Whenever you see a beagle, is your first reaction, “OMG! I need to get a beagle” as well? If you are thinking about adopting a beagle puppy, this is the first article you should read.
Today, our experts and veterinarians will tell you everything you need to know about beagles.
1. Beagles are small, but they are hounds
Beagles in India are generally between 38 cm (males) and 33 cm (females). The adult beagle dog should ideally weigh between 10 kg and 15 kg.
Many of us make the mistake of clubbing beagles with other small breeds like Shih Tzu, Lhasa apso, Pomeranian and pugs. However, despite their superbly cute looks, beagles are in fact scenthounds.
The modern beagle hounds that we see was developed around the 1830s in Great Britain. Beagles are possibly the result of crosses between the Harrier, Talbot Hound, North County Beagle and Southern Hound. The beagle breed was specifically created to track and hunt rabbits and hares by their scent.
2. Beagles are cute and superbly intelligent
If you ask a new beagle owner, you will hear a lot of comments like “They are a handful,” “They wreck the house when left alone,” and “We walk our beagle 3 times a day but he’s still bouncing around at night.”
Well, these happen because apart from having very high energy levels, beagles have a very high intellect. You will need to dedicate time, patience and creativity to train beagle puppies.
Physical exercise is not enough for this small breed. You will need to work on mental exercises – anything that utilizes their tracking and hunting skills. Vetic Pet Clinics have a commendable collection of dog-safe toys that you can use to train and exercise your pup. You can put treats inside these toys and hide them around the house for your beagle pup to find.
3. Toilet training a beagle
Well, since they are smart, intelligent and instinctive, they should be easy to toilet train, right? Sadly, their love for mischief and lack of a sense of boundaries can test your good nature. We implore you to keep calm since yelling at beagles or rubbing their noses in their pee does no good at all.
It may take between 2 to 8 weeks depending upon the age of your beagle pup and their history with human households. If you are facing serious challenges during potty training, you can definitely consider a large, high, open-top puppy crate for your fur baby.
Place absorbent pee pads inside the crate and put your puppy inside every time they wake up and finish a meal. Keep moving the crate along with the pee pads gradually to the desired place. Finally, remove the crate and place the pee pads only and see if your pupper understands the concept of going to that particular place.
4. Beagles can gain weight rapidly
Our vets have noticed an increasing trend of obesity and related health issues among beagles in the city. So, when you are giving them treats during training or playtime, make sure to count the calories.
Beagles should be given proper dog food that’s designed for the breed. While home-cooked food isn’t always bad for your pooch, it’s simply difficult to keep track of the calories they are consuming. That often leads to rapid weight gain and worsens other issues like hip dysplasia, weakness of the kneecaps, and mobility problems.
If you already have a beagle who is overweight you should talk to the vet about (obesity) prescription food and appropriate exercises. A healthy beagle can live for 10 to 15 years without any significant illnesses. Try to go with special packaged (dry and wet) food designed for beagle puppies and dogs.
5. Stay up to date on your beagle’s health
Whether you have adopted a new beagle or you are a beagle veteran you should consult a veterinarian regularly to stay on top of your beagle’s health.
Our veterinarians recommend a few simple physical examinations, such as –
- Weight (weight gain or loss)
- Hip health evaluation
- Kneecap(s) evaluation
- Teeth examination
- Ophthalmological evaluation
You can also opt for thyroid evaluation of your pooch if he is suddenly gaining weight at a rapid pace without any changes in diet and exercise.
6. Beagles are short-coated, but they are shedders
Most of the time we opt for beagles because we want a small dog with short coats. While they do indeed have short fur, they are also double-coated. That means you will need to use deshedders or a Furminator to get rid of the loose fur from the undercoat.
Every winter, their coat volume increases and they tend to shed heavily during the spring. You may want to get a membership at your nearest groomer so your clothes and furniture don’t get upgraded to “fur-lined” every spring.
Now, that being said, beagles shed more in the spring, but they shed all year long. So, you will have to brush them almost regularly or take them to the groomer.
7. Beagles and the grooming effort needed
We always insist that owners familiarize their dogs with grooming from their puppy stage. It makes it a much more pleasant experience for the pupper when they get their basic hygiene grooming and much easier too.
Nonetheless, beagles do not need weekly bathing like many long-haired dogs. You can get them groomed every fortnight during the summer and even once in 3 weeks during the winter months.
However, you will need to keep an eye on their nails and ears. Their cute floppy ears can get messy quite easily and you may want to keep some biodegradable pet wipes handy for cleaning them.
Overgrown nails are a huge health hazard for several adult beagles living in apartments and houses where they don’t get enough space to run around. They may need a nail-clipping or filing every 2 weeks.
8. Beagles are great family dogs
Be it a family of humans or other doggos, beagles love company. They were bred to hunt in packs. It is challenging to find a beagle that is not ready to make new friends.
The jolly and energetic breed is ideal for families with children. Beagles are typically not aggressive or territorial. They are super playful and exactly as energetic as a toddler. That also translates to – “bad guard dogs.” You cannot expect a beagle to guard your belongings while you are not at home.
His super friendly nature might lead him to make friends with the thieves breaking in!
9. Beagles have high separation anxiety
Beagles love company. It is common for people who leave their beagle woofs at home to experience destructive behaviour like furniture or shoe chewing, and door scratching.
Beagles are a small confident breed of hounds but they were never bred to stay alone for long periods of time. If you need to leave your pupper alone for long periods, begin the training now. Yes! Dogs can be trained to stay alone while you are at the office and your children are in school but you need to begin the training as early as possible.
10. Dog-proofing is a must with a beagle around
Beagles can put Houdini to shame. They are master escape artists and you cannot trust them around food. You need to dog-proof your home before you get your pup. It may include putting up netting on your windows, installing a screen door, and getting a doggy gate for the stairs.
It is always a wise decision to get your puppy microchipped. Beagles have the tendency to follow their noses. It’s not very uncommon for a beagle to end up in trouble while following a scent. Microchipping can help you track your pooch and ensure their safety.
11. Beagles don’t respond well to negative reinforcement
This is an incredibly intelligent and mischievous breed we are discussing. On one hand, you can end up with a show-quality, highly obedient dog that wins competitions and hearts. On the other hand, you may end up with a stubborn woofer that pretends to not hear you when you call for them.
You have to be very careful about the training techniques with beagles. Yes! You can always use treats, but remember that beagles have the complete capacity of manipulating humans for more treats.
Use other forms of positive reinforcement such as praises and pats once they learn a new command. When you want to deter them from doing something, use a stern voice and body language while saying “No.”
12. Beagles are vocal
If your beagle pup doesn’t like something you will definitely get to know it. They are great communicators (read: frequent loud barkers). They have 3 different types of barks. However, they use almost all 3 to gain the owner’s attention.
It’s only common for a dog to bark when the doorbell rings, they see new people and feel scared or threatened. Your beagle can bark, yodle (bay) and howl. That’s ingrained in their genetics.
Yes. There are ways to reduce their barking tendency but before you look into such behavioural training, it always helps to find out the reasons for their barking.
13. Beagles are AWESOME!
They are the perfect house dogs for families as well as single folks who want an interactive, animated, energetic and funny pet.
Training any dog breed takes time and patience. And beagles are no different.
Maintaining their coat and grooming them is comparatively easier than other dogs with dense long coats.
Their diet is also quite simple especially if you are opting for breed-specific dog food options.
They will keep you entertained throughout the day if you know their breed history, behaviour traits and pet-care needs.