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A Baker's Dozen of Tips for New Beagle Owners
(or just a few things to consider for those who already have dogs)

 

Common sense reminders that bear repeating...

1- Go Out Of Your Way To Socialize Your Dog

Once he's had all of his puppy shots, take him EVERYWHERE and introduce him to all kinds of people- all ages, races, etc. And introduce him to all breeds and sizes of dogs.

2- Train Your Dog

Take him to an obedience training class to meet other dogs, cultivate a bond and a common language with you, and begin the basics of obedience training. Look for a trainer that uses POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT methods. There is rarely a need for a Beagle to be trained using force or harsh corrections.

3- Set Limits Now

Start strict- while you can always relax restrictions, it's nearly impossible to impose them once he's had freedom. For example, if you don't want him on the furniture, keep him off of it from day one. The behaviors you ask of him from the start will be easily accepted as the way things are.

4- Be Consistent

All members of the family should be on the same page about what he is allowed and not allowed to do. It will only confuse him if different people set different rules.

5- Establish A Routine

Dogs (especially Beagles) crave routine. Within reason, get up at the same time, feed him meals at the same time, and take him outside to potty on a regular schedule. He will come to trust that his basic needs will be met. This will help him to become a secure, well-adjusted pet.

6- Make Him A Part Of The Family

When possible, take him along with you and include him in family activities. He will enjoy being a part of his "pack".

7- Nip Phobias And Problem Behaviors In The Bud

Some of these are fairly easy to address (like counter surfing), but others can be difficult to change if left unchecked (like separation anxiety or nuisance barking). Many of these behaviors will not disappear on their own if you ignore them. And, the longer a problem is allowed to persist, the more entrenched it becomes and the harder it is to "un-train". If you see a problem behavior starting, or if you have recently adopted a dog who displays this behavior, don't wait. Get professional help NOW.

8- Keep Him Safely Contained In Your Yard

Either leash walk him or keep him contained in a SECURELY fenced area. It isn't unusual for Beagles to be climbers, jumpers or diggers. Have at least a 5 foot high secure fence. Bury chicken wire into the ground along the perimeter. It would be risky to rely solely on an invisible fence to contain a hound. He will take the shock to follow a good scent. Plus, where's the incentive to come back if it means getting shocked again? Not to mention that an invisible fence doesn't keep other animals out of your yard.

9- Keep Him Safe While Traveling

For maximum safety, keep him in a seat belt or crate on the back seat. Dogs left to roam freely in your car jeopardize their safety and yours. We've all heard horror stories of dogs who are gravely hurt or killed when a driver has stopped short or been involved in an accident. Don't be a statistic.

10- Be Sure Your Dog Has Proper ID

Play the odds in your favor that if he is ever separated from you he will be identified and returned. Have him microchipped. It is inexpensive "insurance" that he can be scanned and safely returned. Keep his registration, contact info, and rabies tags affixed to his collar. If the jingling annoys you, there are pet tag silencers and "wallets" that attach to the collar. When you travel, take along pictures of him and ID information (as well as copies of shot records).

11- Maintain Your Pet's Health

Feed him the best diet that you can afford. Resolve to keep him trim to increase the chances of warding off future illness. Bring him to a vet for an annual checkup- or twice yearly for an older dog.

12- Engage In Quality Play Time

Identify what he enjoys doing and participate in some fun daily play sessions. Keep mentally stimulating toys available.

13- Offer Unconditional Love

You are his whole world and he looks to you for guidance, training, socialization, health care and safety. As an owner that is your privilege and your responsibility.

 

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