12. Are Beagles difficult to house train?

No more so than any dog. The secret to housebreaking is timing and consistency. The most successful method in the majority of cases is to crate train; the theory behind this being that dogs instinctively dislike soiling their "den", and will do their best to wait until released to the appropriate outdoor location to relieve themselves.

Be very consistent right from the start... Always crate your hound when you can not properly supervise and then immediately take outside to potty when you release them from the crate. To properly housetrain, it is important to not give the puppy the opportunity to repeatedly make mistakes (never allow freedom to roam the home unsupervised before a dog is very reliably housebroken... this is where many people make a big mistake). You must be consistent, even if your beagle buddy protests the restricted activities. If allowed to roam the house unsupervised, and permitted to relieve themselves in the home it is likely to become a difficult habit to break.

As for the occasional spotting around the house: accidents will happen, especially if not closely supervised. Remember, young puppies will need to relieve themselves quite frequently. Ignore mistakes and praise/reward all successes. Be sure to clean up all accidents extremely well... or the beagle is likely to return to the scene of the crime later and "mark" the same spot. Use of one of the enzymatic cleaners that remove all traces of odor, such as "Fresh & Clean" is a good idea. Remember that the crate must be used wisely, and that young puppies typically can not hold their urine for more than a few hours at a time. With patience and consistency on your part, your beagle will eventually develop bladder control, establish a routine for voiding, and learn the appropriate location to do so. Puppies do not have complete bowel and bladder control, physically, until about 9 months of age.



13.  Should I take my Beagle to obedience class?

YES! Any family pet needs rules to live by, and an obedience class is just the ticket. You and your Beagle will learn to work together as a team and you'll probably enjoy it too. By the end of the course you will find your Beagle has mastered basic manners, and can sit, stay, come when called, lay down, and walk nicely on a lead, all of which will make him a more pleasant companion to live with. You may be amazed at how quickly your Beagle might learn with a little practice and the reward of a tasty treat.



14.  What would be a good age to start training?

We recommend that basic manners training begin as soon as you bring a new puppy into the home. They have a wonderful ability to learn things at this age, and you want to establish good habits right from the start. Just remember, that like children, their attention span is rather short and they easily become bored with repetition, so keep lessons short. Be consistent.



15. When/How should we enroll our Beagle in obedience training classes?

Many clubs/trainers offer what they call a "Puppy Kindergarten" class, which is for pups three months of age, sometimes younger,  and up which provides very basic manners training and socialization. Formal obedience training usually begins at around six months of age, and if this is your first experience with training a beagle you probably should enroll in at least the "beginner obedience" classes to establish basic training (such as sit, stay, come on command, etc.). If you do not know of classes in your area, you can access the AKC web site  to find contact info. for your closest dog/kennel clubs... most clubs will either sponsor training classes, or at least can recommend a good trainer in your area that holds them. Your veterinarian may also know where there are training classes within your home area that you may attend.



16.  Do Beagles eat a lot?

Beagles, when fed a recommended, premium quality food actually need only one or two cups a day, a surprisingly small amount for such an active, medium sized dog. It is very easy to overfeed, as most beagles are "good eaters" so you must monitor their weight carefully. If you try to feed a cheaper, grocery store type food, you will be feeding almost twice as much (up to five cups) to maintain the same weight, so no money is saved with this practice, and you'll end up scooping twice as much poop. It is important to remember that rapidly growing puppies need to consume approximately twice as much volume of food per pound of their own body weight as do adult hounds. You will need to gradually increase the portion amounts as your puppy grows, then begin to again reduce the intake to the proper amount for maintenance as he approaches maturity. Most dog foods will include a chart regarding suggested amounts of daily intake right on the bag. Use theses charts as a guide, modifying the amounts slightly as necessary to maintain your beagle in top condition.



17. Do Beagles require a lot of exercise?

The Beagle himself will generally tell you no; left on his own, the adult "house pet" beagle is actually often a fairly lazy animal. The adolescent beagle, however, is an exuberant creature who will need adequate opportunities to exercise his growing body and mind. The preferred forms of exercise include leisurely walks with their family or a good run while out hunting. Many beagles are enthusiastic retrievers, if taught when young. The beagle also can be a faithful jogging companion if you wish, but it is important to not over-exercise a young animal as you could do damage to the skeletal development.  If you like to take walks with your dog or jog, please remember that it is very unwise to take a puppy under the age of 18 months on walks or jogs of more than 1/2 mile as their skeletal systems are not yet solidified enough to take the stress.   After 18 months gradually extend the walks a 1/2 mile every week or so.



