"Savage beagles terrorize East End" - How difficult is it to re-socialize dogs that have gone feral?

Per this story what kind of challenges will potential adoptive owners face when dealing this these feral hounds?

Savage beagles terrorize East End

If dog have been around humans as pups, even if they’ve gone very feral and developed a fear of/aggression towards people they can be rehabilitated enough to be trustworthy pets, with time. I would say the dogs in this particular situation would be great pets if given the chance.

What is almost impossible is trying to tame a dog born and raised feral with no contact with humans.

Dogs have a formative socialization period - about the 2nd to 5th month of life. Often they will never be comfortable with what they are not exposed to during this time. This is why it’s so, so important to deliberately socialize young puppies to a wide variety of people and situations.

As for acclimating a nervous dog to life in the house - it takes time and patience. They need a safe place to hide and lots of quiet. They will need to be housetrained. They need gentle disipline, gentle touching, and just… time.

They are beagles. Given the choice between re-socializing them or putting them down, why would anyone pick re-socializing?

(yeah, I had a neigbor with beagles. Love dogs, hate beagles. Or at least beagle sounds.)

I am rather biased, as beagles are one of my favorite dog breeds. There is a rescue around here that has had pretty good luck in re-socializing dogs like these. They have the resources and the money to do it, but it can take about a year to get the dogs into adoptable shape.


I understand the frustration with having outdoor beagles as neighbors. It is my belief that keeping outdoor-only dogs especially chained dogs, is a form of abuse. Even in a mild climate, I don’t think it is right. My parents had a beagle they purchased as a rabbit dog. He lived indoors, loved babies, other dogs, cats and any human he ever came in contact with. It didn’t make him any less of a rabbit dog. He loved going out and sniffing rabbits, it was what he was bred to do.

They should also be socialized with members of their own species. My mom made that mistake with her Shih-Tzu, and a wonderful dog who is very affectionate with people is extremely shy with other dogs.

i question the accuracy of the article. Are the beagles being dropped off or are they actually getting them from the wild. If they are running wild and attacking people I wouldn’t think the shelter actually goes out and tries to capture them. If they’re dropped off by the hunters then they are not feral.

In shelter parlance, “feral” means not relying directly on humans for food, shelter and resources. If the dogs are in fact finding their own source of food and are not sheltering with humans, they could be considered feral. Some people try and take the definition further to differentiate between “stray” and “feral” as the capability of socialization. “Ferals” are unsociable with humans and are unlikely to socialize with humans, “stray” is an animal that has been socialized with humans are is likely to socialize with humans again, but may or may not rely directly on humans for food and shelter.

Not all “strays” are “feral”. There are a small number of “feral” that aren’t “stray”, but the vast majority of “feral” are “stray”. The exception would be barn cats who are “owned” but tend to not be social with humans.