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Is A Beagle Right For You?


pexels-photo-38010-largeAre you considering whether a beagle is right for you and your family?  Before bringing home a new pet you should understand any quirks the breed might have, and whether you and the dog would a good match.  Common beagle traits are discussed below.

Beagles are known for their kind, fun loving, and trusting temperament.  They are excellent family dogs that are equally suited to cuddling on the couch and playing in the yard.  Although beagles are poor guard dogs due to their easy going nature, their tendency to bark or howl when excited makes them excellent watch dogs.

As medium –sized dogs beagles top out at 13 – 16 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing 25 lbs for males and 23 lbs for females.  Pocket beagles are even smaller, standing less than 13 inches tall and typically weighing 15 – 18 lbs.

Other Pets?
While beagles get along well with other dogs, they are not recommended for homes with small pets such as cats or rabbits, due to their high prey drive.

Although beagles are extremely intelligent dogs, they are also stubborn.  Training a beagle may take longer than the average dog; however, they are highly food motivated.  Due to the breed’s prey drive, most beagles cannot be trusted off-leash unless properly trained from an early age.

Beagles require a high-quality food that does not contain many preservatives or fillers because they are prone to skin allergies.  Foods composed mainly of quality protein, such as lamb or chicken, are recommended.

Scent hounds have a tendency to overeat and become overweight, so exercise is extremely important for beagles.  Long hikes, runs, or bicycle rides are recommended for beagles in order to burn off energy as well as keep their weight under control.  Beagles are curious dogs that can easily become bored, so providing plenty of opportunities to sniff and explore is important for this breed.

Beagles do not require a lot of space if properly exercised.  They are equally suited to apartment, suburban, and rural life.  However, some beagles particularly enjoy the sound of their own voice, so training and adequate exercise is absolutely necessary if living in an apartment complex.

The trusting nature of beagles means their socialization requirements towards humans are not as high as other dogs.  However, beagles require extensive socialization in order to get along with other animals, particularly cats.

Common Behavioral Problems
While beagles are not frequently considered to be “bad” dogs, they do have a number of common behavioral problems that are shared among the breed.  These include howling, being destructive, and separation anxiety.  Keeping beagles well exercised can prevent these problems.

Common health problems that beagles encounter include epilepsy, obesity, allergies, cherry eye, and hypothyroidism.  Exercise and a high-quality diet go a long way in keeping beagles healthy.  Other disorders may be genetic, so it is important to purchase pure bred beagles from ethical breeders.  The average life expectancy for this breed is 12 – 15 years.

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Anna Weber

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