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Five years ago, when we brought Yoda home, we had no idea how to deal with a beagle puppy. I will be frank; our house was a huge mess. We did so many things incorrectly that we had to get a professional trainer for help.
There are a few things I wish I knew before raising my first beagle. So to make things easier for you, here are 9 essential tips for first-time beagle owners.
Puppy proof your house
After raising two beagle puppies, I can say that it’s astonishing how many ways they can find to get themselves in trouble.
Beagles, especially when they are puppies, are curious explorers. And they explore by putting things in their mouth and then swallow them. They will go to every nook of your house and find something that they can fit in their little mouth. To know more, you can go through Why do beagles Eat everything.
You need to puppy-proof your house and create a safe environment for them. Puppy-proofing is similar to baby-proofing; remove every little thing they can reach, chew, break, and put in their mouth.
You can watch this video for more details regarding beagle proofing the house:
Here are a few things you need to do:
- Get on the floor and clean everything your pup can put in the mouth.
- Keep all the electrical cords and wires out of reach.
- Keep the trashcan away. They love munching on trash.
- Secure lower level cabinets and drawers using child safety locks.
- Keep the toilet and the bathroom doors close.
- DO NOT keep medicines or keys on the tables.
Socialize as much as possible
Beagles are amiable and social dogs. They can get along with people of any age. They do well with other dogs as well as cats too. However, to make them extroverts, you need to start socializing them from an early age.
Socializing in the dog world means exposing them to various people, animals, sounds, and smells and associating positive things with them. This will ensure that your beagle doesn’t end up having a fearful and timid personality.
Here are a few things you must do:
- Introduce them to new people now and then. Ask your friends and extended family members to visit you guys more often. Expose your dog to all kinds of people; people with facial hair, people wearing different items of clothing, children.
- Call out all the pet owners in your contact and fix play dates. You may introduce dogs, cats, and other pets and allow your pup to interact with them. Consider taking him to a nearby dog park where he can play with other dogs.
- Take them to different places regularly. Take them out to your friends’ place and let them play in their backyards.
- Expose them to various types of smells. Take them outside and let them smell different things in the surrounding.
Whenever you are socializing with your dog, always remember to associate positive things. For instance, ask your guests to give him a treat, and whenever your dog interacts with other animals, praise him.
Train, train, train, repeat!
If you don’t know this already, let me tell you that beagles are stubborn, naughty, and mischievous. They have an independent mind that is filled with curiosity.
Without training, they can become difficult to live with. But don’t worry, you don’t need to hire a professional trainer. All you need is consistency.
Do not miss even a single day. Doing so will ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-mannered dog.
Daily Exercise is the Key
Beagles were bred for hunting. They were used to track down small animals and chase them. They were selectively bred to be energetic and active.
Even though we have made them house pets now, they are still super energetic. They have a high requirement for daily exercise.
And when you fail to release their energy, they become destructive.
More than 40% of beagle behavior problems are caused because owners fail to provide them enough exercise.
So take them out for walks twice a day. Give them heavy exercises like running and jumping. Here are 12 different ways to exercise your beagle.
This is what our routine looks like:
- Long Morning walk of 30 Minutes.
- Morning Jog of 5 to 10 minutes.
- Backyard playtime in the evening of 10 minutes. We usually play fetch.
- Long Walk of 30 minutes before going to bed.
Puppies will not need this much exercise. Usually, a walk around the block and some playtime are enough for them. However, this depends on their age and energy level.
Start with crate training ASAP
Putting your beagle in a crate may seem a little cruel, but trust me, it’s not. A crate provides a safe and secure environment for dogs to rest. It’s like their own personal den.
Apart from that, there are quite a few benefits of crate training a dog.
- It will make housetraining much, much easier.
- Whenever you are busy, you can put them inside the crate and make sure they remain safe.
- It can help to curve their separation anxiety.
- You can put them in a crate when you have to go out and make sure that they don’t put themselves in trouble.
It would be best if you started with crate training as soon as possible. Because training them after they get used to sleeping on your bed could be difficult. You can read this article to know how to crate train your beagle. If you are planning to get a crate, then here are some of my recommendations for the best crates for beagles.
Train them to sleep at night
I get at least one email every week about puppies not sleeping at night and keeping awake the entire house. This is very common in young puppies.
They don’t know when they are supposed to sleep and when they are supposed to play. It is essential to put them on a sleeping schedule that matches yours.
There are a few steps you must follow to make them sleep at night:
- Give them proper exercise throughout the day.
- Don’t allow them to sleep or take a nap 3 hours before their bedtime.
- Take them outside for a long walk right before going to bed.
- Put them in the crate, dim the lights, and try not to make any sounds during their bedtime.
- Make sure they have peed and pooped before putting them in the crate. You can feed them a couple of hours before going to bed so that they have enough time to process their poop.
Strictly follow this schedule when they are puppies. It may take a few days, weeks, or even months until they understand their routine. In this way, you can ensure that your beagle puppy sleeps through the night and doesn’t disturb your sleep cycle.
Never give them table scraps
Beagles love to eat. They are as foodie as you are, probably more. But their digestive system works differently than ours. Not all human foods are safe for them. Items that we eat daily can be poisonous for them, like grapes, chocolate, sugar, coffee, etc.
Dogs often sit beside you with the hope that you will give them something to eat from your plate. Now I know, they have eyes that can melt your soul but do not feed them scraps. It can be dangerous for them.
Do not feed them anything while you are having your food, even if it’s safe. Feed them once, they will beg harder for more. They may even bark or jump on your plate next time. So it’s better not to give them any expectations in the first place.
Be ready for lots of Cuddles
Beagles are cuddle monsters. They love to snuggle in our blankets and curl up in our laps.
When you are in the house, they won’t leave you even for a second. Groot follows me to the bathroom. Beagles are clingy, but it’s the most adorable thing in them.
Apologize to neighbors in Advance
Beagles are vocally expressive. They like to express their feelings by making different types of noises.
Yes, I said, noises, plural, because they don’t just bark; they whine, bay, woof, howl, cry, and whatnot. Don’t believe me? Have a look:
Over time, you will be able to differentiate their sounds and understand their mood.
When they want something, they like to let you know by whining and bay. If they are angry or frustrated, they may even bark. If they are in a playful mood, they may howl out loud. If someone’s at your doorsteps, they may make a different type of bark.
So before getting a beagle, check in with your neighbors if they are okay with occasional barkings. Because they may look small, but they have a high pitch. If you are planning to raise a beagle as an apartment dog, then go through your complex pet rules.
I wish someone would have given me these tips for raising a beagle before I got one. Anyway, so I hope these tips and advice prove helpful to you and all the best with raising your cuddle monster. It’s going to be a fun journey.