Both Labradors and Beagles are by far one of the most well-known breeds in the world, given how much publicity they’ve gotten from the media and not to mention how affectionate these two lovely breeds are.
Despite their similarities, there are subtle nuances between these two breeds that are worth paying attention to if you’re interested in settling both labs and beagles together.
Here’s whether or not Labs and Beagles would get along well:
Labrador and Beagles have relatively similar characteristics and traits that will set them up for an excellent life-long companionship. Even though both of these breeds do generally get along well with proper socialization and training, the compatibility between the two also depends on their temperament, gender, age as well as their sizes.
In order to properly gauge their compatibility, a better grasp on the detailed factors and reasons behind their compatibility is crucial.
Amongst the factors that we’ll dive into are as follows:
- Breed History
- Prey Drive
- Intellect & Trainability
Note: Our articles are comprehensive and in-depth. Feel free to expand the table of contents below and skip ahead to sections that interest you.
The labradors rose to popularity back in early 1800s for their extraordinary skills with water, including their diving skills. They are also well versed with waterfowl hunting given their exceptional aptitude for water. And with proper training, labs would make exceptional bird hunting dogs as well.
On the other hand, the cloudy origins of the modern day Beagle breed could be traced back to 1700s England, where they were bred in packs to hunt rabbits and hares by the local farmers. These beagles have been favored for their speed, agility as well as their strong sense of smell.
These beagles are excellent hunting dogs thanks to their acute scenting powers which are handy for trailing purposes on the ground as well as in the air.
Considering how both of these breeds have been bred to work in a pack, they possess great social skills and will get along well with each other under the right circumstances.
Both Labradors & Beagles are well known for their good-natured amiability with just about everybody as it’s in their DNA to be people pleasers, loving, and affectionate.
Both of these breeds are generally extremely sociable dogs that get along even with strangers if lured with treats. Thus, there is a very high chance of compatibility between these two breeds as they are predisposed for socialization and bondings with both humans and dogs alike.
Given how friendly and sociable they are, both labs and beagles will perceive one another as a member of its own pack and eventually open up to a life-long camaraderie with their household counterparts.
With that said, both labs and beagles will get along really well from this aspect alone that could very well serve their companionship needs.
Both Labradors and Beagles are immensely loyal to their parent owners as they are natural people pleasers and loving by nature. Their ease of bonding coupled with their ingrained lively and bubbly tendencies do make them easily devoted to their owners. And that alone facilitates the compatibility of these two breeds together.
Both breeds almost always tend to have a favourite person who dedicates the most time with it, though they may appear devoted to every family members on a surface level.
Also, It’s important to note that their casual interactions and exceeding friendliness with strangers should never be taken as a sign of their dissatisfaction or disloyalty because they’re social butterflies by nature. They’ll only follow your commands and stick by your side at the end of the day.
With that said, both of these breeds will usually perceive each each other as a part of the pack when settled together and will in turn be loyal to one another and to the family as a whole. Thus, these two breeds will get along exceptionally well.
Check also: Why Are Labradors So Loyal? (Explained)
Beagles have an overall higher prey drive than a labrador does. This is because these scenthound dogs come are equipped with a powerful nose that fires up their instinctual drive. Thus they tend to get easily swayed away by strong scents as well as other smaller animals that resembles rabbits, hares, etc.
Labradors on the other hand have a slightly lower prey drive than a beagle because the latter’s hunting instincts are deeply embedded in their genes and they are born to hunt through their scents. Unlike a labrador who may have a high prey drive but they require an extensive training to be efficient in hunting.
These polarizing characteristics are generally a perfect match for both Labs and Beagles as they won’t be preying after each other due to their sizes. Also, both of these breeds won’t fight each other for dominance as they have complementary prey drives.
Intellect & Trainability
Labs are generally smarter and sharper than Beagles because of their innate instinctual intelligence which is contingent upon their obedience, as well as their brilliant adaptability skills.
Meanwhile, Beagles are known to be quite slow and have an average intelligence due to their stubbornness which explains their substandard trainability track record.
Their strong scenting power makes them easily distracted by any smell around them, hence why it can be hard to obedience-train these scent hounds.
Thus, their breed intelligence levels are complementary and conducive for a harmonious home. The last thing you’ll ever want is two highly intelligent dogs trying to constantly outsmart one another for attention and treats.
It could also be an upper hand to introduce a younger beagle to much smarter and older Labrador in their prime years. This is because older dogs would usually teach their younger counterparts skills and useful tricks, thus fostering a bond between them. It’s a no brainer that younger dogs are more likely to mimic their older counterparts upon constant exposure.
You might also be interested in: Do Labradors & Rabbits Get Along Well? (4 Factors Explained)
Upon affirming each of the breed’s general characteristics compatibility, further scrutiny on their individual temperament and personalities are of paramount importance.
This is due to the fact that are outliers within a breed, and a dog may or may not bond well with other suitable breeds based on their:
- Individual temperament
- Gender of the breeds
Temperament & Energy Levels
Both Beagles and Labradors have high energy levels. They are laid back and sociable with just about everybody thanks to their exceptional people pleasing tendencies. Hence it wouldn’t be a hassle to get them familiarized with each other thanks to their zest for life and companionship.
