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Hello, I decided to join this forum as part of my research in finding an appropriate companion pet for my family.

I am currently divided between an Italian Greyhound or a Beagle. I am leaning more toward the Beagle due to the durability factor as well as previous experience.

Me:
My family is currently petless, other than two goldfish. I am married with two small children, we are a happy stable family, low stress and reasonably mellow.

I grew up with two dogs (that I can remember), first was an AKC Keeshound that lived a very long life of close to 14 years or so but who's quality of life was such that I finally had to make my mother put her down. Second was a half wolf that just kinda 'happened' into the family from a cousin of mine, he only lived for about 5 years.

In adulthood my wife and I purchased a beagle puppy from someone who put their pure beagle with another pure beagle from a friend shortly after we were married, basically a backyard breeder who put an ad in the paper. We took her home at 8 weeks and she was a wonderful pet. At about 3 years old she began having seizures that affected her personality to the point that eventually she turned vicious to the point where she was no longer safe to have around by 4.

Shortly after the beagle we got a small kitten who only lived to be 8 months old, he was either claimed by the Purina poison pet food thing of several years ago, or some sort of genetic kidney thing, we didn't investigate as he died about a month before the Purina thing went 'big' all over the news.

The only pets we have attempted in the past 4 years have been a pair of kittens from an Animal Rescue up here in Fairbanks. Both were virtually feral and hated my daughter to the point where they would hurt her purposefully and poop on her clothes and toys... it was an odd situation and they were returned to the rescue shelter.

It gets bitterly cold in Alaska, but only really for 3 to 4 months of the year. The remaining 8 months of the year is absolutely amazingly beautiful and wild. I live in a reasonably sized townhouse style home with a small fenced yard.

Wants:
First and foremost I want a healthy, compasionate, loving, well bred dog, free of genetic problems and sickness. My wife and I love Alaska and plan on staying up here, but probably more toward Anchorage if we can find work there after our military commitment is done with. I want a dog that will live a healthy life of 10 to 15 years.

I grew up with mostly female dogs, barring the male half wolf, and I am more comfortable with female animals. But I am not all together the general personality differences between male and female beagles.

A Note on rescues:
I am not really interested in a rescue dog, while some of you may scoff at that. I have a hard time allowing a dog of unknown (to me) temperament around my children. Most rescue dogs are older with a temperment already set into them, I would prefer to help mold a younger dog. My other concern with a rescue dog other than age (I want a puppy from 8 to 10 weeks or so) is unknown genetics and the possibility of getting a dog that will be genetically broken in any number of ways due to inbreeding or just poor breeding.

Concerns:
My main concern is getting a genetically broken dog. I do not want to put my daughters through the pain that my wife and I went through watching our beagle descend into madness, or our kitten get sick and dissapear into the vets office.

I have contacted several breeders, some who criticize anyone other than AKC, others that seem that when I questioned (politly) ACA or IPRI registration seemed a bit upset with me and threw references at me. So I am kinda lost as to what to do.

I have contacted several breeders via the internet and email, only a few do I feel comfortable with. And even then I haven't asked any of the 'tough' questions yet, like asking to see the testing of the sire and dam ect...

Sadly none of these breeders I have contacted have asked ME any questions... so I don't think I am on the right track yet.

Almost every breeder I have contacted has been just throwing pictures and prices at me and not really talking about the dog at all other than to say.. "He/She is SOOOOOOOOOOo cute! You will love this dog!"

I am mostly here for guidance and information before I step into a commitment of more than a decade to care for a companion for my daughters.

I hope I have found the right place, Does anyone know of a reputable breeder in Alaska? (Ill look out of state if I have to of course)

Im not after a show quality dog in reference to looks, but as far as genetics and temperment I aim to be very picky.

Any guidence you could give would be great.
 

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I am only share my experience with you. I got a "backyard" breeder dog for our first beagle, which turned out to be a basset/beagle, a bagel. This dog had the best temperament of any dog I had ever had. He lived to be 10 years old, and died of cancer two years ago.

Our second beagle, was a purebred, but the breeder, wasn't registered, he just bred pure breds with his male. So we know that Cobi is healthy "stock". Temperament - wise, he's a little more aggressive than most beagles, but that is a problem of k ids in the neighborhood being nasty to him as a pup. His temperament around us, is laid back. No health problems that we know of thus far.

Casie came to us as a "defective" show bred pup. He has a larger sternum bone so he was "perfect" enough to show. He is a lovable, shy, timid, enormously laid back dog. A girl friend who helps with many dog shows, found him for us, by visiting other breeders at these shows.

So I guess my suggestions are to talk to people who know the breeders first, and then prepare a list of questions and an interview for you and the breeder. Although no breeder can guarantee his/her dog to be 100% healthy forever, they can show you mom and dad's health records. Talk to vets in your area about who has dogs that might be having pups in the beagle family. Don't hesitate to ask vets if they would give a pup a physical if you find one, before you finish the sale...sometimes they won't charge you too much or at all, because they want to have you as a patient. If the breeder can't supply you with info about mom and dad, then back away. Our first dog the "bagel" was said to be a purebred, and in reality, we met the owners of "dad" and he was a basset. Ask everyone you see if they know any beagle owners, they are the chief source of information about good and bad breeders. I asked many people when we started looking, and finally let my friend do the looking, and then e-mail me pics and names of pups and their breeders from dog shows. Check in your state and see if there are any dog shows scheduled....if you can go there, you'll meet reputable breeders whose good name is dependent up on their reputations. It make be a slow process, but it's better than going to a puppy mill, and getting a sick dog, and breaking your hearts again.

Good luck, and when you get one --- we like pics here.!!!!!

Oh as for sex, I'll take boys...but then that's all I've ever had.
 

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Italian greyhounds are wonderful dogs, but not as well suited to alaskas climate. I would go with the beagle. Our beagles come from a man who bred them for rabbit hunting not for show. I dont know if alaska has many people who hunt with beagles but you might find a healthier dog looking at hunters vs show dogs.(less expensive as well) I think its more important to meet the parent dogs than to get fancy pedigrees.
despite coming from the same litter we believe one of ours has a little bassett in him as well. we refer to him as a bassle.
one of our first beagles was a rescue and was the sweetest most loveable pup ever.
sometimes beagles are given up as pups for reasons other than personality disorders.
the one we rescued was just fat and liked to cuddle and lick the baby more than the owners cared for.
good luck with your search.
 
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