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Commonly asked Beagle questions (and some not so commonly asked questions) e-mail me! Your question may make this page!     click here for link to contact page
Question:
You've got a great and informative web site on Beagles. In fact, it's the best I've come across. So I hope you don't mind me asking you two questions. I want to adopt a dog and I want to make sure I get one that's a good 'fit' so the dog and I both live happily ever after. I think a Beagle may be the right dog for me. My questions are this:
   I live alone and work during the day. Will a Beagle be happy by himself during the day?
   I live with two adult cats. In your experience, will a Beagle get on OK with cats?
Thanks for helping me make a good decision!

Answer:
It is good you want to adopt, there are many Beagle rescues out there! Maybe before you adopt you may want to foster a Beagle from a rescue, maybe even foster a few of them. It is hard to judge a breed on one dog. We currently have three Beagles, and each has their own little quirks. I'm not sure where you are located, but if you contact BREW Beagle rescue, or call your local animal shelter for breed rescues.
As far as working all day, that shouldn't be a problem. I keep my guys in very large crates while I'm at work. They have Nylabones to chew on, but they mostly sleep. If you are gone for more than 8 or 9 hours, maybe see if you could get a pet sitter or a neighbor to let the dog outside in the middle of the day. We also make sure our beagles get TONS of exercise, they get several 3 mile walks a week. Keeps us in shape as well as the beagles!

As far as the cat issue, 2 of my beagles get along really well with cats. My other beagle likes to chase cats, but wouldn't harm them. Most cats are well armed with claws and sharp teeth, so they can usually defend themselves quite well. The last beagle, the one who likes to chase cats, would actually play wrestle with my cat. Sometimes someone would get two rough, and the play fight would turn out real. We had that happen twice, once the cat lost some fur (no blood, thank gosh!) and the last time the beagle got her ear pierced by my cats sharp teeth. After that incident they NEVER had a fight again, guess they called a truce. She will still chase a neighbors cat or two, but if the cat stops and turns around the beagle stops chasing immediately. Guess they have good memories.
It would also really depend on the disposition of your cat. If your cat is outgoing and friendly, and you get a "cat friendly" beagle, chances are they will be best buddies. (A rescue will probably be able to tell you how the beagle gets along with other dogs as well as cats)
If your cat is aloof, chances are your cat will just ignore the beagle, and the beagle will lose interest. Beagles, as far as I know, are kind of like two year old children. If they don't get a response to their actions to other living creatures they move on. If I have company and they ignore the beagles the beagles ignore them! But if company pets them, forget it, they have a buddy.
If your cat is reserved and shy, a beagle, or any other dog probably wouldn't be a wise choice.
Beagles, as a hunting breed, LOVE to chase things, so it depends on your cat. Some cats delight in chasing and being chased, as long as they win in the end LOL.
It is a hard decision, and a lot will depend on the individual Beagle as well as your cat.

Q: I have just aquired my 1st beagle. He is a 7 week old puppy. My question is how often and how much should I feed him.
A:  Hello, and congrats on the new puppy. A seven week old puppy should eat three or four times a day, about 1/4 cup of puppy food. If he eats it dry, that is fine. If not, you may have to moisten it with a little warm water for the next few weeks. Don't use cows milk, it will give him the "runs." You didn't mention what type of puppy food you are feeding. I recommend Pro Plan Lamb and Rice puppy, or Purina O.N.E. Lamb and Rice puppy food. Lamb is easily digested, and seems to be easier on puppies bellies.

Q: Thanks for your wonderful website!
My husband and I are new beagle-parents. Dixie is a 2-year-old spayed female
we adopted from a shelter one month ago. She is a VERY good girl! We are
taking obedience classes, and she's doing very well for an
independent-minded beagle-gal.
Here's what I could use your advice on: completing her housetraining. She's
about 80% there, but how to get the other 20% of the way is a mystery to me!
We crate her during the day for her own safety and she has no problem
holding it for the 9 hours we're out at work 4 days a week. We walk her 4
times a day on a fairly strict schedule (6 am, 9 am, 6:00 pm, and 9 pm on
workdays and very close to that on weekends).
The problem is that when she's out of her crate, she'll just go in the
house. It's like she doesn't want to bother us, so she takes care of it
herself. I haven't picked up any particular cues that she needs to go out -
no whining or looking at the door. And if you go anywhere near the door,
she's always up for a walk whether she needs to relieve herself or not.
I have come up with two ideas. One is to leash her in the house and try to
catch her in the act, and take her outside to show her where I want her to
be doing that. Our obedience teacher also said to teach her a word or phrase
for it ("Go bathroom?") and walk her as much as every hour.
The other idea is to get one of those small-dog litter boxes and try to
teach her to use that if she's going to go inside.
We live in the city and I wouldn't feel comfortable with a doggy-door for
many reasons, including the possibility of her getting out of the yard after
a particularly good scent.
Any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated! No rush - and don't
worry - we would never give up our beagle-girl over this little problem.
Happy beagling!
A:Hello! Glad you liked my site! I have fostered a few adult beagles, and using a leash on them in the house is great. It keeps them with you all the time, and you can whisk them outside ASAP when they have to go.
Dixie may have found her way to the pound due to her inappropriate elimination. Some people think beagles are so cute as puppies, with no idea they need training.
Are you using the crate while you are home as well? Anytime you can't watch her 100% she should be in her crate. I don't think she knows yet what she is doing is unacceptable. If you catch her starting to go make a scene. BAD BAD NO NO and whisk her hiney outside. Do not smack her, she needs to know her actions are bad, not her, and she is still bonding with you. She will learn, there is no doubt in my mind. The only dog I have ever known that could not be housetrained is a beagle who was raised in an environment where they were never taken outdoors and the dogs were forced to soil their own cages. She was a sweet dog, but when she had to go she just let it go, as she had never developed any type of control.
Make a good scene over all potties done outside, even if people stare. High pitched GOOD GOOD GOOD GIRL over and over reinforce the positive act.

