Many people fall in love with the look and wonderful nature of the beagle. There is not much that is cuter than a beagle puppy, with its long ears and fun loving character. It is very easy then to get carried away with buying a beagle without first considering their needs.
The beagle, like any dog, has their own distinct characteristics. They have certain special requirements that are not found in every home. Before you make your mind up on getting a beagle, here are a few things you need to consider. These are not meant to prevent you from purchasing a beagle. They are there to inform you of the things you need to consider before purchasing a beagle. If these considerations can be met, then you are a suitable home for a beagle.
Long term commitment
Beagles can live to 15 years and beyond. They will be with you for many years of your life. Are you prepared to take care of a beagle for that long?
Do you have fences that a beagle cannot go over, through or under? Fences usually need to be at least 1.5 metres (5ft) high. Wire mesh fences may be climed, so good solid or timber paling fences are suitable. The fence may also need to be secured around the base with either wire laid on the ground or some solid material such as concrete or old bricks.
Are you prepared for the puppy stage?
Puppies like to rummage around in gardens, chew whatever they can find, dig holes etc. Puppies are like little toddlers and require patience and tolerance. If you do not want to go through the puppyhood phase you may want to consider an older beagle. The club runs a rescue service that can provide older beagles.
Are you prepared for your beagle to become part of your family?
While beagles live happily outside they need regular interaction from their owners. As a beagle has a pack instinct, they need regular attention. Leaving a beagle for alone for long periods of time is not an environment that suits a beagle.
Are you or another family member home at least part of the day or do you have another dog?
The beagle is a pack animal and as such needs to have regular companionship. They will tend to wander or get into mischief if they are left on their own for long periods of time. The best home for a beagle is one where they have company for most of the day, either human or in the company of another dog.
Beagles need the company of their human pack or another canine friend. Left for lenghty periods of time on a regular basis will make for a very unhappy, lonely and very bored beagle who will soon get up to mischief to relieve that boredom – ie barking, taking clothes off the line, trying to escape – these are but a few avenues of entertainment for a bored beagle.
Consider the cost
Besides the initial outlay for the purchase of your beagle it will also be necessary for your beagle to be desexed, vaccinated every year, be put on heartworm prevention, registered with the local council, kenneling while you are on holidays and of course may require other veterinary services for unforeseen reasons. This can add up to a substantial cost and can be a drain on a family budget.
A beagle is a scent hound
The beagle has an extremely strong sense of smell and is probably their most important sense. As a result, this can take over from everything else. When they are on a scent, the have very little focus for anything else, including angry owners yelling to them to come back, or hazards such as cars and busy roads. You need to be committed to training your beagle so they will return on call or to focus on other senses beside their sense of smell.
A beagle has a major food drive
One of the biggest problems with beagles is being overfed. They have an immense food drive and are often fed more than they need. As a result it is often common to see an overweight or obese beagle which will significantly reduce their health.
You need discipline to feed a beagle only what they need. Do not rely on a beagle telling when it is enough because they never will.
If you believe you can address the above issues, you are very possibly a suitable home for a beagle.