Raising a Beagle: What I Learned Being Arthurs Mom

Raising a Beagle: What I Learned Being Arthurs Mom

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

Standing by Your Expectations

Everyone has their own expectations about what having a new puppy will be like. Some things I expected before bringing my new Beagle puppy Arthur home were lots of evening walks with plenty of playtime and cuddles during the day.

My expectation of playtime and cuddle time were exceeded; Arthur loves all of his toys, and he loves jumping onto the couch to warm up with his pack, but walks? He likes them occasionally, especially if there are new smells in our neighborhood, but he would much rather stay home and lounge in the backyard. I don’t mind the lack of walks too much, though I was hoping for an excuse to exercise more.

I wasn’t too disappointed that one of my expectations wasn’t met, but I didn’t have too many of them, and none of them were related to the realities of new parenthood. I’ve had pets for over 10 years, so I know that a new pet comes with new stresses as well as new joys.

Many people have expectations of what life with their new puppy will be like, and sometimes the reality is unpleasant. The reality of puppy parenthood has resulted in the return of some pets, so it’s important for you to be ready right off the bat for some, if not all, of your expectations to fall through.

Beagle walkingOne expectation that many people have is that they’ll cuddle with their new pup, especially since Beagles are pack animals. While Beagles do enjoy napping and relaxing together, more often than not they want to run around, while you want to cuddle. These pups are so full of energy, with little time to rest when there are boxes to chew on and couches to jump off the back of.

People also think that training won’t take much time, but with Beagles, you should be prepared for a stubborn dog who won’t do anything unless you’re offering food. It may be frustrating to have this experience of a disobedient dog when you just want to enjoy your new friend, and it is discouraging, but a Beagle can be trained eventually.

The fastest way to eliminate most of the new stressors that come with being a new puppy parent is to face the realities of puppy parenthood. It takes work and training to adapt to the realities of new puppies, but training can make your expectation of a polite and companionable pet a reality.

Work to meet these new expectations, and they will become reality.

Why Crate Train

Proper crate training can be highly effective in the training of your Beagle and is useful not only for preventing destructive behavior but also for helping your pup become house-trained. You won’t have a well-trained dog on the first night and, in fact, it can take months of mindful training before your Beagle is trained. Crate training allows you to control your pup’s environment during these important early stages in your Beagle’s behavioral training and will shorten the overall training time.

Although crate training greatly helps with a dog’s behavioral training, training, in general, should not be the primary use of the crate. A dog’s crate is like a human’s room—it’s a place for him to go to relax and get away from the other members of the house or from outside stimuli and can give your dog a sense of security. These benefits of crating don’t appear immediately, though. First, you must introduce your new Beagle to her crate and teach her what it’s for and when she should enter it. Everything in your home is new to your dog, including her new crate, so it’s important to make your dog’s first impressions of the crate good ones.

The most important part of crate training is the crate itself. The crate you buy for a dog should be proportional to her current size, with room for growth. She should have room to stand up and walk in a circle, but if she has more room, she’ll use a corner as a potty area. If the “room-for-growth” crate you purchase doesn’t come with a space divider, make plans for a DIY one at home.

For a Beagle, a 36-inch crate should be sufficient. I, personally, suggest a crate with multiple doors if your local pet store has that option. I found myself moving Arthur’s crate around too much before I began utilizing both doors and placed the crate in an optimal position to access both.

If you have a more compact living space, being able to open a door from a long side or a short side means you can squeeze this equally-compact crate almost anywhere. I’ve put mine under tables and used it as an area divider to make a puppy playpen.

Overall, you want to find a good spot to place your dog’s crate such as in a corner of the family/living area of the house. Again, dogs are pack animals and want to feel as if they are part of your pack.

Crate Training

Now that you’ve chosen a good crate for your Beagle, it’s time to introduce her to her new room. Make sure the crate door is open and inviting before this introduction!

The first time your pup sees her new crate, she may be cautious to approach and enter it. Caution is fine. Your pup will eventually explore the crate herself, without you interfering, especially if you’ve put toys, a bed, and/or blankets inside. If your pup still seems cautious about entering, carry her over, speaking soothingly and happily to put her at ease.