It’s advisable to pair up both labs and beagles that have the same energy levels because they tend to vibe with other dogs that are on the same wavelength as they are. They require constant physical and mental stimulation to keep them preoccupied.
Nevertheless, these breeds will bond quickly if they are properly socialized and well trained together with patience, rather than having mismatched energy levels where they wouldn’t enjoy each other’s presence. For instance, if a Labrador’s exuberance knows no bounds despite training and socialization, it’s best to not pair it up with a calm and reserved Beagle.
According to the experts and from my anecdotal experiences, neutered breeds of the opposite sexes tend to get along much better compared to breeds of the same gender. A combination of two female dogs of either breed would incite more violence compared to two males.
The presence of two males would inevitably lead to the need of forming a stable pack order – an establishment of dominance and submissiveness between the two.
Fights will always erupt if neither one decides to cave in, and it may permanently change their personalities. This is because your pooch may become more overtly dominant than it could have otherwise been, and the same applies vice versa in terms of submission. This may lead to distress over time.
On the other hand, two females would lead to a much more brutal fight that would sometimes lead to death. This is due to the fact that neither female dogs would compromise to form a stable pack order as female dogs are slightly independent in nature.
Also dog scuffles among females always spill blood and you’d almost always end up with a high vet bill, compared to male dog fights where it’s usually posturing/scrappy fights to lead.
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and some female dogs have formed amicable life-long bonds with one another but exceptions aren’t the norm.
So Labradors and Beagles of the opposite genders are your best bet for a harmonious home.
As for the size, you’ll have to keep in mind what size of a dog your pooch naturally gravitates to. Most Labradors are familiar with their own breed of any size, but they can form extremely close bonds with other breeds as well.
As for the Beagles, you’ll have to make sure they’re not intimidated by a bigger dog. But for the most part they’ll get along just fine with a much bigger Labrador as long as the latter is just as friendly and energetic as they themselves are.
Beagles are prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia if they constantly get hit or knocked down accidentally by much larger dog in their playtime together. Hence, it’s crucial to supervise and keep a constant eye on their playtime together to make sure either party doesn’t get hurt — especially when these two breeds have high energy levels.
An extra tip for taking care of both these Beagles and Labradors is to never overfeed them or otherwise they'll be prone to their common predisposed disease —hip dysplasia in both breeds.
It’s advisable for you to get a second Labrador/Beagle puppy or a young dog of either breed once your current dog is fully grown at minimum 2~3 years of age. This is because this is the age when your existing pooch is physically mature and coincides well with the development of dog selectivity, reactivity and aggression.
That way you’ll know your current dog’s temperament like the back of your hand and you’d be wise enough to pick a second companion that matches your dog’s breed and personality. Or you could easily train a second puppy to get along well with your current dog which always works out great.
Hence, you shouldn’t get both Labradors and Beagles as puppies as they might grow up to be total opposites and not get along despite being close as puppies. They may also suffer from littermate syndrome if raised as puppies together.
Furthermore, it will be best for you to fully train and socialize your current dog in order for it to be well mannered and friendly for a second dog later.
Fully trained dogs are more likely to bond well with other dogs of different breeds, and plus they have many more good habits to teach young dogs. Besides, they can be a little less high maintenance if you ever decide to get a second puppy.
However, you should never introduce a second young dog/puppy to a current old dog that has past their prime years. Senior dogs and young puppies don’t get along well in the slightest. Those rambunctious pups will be too much for an old dog with health issues to handle.
How to introduce both young Labradors and Beagles for the first time
The first introduction is key to making sure both dogs are set up for success together. If you’re introducing two young dogs at the same time, you’ll want to make sure either one of your Lab or beagle is properly leashed trained on your command.
- Set the first meeting outdoors out on an open neutral space with each dog on a leash. (Amazon)
- Then walk your Labrador/Beagle towards the other dog on your command by making sure they are fixated on your attention and the other dog. You’ll have to let your dog know that you’re the boss and the meeting has to take place under your terms.
- If your dog seems a little more feisty than it usual would without even taking heed of your commands, pull back on the leash and walk in the opposite direction to let it know you’re not allowing your pooch to run the show.
- After walking your pooch in the other direction for awhile, gradually walk your Labrador/Beagle again to the second dog and make sure its attention is fixated on you, as if its seeking your approval to meet up with the second dog.
- Once both dogs are close to each other, let them sniff each other vigorously and pull back on the leash a little every 10 seconds and repeat the same procedure.
- Let them eventually sniff each other’s bottom to get them familiarized with their specific scents, and in turn learning more about one another. Also, keep an eye on their wagging tails.
If both of them are comfortable in each other’s presence with their tails wagging, then gradually take them for a walk together for 10 minutes and nip any aggression in the bud by pulling on the leash and walk away to reinforce a negative association to it.
Walk them long enough till you could gradually let them loose together without a leash on. And be sure to give them positive reinforcements on a good behavior during the introduction.
As for introducing them indoors, let the newer dog get familiarized with the house while keeping the residential dog separated outside. And let the latter walk into the house under close supervision. Chances are they’ll get along really well indoors if they’ve already acquainted well during the first meeting outdoors.
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