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Hi everyone, I understand that this is a forum for current beagle owners, and I hope to soon be one. I thought I could get some good advice from you on whether my fiance and I should get a beagle or not. We've been doing research and talking to breeders for 4-6 months now, but we're still not sure if our situation is right for us and the dog. We both think beagles are adorable and would love to have a fun, cuddly family pet, but we keep hearing horror stories that make us think twice. We know several people that have beagles, and they have mixed reviews. Here is a quick breakdown of where we're at:

We live in Boston. Our neighborhood is extremely dog friendly. We live next to several parks, and specifically a fenced in dog park that is usually quite crowded. We are both active young adults (late 20's/early 30's) that like to be outside and get exercise. I work full time during the day, but only about a 10 min drive from home. My fiance is in med school, so she has long but odd hours. Sometimes she leaves later in the morning, sometimes comes home early, but basically I assume that she is out of the house for most of the day, and sometimes until 8 pm or so. We do not have any children, but hope to in the next 5 years or so. We own our condo, and it is about 850 sq ft with a private, fenced in back patio that is probably 15-15 in size. The fence goes right to the ground (which is concrete around the edges) so there's no way a dog is digging under it.

We're thinking of getting a male tri-color puppy. I plan to come home at lunch everyday for at least month or two to let the dog out, and we're committed to going to puppy school, working with the dog at night, etc. I'm worried that leaving a puppy alone for 3-4 hours for the first 6 months will make it lonely and cause it to act out (ie bark a lot while we are gone, etc). We could potentially get a dog walker for the first few months to come let him out every 2-3 hours. Also, we've recently heard that beagles have a problem with seizures. A person we spoke to in our dog park mentioned their beagle has seizures every 3-4 months. Is that a common occurrence?

So, that's where we are at. We're trying to make the right decision for us and the dog. Any advice would be much appreciated!!! Thank you.
 

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I think you sound like a good candidate for a beagle!! I have not heard the seizure thing before. I'm certain you will get more detailed answers than this one, but our first beagle, Toby, was 6 when we had our first child. Both our beagles are great with our son, but Lucky (our 2 y.o. beagle) just loves playing with him They have so much fun together!

You may have some trouble in the very beginning with the time away from home. I think every beagle is different in this aspect, but it sounds like you are prepared for it. Toby loved his crate while we were gone. It was/is his safe place. I would gate him in the kitchen, but he didn't want out of his crate! Lucky is not so much that way and does better gated in the kitchen or utility room. Neither of mine have separation anxiety issues. A beagle will love your active life style and it sounds like you have wonderful access to a dog park (a beagles best friend, imo!).

The only other thing you might consider if you are truly worried about some of the personality issues is see if the breeders have a pup that is a few months older. A pup that is a few months old may already have some of its personality traits showing!

Good luck! Keep us posted!
 

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I wish I could give you more answers but I know very little about puppies except that like small children, I suspect they require lots more attention. All my dogs have been adult rescues and as for the beagle breed I can address some of the specifics.

Beagles were bred to be independent thinkers and hunters and work as a team with other in their pack. If you adopt a beagle, you become their pack so they tend to be very affectionate, cuddle critters and by nature are friendly with anything that doesn’t act like prey. They are not like herd dogs who were bred to take commands, the most you can hope for is that they will favorably evaluate your requests but beware; a good scent may trumps the best treat so 100% recall is not a given and few if any beagle owners allow their beagles off-lead in unconfined areas.

I can’t direct address problems like seizures, I am unaware of a profound problem within the breed but there are a lot of beagles and some have problems, perhaps someone on here can help you. I can say that beagles tend to live longer than most canines and all dogs, like all God’s creatures are subject to the same diseases and problems that plaque us humans.

I rescued my beagle eleven and a half years ago when he was between three and five years old, neutered him, had a chip installed, and went off to obedience school. He is still my best friend and buddy, healthy and happy in his senior years. If you decide on a beagle consider this, adopting a beagle is probably a long term commitment.
 

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Don't do it!!!! jk lol

I am a new beagle owner (2 weeks now), and I am not going to lie, it's going to take some work and time, especially if you bring home a puppy. But in the end, it's very rewarding, because they are absolutely amazing dogs. Be prepared for a lot of howling and baying, as it's in their nature. As for the seizure thing, yes beagles are in the top 5 for breeds having cases of epilepsy, but know that it is very treatable on most cases. If you can afford to hire a dog walker to let him out about 2-3 times per week while you are both gone, go for it, because it'll help a lot! It's going to take a lot of patience and perhaps some sleepless nights, but it's all worth it.
 

