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Is the Beagle Right for us?

6842 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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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.
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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