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Sorry this image is a little blurry, it is hard to get a pup to ho
ld still !
Here are some hints to finding a good breeder-

   1. Decide what you want to do with your pup, showing, hunting, field trialing, etc. and contact a Beagle breeder. They will tell you up front what they expect from their breedings, and what you can expect from one of their pups.

   2. Most reputable breeders will treat you as if you are adopting a child, and ask you tons of questions. This is the sign of a good breeder. They want to be sure that the pups they raise are placed in good homes. It will seem as if YOU are being interviewed, and that is definitely a sign of a good breeder.

   3. If you call and someone says they have pups or they will soon, go and have a look. Examine the surroundings- Are they clean? Are the dogs healthy and happy? Can you meet the mom (dam) and dad (sire)? Possibly the grandparents or Aunts and Uncles?
If the breeder says the mom is there meet her! Is she friendly and outgoing? Does she run up and kiss your hand? These are all good. If the breeder says she "Isn't nice around strangers" or "She may nip" then leave! You don't want a pup that may have those tendencies.
The sire may not be around. More and more often artificial insemination is the choice for breeders, and the sire may be far away. But that is OK. Ask to see a video, pictures, or contact the owners of the sire to find out about his temperament, conformation, and what types of awards or achievements he has earned to be the sire of a litter of pups.

If you run into a puppy mill by accident JUST LEAVE, your heart will break and you will NOT be able to save any of the pups. When you give a puppy mill money you are just supporting the bad breeding and BAD conditions that NO pup should ever have to endure. For more information contact

Let your puppy be a puppy! Never take a pup from his mother or siblings before eight weeks of age. Most breeders recommend you visit the new pup from 6 to 8 weeks to pick him or her out, or to start bonding,  but you must wait until the pup is 8 weeks old to bring him home. I know it is hard to wait, but please don't take a baby before it is time!
These tiny babies are only 2 weeks old. They may look healthy and robust, but they still need the comfort of each other, their mom, and the care of the breeder for at least the next 6 weeks

Now once you choose a breeder, be prepared! You may have to wait for a quality pup. But don't fret, in the meantime you can get prepared! Here is what you will need BEFORE the pup comes home.

   A crate (Small! I'll explain more later...)
   Lots of old blankets and towels to line the crate
   Natures miracle or other GOOD cleaner (NO Ammonia products)
   Lots of paper towels (pups piddle a LOT)
   Baby gates (I had three, but wish I had purchased more)
   Nylabones, Gumabones, Kongs, and other toys. I do not give my dogs rawhide, latex, or vinyl toys because they can choke on them if they chew a piece off and try to eat it.
   Puppy shampoo. I like BioGroom "Fluffy Puppy" or Hylyte shampoo. Both of these are detergent free and are great for puppy coats.
   Nail clippers
   Ear cleaner, and cotton balls
   A nice soft, thick puppy collar and leash
   A designated part of your yard to be the "potty area" Clean up the area and rake it well. If "pup" finds a stick or rock to play with they will not concentrate on doing their business.
   Training treats. I like to use small bits of chicken liver, or cheese, or hot dog (turkey of course!) to bribe, I mean train, pups. I have found that you can get a pup to do darn near anything for food.
   A premium puppy food. There are lots of quality diets out there, just take a trip to the nearest pet food dealer and take a look. You should pick a food that has meat as a first ingredient, such as chicken, lamb, or turkey. I prefer lamb, and I like Pro Plan Lamb & Rice or Purina ONE, the lamb and rice formula. There may be "better" more expensive diets out there that you may choose, but I trust Purina products.
   A vet! Contact a local veterinarian if you don't already have one. Find one with a good reputation. Ask around, neighbors, friends, and coworkers may be great sources of info for who to go to and who to stay away from. You will need to contact the vet to be sure they are accepting new patients.
   A pet sitter or boarding kennel. It is best to find out now who has the best care for your pets. Note: I didn't say best rates. Sometimes the bargain boarding kennel isn't the wisest decision. Or you may need a pet sitter to come to your house to let your pup outside every 3 or 4 hours for the first few weeks or months if you work all day.
   Your time. Don't feel guilty if you work all day. Someone has to buy all those toys, treats, food, and pay for those pesky vet bills. Just be sure that you and your pup have quality time every day. Make arrangements now to have everything in order so you and the new pup have time to bond.
   Bitter Apple- this product comes in a spray or lotion, I like them both. They taste nasty so they can be put on things like shoes, furniture and woodwork, and helps the pet learn what is OK to chew and what is off limits. Just read the directions carefully, it sometimes can stain or discolor things.
Ruger and Tuff play tug-of-war with a stuffy toy. Stuffy toys should be used with supervision to keep pups from eating the stuffing or the squeeker.

