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Our guide to owning Beagles


Having lived with this checky little character of a breed since 1997 I have decide to write my own views on living with them. We can all read a book about Beagles and I am sure you all have and just like child care books they can all say different things ! However these are my thoughts from what I have personally learned  having them around me on a daily and yearly basis over more than a decade I hope it may give you a little insight and maybe some help in wether they are the right dog for you or help with looking to the dog you already have. The Beagle is loving, sweet and gentle. Happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail. Sociable, brave and intelligent. Excellent with children and generally good with other dogs, but because of their hunting instincts, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets, unless they are socialized with cats and other household animals when they are young then they can be fine I have sold a beagle which sleeps with a large rabbit .

 Beagles have minds of their own. They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. It is important you are this dog's pack leader and that you provide the proper amount of mental and physical exercise including daily walks however it is quality of time you spend with each dog. They will fit into your routine and we recommend a crate/ cage and use as their den. It is a positive place where they have their toys and chews  , they choose to go in once they know itís their home. If you have children it is even better as the dog can get away from little hands and rest while it is a puppy, giving it time  to grow , they need this as much as good food and water. This gives strong chunky bones that will last there 16/18 years of life!

 With enough exercise they will be calm and happy dogs however not too much when they are young is not good either. Up to  6 months of age just 20 mins a day is enough till they grow enough ,then build up the time and distance you do till you are both happy. They will learn youíre routine if it is a quick walk in a morning and longer at night or a run round the garden in the morning and a big walk at night that's what they will expect. They are safe to take out  anywhere with people stroking them and you will get stopped everywhere you go trust me !  If you have children it is nice you can trust the temperament of your dog round strangers and there children as you can have other peoples children visit or stay without worrying about what the dog may do .

The Beagle does not have a normal sounding bark, but rather a loud bay cry, that almost sounds like a much bigger dog they will soon learn when you come in from the school run or in from work  and get very excited as you come into the house! Then they will go quite again. they have to tell you all that has happened while you weren't there . We do always leave a TV or radio on when we are out so there is always some company for our dogs .

 Beagles are curious and have a tendency to follow their own noses. If they pick up a scent they may wander off and not even hear you calling them back, or not care to listen, as they will be too busy trying to find the rabbit/deer/fox at the other end. Take care when letting them off lead that you are in a safe area. We use positive reward when walking. Always have a plastic bag with cheese in it, this bag makes a noise and keep calling dog back to you while he is running about . Using the rustling noise of the bag when you call and give a small piece of cheese as reward and lots of praise  ! Then when you really need them to come back they will return easier , we often turn round with the bag making a noise and start to walk away they soon come racing after us !  It is never 100% and they can do a run off so need to keep an eye on them however itís the best way we have found and we love to see them free run and they love it to. If you already have another dog which is good off the lead this can help as beagles are pack animals they will follow the older dog however not 100%.

You must always be your Beagles pack leader. they are used to being in a pack and having to look to and follow their leader, above this the leader over all the pack would be the huntsman. Without this structure if your beagle is over their humans they can develop a varying degree of behaviour issues, including, but not limited to, guarding, obsessive barking, snapping, biting, and destructive behaviour when left alone. These are not Beagle traits, but rather behaviours brought on by lack of leadership and or exercise, from their humans. The behaviours can be corrected when the dogs instincts are met. All you must do is treat your beagle like a small child he must follow your rules for his own good, i.e.  if he isnít allowed on the settee he must never be allowed on and made to get off right away , the whole household must do this, not hope you wonít know when you arenít there he goes on the bed or gets extra food if he barks etc.  if you use positive praise and common sense and you want go wrong!

Beagles are great diggers and need strong fencing with no gaps and at least 5 foot high so make sure your garden is secure, you also need to make sure there are never gates or doors left open as they will go out and be off to explore in seconds!

Beagles live up to 18 years and are in general very healthy dogs, however they love their food so you need to make sure you donít over feed as heart dieses is the main killer in old dogs due to being overweight. This is even more so if you have your dog castrated or bitch spade donít buy normal food but food made to keep weight down and be very careful on treats!

Beagles donít mind any weather and are easy to groom just a towel down after a walk in the rain will dry them out. Donít bath too often as oil in the top coat helps keep the under coat dry and warm and you may wash too much away. Beagles do moult at least twice a year due to weather changes or if a bitch is in and out of season you can buy a great product call a Furminator off the internet which takes out the entire loose coat before it falls so a brush once a week will keep the coat great. Beagles can get sore ears use a product called Thornet  again can be bought on internet , every month, put a pinch in each ear and this will keep them clean and not itchy. Then keep an eye on your Beagles nails if they walk on hard ground they may stay short enough but you can use dog nail clippers but use from being a puppy so they are used to their feet being touched.
Beagles are great fun for all the family  they enjoy human company as well as other dogs and they love to be involved with other activities they love to show, there is Beagle drag hunting clubs, agility clubs and even beagle racing . If you are interested in any of these have a look on the internet for local clubs or the Beagle clubs for advice on where and what to do and most important of all new owners and families are very welcome !