The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Beagles" by Tracey Squaire. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.
Author Credit: Tracey Squaire
Different Options for Potty Training
If you’ve opted for a Beagle puppy, you’re going to have to deal with house-training, and it is NOT fun. Even if your Beagle isn’t a puppy, not all adult dogs are house-trained. Beagles can be naughty, intelligent, and lazy at the same time, so to avoid AVOIDABLE “accidents” in the house, start your Beagle’s house-training by setting a schedule for your pup’s potty time.
Puppies need to go to the bathroom eight to 10 times a day, and setting a potty schedule allows you to keep these bathroom times in appropriate areas as well as to organize other aspects of your pup’s life. A schedule also saves you from a huge headache in the early days of your Beagle’s training that is likely to stretch on through her life if uncorrected.
Set a house-training schedule that lets you allot some of your dog’s potty times to walks, some to “after-dinner business meetings,” and some to a brief playtime in the backyard before bed.
If your pup has unlimited access to water, you’re going to be making a LOT of trips outside, so be warned. As Arthur came home at the end of a mild fall that introduced a very cold and very wet winter, we stayed inside a lot, and, unfortunately, Arthur grew to hate our trips outside.
If, for whatever reason, you and your pup decide that she can’t make it outside (maybe you live on the top floor of an apartment and it’s 3:00 a.m.?), having a backup plan is a must to keep your home clean and your puppy’s training on track. Puppy pads are, of course, an easily-available option. Puppy pads can come as a combination of plastic, cloth, and paper; as a cut of fake plastic grass; or as a soft rubber grate that makes cleanup a snap,
Indoor dog toilets and dog litter boxes are also a thing, but since Arthur did so well with his house-training during the milder days of winter, I decided to incentivize him to go potty outside by putting his full-to-the-brim water bowl outside in the area we’d set up for him before he came home.
Most of Arthur and other puppies’ accidents are pee accidents, so putting his water outside allowed me to predict when he’d need to pee next as well as to limit the amount of water he gulped down. Seriously, a Beagle will NOT stop drinking if it has free access to water. If you have cats, consider giving your Beagle and your cats their OWN bowls, and put both the water bowls and the food bowls somewhere your Beagle can’t reach.
If, for some reason, you can’t go outside while using this method (weather, injury, convenience, etc.), give your Beagle a small bowl of water inside. Eventually, she won’t even think to go inside because she’ll enjoy going outside to mark her territory.
As for poos, well, a puppy will poo 10 to 60 minutes after eating, so you should be able to control and limit those with careful attention to your dog’s habits and training schedule.
The First Few Weeks
As I mentioned, a schedule for house-training your Beagle will help her succeed in not ruining your carpets or leaving an inescapable smell in your hallways. Dogs thrive on consistency both scheduling-wise as well as location-wise. Same time, same place every day for the first month or two, and your pup will have no trouble relieving herself where she’s supposed to.
Slowly acclimating your new Beagle to new areas can help reduce accidents. You won’t always be around to help your pup not potty inside, so consider leaving your pup in a small area where she can comfortably walk around. Her crate is the obvious choice. As we’ve already discussed, your Beagle’s crate should be her safe place, and she’ll want to keep it smelling like her and not her waste.
Staying consistent with the time and location of potty time will keep waste contained to one area of your property. Remember that your puppy has a small bladder, and accidents that she makes will usually be your fault for not taking her out. She doesn’t yet know that there are areas that she isn’t allowed to relieve herself, and it’s your job to consistently show her where she can go to the bathroom.
Imagine if you couldn’t tell the difference between signs on bathrooms in public. Where would you go? Your pup will relieve herself where she can and will usually try to go out of the public area to do so.
An important fact to remember is that a dog will avoid soiling an area that it considers to be its home, play, or living area. You may notice that your dog will walk off a bit into the grass before relieving herself, even in the backyard. If you make your pup feel at home in every part of your home she’s allowed (slowly, and one area at a time!), she will be even more reluctant to make a mess inside.
Again, you need to guide your pup to the appropriate areas when it’s potty time, so letting your Beagle know when it’s potty time should be your top priority. Understand when your Beagle needs to relieve herself (usually after waking up, eating, drinking, and playing), and plan your house-training schedule accordingly.
And remember, with all your Beagle training, praise good behavior with treats, attention, and toys. Rewarding positive behavior will ensure you continue to see that behavior.
Playpens and Doggy Doors
Playpens, doggy doors, and other barriers are a must when you live with a Beagle. This doesn’t apply just to puppies: Beagles of any age will curiously explore any area and get into any mess they find.
A doggy door will keep your Beagle inside when you don’t want him going out, maybe because of bad weather or because it’s bedtime. A doggy door will also prevent pests from entering your home if your solution to giving your pup access to the backyard so far has been leaving the backdoor open (which I am guilty of).
Aim for a sturdy doggy door when you’re searching. Doggy doors can be as high as $400 or as low as $30, depending on how heavy-duty you need your dog’s door to be. Installation is another cost to consider if you’re not confident that you can do the installation yourself or you lack the tools. Search for services or check with local pet stores for installation availability.
You may need to block your pet from entering an area of the house during house-cleaning times, when a maintenance person is working in or outside your home, or maybe just when your pup is being bothersome to the family and other pets.
For playpens, consider the needs of your pets as well as your available space. There are some playpens that come attached to crates, so if you have multiple pets, that might be an option, but for a Beagle, you don’t need to get too huge with a playpen. In fact, a simple baby gate and a hazard-free area is a simple solution to the playpen problem.
If you don’t have a playpen or a baby gate, you can create your own doggy barrier. I think I mentioned before that Beagles are good jumpers. Do believe me when I say this: your makeshift playpen needs to be high enough to prevent your Beagle from jumping over it. It should also leave no cracks on either side of the barrier because your Beagle will squeeze through.
With a doggy door, playpen, baby gate, or DIY barrier, you can keep your pup out of trouble.
To read more from "The Complete Guide to Beagles" by Tracy Squaire, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below: