Bringing a Beagle puppy home for the first time can feel exciting but somewhat daunting. Maybe this is your first puppy, or perhaps you are thinking about getting one but unsure what to expect in those first few weeks. This 11-step beagle puppy guide will take you through all the information you need to know when bringing your beagle puppy home and help you to raise a well behaved puppy.
In summary, these are the eleven steps you should consider before bringing your Beagle home:
- Finding the right puppy for you
- Preparing for when you bring your puppy home
- Your first day with your puppy
- Crate training your puppy
- Feeding your puppy
- House training your puppy
- Exercising your puppy
- How to deal with chewing
- Obedience training your puppy
- Essential traits to watch out for
Beagle puppies are just adorable but are highly energetic and mischievous too. But don’t let that worry you. With the right preparation and approach, owning a dog can be fun and rewarding for you and the family.
Why Do Beagles Make Such Good Pets?
Beagles are often described as loyal, merry little hounds. This is an accurate description. I’ve had the pleasure of owning four beagles (and other dogs) so far, all of which fit this description perfectly. As pack animals, they are sociable dogs and are generally good with children of all ages.
So, it all sounds positive, but what’s not good about them?
Beagles are stubborn and free-spirited, which can make training a beagle a challenge. They have an immense sense of smell, one of the strongest in all dog breeds, so they are often sniffing excessively, especially in new places.
They are always hunting for things they can eat, and Beagles are incredibly greedy dogs, definitely up there with other breeds like Labradors. I could write a book on different occasions my beagles have got themselves into mischief, and it always has something to do with stealing food.
Beagles are fantastic dogs to have in your family; they are cute and have such a lovely nature. But they are not the easiest dog breed to own and require training and patience from the start.
Finding the Right Beagle for You
Finding the right dog is critical and probably the most crucial step in this post. The dog you chose to take home, you will have for at least ten years if not longer. Both in the UK and the US, you can go to reputable Kennel Club breeders, or you can adopt from a registered dog rehoming charity.
|Best way to find a Beagle pup in the UK
|Best way to find a Beagle pup in the US
|The Kennel Club (UK) – to find professional Beagle breeders – Website
|American Kennel Club – to find baby beagle puppies and professional Beagle breeders – Website
|Beagle Welfare – is UK’s leading Beagle Re-homing charity, and while you won’t get baby beagles for free, all they ask is for a donation to the charity.
|One Green Planet – this is a great post that lists a number of Beagle rehoming charities located across many states in the US to get baby beagles for free – Website
Please be very wary of some ‘breeders’ running puppy mills or farms; they can offer dogs that they claim are pedigree at lower costs to reputable breeders. Unfortunately, in all cases, they are not pedigree, and worse will have underlying health issues as the conditions and practices to breed dogs are inappropriate and cruel.
Where to Find Beagle Puppies for Sale
Deciding on whether to buy or adopt is another critical decision. If you purchase a beagle from a reputable breeder, she will be a blank canvas; you and your family will train her from scratch. You will get to shape your own little Beagle. You will have a puppy from at least eight weeks old, so training will be intense for the first few weeks and require commitment.
Consider this information thoroughly and consider whether that Beagle will fit into your family and lifestyle.
Always go and see the breeder before you commit to buying. You should see the mother and, if possible father too. Spend some time with them to see what they are like in personality and temperament. Check they look healthy and have a good temperament. If you have any concerns, don’t commit to buying. If you are happy, usually the breeder will ask for a deposit, and if you are already born, they may let you choose.
A reputable breeder will have no issues with you meeting the puppies as many times as you need (within reason), and if they object to you meeting the puppies i’d view this as a red flag, walk away and find another breeder.
Adopting a Beagle
Adopting a beagle can be a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Beagles who desperately want to be adopted both in the UK and the US.
Some Beagles are rehomed due to a change in family circumstances or they have behavioral issues. Most adoption charities will fully describe the Beagle, its nature, and its back story.
