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Great beagle escapes in history

As any beagle owner knows, the breed is adept at escaping, even in puppyhood.

A temporary kennel posed little challenge for this beagle.

And last but not least, watch this astute beagle — as his envious cellmates look on — figure out the best way out is up, even when there’s a roof.


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm

And you wonder where they got the inspiration for “Who Let the Dogs Out”. They are the great escape artists of the canine world because they want to be wherever the action is. The problem is that when that very noble nose catches a scent–any scent–they’re off to the races, and they’re very difficult to catch or stop. All Beagles have a white tip on their tails. It is said that God put it there to help out us humans. If we keep it in sight, we’ll always be able to figure out where the heck the Beagle is. There’s that, and then there’s the godawful racket they make when they start to chase something.

At our house, the resident Beagle has turned his talents to breaking IN. We figured out right away that the kitchen trash has to be kept in the utility room behind a baby gate. We just reach around and dispose of whatever needs getting rid of. From time to time an awful SKREEK-THUNK, SKREEK-THUNK sound arises from that part of the house. Spencer has managed to get hold of the end of the garbage bag liner with his teeth, and he’s gradually pulling it across the floor, banging it against the gate in hopes of tipping it over.

And these dogs are supposed to be stupid?

Comment from bluhawkk
Time November 10, 2008 at 6:52 am

“And these dogs are supposed to be stupid?”

Hmmm….. I found a canine intelligence ranking with beagles ranked 72 out of 79 in the Working/Obedience Intelligence category measruing the ability to absorb and respond to commands.

Based on the videos the beagle appears to have a native intelligence that allows it to assess obstacles and reason its way out.

I found this at http://petrix.com/dogint/ :

“According to S. Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs”, there are three types of dog intelligence:
Adaptive Intelligence (learning and problem-solving ability). This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
Instinctive Intelligence. This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
Working/Obedience Intelligence. This is breed dependent.”
If beagles are an independent-minded lot, then as such they would perhaps show their true colors in either or both the Adaptive Intelligence or Instinctive Intelligence categories.

And http://www.essortment.com/all/beagledoginfor_pkw.htm comments that beagles are smart:

The beagle is an alert dog, eager to play, learn and hunt. It’s rare for the beagle to show aggression or timidness. Beagles are intelligent, quick dogs, but bore easily. Known for being intuitive problem solvers, it can be difficult to keep a beagle’s attention. For this reason, the beagle can be bit more challenging to train than other breeds, and has a difficult time filling his time when left alone for extended periods.”

In addition Snoopy knew how to pilot a fighter plane.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 10, 2008 at 9:24 am

Ahh, you’ve hit on one of my favorite subjects. Beagles are always in the “ten dumbest dog” segments they do on TV news when they don’t have any better to do. The last one I saw showed (I think) five or six out of that group to be hounds, and at least three out of that six were sight hounds. Beagles are scent hounds. I’m never sure what they mean by “dumb,” but I do know two things:

First, Beagles and other hounds–both sight and scent–were bred to locate their prey, follow it, and either kill it (sometimes) or hold it “at bay” until the humans arrive. They do this quite well. But while they are working, they are usually well out of sight, out of reach, and out of range of the nearest human. They have to be able to think and act independently. They do this very well, but human beings who want total and instant compliance aren’t likely to get it from a hound. That goes along with that adaptive and instinctive intelligence.

I also think (and this is a more personal observation) that hounds are really the elemental dogs, and that our relationship with a hound has some pretty ancient qualities to it. Other groups of dogs have been bred to do other tasks. Hounds were and are still bred to go out with us to catch and kill our food, and that’s what dogs and humans did together at the dawn of their relationship. Our other activities with dogs (herding, guarding, other types of work, even companionship) came along later as we and they settled into agriculture and then into cities. When you make friends with any hound, Beagles included, you’re setting off on an ancient adventure.

And of course you are right about Snoopy!

Comment from Pink Floyd
Time August 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

I own a beagle and can testify that she is an extremely intelligent creature. Her free-spirit and independent thought may impede her ability to follow my every command but that is in no way due to a lack of intelligence. Her problem solving skills surpass all of the other breeds I’ve owned.

I loved these videos! They remind me so much of my beagle. Lily would escape on a daily basis. She could squeeze through very small openings in the fence, jump a 4 foot fence, or dig under the fence. She once clawed through the drywall when I left her in the spare bedroom.

I bought a 6 ft. tall kennel cage. She could jump about 5 feet into the air and hook her paws into the chain links. Then hoist herself over the last foot to escape every time. I finally had to wire the top AND bottom of the cage with chicken wire. This is the only way I can contain the beagle!

Comment from Boni’s mom
Time March 18, 2010 at 9:36 am

I own a beagle, and she is surely a very smart dog. The problem with them, if it’s a problem, is that they are very independent dogs. They wouldn’t like to be trained if they could have the choice. Their ability to climb up so high and then escape is due to their close relation to the felines. Those who have had other breeds know that beagles are a combination of dog and cat.

Comment from kim trevino
Time April 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Damn beagle – I adore her, she sleeps with me every night but dare not let her out without me babysitting her – she escapes all the time – that is her goal – she finds every hidey hole – I have put wire fence along my fenced in yard, but she always finds a way to get out. I have run after her at 6:30am in morning…yelling her name – she always comes home but her main goal is “get the hell out of this fenced in yard” – then my sweet beagle will sleep with me with her head next to mine, but one I let her out – she is gone…