With any dog, but especially Beagles, putting a few strategically-placed treats inside is another way to make a crate more inviting. Start with a few treats just outside the crate, place some just inside the door, and then give your pup a treat and praise her if she completely enters the crate. Try the same technique with her food bowl if snacks just aren’t cutting it.

It’s important that you’re patient and don’t force your Beagle into the crate. You don’t want your new friend to feel trapped in a place that’s supposed to be safe for her. If she doesn’t enter the crate all the way or at all on the first try, just give her time. It may even take your pup a few days to feel fully comfortable going inside her crate.

After your Beagle pup has gotten used to her crate, you’ll want to start feeding her in her crate as well. Doing so is another step in making your Beagle’s crate feel like HER crate. Eventually, you’ll be able to close the crate door for short periods of time either while your pup is inside relaxing or inside eating.

Beagle on bedSit next to your Beagle’s crate for short periods of time while she’s inside. Consider reading or some other activity that you normally do. You want your Beagle to understand that being inside her crate is nothing to be worried about and is just a normal part of your lives. As your Beagle gets used to her crate, begin taking small trips away from the crate during your crate-sitting time. Go make a cup of tea, use the restroom, or just stretch your legs. Your pup will eventually become used to your absence, and you’ll be able to leave her alone for longer and longer stretches of time.

You need to be consistent about when you’re crating. When I’m cooking dinner, gardening, working, sleeping, or otherwise busy are typically the times when I utilize the crate.

Remember that a crate is not a long-term daycare for your pup, so crate time should be limited to no more than 30 minutes at a time. You can increase this time as your puppy grows in age and becomes more comfortable being left alone in general. Eventually, she’ll be peacefully sleeping in her crate through the night and will quietly and happily rest in her crate if you ever need to run errands.

Your pup will likely whine at many points before crate training is complete; that’s just a reality. These whines will be adorably sad and will make you want to give your Beagle whatever she wants. Beagles have such a beautifully pleading expression, and an added whine makes them hard to deny.

Regardless, you must not give in to your dog’s whining! If your pup whines during her training, it may be because she’s feeling uncomfortable in the crate at that time and is ready to be let out. Early in the crate-training process, whines let you know your pup’s limits. Don’t let your Beagle out of her crate immediately when she whines. You don’t want to teach her that whining will get her what she wants. Wait until she’s settled down again, then let her out of her crate.

I find that as long as Arthur is in his crate in the public area, he’s not bothered about being inside while everyone is busy. He may whine a bit, but he’s learned by now that he’s safe in his crate.

Remember that a crate should be a safe place for your Beagle. Your puppy should not be afraid to go into her crate. Whining to be let out, once inside for timeout, is a different matter. Beagles aren’t afraid to let everyone within hearing distance know their displeasure, but gentle whining is rarely something to be worried about, even if it will trigger your parenting senses.

Keep this information in mind as you repeat this process for the first few weeks of your Beagle’s new life, and your Beagle will love to go inside her crate and will be less likely to whine and howl when you have to leave her alone.

Chewing

There’s a reason that parents and pet owners alike are both known for shouting, “What are you eating?!” at least 20 times a day. Kids and pups alike both love exploring the world, and many do so by chomping on anything they can find, and for the first six months of your Beagle’s life, his gums will periodically bother him as he experiences teething. As such, your Beagle is guaranteed to chew on whatever he can find if he’s a puppy, so make sure you’ve prepped plenty of toys that he can chew on. Adult dogs, however, may chew for other reasons such as improper training, boredom, attention-seeking, and fear or anxiety.

Besides the above reasons for chewing, some Beagles just seem to have an overwhelming drive to explore the world by chewing.

Beagle biting shoeOne of the Beagle’s primary instincts is to sniff out treasures, usually rabbits. Some Beagles naturally will just steal whatever they find and not chew on it. Instead, they’ll run off to abandon their find somewhere or run to gift it to another member of the pack. “Retrieving” isn’t too usual for Beagles, though, so you should be prepared to find your stolen item chewed up somewhere if you don’t recover it quickly.