And Now...The Crate...

Why a crate?
    A crate is your dog's crib, or "den" in which he is to sleep. A crate also can help to housebreak your pup, as it is rare for a dog to soil where he sleeps. Make sure your pup's first crate is small. If a pup has more room than they need they will sleep in one end and potty in the other.
    I like to use cheap cat carriers for first crates, and gradually increase to the larger sizes as the pup grows. The picture shows Tuff and Ruger in one crate, but I crated them separately soon after I brought them home. As a matter of fact, you will notice there is no door on this crate. These pups opted for the comfort and security of a crate ON THEIR OWN.
    The first night is usually the worst in puppyhood. Your pup is lonely for his mother and siblings, and even the breeder. You can help. A ticking clock nearby, or a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel placed in the crate help keep the youngster company. Do not use the bottle if it is summer, and never use a heating pad (pups can become overheated and dehydrate very quickly.)
    Place the crate where you eventually want the dog to sleep. If the dog will sleep on the bed place the crate on a study support so the crate door is level with the bed, and where you can see in the crate to soothe a cranky puppy. If the dog will sleep on a dog bed next to your bed place the crate there, but still face the opening of the crate toward you so you can see the pup and he can see you.
    Now the hard part, bedtime. Take the pup outside for a potty, and come right in and immediately put the pup in the crate with a TINY treat and close the door. Do not say anything to the pup. Surprise! The pup is going to cry. Ignore it. I know it sounds cruel, but this is like tough-love. It hurts your feelings to hear the pup cry, but you know they don't have to go potty, they aren't hungry or cold, and you know they are tired because you are bushed!
    If after 10 to 20 minutes the pup is crying like his little heart is breaking do NOT take him out of the crate. Instead, reach your hand out and touch the grill of the crate. Usually having another pack member close is enough to soothe the pup until he falls asleep. If that doesn't work, say in a soothing low voice- You are OK, go to bed...Over and over very comforting-like. I sometimes hum or sing lightly and it is amazing, the pups fall asleep usually with no problem. If all else fails, cover the sides of the crate and most of the front with a light sheet to make a dark, den-like atmosphere and let him cry till he goes to sleep. Once they learn you will not give in they will go to sleep when they are put in their crates.
Trust me.
    Most eight week old pups can "hold it" for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the pup. So be prepared those first few weeks, or depending on the pup- the first few months, to take the puppy outside several times a night. By the time my pups were about 12 weeks old they started sleeping through the night. Tuff still required a middle of the night potty if I forgot to restrict his water at 7 months of age.
    Pups 4 to 8 months, like learning toddlers, should have their fluid intake monitored and restricted. During this age I offer water to the pups about every 2 to 4 hours and let them drink what they want. Most have to urinate about 20 minutes after they take some water. This also helps housebreaking because you can "guesstimate" when the pup will have to relieve himself.
    Any time I can't watch the pups they are crated. When I can watch them they are baby-gated in the same room with me. Again, just like toddlers you don't want to leave them unattended.
    Just a tip, the outdoors are for potties, not playing! Play with your pup indoors and make sure for the first few months that your pup understands what is expected when they step out the door. You can work on some training, and maybe a little play time, but only AFTER the pup has relieved himself.
    Upon waking, just after a meal, or during rough play are the times your pup will have to go outside. Take the pup straight outdoors from the crate (we feed everyone in their crates) and right outside. Right before they "go" repeat a phrase like "go potty","do your business" or, my favorite, "hurry up!"
    When the pup does "go" outside make such a scene over it that your neighbors stare. Give the pup a treat and repeat over and over what a good pup they are. Who cares what the neighbors think, you have some serious puppy training to do!
    Don't ever use the crate as punishment. It should be a retreat and a comfort, never to be used if the pup gets into mischief. If the pup shreds your curtains and tears your paper into thousands of tiny bits it is your fault for not watching him.
Also, stop any unwanted behavior now. Chewing on your shoes or pants may seem cute, but what they do now as cute puppies WILL NOT BE CUTE when they are adults!

Ruger and Tuff are finally housebroken, and trustworthy enough to stay in larger crates.

Now click on Pupphood part II for more puppy information!
or go back