Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted October 27, 2015
Beagle/German Shepherds (GSDs) have the best - and worst - traits of both breeds. On the plus side, they are extremely food motivated, quick learners, and athletic, but as for the negatives, they extremely food motivated, quick learners, and athletic ;)
Beagle/GSDs are very cute, and often have a "perma-puppy" look, as they have the coat and coloring of a GSD, but the size and face of a beagle. Unfortunately, this mix can shed - A LOT, but otherwise does not require costly grooming.
Both beagles and GSDs are highly intelligent breeds. Sadie is a very quick learner, and breezed through obedience class. On rainy afternoons she can pick up new tricks in just a couple of hours. Because she is very intelligent, she needs a lot of mental stimulation. A favorite game of hers is "hide and go treat", which involves hiding treats around the house for her to use her beagle-nose to find. Bits of cheese or rabbit-flavored treats are her favorite.
A downside to beagles and beagle mixes is that they can rarely be trusted off-leash, as most GSDs can. The beagle has a very strong prey drive. Sadie chases and kills rabbits and squirrels in the yard often.
The athleticism of a beagle/GSD makes them great, active companions. Sadie is a highly motivated runner (the GSD component), which is also a negative, because she can chase rabbits/squirrels all day, and must be supervised in the yard to ensure she does not escape to chase her prey.
Both breeds are extremely loyal, and prefer humans to other dogs. The beagle component makes Sadie extremely cuddly, and she loves to be a lap dog, but will defend or "guard" her humans from other dogs also wanting attention.
With proper exercise, both the GSD and beagle are emotionally stable, and the mix is no different. Sadie can be left at home for hours, uncrated, without ever having destroyed anything.
Beagles are known for their howls, while GSDs have a deep bark. Sadie has both, and uses each in varying situations. To express happiness or excitement, she howls; however to warn other dogs to stay away, she barks. The bark is a true GSD bark, which often surprises people that a little dog can make such a big noise!
While GSDs are fantastic guard/watch dogs, the beagle is not. Sadie never barks at people, and would be more likely to lick someone to death than alert anyone to danger. However, she can be quite fierce. In instances where loose dogs have approached her, she has attacked each and every one, even dogs much larger than she.
Overall, the beagle/GSD is a great mix. I would not recommend it to someone who is not active or not willing to work on obedience. Because they are quick learners, they can also learn negative habits very easily. For instance, Sadie has learned to howl when she needs to go outside to potty. She now howls frequently, knowing we will let her outside, and then PRETENDS to go potty. She has trained us to let her outside.