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A puppy was DEFINITELY a handful. It's not training the puppy you'll find yourself realizing months later, but training yourself to set realistic expectations. Not all dogs house train on the same timeline. I've often read that Beagles are considered stubborn, but I prefer the term independent. It's easier to train them when you realize that they need to WANT to do what you ask. Using force and intimidation risks damaging the trust that you have to work so hard to obtain.
With consistent training and realistic expectations, my two Beagles are model citizens in my house. It took a while though, so I would keep that in mind. Also, do you have any prior experience with puppies? Leaving a puppy fenced in outside CAN lead to constant barking as they can become bored.
I really respect your desire to reach out to folks for advice before adopting a beagle because it really shows that you want to make sure the fit is good for both dog and humans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice, its definitely helpful to hear a few different perspectives.

Kenya Owns me --- Seeing as you are in the first few weeks of beagle ownership, I was wondering if you have any stories that you could share? Anything that could give us some real world examples of what is 'taking a lot of work and time'? For example, are you getting up every 2 hours overnight to let the dog out? Is she barking/crying a lot when you are not around? Have you been able to leave her for a few hours at a time? Has the dog destroyed a lot of items in your house?

I am a bit worried about the howling. I understand its going to happen, as its part of the dog. But I do live in a city with neighbors all around, and if the dog is howling all day or all night, it could become unpleasant for everyone around. Do any of you use any methods (training, bark collars, etc) to minimize the howling?
 

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On the baying/barking...
I haven't had a problem, but I do have a good friend who works with Field Trial Labs and no bark collars are standard use in the beginning, as they have to learn to listen/watch for commands from the trainer/owner. Again, that is labs and I have no experience with beagles and no bark collars, but I would certainly look into it before I let howling/baying be the reason to not get a beagle - that is, if everything else about a beagle fits your life.

We have had discussions here before as to hunting vs show lines on such tendencies. It does kinda seem like beagles that come from show lines are sometimes a little milder on the barking/baying.

Both my beagles bay and bark sometimes, but rarely to the point that it is a nuisance to anyone but me!!!
 

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Oh, and it is a pretty good rule of thumb that a tired beagle is a good beagle! Plenty of exercise will help with many of the complaints about beagles. Of course, I think that's true with any breed!
 

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I applaud you for getting information before making your commitment.

I have owned and been around dogs my entire life. Beagles are no different than any other breed in that there are a lot of differences between individuals. What may hold true for my beagle may be the polar opposite of what you see in your dog.

Murphy is our first beagle, and after doing some research I decided on a beagle with the stipulation that we would attend obedience class with him. I've never felt the need to do that with any other dog, but it's been extremely beneficial for both Murphy and me. I'm not sure that I could have been consistent enough without the guidance of the instructor.

Housebreaking has been more of a challenge than I remember from puppies of the past. But-we also picked Murphy up just before Christmas and it was a cold, snowy winter. There were times when it was just too cold for an 8 week old puppy to spend time outside. This is the first time I've ever used piddle pads. I've also learned to pay close attention to his signal to go outside. Murphy is now housebroken but it took a lot of work.

Hint: What Odor? works great for those accidents.

I've also learned that Murphy can be headstrong-more so than any other dog I've had. Now that I understand it I can usually outsmart him and get him to do what I want, although I had to change the approach I use for training (again, the classes were invaluable). This forum has also been a great resource for information from people who have been there, done that.

Another thing you'll want to keep in mind. If you have kids in 5 years, about the time they are 5-8 years old you'll have to face the aging and death of your dog with them. In my opinion it's a valuable life lesson for kids, but some people may not agree. We just had to let 2 of our dogs go in the last 5 months and I still mourn their passing. It can be a heartbreaking decision to euthanize your companion of the last 14 years.

If I had to do it over again would I get another beagle? In a heartbeat. In fact, if things work out I'll do that very thing on Saturday. They are simply great dogs if you're willing to dedicate the time to them they deserve.

Just remember-we like pictures!

Good luck!
 

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Originally Posted By: Toby & LuckyOn the baying/barking...
We have had discussions here before as to hunting vs show lines on such tendencies. It does kinda seem like beagles that come from show lines are sometimes a little milder on the barking/baying.

Both my beagles bay and bark sometimes, but rarely to the point that it is a nuisance to anyone but me!!!
I've never heard Murphy howl and he rarely barks except when he's been home alone all day. He'll have a fit for about a minute when we get home-running around barking as if to say You left me all day! I'm so glad to see you but you LEFT ME ALL DAY!

