Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Crate, Puppy, Socializing, show ring, field work
Posted September 29, 2016
Beagles are medium size and easy to groom pets. They are happy, loving, nice with children, non hysterical, overly friendly and rarely barking dogs. However, there is much more to beagles than that. Beagles get under your skin easily. They have this wet, innocent look, this calmness whenever they do something really essentially bad. They wink their well eye-lined eyes, and you forgive them. My list of things i forgave them for over ten years spent with this breed includes a mattress with pocket springs out of pockets, damaged designer shoes, broken laptop, altered tv stand, paint-less wall (yes, they can actually chew on it), flowerless garden and a lawn with lots of digging projects on the go. They list may continue, but the point is to outline what you are getting yourself into, once becoming a beagle owner.
As you have already understood - beagles chew a lot, and are not picky about their choices. They have this "anything goes" attitude. Thus, bringing a beagle to your home requires to baby-proof your house,. However with beagles you may need to go beyond the essentials, as they can jump, have more strength than an average baby. As a result, beagles can open the fridge, push a chair to the table and get the edible and non-edible items you left on it (remember my laptop?), they can open closets, drawers, you name it. On the other hand, this instinct to search for things to chew on or play with, has a positive outcome as well - beagle owners tend to have rather neat homes. Nothing on the floor, nothing unnecessary, minimal decor, well arranged wires, no shoes or socks here and there.
Also, as a new beagle owner, you must prepare for the fact that beagles are intelligent, even as puppies. Now this may sound as something adorable,however the underlying message is beagles are extremely difficult to train and require enormous amounts of patience. They outsmart the owner in many cases (youtube is full of videos with beagles escaping the fences vertically, opening drawers or doors, unpacking things). To train a beagle, be it crate training, obedience, agility or dog show training, requires patience, hard work and positiveness as beagles do not respond to punishments well, and could purposefully continue on the bad behaviour. Therefore, beagles are not to be let off the leash unless you are absolutely confident in your dog. The good thing is, you as a beagle owner learn to be patient, goal-oriented, and ,of course, you get rewarded with love of your pet at the end of the day.
By choosing to own a beagle you should also take into an account that your pet will rarely lie down quietly, or play by your rules. There is hardly anything off-limits to a beagle, unless you , of course, fence the access (but beagles are intelligent, remember? They will find a way!). By choosing to own a beagle, you must rest assured, your beagle will try out everything in your household, re-invent the use of some of the things (like my patio dining table - it turns out it is ideal for sitting and observing the property) and will accompany you in all your daily chores. Thus, people who like to control their living environment a lot should know, that It is nearly impossible to have a beagle- free zone at home, they are sneaky pets.
In conclusion, beagles are fun, but they are definitely not meant just for anyone. Having them as a pet requires time, hard work, patience and understanding. It also requires a lot of compromises. On the good side- as they say, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So owning a beagle definitely develops some useful skills to boost your professional career.