18. Do I need to fence my yard?

Yes, a fenced yard is preferred. It is highly recommended that your Beagle always be kept in a safe, secure environment. The securely fenced yard provides an area where your beagle can exercise without fear of his wandering off in pursuit of an intriguing scent trail. Because of their scent hound heritage, beagles should not be permitted outdoors off lead unless confined to a safely fenced area or while a field hunting. If you are not home during the day, a 6'x8' kennel enclosure placed on a concrete paved run with an insulated doghouse is a fine place for your Beagle to hang out in. Beagles enjoy being outdoors, but hate to be tied-out, and can become escape artists. A kennel run is not always the best solution, however, as a bored beagle may tend to pace back and forth and bark. A crate in a quiet location inside the home is the alternative solution. Some breeders will not sell a dog unless there is a fenced yard due to the incidence of "hit by car" deaths. An invisible fence with collar does not prevent another animal from entering your property and attacking your dog.  Many breeders will not sell dogs to homes where the dog will be a strictly outdoor dog, either, as they feel that beagles, being the pack-oriented animals they are, need the companionship of their human pack.  A beagle left outside can quickly become bored and destructive or noisy, even with another dog in the yard.  

Beagles are also very intelligent and will quickly discover a way out of the yard if there is one.  For this reason, it is not enough that the yard be fenced, but it must be beagle-proofed, as well.  This means having a fence that cannot be climbed or dug under, or one whose material is such that a beagle cannot go through it or under it.   It is surprising what small spaces they can escape through and how determined they can be to find a way out.



19. What if I live in an apartment?

While a securely fenced yard is a plus, it is not an absolute necessity if you are willing to commit to walking your beagle on lead several times per day in any and all weather conditions. Because of their smaller size and gentle temperaments, beagles can be wonderful apartment pets. But such a situation will require a major commitment on your part to providing adequate exercise and opportunity to relieve themselves.



20.  Will my Beagle have to visit the veterinarian frequently?

A normal, healthy dog only has to see his vet once a year for his annual "booster" vaccinations, health exam, and stool check. Your "family companion" hound should be spayed or neutered at about six or seven months of age, or older, according to your personal veterinarian's or the breeder's recommends. This routine procedure not only eliminates the possibility of unplanned breedings, but also has numerous health benefits for your beagle buddy. 



21.  How long will my Beagle live?

It is not unusual for beagles to have a life span of 10 to 15 years. By that age, they will require special care for some of the typical infirmities. The new glucosamine/chondroitin/ester C supplements can be especially helpful in aiding with joint care.



22.  Why are purebred animals more expensive than mixed breeds?

The old adage, "you get what you pay for" is usually true of purebred animals. The price you pay includes the stud fee that was paid (or helps offset costs of maintaining a home based stud dog), the shipping and care of the bitch, the cost of tattooing or microchips for ID, worming, vaccinations, registrations, advertising, health checks, feeding, time devoted to whelping and caring for the litter...plus you are paying for the generations of quality champions that are behind your dog. You are paying for a beautiful Beagle that looks like a Beagle should, and acts/hunts like a Beagle does. You are paying for the time the reputable, responsible breeder puts into each litter and for the wonderful temperament they are producing. You are paying for a quality animal that you can be proud of for many years. You are paying for a heritage.



23. What is a pocket beagle?

Pocket beagles were very, very small beagle popularized back in the days of Queen Elizabeth I. measuring 9 inches at the shoulder, and Paintings of the time show these beagles to be short-legged and somewhat pointy nosed.  In the days of Edward II and Henry VIII, even smaller beagles, referred to as "glove beagles" because they were small enough to be held in a gauntlet, were much in favor with the Royal Family. However, today, while there may be a few really small 13" variety beagles which may approach heights of around 10", they are not a breed or variety of beagle as such, and are not recognized by either AKC or UKC. Quite often beagles of this size are often only short by virtue of shortened legs caused by poor breeding or the dwarfing of  Chondodystrophy with it's ensuing health problems. It must also be noted that many times it is impossible to predict mature size of a puppy, even when both parents are under 13".  Birth weight may be a good indicator of final size, as is size at around 8 weeks, but they are no means reliable.  If you want a beagle that will be small get one at around 9 months when the dog has pretty well finished growing, or from a breeder who has never produced an over 13". In this way you will have a much better chance of getting a small dog. However, be also aware that usually the smaller the beagle, the more hyperactive it is.  But, there are exceptions.

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BeagleMaintaining a healthy weight and receiving proper exercise will play a large role in the Beagle life expectancy.  Weight gain is normal and needed during the puppy years.  The largest growth spurt will be from birth to 6 months. After that, it will slow down as the dog reaches the age of 1 year.  At the 1 year mark, weight should remain the same, however the dog may still grow in height...This is what causes the round puppy appearance to change into the more sleek adult dog appearance.

Beagles are naturally energetic. They have the instinct to run and explore. They are programmed to be on the move.  When this is stifled by keeping them indoors all of the time, they can quickly become obese this leads to a host of health problems.

No matter what the age of your dog, a daily walk is a must for good health.  In addition, it is recommended to offer cardio exercise at least 3 times per week.  This can be trail running with them, playing intense games of Frisbee or allowing them to run around in the yard or an enclosed field.  If given the opportunity to play with other dogs, particularly of the same breed, they will often go for hours releasing energy and burning calories.  Of course, offer plenty of water, no matter what the weather or temperature.

Proper feeding will have a great impact regarding Beagle life expectancy.  Table food is a big no-no. Unfortunately, some owners can't help but to give in to those pleading eyes and constant begging.  One must remember that many of the snacks that we eat simply are not tolerated well by a dog's body and others will simply be empty calories.
Beagle pup