He's only 7 months so that may change when he's older-I simply don't know at this point.
 

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first, welcome to the forum!


Sounds like you've done your research let me adress some of your concerns.

As to the barking, well beagles are VERY varied, in color,size,temperment etc. my beagle is a very quiet beag, and i know its a tossup on what you get. But just because its a beagle doesn't mean you'll have a dog baying all day long. Worst comes to worst you could just teach the quiet command.
As to destroying many items around the house, well i have an 11 months old and to be honest he's def. chewed up a few things. Any puppy you get will likely chew up a few of your items but think of it as a way to correct him and teach him the righ way.
Excercise wise its also a tossup, some beagles just want to sleep all day (my pup) some are just rearing to go , others are in between. I've noticed that my dog loves walks but if i dont have the time for one he's just as happy spending his day playing with toys and napping on the couch.
Training can be difficult but if you start young and are consistant you should be fine.

Personally i've never heard about the seizure thing but i'll tell ya what, beagles actually are one of the healthiest dog breeds they have very few genetic problems and tend to live long full lives

Another thing, beagles are EXTREMELy friendly, they wont make a good guard dog, maybe alert dog but def. not guard dog. In many instances i've found our mailwoman and pizzaboys playing with my dog....seriously they think all strangers are friends. With kids, they are by nature very gentle, atleast i never taught mine to be easy with the kids in our family, he just knew to be gentle even with the toddlers that pull on puppy tails and ears, or just meeting babies and toddlers on walks they tend to really like kids and there isn't anything cuter then a small kid and his beag


Good luck and again welcome, feel free to browse the forum and use the search there are probably alot of threads you'd enjoy.
 

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Hi, I wanted to chime in. I'm a life-long Beagle fan and owner, I currently have two.

Please take the time to really educate yourself about the breed. Beagles are hounds & pack animals. Having one which has to spend all day alone in an apartment may not be the ideal situation for a Beagle to truly be happy in.

They can be difficult to potty train, they are very independent and can be stubborn, you cannot use any form of physical discipline with a Beagle, they can and do remember it. They can be quite vocal, howling, whining, barking, singing etc.

They are prone to dig and chew, especially if left alone for long periods without companionship. They need a good secure yard as they will follow scent by instinct. They need a good amount of exercise as they can be prone to weight gain. Some beagles do have seizures. One of mine years ago had epilepsy which was controlled easily by daily medication. My two current boys do not have any sign of epilepsy.

Their ears need good care to avoid any problems, and many beagles need their anal glands expressed monthly.

Beagles are at their happiest when their is at least one person home during the day. (I am a stay at home wife, and my kids were homeschooled so the pack was always there). We have a total of 5 dogs so the beagles are never alone or lonely.

Be prepared for a 15 year commitment at least. Beagles require monthly heart worm preventive medication, regular dental care, and be aware that some hounds can get cherry eye so be on the watch for that as well (also they tend to get very enthusiastic when chasing rabbits etc so their pads, paws, nails, eyes, ears etc must be carefully checked when they come in).

be prepared to NEVER let your Beagle off the leash when out no matter how well trained. They are instinct driven to follow scent. Don't take the chance!

The upside is, they are loveable, adorable, devoted companions. Very strong & healthy with few health issues, they are generally good with children and elderly people.

you have to look at this the same as if you were to have a child. Anything less and you may end up doing the dog a disservice. Basically just be sure you understand the breed, they have quirks which for those of us who love them are not a big deal, but way way way way way too many Beagles end up in rescues or shelters because people got the dog without understanding what it is like to have hounds and they aren't prepared to put in the work to have a well-adjusted Beagle.
 

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Originally Posted By: SouthendbeagleThanks everyone for the advice, its definitely helpful to hear a few different perspectives.

Kenya Owns me --- Seeing as you are in the first few weeks of beagle ownership, I was wondering if you have any stories that you could share? Anything that could give us some real world examples of what is 'taking a lot of work and time'? For example, are you getting up every 2 hours overnight to let the dog out? Is she barking/crying a lot when you are not around? Have you been able to leave her for a few hours at a time? Has the dog destroyed a lot of items in your house?

