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Hello, forum newcomer here! I have some concerns about adding a second dog to our family. Currently, we have an 8-month old female beagle (Sadie). She is spayed, house-broken, and fairly well trained on commands. But if I'm being honest, I am not particularly attached to her due to some behavior issues and I'm wondering if a companion dog will help.

Some background: We had a female Labrador for 13 years. She passed away in November 2020. To put it lightly, she was a perfect dog. Everyone who met her marveled at her calm, loving disposition, particularly with children. Despite grieving her passing, we knew we wanted our family to have another dog. My husband suggested a beagle. I thought beagles were adorable and had heard that they we great family dogs. (I did do further research but would soon learn there is a world of difference between theory and reality.) We had friends with beagles and thought we knew the breed.

Long story short (too late), we made all the mistakes in getting Sadie. We thought we had a reputable breeder (the same a friend got his puppy from and recommended.) After we picked her up, it became clear that she had no socialization with dogs or humans. We suspect the puppies from that breeder are not socialized at all and removed from their mother too soon. (When we picked her up, she had never even set paw one on grass!) Sadie came from a small litter with only one sibling. I tell people that she, "doesn't know how to people or how to dog." We socialized her as best we could but it's been difficult. She gets along with our neighbors' dogs, but they are all older and don't want to play with a puppy.

From day one we've had every behavior problem that new beagle owners complain about. Housebreaking took months beyond what we expected., She is an unrepentant poop eater (her own, not other dogs', so far.) and has made herself sick in the past by eating old poop. Despite daily walks and playtime, she has far more energy than we expected and that translates into getting into trouble. To combat all the destructive chewing and to try and keep her safe from herself (she swallows all manner of things and we've been lucky so far that it has passed without incident.) she is crated when we're not home. She'll follow all kinds of commands if you have treats, if not, forget it! It's like she goes deaf. On walks, I'm either dragging her behind me or she's all over the place, doing her best to yank my arm for its socket. I've tried the traditional advice that if a dog pulls you should stop until the leash is slack and they look at you, but this dog plain doesn't give an 'eff what I am doing at anytime. Unless I have a treat in front of her nose, this dog could care less what I am doing or saying to her. She doesn't even really like to be pet and often pulls away and tries to chew on your fingers instead. Not bite, she just loves to mouth your fingers.

I work part-time and am close enough to come home on lunch breaks to let her go potty and play a little. We give her all kinds of appropriate chewing items: Kongs with kibble and peanut butter, Nylabones, frozen marrow bones, pigs ears. (No soft toys as she grinds the soft material between her back teeth and will swallow the parts she gnaws off.) We have scoured common rooms of anything she might chew or swallow and blocked off every other room. Despite this she still manages to get a hold of anything and everything. She cannot be left alone for even a minute and requires constant supervision even when you are in the room. To sum it up, after 6 month of this, I'm exhausted! I enjoy dog training and everyone in the house has been consistent from day one. It just doesn't seem to make much of a difference in her behavior. At this point, I'm just not sure I like beagles as a breed.

We realized pretty quickly after bringing Sadie home that we are "Labrador people". I work in a library and every month we have a group of Guiding Eyes dogs-in-training that come to our building so kids can read to them. They are all labs and my heart just about bursts whenever I see them! I just love labs! So this time I did all my homework, found a reputable breeder and am currently on a waiting list for a female lab pup. But I have some concerns. One, I know beagles are pack dogs and do better in a group. How much does a companion help with the undesirable behaviors? Two, should I be concerned about Sadie passing bad behaviors on to the new puppy? And, my main concern, if I'm not particularly in love with my beagle and am head over heels for the lab, what do I do if I like one dog but not the other? Should we consider rehoming Sadie if we can't love her as much as the new puppy?

I should clarify, while my husband is slightly attached to her, neither of our children, ages 11 and 9, are. They quickly became disenchanted due to what I'll call her anti-social behavior. She was far too bitey and timid around them from day one. Most of the time she doesn't want anything to do with us and actively shies away from being pet. But she also hates being alone and whines if we are not all in the same room. I think her perfect world would be one where we all sit together on the couch and placidly watch her chew on our belongings! lol

Sorry for the long post! And thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Welcome..please post a picture of your naughty dog...lol. i will start by saying that it takes about 3 yrs for beagles to calm down. It does take a good amount of repeat training..use the same words so your dog gets to understand. Consider getting a CLICKER at the pet store or on line and watch YouTube videos on how to use one as a training tool.
Your dog is not unique in the poop eating department.. when i detect a poop about to happen i try to sprint across the yard to get it first. ..interesting no one talks about it here but no dought others have experienced it too.
Im sorry you dont feel attached to your dog but beagles are loveable and partly is how you and the children interact with it.
Biting/nipping is a puppy behavior and stops..but you have to say NO BITING! Dont spank ..it will make things worse.
There are others here with multiple dogs who can address that .if the reason for another dog is to ignore the beagle's behavior that could complicate issues.
Yes they pull when walking..they follow their nose. Try getting "The Perfect Pace" halter..on line..its a different design from similar ones found in pet stores.
Cassie (10yrs)says Hi..a former biter who is loveable and well behaved. Also see my clicker..you might find a slightly different style but it doesnt matter.please stay on the forum with updates.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is her right now. She's not spoiled at all, lol!

She is a good girl, and I think it will be fine. I think I'm mostly worried that when we get the new puppy I'll somehow stop loving Sadie. And I do love Sadie. I figured out pretty early on that she wasn't the dog I expected, so I've spent the last several months trying to meet her where she's at. I am worried that I don't feel more attached to her. I love dogs and I'm not accustomed to being so frustrated with one. I'm also afraid the kids will start ignoring Sadie once the new puppy comes.

I'll give clicker training a try. I know how it works; I've just never tried it myself. When we get the puppy, I plan on training each dog separately for a while until the new dog has a good handle on commands. I also plan to walk them separately for a while to teach the lab how to walk without pulling, because she'll be big enough to pull me off my feet. It's going to be a lot of work, but I really do enjoy training my dogs. I'm just not well versed on what to do when things aren't working.

Before getting the puppy I plan on getting her into a doggie daycare a few days a week for extra socialization.
 
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