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It's a voice that only a mother can love, and it belongs to a beagle. It's called a "bay," and it's half-way between a bark and a howl.

Beagles are quite famous for their voices. If you do not live in close proximity to your neighbors, the wonderful voices are usually not an issue. However, when you share walls with a neighbor in apartments, condos, townhomes, etc., beagle voices can be a real problem. Many a beagle owner has been the recipient of eviction notices or visits from Animal Control as a result of complaints from neighbors who are not appreciative of the sound.

Beagles are not generally yappy dogs, but they will bark if there is something to bark at, such as other dogs, people outside, people through the walls, a doorbell, a squirrel out the window, etc. They will bark because of excitement--when you come home, if they think it's dinner time, when they think there's a treat coming, etc. And they will bark out of boredom or frustration--if they're trying to get your attention, if they are left alone longer than they want to be, or if they are unhappy.

"Does this mean that you don't adopt beagles to people who live in apartments or condos?"

No, but it does mean that we have to be extra careful to find just the right beagle for you. We will help you find a beagle who is not going to let his/her voice lead to trouble. You can't take home any old beagle and have good odds that it will work out. The average beagle is too vocal to be successful in a living situation where you share walls with your neighbors. We have to look for one who is less vocal than the average beagle, and ideally one who had a track record of living successfully in that type of situation.

It will take longer to find a beagle for this situation. We'd be on the hunt for one who is the exception to the rule. But if you are patient and don't mind waiting for the right one to come along, we can put you on a waiting list and notify you when we come across an apartment-friendly beagle.

"I grew up with a beagle, and I don't remember him being that vocal."

You probably grew up in a house. Remember that much of a beagle's baying is either reactionary (barking in response to another noise) or happens when you are not home (loneliness or boredom).

In an apartment situation (or really in any scenario where you are in close proximity to your neighbors), there are more sounds for your beagle to react to. Your beagle will hear people through the walls, hear neighbors walk through the halls or outside, and hear the neighbors' animals. Ironically, in the situation where it is the most important to have a quiet dog, that's when beagles tend to be the most vocal. If you live in a house and there is some buffer space between you and the neighbors, there is less stimuli to make a beagle bark.

In the case of barking when you are not home, you're not there to hear it, so you wouldn't have known about it. But if you are in an apartment, your neighbors will.

"My building is really dog-friendly. No one complains about the other dogs barking."

Unfortunately, we can't pick our neighbors. If you are lucky enough to have neighbors who are not bothered by dog noises, that's great. But there is nothing stopping your neighbors from moving out. Your new neighbor could be more uptight about noise.

Your neighbors have the legal right to complain and would likely win the argument if they reported you to management or to Animal Control. All it takes is one person to make it unworkable, and then you are faced with either giving up your best friend, taking on the (often unaffordable) expense of breaking a lease to move, or selling. None of these are good options.

"There is another beagle in my building, and he does just fine with apartment living."

That is wonderful for his people! They were lucky and ended up with one of the exceptional beagles who are less vocal--the same kind we'd be looking for on your behalf, should you decide you still want to consider adopting a beagle.

Unfortunately, for every beagle that is successful at apartment living, there are many who are not. You just don't see themŠbecause they're already gone! All you end up seeing around are the ones who do well. So, keep in mind that it's not a random sample of the beagles out there. You're seeing the lucky ones.

It really is a risky proposition to have a breed that is a known howler in an apartment. We can do our best to find a beagle who we think is less likely to cause problems, but there really aren't any guarantees. We can't predict a dog's future behavior.

The safest thing to do is to look for a breed that is not as vocal and that is known to make a great apartment dog.

If you are still set on a beagle, please let us know, and we'd be happy to put you on our waiting list.

We wish you good luck and success in your search for a furry roommate!