I am a bit worried about the howling. I understand its going to happen, as its part of the dog. But I do live in a city with neighbors all around, and if the dog is howling all day or all night, it could become unpleasant for everyone around. Do any of you use any methods (training, bark collars, etc) to minimize the howling?
Beagles are quite vocal. If you live in an apartment or city area, seriously consider NOT getting a beagle. To use a shock collar etc is not fair to the dog as it is doing what it has been bred for literally HUNDREDS of years to do.. Beagles do best in suburban areas with large yards or in more country areas where they are free to be hounds. I've got more than one Beagle and this helps to reduce any loneliness or separation anxiety, but if you have just one beagle, and are not home during the day etc.. you have a recipe for potential disaster.

Please think long and hard before adopting a Beagle.. Maybe an older adult beagle from a rescue who has a more sedate personality might be a much better fit than a puppy.
 

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hey fellow Northeasterner! I also have a male tri color who is just the handsomest thing!! You are certainly doing a great amount of research to make sure this breed is right for you - kudos for that. Our pup just turned a year and we've had him since August. Adopted through petfinder so we're not sure if he's all beagle - he sure looks it. But he doesn't bay/howl (which I'm not complaining about!). He is also not that vocal - we've webcammed him when left home crated while we're at work. I think it will vary from dog to dog. While I would love to have a companion for him, it's not possible right now. I just make sure he has some active time in the morning before we leave, a little break during the day.
a great walk at night and fun and games thrown in the mix.


I don't think the seizures are all that common. If you're talking to reputable breeders (i.e. those that have titled dogs) they should have health records of both of the parents; plus a reputable breeder would not breed a dog that does have a history of seizures.

It's great that you can come home during the day - but when they are puppies, they will need to be let out more frequently than once during the day. A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold it is equal to their age - i.e. 3 months = 3 hours. At night, it may be a little longer, but expect to be up 2 or 3 times a night in the beginning.

being close to a dog park is a great perk! Your dog will not have exercise but socializiation which is important to their developement - just make sure they are up to date on shots before that first visit.

I also suggest grabbing a copy of Before you get your puppy and After you get your puppy by Ian Dunbar. I have them in PDF format and if you're interested I can email you a copy.
 

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I just have to add that in the 8+ years I have had Toby, the happiest he has ever been was when we lived in a small apartment with a dog park right next to us! We loved it, too. We got to know all of our neighbors so well! Toby got to go out for a nice morning play (15-20 minutes) and then if the weather was nice enough, he would play for an hour or more in the evenings. It actually became a social thing! We all came home from work and took our dogs out to play! While a condo may not be easiest place in the world to have a dog, I think you will find your proximity to that dog park will be invaluable!
 

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Well, welcome to beagle world. I am always wary of encouraging people who work long hours to get a dog, unless they can get someone to spend some time with the dog during the day. Our first two beagles both came to us from famillies who were out at work for long hours and found their homes torn apart. Having said that, quite a few people on here do go to work and their beagles seem happy enough. Some crate train them.
Our first beagle had seizures, which got gradually worse and more frequent, and she died, aged 14, in the middle of a bad one.
Should you decide to go ahead then please remember to keep your beagle on the leash when outside a secure area. Have the dog microchipped just incase it does run off and get lost.An essential part of a beagles life is long walks, are you prepared to take a dog out before work and as soon as you return home?
Have you considered getting a rescue? Maybe an older beagle, one thats maybe already used to being on its own. Our present two are rescues and are adorable.
Good luck whatever you decide and please let us know.
 

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Hi there and welcome!

I can give you our puppy experience...Rocky is 11 weeks old and we have had him for 4 weeks now. It's been a blast! The first night was really tough...first night away from his siblings and mom, and he cried a lot and I do believe we were up every hour or two. The good news is that it didn't last long! He was first in the crate in our room, and the 3rd night we tried him down in the living room, his usual spot, and he had us up twice in the night. His last pee was around 11pm, he then had me up between 1:30-2:30, and then hubby heard him next sometime between 4 and 5. He did give us a bit of a hard time about going back in the crate after the middle of the night visits and hubby ended up spending the rest of the night on the sofa a few times. I would sit on the floor nearby until he fell asleep again. We left the radio on for him for the first week. Now, he typically goes out around 11 still and hubby is getting up closer to 5-5:30am, sometimes 6! Hubby brings him up after he's been out, I get a few enthusiastic face licks and the we sleep until my alarm goes off! Then I send him to wake the kids (mine are 10 and 11), by the time we come down it's 7-7:15 and he's then let out again.
Play time and exercise...very important! For chewing I got him a variety of toys...Kong, stuffed animal, Nylabone, sqeaky toy, toss and floss rope toy, and he loves papertowel tubes! This way, depending on what he's chewing on in the house, I can correct him and substitute for a similar texture...ie chewing on wood chair legs, he get's the Nylabone. It's working really well and he loves his stuffies and rope toy!
Training is going well, and everyone is doing well in using the same commands that I have started with him. If he starts getting into too many things, and I don't have the time to sit and play (like as we're getting ready to go in the morning) I tether him to my waist. Works like a charm! So far the only almost casualty has been the starp on a fairly new pair of my shoes...hubby and kids weren't paying attention to him! He's currently very interested in the recycling bins....
Oh, and housebreaking....for the most part he goes to the door and will sometimes paw to let us know. There's been a lot of piddle accidents on the carpet (I use Nature's Miracle) but it's just a cheapie so I don't really care, and if we aren't paying attention he will poop. They key is always being aware of where he's at. During the day my son comes home on his lunch break to let him out if no one else is around (the school is a 2 minute walk from here). Rocky is home in his crate for 4 hours in the morning, and the kids are home from school 2 hours after my son goes back at lunch time. I am home 15 mins after them.