My household had prepared well for Arthur’s arrival in terms of cords and other dangerous things a Beagle might find his way into, but even still, for the first three months of having Arthur, I found some of the following items around the house that had been retrieved and/or left chewed up:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Socks
  • My mom’s sweater that I was mending
  • My half of a pizza heart necklace
  • An emery board
  • Yarn
  • Pillows

Though retrieving can look quite adorable (because who doesn’t like to see a floppy-eared pup running down the hall with a sock in his mouth?), it’s important that you discourage this behavior, even when your Beagle has taken a harmless item like a hanging kitchen towel or a fallen paper towel.

These items may seem harmless, but the behavior itself also has the potential to cause trouble. Your Beagle may become used to retrieving whatever he pleases; then he will be at risk of chewing on or eating something dangerous.

Additionally, if you regularly allow your dog to retrieve and do as he pleases with everything he retrieves and then attempt to take something from him, your dog may become aggressive. In his mind, everything he retrieves is his because you haven’t stopped him before and taught him otherwise. This behavior can be extremely dangerous for you and your Beagle. Your Beagle may retrieve and chew on something dangerous that you are unable to take from him because of his aggression, and you may both be hurt in the process.

I mentioned earlier that a necklace of mine fell victim to Arthur’s retrieving. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I’d dropped the necklace as I was in the middle of cleaning, and I was letting Arthur roam around to “help” me. While most of the necklace was fine, the pizza charm looked like pizza party leftovers. Keep your things safe if you don’t want them chewed!

Beagle runningDogs also like to chew on their companions, but you should discourage your Beagle from chewing or biting people. A puppy’s bite may not hurt at first, but it will definitely get stronger with age. Teach your pup to be gentle with humans. If your pup chews your hand, you should discourage this behavior over time by “yelping” whenever your pup takes a nibble at your hands.

Of course, you should also teach your Beagle what is and is not acceptable to chew. Again, you should have toys for your pup that he is allowed to chew on. When you take a harmless item from your pup, reprimand him and offer him something that is acceptable to chew on such as a teething ring or plush toy.

Do NOT give your dog DIY toys that are similar to what you don’t want him stealing. Examples of a bad DIY toy are an old shoe, socks, rags, old clothes, etc. Your Beagle will not be able to distinguish these “acceptable-to-chew” items from the “unacceptable-to-chew” items.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure anything that shouldn’t be in your dog’s mouth stays out of it, including your hands and feet! Be sure to discourage your pup from chewing on people early on, to avoid dangerous and tragic incidents later on.

Be sure that you’ve provided a variety of textures for your pup to explore early on. If you see that he’s stealing a lot of hard things like wooden spoons or pencils, find him a toy with that same consistency. Also, make chewing part of playtime with tug toys or snack time with chewy snacks. Playtime will help tire your Beagle out, and both activities will help satisfy your Beagle’s need to chomp.

Growling, Barking, and Howling

Dogs naturally growl and bark in various situations, including during playtime, but, of course, growling and barking can also be aggressive. Let’s first distinguish between playful behavior, aggressive behavior, and other potential causes of growling, barking, and howling. Addressing this behavior can take time and consistency as with all of your Beagle’s training.

It’s important to know that Beagles are naturally vocal dogs, so growling, barking, and howling may not always be a sign of aggression. Regardless, Beagles are also very LOUD dogs, so you want to discourage occurrences of inappropriate growling, barking, and howling, or you’re sure to get complaints from neighbors. After some time living with your Beagle, you will be able to distinguish the meaning of many of his sounds from his standard bark to his aggressive bark and his “alert howl” to his “I’m sad and/or bored” howl.

Growling

Growling is just one of the ways dogs communicate and is actually an important communication for you to maintain in your dog since she can’t use words to tell you when something is wrong.

There are times when your dog is growling because she is being playful (such as when you’re playing tug), but growling is sometimes an indication of another problem that needs to be understood and addressed before the growling will stop. Growling itself should NOT be stopped, though, because it’s your dog’s way of warning you that something is wrong and that she may bite. If you eliminate growling from your dog’s behavior, you won’t know when something is wrong, and your dog may attack unexpectedly. Be careful around your dog until you figure out why she’s growling.

Your pup may growl if she’s in pain. Painful growling is usually accompanied by other symptoms of illness or injury. If pain is the cause of growling, get your pup proper treatment. Your veterinarian can help you figure out the source of your dog’s pain.

