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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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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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