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Greetings all. After much thought and consideration I have decided to add a beagle to the household. However, this will be the first time I will be raising a pup. Are there any particular books or website I should read up on to get a good basis for raising a puppy? Thanks

Richard
 

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Rich - welcome to BW. You are wise to do your homework before adding a beagle to the household. You'll get a lot of very good information right here on BW. To get you started, though, this is something I give to people who are considering adopting one of the puppies from me. By way of background, I have 9 beagles - the first was a real education - I actually thought beagles were DOGS! What an idiot! I was over 60 when I bought a beagle puppy for my granddaughter. I can remember saying, I'll NEVER have another BEAGLE - well, not only did I add a couple of more beagles to my pack, but have some championship line beagles that are bred <span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">occasionally</span></span>. All of my dogs are first and foremost beloved pets and spoiled rotten, and MOST are spayed/neutered as the case may be. Since I knew so little about the breed when we got our first (who soon became MY puppy), I went online to try to find an active beagle group. I met someone in one of the inactive groups who also had her first beagle - tho she was a very experienced dog owner. Unable to find an active group, we decided to start our own group on MSN. Beagle Bay will be 7 years old soon - and we've both acquired other beagles. Deb is the breeder of my JoJo - and from her I learned about being a responsible breeder (I'd never considered breeding one of my dogs before). Anyway, here's something I give to people who are interested in one of my puppies - and I DO often talk people out of a beagle. Beagles are wonderful dogs, but they are NOT for everyone.

This is a document that I give to everyone that is interested in buying a beagle puppy from me. It's a 'work in progress' - but I wish I'd had this information BEFORE I got my first beagle puppy almost 8 years ago!
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So you think you want a beagle?

Before deciding that you just “have to have” one of these adorable puppies, please consider that you are making a “life-time commitment” to this little canine friend. Before making this commitment, please ask yourself a few questions.

The average life-span of a beagle is 12-15 years – assuming that all goes well and it doesn’t develop a serious illness or meet with an unfortunate accident. Are you willing to make a commitment to this little one?
Can you afford vet care? The minimum requirements are for yearly shots and exams, which alone can present you with “healthy bills” from the vet. My bills for the vet usually average $100. We won’t mention those “unforeseen” things, ear infections, accidents, etc., which can add up quickly.
Food is another BIG item. Your puppy has special needs. The pups in my home are weaned to Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food. It is a very good quality dog food – which means it is not cheap. By the time you get your puppy (at roughly 8-10 weeks of age), he/she will still need to be fed 3-4 times a day. Your puppy will also need fresh clean water available at all times. You CAN buy cheaper puppy food, but in the long run, you and your dog will be better off with good quality food. You will need to feed less than of a cheaper brand, and because it’s more digestible, there is less “waste” – so less “clean up” with good quality food. I do NOT recommend canned foods, as they are not good for their teeth. Dry kibble is much better for them.
Are you willing to spend time training your puppy? All puppies need training – and beagles perhaps more than other breeds. While it’s EASY to fall in love with a beagle puppy, they CAN (and usually are) DIFFICULT dogs to “housetrain”. Hounds in many ways are unlike other dogs you may have had who were completely “potty trained” by the age of 3 months. You will find FEW beagles that are totally “housetrained” by 3 months, perhaps even 6 months. Are you willing to put the time into working with your puppy? If you’re NOT, then stop right now, because it is a time-consuming process.
MY first beagle was a total surprise and very difficult for me. I knew nothing about this wonderful breed – except that they were “cute” and “cuddly”. Beagles, like other hounds, are STUBBORN and more “independent” than many other breeds. They are led by their noses. This is why beagles are NEVER left off-leash unless they’re HUNTING (which is what they were bred to do). If you want a beagle as a pet, then PLEASE make sure you have a safe, secure fenced yard for him/her.
Do you have a place for a puppy where he/she will be safe while you’re away at work? Puppies – all puppies are destructive! You have to accept that and make your home as “puppy proof” (safe for them) as possible. Puppies LOVE shoes – and telephone cords, and electrical cords, so these things need to be out of puppy’s reach – because if it’s “there, they will chew”. If you have a “safe” room where puppy can’t chew things – such as a kitchen or bath that can be closed off, that will work, but I’ve known (and loved) pups who have chewed walls, so I prefer using a “crate” or “kennel” when I’m away. I’m fortunate with my job, I live close enough that I can run home at noon and let pups out for some play/exercise time. Years ago I would have said that was “cruel” – and it would be if you leave them in it all the time. It is their “den” – or safe place for them if you can’t be supervising them every minute. Even my dogs that have the run of the house will often go into an empty crate/kennel for a nap. IF you get a puppy from me, it will be accustomed to a crate from an early age, which makes it MUCH easier for YOU as a new owner.
There are several words that beagles do NOT like, among them “come” if they’re hot on the trail of something good. “No” is also a naughty word for beagles. I don’t want to discourage you – but if you’re considering a beagle puppy, you should be aware that they can be and often are STUBBORN. I suggest a good “Puppy Kindergarten” to get him/her started right. The key to beagle training is consistency (and TREATS) – beagles will do ANYTHING for treats. More about that later.
IF you get a puppy from me, he/she will have been born into a loving home environment with lots of love and socializing. I am not a “big breeder” with dozens of dogs, my pups are born right here in my family room, where I spend most of MY waking hours when not at work. They get a lot of handling and a lot of love. This is very important to making a good dog! He/she will also come with a “puppy kit” to get you started. These puppies are from excellent field champion lines and the litter is AKC registered. You will be furnished with the paperwork to register YOUR puppy. I have registered the litter, but registering your pup is your responsibility. I suggest that you do so as soon as possible, if you have any intentions of using your dog for field trials (their paternal grandparents are both International Field Champs), or for other AKC events they will need the AKC registration.
Beagles are “pack” animals, and do much better if they have other dogs in their pack.
IF you decide on a beagle puppy, and something happens that you cannot keep him, then he is to be returned to me for re-homing. I do NOT want one of these puppies to ever wind up in a shelter or rescue. I know that circumstances can change and you may not be in a position to keep your puppy – in that case, call me, and I will take the pup back. These are very special puppies, from very special lines and deserve a special home.
I will ALWAYS be available to answer questions for you and to help in anyway that I can with your puppy.

