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A Guide to Beagles

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beagle

Whether you’ve just welcomed a Beagle into your home or you’re thinking of adding one to your family, you’ve come to the right place; we have the information you need to properly train and care for him or her. This guide to Beagles was compiled with new dog owners in mind, but we also have tips and tricks for those who are seasoned fur parents, breeders, or those who are simply new to this specific breed.

The National Beagle Club of America’s Health and Genetics Committee Chairperson Darlene Stewart said Beagles are known for following their nose and being driven by food!  

“They need consistent creative non repetitive training and do not do well alone,” Stewart said of Beagles. “They are pack animals. They are food driven, social seeking mischievous hounds with amazing problem-solving skills. Many owners would describe a Beagle as determined, selectively stubborn, deceivingly smart and always having an agenda for their actions. When learning new things always make them think that what you want them to do was their idea.”

Your guide to Beagles

 beagles

Beagles are friendly, curious, and merry, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). They are often family dogs and were ranked as the most popular hound dog for years in America, the AKC reported.

“Not only is the Beagle an excellent hunting dog and loyal companion, it is also happy-go-lucky, funny, and—thanks to its pleading expression—cute,” the AKC said. “They were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy company and are generally easygoing.”

You can adopt a Beagle at an animal shelter or find a breeder. It’s important to look for breeders that can provide detailed health records of their puppies (and parents!) as well as genetic testing for health conditions Beagles are prone to (see below for a list). The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and their Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) maintains a voluntary database of Beagles and their health screening results.

Fun facts

Here are some fun facts about Beagles, according to Vet Street:

  • Beagles were developed in England to hunt rabbits
  • They are often used at airports for scent detection
  • Beagles are pack animals and can become attached to their human pack
  • They can live in the city or the country
  • Beagles are great problem solvers

Physical characteristics

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Two Beagle varieties are shown, the 13 inch and the 15 inch. Both are sturdy and solid, according to the AKC. Beagles are many wonderful hound colors with the tricolor, and the red and white being the most common. They have brown or hazel eyes, long ears, and a broadhead.

“Having a solid structure, the Beagle resembles a Foxhound. Hunters can follow the dog on foot, and the tuneful bay of the Beagle aids hunters in locating the dog from a distance,” according to PetMD. “Because of its moderate size, the Beagle can even be carried to the hunting site, where it can then scurry into the dense undergrowth to look for the target. The dog receives protection against the thick underbrush from its coarse and close coat. And being an amicable dog makes it a great pack hunter, mixing well with other dogs.”

Bringing your new Beagle home

Whether you’re adding a puppy or a dog to your family, it’s important to remember that everything is new to your furry friend. When you bring the pup home for the first time, ensure your house is fairly quiet so your pooch can get used to his or her surroundings without any anxiety; you were both probably a bit nervous about the change anyway. You want your pup to explore and learn about your family, according to puppyintraining.com.

Take lots of pictures! This day will never come again so be sure to document your Beagle’s first day at home! Click here for some tips to help you get the best pics of your pup. 

Did you name your dog yet? Teaching your pup his or her name should be one of the first things you do. It’s easy, just continuously refer to the pup as Bella or Rocky or whatever the name may be. What’s not so easy is training the pup. You may want to get help with this by enrolling your new Beagle in a training group or secure your own personal trainer. This will help get your puppy going to the bathroom in the right places, keep him or her from eating your favorite shoes, stop excessive barking or whining, and much more. Dogs make some funky sounds don’t they? Click here to learn more about dog sounds. 

Nutrition

A balanced diet is vital to your dog’s growth and health, according to the ASPCA, and portion control is key.

It’s okay to give your dog commercial pet foods, just be sure to read the label and ensure that what you’re buying is based on your dog’s caloric needs.

“Barring any special needs, illness-related deficiencies, or instructions from your vet, your pet should be able to get all the nutrients he or she needs from high-quality commercial pet foods, which are specially formulated with these standards in mind,” the ASPCA reported.

Don’t forget that a dog’s diet changes as they grow. A puppy should have a different diet than an adult dog or senior dog, and senior dogs should have a different diet than adult dogs. 

The best thing you can do for your pup when it comes to diet is talk to your veterinarian about a meal plan.

Playtime

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Playtime is crucial for most dogs, but especially Beagles.

“These are curious, clever, and energetic hounds who require plenty of playtime,” according to the AKC.

Beagles need at least an hour of exercise daily and it should be supervised. A Beagle can become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

“Beagles are escape artists, so an exercise area must have a fence at least 5 feet tall that extends underground to prevent tunneling,” the AKC reported. “Walks must always be taken on a leash, because as a scenthound with a very strong hunting instinct, a Beagle will not be able to resist the urge to run off in pursuit of a compelling scent.”

There are so many ways to play! You can take your Beagle for a run or hike and play fetch, tug-of-war, or frisbee. 

Stewart says, Beagles love “agility, flyball, dock diving, barn hunt, scent detection trails, and any activity with their family.”

Grooming

Beagles have a smooth double coat that gets heavier during the winter. Still, this breed sheds all year. Brushing them weekly, using a rubber grooming mitt or tool, will help control the shedding.

“Beagles are easy-care dogs who don’t need a lot of fancy grooming. A good going-over with a hound mitt once or twice a week removes dead hairs and helps keep them from migrating to clothing and furniture,” according to Vet Street.

The long ears of a Beagle need to be kept clean as well. If your Beagle loves water, these long ears increase their chance of developing an ear infection! Talk to your veterinarian about regular ear maintenance and the signs to look out for in case an ear infection does occur. You should also trim your Beagle’s nails regularly and think about dental care.

Health & aging

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Do you know your pup’s birthday? Never miss a celebration with your four-legged friend! And keep in mind that you’ll need to care for him or her differently as your pup ages.

The Beagle has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, according to PetMD. The publication went on to say that the breed is healthy overall, but does have some specific ailments.

An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Beagles:

We hope that this guide helps you with your Beagle and that you remain happy together for years to come! However, we also know that the only bad part of having a pup means you have to lose them. If you are grieving and in need of a resource, click here for a relevant blog post. 

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