Dogs often growl as a warning when they feel as if someone is encroaching on their territory. This “someone” could be a stranger who steps onto your property, or it may be another pet that lay down in your pup’s favorite spot. Similarly, your dog may growl if someone is too close to or has one of her possessions. Such possessions include toys, food bowls, treats, and anything the dog considers to be her own.

Fear of strangers or specific people can make your dog growl. Fireworks, thunderstorms, garbage day, or vacuuming may be sometimes when your pup growls.

To treat warning growling and fearful growling, acclimate your Beagle to whatever is triggering the growling. Your dog may need more socialization if she often growls at strange people or dogs. If your dog is barking at something she’s afraid of, either remove that fear trigger or allow your dog to see that something like the vacuum cleaner isn’t scary.

Simply put, growling itself can’t and shouldn’t be treated, so to stop specific types of growling, analyze why your dog is growling in the first place.

Barking

Barking is another way dogs communicate, so it can mean something different depending on the context. Often, dogs will bark to greet a human or another animal or in order to get another animal to play. Barking in and of itself is not a problem. One way to control the problem is to just ignore it as dogs often bark to gain attention, but excessive barking definitely can be caused by a bigger problem than attention-seeking, so be proactive about controlling excessive barking, especially if you have neighbors.

Just like with growling, dogs will bark if they are feeling territorial or protective over something such as an area or item they consider theirs.

A startled or afraid dog will also bark. Fearful barks can range from short, surprised back to constant barking at whatever may be scaring your pup. Fearful barking can happen anywhere your dog feels unsafe or afraid. Fearful barking can stem from separation anxiety as well. A dog with separation anxiety will bark excessively while left alone.

A simple way to stop barking is to firmly interrupt your dog’s barking with a single word and to reward your pup once he stops barking. I use the word “hey!” and some people say “quiet!” but the word itself doesn’t matter, as long as your Beagle is able to recognize, by the command and the tone of your voice, that you mean business. Consistency with interrupting barking will prevent it overall.

Boredom and loneliness are also reasons a dog may bark. Play with and tire out your dog before you leave the house if you know your dog barks excessively while you’re away. If your dog barks while you’re away because of separation anxiety, you will likely need to consult your veterinarian. Separation anxiety is usually accompanied by other behaviors including digging and destructiveness.

Howling

Howling isn’t a problem every dog owner will have, but a Beagle owner should definitely be prepared for howling. Just like with growling and barking, howling is a way dogs communicate what they’re feeling.

Howling is caused by a Beagle’s strong hunting instincts. Beagles used to be expected and encouraged to howl to help hunters find them once the Beagles had found their prey, but this instinct isn’t so great when you’re not on the hunt or have no plans to ever do so as in the case of a family dog.

Beagle howlingBeagles are used to howling during a hunt, but you may notice that your Beagle is howling a lot even if you and your family aren’t attending many hunts. Many other things can make your Beagle howl including excitement, stress, loneliness, boredom, attention-seeking, or just plain fun.

If you’re not taking your buddy on hunts with you, you’ll want to curb this instinct to howl unless you and your neighbors really enjoy the piercing noise of an excited Beagle.

Just like with growling and barking, the way to stop howling is to determine the reason your Beagle is howling in the first place and address that problem.

Do your neighbors report that your Beagle is howling excessively while you’re gone? If so, your pup is likely lonely and in want of affection and attention. Beagles do not do well alone, and while radios and TVs in the background may be an option to make your pup feel less lonely, remember that Beagles love being with their packs—meaning your Beagle will love being with you and your family and will be sad if he isn’t with you.

Other pets, specifically dogs, can prevent howling caused by loneliness. If you have another dog at home to keep your Beagle company, he won’t spend so much time howling for his pack to return to him.

Boredom is another problem that can make your Beagle howl and can affect your Beagle whether you’re home or not.

Beagles are used to being put to work, and even though many Beagles will also enjoy a family lifestyle, they still need to put their natural energy to use somehow.

Howling is one way that your Beagle will entertain himself and use up energy at the same time, so spend some time burning off excess energy with your pup by going on runs, playing catch, and other creative playtime activities. Your pup can’t howl if he’s got a toy in his mouth, and he won’t want to howl when he’s exhausted from playtime.

A great strategy that I use successfully to discourage excessive growling, barking, or howling is to simply interrupt the behavior with a loud sound, a light spray of water, or with an interruption word like “hey!” or “quiet!” Usually, all that’s needed is to get your pup’s attention while using an unmistakably “bad dog” voice.

