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Is the Beagle Right for us?

6840 Views 43 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  Pop_Rivit
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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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!!!
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!
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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