Now - that being said, I wish you good luck with your baby. You'll find lots of helpful advice right here on BW - or on Beagle Bay if you wish to join.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the time, resources, and patience however there is something interesting in your article that I must question. Are they really that bad off leash? I'm an avid outdoorsman that would like to have a buddy around but are beagles so single minded that leaving them unleashed while at hiking/camping/canoeing etc?
 

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Rich, beagles are hunting dogs and scent hounds - I think you'll find most beagle owenrs agree that you're taking a major chance with a beagle off-leash - I've known a few who were reliable off-leash, but once that nose starts going - you're taking a chance. My best advice for any new puppy owner, get them in a good puppy class as soon as possible - then advanced obedience classes - and you might have a good chance. I think most of the beagle owners I know would tell you the same thing. My friend Deb, who co-manages Beagle Bay with me, just lost my JoJo's mother (Spotty) to cancer - Spotty was the special friend of Deb's son, Ty and he was devastated when she died - I've offered him a puppy from JoJo's upcoming litter but he doesn't want another beagle - he's seen that Deb's heelers and his sister's Border Collie are so good about going places and staying with them where a beagle puppy isn't that reliable off-leash. He's opting for a red or blue heeler like his mom has now. I have a couple that stick with me like glue (velcro dogs), but I'd still not trust them off leash. That being said, if you do want a beagle (and they ARE wonderful dogs), and want to take him/her camping, etc., then start early on obedience training. And yes, beagles are pretty single minded, but obviously I love the breed. We always say beagles are like potato chips, you can't have just one!
 

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Rich - here's a link that I think has some good information. Hope you find it helpful. By the way, I'm NOT trying to talk you out of a beagle puppy - I just want you to understand the breed a bit. I adore all my babies - and they are just that, my babies. Each is special in his/her own way. I went to NY from Washington state to get JoJo from Deb - she has an awesome pedigree and is a wonderful dog. She and Tanna make wonderful babies - I have 3 of their pups - the boys are almost 3, and the baby, Angel, who was the only survivor of their last litter, was a year old April 22. She's still VERY puppy - and full of mischief. At any rate, I hope you enjoy this link.

http://members.tripod.com/luvbeags/id17.htm
 

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Rich, a little more to add to Glenda's point - the Beagle breeding as a hunting dog is to work largely independent of the hunter. Other hunting breeds are designed to work in closer proximity to the hunter. If you train your beagle from puppyhood to be a hunting dog, I think that can work but his breeding is to be an independent hunting dog. But I'd be leary about general outdoorsy activities sans leash. I always leash Oreo (who isn't a hunting dog) when we go to a wooded park.

As for reading material, I read Beagles For Dummies and the Beagle Handbook (as well as Dogs for Dummies). Plus trawling through this site is great for advice.

And good luck with getting a Beagle. I don't regret for a second getting my 6yr old Oreo (soon to be 2 months with me!).
 

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Hi Rich, Welcome to Beagle World, and to the joys of being a beagle person!! Puppies are always a bit challenging, and beagle puppies even moreso. Please try not to get discouraged; your beagle babe will be well worth it, you'll see!
I always recommend a book called Puppy Preschool by John Ross. It helped me a lot when Shiloh was a baby. Of course that was 12 years ago, so it may be a little harder to find now! LOL) It takes you through puppy's first year, what to expect, and training tips, and has a section on crate training that was especially useful.
Good luck with your new addition. Remember, patience and consistency are key. And a sense of humor doesn't hurt!!

Be sure and post a picture of your new family member when you get him/her.
 
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