as running after a ball, etc.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise; this will be to stretch muscles, help maintain muscle mass, keep the metabolism working well, release some energy and importantly, to learn to heel to you and tolerate traffic.
A Beagle should be taken for a walk at least 1 time per day. And twice is ideal. Walking should be moderate and at a fairly brisk pace.
Do keep in mind that what is a brisk pace to you is probably a running pace for a little puppy.
Without enough activity to release pent-up energy, a Beagle may act strangesuch as having excessive restlessness, acting moody and even display some destructive behavior.
Adult Beagles willmorethan be able to keep up with you. The average adult Beagle can run rather fast at about 20 mph (32.2 km/h) while the average male human jogs at 8.5 (13.35 km/h) and the average woman at 6.5 (10.46 km/h).
The walk should be at a pace where the Beagle is moving along steadily; but not out of breath. You should walk your Beagle for a minimum of 20 minutes, ideally 30, and some Beagles may need up to 40 minutes.
Cardio exercise should be short and a bit more intense. This should be provided at least 1 time per week, 2 times is optimal. You can choose from a variety of different ways to achieve this. Throwing a ball to your Beagle and having him run after it is always fun for a dog. This type of play is also an excellent opportunity to teach your Beagle some command words, such as "Fetch" and "Return".
Most Beagles love to simply run around. If taken to a park or open field, this breed will enjoy running free. Do, however, always keep your dog supervised and be sure that if you ever take your Beagle off of his leash or harness that is very safe to do so. Because they are a hound dog, they have a strong instinct to follow scents and if off-leash could disappear quickly following the scent of a small animal.
Age to Begin
Taking walks outside of the home's yard and interaction in any public area should not begin until the Beagle has had all of his or her puppy shots.
One thing to keep in mind is that this breed does not fully develop its skeletal system until the age of 18 months; therefore before that time, one must take care that over-exercise is not done on a regular basis. It can disrupt the normal growth of bones.
This can be a bit tricky since this breed is so active. This does not mean that a young Beagle should be inactive... It is, however, suggested that until the age of 18 months, limit walks to approximately 1 mile. If your pup appears to have a need to release pent up energy, a second walk can be taken later in the day.
The idea will be to allow your young Beagle to exercise, walk around, run and play... without reaching the point of full exertion, as that will put too much strain on the pup's growing body during this critical time. A release of energy is good... panting, fully out of breath and being pushed to the limit with vigorous hikes and runs is not such a good idea until your Beagle's body is better able to handle that type of more intense activity.
After the age of 18 months this breed can be taken on numerous walks or hikes throughout the day. You can add play time outside in addition to this and any other fun canine activity that comes his or her way! Very energetic and loving action, this breed will enjoy just about any physical activity.
Some Ways to Provide Fun Exercise
Not only is exercise very important for your dog's health, but this is a great way to bond. Do keep in mind that the Beagle can be injured if jumpingfrom too high of a height; especially when a puppy.
Here are some ways to encourage your Beagle exercise if the is resisting or if you are looking for fun ways to exercise with your Beagle.
Agility.You do not need to enter into a dog show event to enjoy the benefits of teaching your dog some agility moves. Do be wary of heights when your pup is young; however you and your dog can have great fun with a homemade obstacle course.
You can teach your dog to jump through a hoop (just hold up a hula-hoop) and maneuver around obstacles (be sure there is a small but tasty treat waiting at the end).
Frisbee.This is a classic game that is so much fun for both owner and dog. You don't have to wait until your dog is an adult, you can begin teaching him or her this game when they are still a puppy.
You may wish to purchase a "baby" Frisbee when beginning. Teaching your Beagle to run after it, time it just right and then catch it mid-air can be a lot of fun for both of you and certainly a way to get their exercise!
Tip:Do be sure to never "rip" the Frisbee out of your dog's mouth. You can train your dog to drop it on command.
When first training for this, hold a small treat and offer a trade. Use the command word of "Drop" or "Give" and once your Beagle offers it to you, reward your dog with the small dog treat and lots of praise.
Jin-Jin, 2 years old
Photo courtesy of owner: Terry Frady
Hide & Seek With Treats.Command your Beagle to sit and have him watch you "hide" treats all over the home. The treats should be very small and tucked into many different areas...under a cushion, behind a shoe, on the first landing of the stairs, etc. Once you give the command word of "Go!' or "Find", your Beagle can then run around the home, gathering up the treats.
Whenever you are walking, hiking along a trail or out in the park for some exercise, be sure to bring along water. It's important that a Beagle meets water intake requirements. To have its body begin to heat up and not be able to cool down with water and replace lost fluids, can be very dangerous.
While you should always enjoy exercising, playing and going for walks, just be careful to not exercise outside in extremely hot temperatures or for too long of a time.
Knowing and understanding the signs of heatstroke and be of great help. While heatstroke was once only thought of as something that could happen to dogs who were left in hot cars, a dog can get heatstroke if exercising too hard or if exercising in weather that is so hot that the Beagle is unable to regulate their body temperature.
The beginning signs include excessive panting, excessive drooling and/or reddened gums. If you notice this, stop all activity and bring your Beagle into a shaded spot to rest and drink some water.
If a dog is unable to cool down, this may progress with signs including a body temperature of 103 F (39) or higher, no urination and/or rapid / irregular heart beat. If this is not treated, acute kidney failure and/or shock can follow.