Rocky is our first Beagle, and he is actually part of an oops litter of 4 from our very dear friend's dogs. We know his parents, so we have a pretty good idea of what his temperament could be like. So far, so good! Oh, I should mention that we have 2 year old kittens...endless amusement for the pup!

So that's my experience so far...hope it will help you some in your decision making!
 

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Originally Posted By: SouthendbeagleThanks everyone for the advice, its definitely helpful to hear a few different perspectives.

Kenya Owns me --- Seeing as you are in the first few weeks of beagle ownership, I was wondering if you have any stories that you could share? Anything that could give us some real world examples of what is 'taking a lot of work and time'? For example, are you getting up every 2 hours overnight to let the dog out? Is she barking/crying a lot when you are not around? Have you been able to leave her for a few hours at a time? Has the dog destroyed a lot of items in your house?

I am a bit worried about the howling. I understand its going to happen, as its part of the dog. But I do live in a city with neighbors all around, and if the dog is howling all day or all night, it could become unpleasant for everyone around. Do any of you use any methods (training, bark collars, etc) to minimize the howling?
Well, we are in the process of crate training Kenya (who is 12 weeks old now). The longest she has been left alone was three hours, and that resulted in me having to bath her and scrub her crate because she had poo all over her. Luckily, my girlfriend's brother and his wife offered to watch her while we worked during the week so she's been doing a lot better with her separation anxiety. We just started using a kong toy stuffed with treats and the peanut butter paste, but that just seems to make her poop a lot more. So we have been seldom using that method. Now instead of locking her in her crate, we set up a nice sized puppy pen for her. In the pen we put her crate (with the gate open) in one corner, a piddle pad for her to go on, and house towels to cover up the rest of the carpet floor. She still pooped a lot but a good majority of it was done on the pad, but overall, it seems to be the better method than locking her inside the crate.

There really isn't a set time interval that we have to get up to let her go potty. It's whenever she whimpers. Now she's learned to go over to our sliding glass door and paw at it to let us know she needs to go. Nowadays, we have to get up about 2-3 times a night to let her out. We've gotten used to it though.

The only thing Kenya has ruined (besides carpet accidents) is our blinds to the sliding door. There are tiny bite marks on it but not too much. But this happened because we put the crate next to the blinds and she was able to reach it.

We don't use any type of device to minimize her howling. We just use the ignore method, which started to work after a few days of trying it. If she starts howling and crying, then I just sit on the couch where she can see me and put a magazine to my face. That way she sees that he crying will not get her any attention from me. After a few minutes, she tires out and stops.

One thing to remember with such a stubborn breed is to always praise her when she does something good, and provide some sort of reward like a treat. The howling does get a bit loud, but luckily our neighbors got a heads up from us, and they are cool about it.
 

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First off welcome to the forums and I commend you for taking the time to do your research first. I wish more people did that.

It sounds like your living situation would be fine for a beagle. But be prepared to do crate training for the first few months. This will mean letting your beagle out every few hours initially, and longer intervals later. But you will both need to be committed to a puppy schedule in the beginning stages. But after a few months you can leave him outside during the day and he should be fine.

The one thing I would be cautious against, is getting a field trail beagle. They are breed to track and that inherent trait would make city living more challenging. Your beagle would start baying/beagling when he smells a cat, squirrel, dog, etc. And if you've never seen or heard it before, I strongly suggest you do so beforehand. Decide if that behavior is acceptable with you and your fiance. Aside from their friendly demeanor, beagles are very smart and easy to train if you're consistent and dedicated.

Good luck with your decision.
 
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