Overall, you should expect a lot of sounds from your Beagle. While this breed is small, they are incredibly expressive beyond just their surprisingly loud growl, bark, and howl.

Digging

Like many other dog breeds, Beagles love to dig. Beagles will dig inside or outside, and both can cause problems for a Beagle owner. Dogs dig, by instinct, to create a nest or to hide food (or chew toys and treats).

A big reason dogs dig is because they are bored. Inside or out, if your Beagle has nothing to do, he will create an activity for himself. Digging is an activity that entertains your dog and works off energy, but it can leave your yard and Beagle both a muddy mess.

The most obvious answer to this problem is to provide outdoor entertainment for your dog; toys are fun to play with, but many dog toys also require a human to throw or pull for them to be fun.

Beagle outsideTreats that take a long time to eat or get to are another option to keep your dog distracted from digging, but many Beagles also just dig for fun. You may have to train your dog to only dig in certain areas of the yard if he can’t give up digging altogether. If you do designate a digging area, hide some toys and treats under loosely-covered soil in the area you set aside and encourage him to dig in that area alone.

The “Playtime” chapter of this book gives more ideas about how to entertain your Beagle both inside and out.

A dog may also dig because he knows digging may get him freedom from, say, a gated yard.

Beagles are escape artists, and digging is a tool a Beagle will use to his advantage to aid in his escapes. If you’ve got any low or weak areas around your fence, be prepared for digging once your pup discovers those weaknesses.

Don’t feel sad if your Beagle tries to escape often—he’s likely just trying to follow a scent that he’s caught. Beagles can’t really help but investigate an interesting scent.

To discourage digging at the fence, it’s advisable to block off the fence perimeter. Some owners have used cement blocks to line their fences; some have worked chicken wire into the bottom of the fencing. Either option works to prevent digging in this area.

If a dog is digging in a specific area and seems to be searching for something, you may have rodents in your yard that you need to deal with. If the sun shines harshly into your yard and there’s not much shade, your dog may dig to find shelter from the sun.

Overall, some ways to prevent digging include walking your dog daily, playing active games with your dog, keeping fun and interactive toys available to your dog, providing shade for your dog to rest in outside, and keeping an eye on your dog while outside, to watch for digging.

Additionally, your dog just may feel anxious in the backyard if he’s alone there often and may dig under the gate the same way a fearful dog may destructively dig at inside carpets and doors. If you find that anxiety is the cause of digging, you need to treat your dog’s separation anxiety to prevent digging.

Separation Anxiety

The Beagle is a pack dog that really does enjoy being with its family. Left alone, without the feeling of safety that comes from being with her pack, your Beagle may lose control of her emotions, believing that you are never returning and that she will be alone forever.

Beagle focus shotBeagles are likely to experience separation anxiety, so it’s important to start early with getting your Beagle used to your absence. Separation anxiety is accompanied by whining, excessive barking, destructive chewing, excessive digging, howling, and other panicky actions.

Oftentimes, dog owners discover their dog’s separation anxiety only after returning home to a huge mess, destroyed property, and a crying pup, which can be heartbreaking, stressful, and frustrating all at once.

Treating separation anxiety takes time and patience.

If your dog does have separation anxiety, you may see signs of it even when you are home. Are you able to go to the bathroom without your Beagle whining at the door? Do you find yourself tripping over your pup every time you enter a room because she can’t bear to be away from you? Your pup may be anxious that she won’t see you again if she lets you out of her sight.

Addressing Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety typically sets in within 20 minutes of your dog being alone, so having something to occupy your pup for that period of time can help lessen her anxiety while you’re away.

The first step to addressing separation anxiety is to consider the area in which your dog will be spending time away from you alone.

Beagle n owner's shoulder
Photo Courtesy – Casey Murdough

Many people assume that giving their dog the run of the house while they are away will give their dog less reason to be bored, but really all they are doing is maximizing the number of things their dog has access to destroy.

Often, having the entire house to run around in can make a dog more anxious because there’s too much space for it to roam around and feel isolated in.

Additionally, if you’re still house-training your Beagle, you definitely don’t want to give her the freedom to use the potty wherever she pleases.

