I agree, the barking can sometimes be more the issue. Some dogs are quiet, some are loud - depends on the dog. I live in the suburbs with a very quiet, submissive dog and a barking, howling dominant dog. She barks at people she sees passing by the fence, and she howls out of anxiety, boredom, and to be let back in the house (charming before 7am on a weekend, let me tell you). Our dogs live mostly indoors and go out to potty and to play. I've never gotten complaints about the noise. Are you part of a homeowner's association? Do some research on local restrictions on noise, too.
Duke rarely howls and he isn't a huge barker, unless he thinks he's on to something. But when he does bark, WOW, it's loud! Violet howls some and barks much more than Duke, but her bark isn't as loud. Though neither of them are out of control barkers, so it has never been an issue.
I grew up with 2 beagle mixed dogs and now I have a purebred beagle. My first, Heidi, only barked when the doorbell rang or we kids were in danger. (We were 6 kids born in 5 years and Heidi arrived in the 6th year) The second, Mitzi, howled at everything and had to be kept in the house because of the noise. Marley,our purebred, is one of the quietest dogs on the block. The neighbors are amazed at the rarity of her howls. I read if a beagle pack leader acknowledges the find the finder beagle will quiet down. It really seemed to work. I look at the source of her bark and just walk away. Also, Marley never makes noise on the leash. Weird but it makes walking pleasant.
Jersey rarely makes a sound...unless she's left home alone. Then, her separation anxiety kicks in and she howls like she's being tortured. But just for normal day to day stuff, she's a very quiet girl.
We live in a subdivision and honestly we have more problems with our neighbors daschund and the other's little white fluffy dogs barking than with our beagles. They'll bark/howl sometimes when they catch a scent but we just call them in. And sometimes they'll howl if they hear the garbage truck. But when we call them in the stop. And they do howl when they hear us come home from somewhere. But honestly when they're inside the house they're pretty quiet. We don't ever leave them outside when we're not around though. That way if they do get barking it doesn't bother anyone.
I don't really think they bark that much more than one of my parents labs. LOL
Maggie only bays if a raccoon is in her yard. She barks if a stranger comes to our door or a cat she doesn't know walks past the window. The two English Bulldogs next door bark a lot more than Maggie does.
They are a typical hound so by nature they are prone to barking and/or baying. Whilst some dogs are more vocal than others, it largely depends on how much physical and mental stimulation the dog has. A loud dog is generally a bored one!
I agree with Smeagle. Chloe is not noisy at all, unless I leave the house and she is still very high energy (didn't get a walk long enough), when she hears something sudden and loud in the hall (rare) and when at the park and again, something unusual happens/suspicious person walking by (all the dogs are on edge) and frustrated while play with other dogs.
Mine are pretty noisy when they hear my car drive up - then I let them outside for a few minutes and they let everyone know they're out - usually for no more than a minute - UNLESS the neighbors' cats are outside - then .... well, they can be pretty noisy, so I bring them inside. They have to spend MOST of their time in the house because, with 9 dogs, if there IS something for them to bark at, they WILL bark. They don't howl or bay that much except when they hear me outside and they're in the house, the whole pack starts singing, but they quiet when I tell them that's enough. Like Eleanor, I love the singing, but some of the neighbors aren't that FOND of it. A choir of 9 beagles CAN be pretty LOUD.
I think there are a lot of reason dogs (not just Beagles) bark or howl. They can range from neglect, boredom, discomfort, lack of food/water and a whole range of psychological issues. You have to ask yourself why is he barking/howling. If you give your dog a comfortable space with toys and lots of love that should be good enough. Bare in mind, this is assuming there isn't another dog around.
With Bodie he has a spacious dog run with food, water and toys EVERYWHERE. He's only in their during the day, at night he's inside with us. Yet he still will whine and bark from time to time. From day one we ignored him we he started whining. When he stopped then we gave him attention. Nowadays I think the only time I really hear him is when we get home. He can hear the garage door open and starts whining, howling and/or barking. But when he's alone he's more or less fine. I don't think our neighbors mind because it's not constant. If it was then we'd have a bigger problem to deal with.
So don't be afraid of irritating your neighbors. Just be prepared to give your Beagle lots of attention when you are home and a happy place to be during the day.