I would never use the litter or anything that gave the dog the idea that it is OK to mess in the house.
It will take time, but it sounds as if you are already on the right track.

Q: My Beagle goes nuts every time she sees a rabbit outside. How can I prevent her from doing this?
A: Why would you want her to stop? The howling of a Beagle is the most beautiful sound in the world, and making her stop doing what she was bred to do is inhumane and cruel. Unless your neighbors are complaining I would just leave well enough alone. Greyhounds like to run, Retrievers like to retrieve, and Beagles like to chase bunnies. It is just the way it is. Hate to be so blunt, but next time do research on a breed before you bring it into your home.

Q: What diseases do Beagles get?
A: Well, considering I do not have a degree in veterinary medicine I will answer your question as best I can. Most reputable breeders try to avoid genetic problems, and the most genetically shocking disease to me is chondrodystrophy. It can be caused by things other than genetics (some believe diet, environment, etc.) but most of the time pups are born with the problem that only gets worse as the pups get older. It is called the "funnies" but there is nothing funny about it. Bent front legs, short crooked legs, and big heads occur. Sometimes the effects are hidden and deadly, as the deformities can occur in the spine. The pups seem OK intelligence wise, but there bodies are so misshapen it can cause them to be in pain later in life because they tend to be arthritic. Luckily, with newer medications these pups may live semi-normal lives that are relatively pain free. What is unusual about these pups is they seem overly affectionate, and because of their physical limitations they aren't as active as Beagles without chondrodystrophy, so they may actually live an OK, all be it short, life.  
Beagles seem to prone eye problems, (especially clogged tear ducts or cherry eye) but so do tons of other breeds. I guess compared to other breeds Beagles are rather healthy dogs.
                                           
Q: How do I teach my Beagle to walk without a leash by my side?
A: Again, this is a feat that totally goes against what Beagles were bred for. Beagles are loyal, but they literally have it in their blood to sniff the ground in search of new smells, usually bunnies, but a squirrel, or cat, usually is what grabs the attention of those urban Beagles. Like I have said before, it is my firm belief that trying to change a behavior that was specifically chosen for the breed is cruel, it tends to frustrate the dog, as well as owner. Unless you want this dog to earn a degree in obedience I would just let this Beagle be a Beagle, and don't try to walk him without a leash. There are some rare Beagles out there who have earned titles in both agility and obedience, but please note that both of these events (and training) occur in fenced in areas, where the dog won't run off or get hit by a car if they catch the scent of something.

Q: Is there such a thing as a miniature or toy Beagle?
A: No. There are two varieties of Beagles. The first is the 15 inch variety. This means the dog can not stand any taller than 15 inches at the shoulder. The second is the 13 inch variety. This means the dog can not stand taller than 13 inches at the shoulder.

There are some Beagles who stand taller than 15 inches, but these Beagles can not compete in most AKC events because they have a MAJOR fault as they do not fit the standard of size. Some Beagles that are really small, like 9 or 10 inches also do not attract the judges attention and NEVER walk home with ribbons. They may be under the 13 inch limit, but there is also the problem of being too small as well. From what I understand from an AKC judge the dogs that fit the breed standard walk with the ribbons. Along with other parts of the standard Beagles that have "uniform" body structures they almost appear "square" from the side if you look at the length of the body compared to the height are most prized. People who try to breed for the 8 or 9 inch beagles stray from that standard, and often just the dogs legs are short. These are beagles! Not Bassets! These breedings can often lead to problems like chondrodystrophy as mentioned above.


Q: I currently on a waiting list for a puppy. The breeder has informed me the mother and father are both 13 inches, but she won't be able to tell how tall the pups will be when they are full grown. Is this a reputable breeder? Why doesn't she know how big the pups will be?
A: This sounds like a reputable breeder, because she is being honest with you. It really is hard to tell how big a pup will be when they are so little at eight weeks old. Chances are good your pup will be 13 inches like his mom and dad, but there is also the chance he may be 15 inches. But be prepared, every now and then there are Beagles born who only reach 11 inches, and others that tower up to 17 or 18 inches. Picking the runt of the litter doesn't help either. Ruger was the runt but now he towers over his siblings. If you really want a 13 inch Beagle maybe you should see if the breeder has any adults for sale or contact a rescue organization that has adult dogs available.
Q: Do Beagles Dig?
A: Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.....


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