With the intactness of your home in mind, a good area to set your Beagle up to hang out in is a closed-off area such as a laundry room, bathroom, or gated-off hall.

Within this area, you want to ensure your dog has water, toys, and other things she enjoys that will make her comfortable. Toys should be interesting and interactive. If the toy requires a human presence to be fun, that toy will likely be ignored while your dog tries to dig her way to escape.

Another closed area to leave your pup is inside her crate. As mentioned before, crates can offer a sense of security to your Beagle, especially if you’ve spent time training your pup to be as comfortable as possible inside her crate.

A blanket tossed over most of the crate can make your Beagle feel like she’s in a warm cave and can help lessen anxiety, but this isn’t always the case. Some dogs may end up disliking their crate if they are left alone in it for too long, so know how long your pup can stand to be inside the crate before leaving her alone. Puppies can be crated for as long as their bladders hold.

To keep your Beagle occupied, consider purchasing a KONG dog toy or another chewable toy that can redirect her attention for a long period of time. Consider giving your pup a piece of clothing you’re not concerned about ruining. Make sure it has your scent on it to make your pup feel less alone.

Dogs are creatures of habit and will sometimes start becoming anxious before you’ve even left the house because they recognize the signs of your getting ready. On days you don’t have to leave the house, practice your leaving routine to get your dog used to the idea that you won’t always leave. Once your pup realizes that your putting on your shoes isn’t really a big deal, she’ll be less anxious overall every time you do so, making her less anxious during moments when you have to leave her alone.

Along those same lines, when you leave and return home, don’t make a big deal of greeting or saying goodbye to your dog. Doing so makes the act of your leaving and returning a big deal in your dog’s mind when it should be an event that stimulates neither pleasure nor worry for your dog.

Overall, a good way to deal with separation anxiety is to just teach your pup to be alone, which won’t be easy but will definitely save you and your Beagle long-term stress.

Similar to how I’ve outlined crate training, you want to have small blocks of time during which you leave your Beagle alone in part of your home while you are still home. Start with a few minutes at first, such as just going to the bathroom, and then work your way up to longer amounts of time leaving your dog alone: a 15-minute shower, 30-minute nap, 45-minute workout.

Build up your Beagle’s tolerance to being alone, slowly, since pushing the limits of how long your pup can be alone can be counterproductive. Keep your ears open, and stay aware of if your dog is whining or panicking while alone during this training.

Running Away

Beagles are small and fast, which helps them track down and catch small game, but these traits also make it easy for them to escape unwary owners. The Beagle has been bred to listen to his nose, which tells him a lot of things about the world.

Beagles will often run away if they catch the scent of other dogs because Beagles want to hunt with other dogs. A Beagle will also just run away so he can explore the world without his owner pulling him away from a particularly interesting smell.

Don’t feel betrayed by your Beagle, though. He isn’t necessarily running away from you or from home but rather running toward something he really wants to investigate. Even though Beagles do have these strong urges to smell and track and run, you can still combat these urges to prevent your Beagle from running away.

To prevent running away at home, you can make sure your dog’s outside area is secure. Just like with separation anxiety, if your dog is digging to escape, you can place large rocks or cement blocks around the bottom of the fence or dig down and place chicken wire at the base of the gate.

Beagle on leash
Photo Courtesy – Larissa Pyer

Another way Beagles may escape is by jumping over fences. Now, this one is unlikely to happen unless you’ve got some unwisely-placed furniture or storage in your backyard, but don’t relax just because you think your Beagle won’t utilize these escape tools. Beagles are great jumpers, and while they may be cautious and unsure of themselves at first, they will gain confidence to jump over higher and higher areas.

You can also monitor your Beagle and limit the amount of time he spends outside overall. Beagles are smart, so they may hide their escape activities for when they’re alone, leaving their owners none-the-wiser about how their pup escaped.

For when you’re outside, the most important thing to remember is not to unleash your dog. Keeping your Beagle on a leash trains him to stay close to you and not to roam far, an important method of training to help your Beagle control his urges and need to sniff. In fact, some trainers recommend leash training your Beagle for the first year—meaning when you’re walking your pup, no matter how good he’s been or how much he really wants to play with the neighborhood dogs, your Beagle should NOT be let off his leash. He may play for a few minutes but will eventually run away.

To get your pup to return to you after he’s run away, make sure you’ve practiced the “Come” command with your dog. An untrained dog will not respect its owner and, therefore, will not come when called. Practice recall training with your pup to prevent a lost Beagle.

If your pup has escaped you, however he may have done it, and you can’t find him, it’s time to start searching. Beagles are good scent hounds and may be able to find their way home alone, but depending on how far their noses take them from home, you should be prepared to contact your local animal shelter, post a recent picture on social media pet- finder groups, and go out walking and calling your pup’s name.

Bedtime

Although it may seem your dog will fall asleep literally anywhere, especially puppies, who may sleep around 18 hours a day, sleep is still as important for them as it is for a human, so having a comfortable place, or multiple comfortable places, set up around your home where your Beagle can sleep will make him much happier.

When dogs sleep in the wild, they do so in caves and dens that act as their nests, and you can duplicate the feeling of being inside a cave easily if you’ve purchased a crate for your Beagle. A blanket thrown over your pup’s crate will create a cozy sleeping area for your Beagle.

A simple blanket is just the beginning, though. As your Beagle grows and develops favorite places, you’ll find yourself finding creative nap areas.

I’ve gotten creative with giving Arthur multiple places to nap.

I’ve folded his crate blanket into thirds and placed it under my desk, placed the full blanket on the floor with all his toys on it to define a “play” area, created a crate “patio” by folding the blanket into a plush bed so Arthur can choose to sleep inside his open crate or outside of his crate but right next to the plush pillow placed on the inside of the crate (see how crate training can make training easier in other areas?), and I’ve even reused Amazon boxes and his folded blanket to create a pet bed.

Beagle carried by owner
Photo Courtesy – Brittany Helton

As you can see, blankets, along with the couch, the carpet, your lap, your bed, his bed, everyone else’s bed, and every other place he can reach, can easily be a great napping place for your pup and make bedtime a relaxing event wherein your dog feels at home in your home.

At night, and especially for anxious or destructive pups, crating is the best option. You can place your Beagle’s crate anywhere it will fit, but beside your bed or in a central area of the house is best.

Many dog owners like to sleep with their pups in their rooms and in their beds. I’ve done so with Arthur, but he loves snuggling up with my partner at night who, sadly, isn’t as fond as Arthur is about a nighttime pack pileup.

To be fair to Arthur, Beagles will do what they can to stay warm at night, so make sure that your Beagle has an appropriate AND acceptable sleep area.

If you’re crating, your Beagle may cry at first at bedtime. If he’s inside of a crate, even if that crate is in the middle of the family room with the rest of the pack around, your Beagle may cry to be let out to be closer to you.

Place the crate blanket over the top of the crate, turn off any lights that may be shining on the crate, and prepare to ignore the sad cries of your Beagle. Your Beagle will eventually quiet down and fall asleep, especially if you’ve taken him on a walk beforehand, ensured he’s had dinner, and made sure he’s gone potty. Puppy parenthood is a lot of work, but you’re ready.

Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Leaving your dog alone can instill you with guilt, especially when that dog is a Beagle who whines adorably and has a beautifully pleading expression. There’s no reason to feel guilty for having to leaving your pup alone, though, as every dog should learn to be comfortable alone. Even though it’s okay to leave your Beagle alone, you should still keep a few things in mind.

Beagle lying on carpetDon’t leave your dog alone for more the eight hours at a time with food and water, and ideally no longer than four hours in general. If possible, hire a sitter or recruit a friend to come over to socialize your pup and let her out to relieve herself if you know you will be gone for a while.

Some dogs really don’t mind being alone while others can’t stand it and will develop separation anxiety which can result in destructive behavior and stress for you and your pup.

Besides crating your pup, a few things you can do to make leaving your dog alone less stressful is to play soothing dog music or TV for dogs. There are many YouTube videos created specifically for calming anxious dogs or that feature footage of wild animals in their natural habitats. Either is a good option to entertain your dog while you’re away.

Additionally, if you’re more worried about leaving your pup alone than she is about being alone, consider investing in security cameras that allow you to watch your pet while you’re away, giving you peace of mind about the safety of your home and pet.

To read more from "The Complete Guide to Beagles" by Tracy Squaire, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below:

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