If it’s your first Beagle, I would recommend you have a puppy from a beagle breeder; adopted dogs tend to need a lot of training to smooth out any behaviroul isssues and is best left to someone with experience of training older or troubled dogs.
When you come to choose your dog, look out for the following qualities:
- Bright eyes, no debris in them. Beagles will have a soft, adoring, pleading look.
- Soft and shiny coat, no bald patches
- A movement that is deliberate, not stumbling or dragging her legs
- Healthy clean teeth
- Good temperament
- The body should be firm with a solid feel
Preparing for When You Bring Your Puppy Home
When your new Beagle arrives at its home for the first time, you must ensure you have everything that your beagle will need.
Below is a checklist, which you can use to make sure you have everything. There is also an indication of the cost you might pay for these items.
Many of these items you can purchase from your local pet store or alternative online pet stores such as Amazon.
|Crate – Folding metal type
|If you use a crate, use an insulated blanket on the base of the crate or bed. We have always used Vet Bed; these are warm and can be easily thrown in the washer machine to clean
|VET bedding is, as the name suggests, bedding that vets use. It’s cheap, easy to clean, and offers warmth.
|Beagles like to nest, placing an additional blanket in their bed lets them snuggle and be warm. Ikea is a great place to buy low-cost blankets
|Puppy Food – Raw or Kibble/Biscuit
|Before you collect your puppy, find out from your breeder what they are being fed. It’s a good idea to continue that food. If you wish to change it, maybe wait a couple of weeks, ensuring you introduce food over three weeks; otherwise, they will have an upset stomach
|Fish skins are a great healthy treat. Alternatively, stick to a natural ingredient, pre-made puppy variant treats; adult treats may upset their stomach.
Feeding, walking, and Play Items
Health & Wellbeing
|Registering with a local Vet
|I would look to find a vet, a friend, or a family member has recommended. I have been to good vets and bad vets. So, doing your research is essential. When you find a potential vet, pop in and ask to have a look around. Make sure it’s a clean and friendly environment to bring your puppy into. They will also be able to advise you on the vaccinations required.
|Pet owners can have quite different views on whether pet insurance is worth having. From my personal experience, I would strongly recommend it. It has saved me in some instances, thousands of pounds and removed the worry when something goes wrong, and you need a vet. Again, do your research, ask friends or family their recommendations, read the small print so you know what you are covered for, and make sure the financial amount of cover would be enough.
|Although Beagles are short-haired and don’t require lots of grooming, to remove excess hair, it’s good practice to brush their fur once a week. Go for the puppy version as it’s much softer than an adult, so less abrasive on their skin.
Other Things to Think About
If you have a backyard that you are intending on using, make sure it’s dog safe. Beagles are well-known escape artists, and they can get through gaps in fences, hedgerows, and under gates.
Beagle-proof Your Yard
Chicken wire is a relatively inexpensive way to help secure your garden. If it’s an open or shared backyard, you will need to take your puppy out on a leash. Never leave your puppy unsupervised in the backyard.
You will also need to think about taking some time off from work or having someone home for the first few weeks.
A newborn beagle will need to be fed regularly, socialized, and let out regularly for house training. You may be able to share the time off with a partner or family/friend member.
A puppy should never be left alone for long periods of time. You might find this article on how long to leave a beagle alone useful.
First Day With Your Puppy
Here comes the big day, the first day can be quite daunting for both puppy and parent, but that’s OK and completely natural.
So, on the very first day, make sure you are at home for the whole day, have all the items listed above, and have a family member or friend accompany you to pick the puppy up.
Getting Your Home Ready
Before you head out of the door to collect your puppy, get your home ready.
- Pick a quiet and safe spot for your dog to sleep. Near washing machines or dishwashers isn’t advisable as they will need somewhere quiet to sleep. If you are using a crate, get that set up and pop a vet bed or blanket in ready. If you are using a dog bed or basket, make sure they can’t chew anything so remove cables, ornaments, food, house plants, and other items the puppy might reach and eat.
- Thoroughly wash your puppy’s feeding and water bowls, putting fresh water in the bowl ready.
- Check all the rooms in your house where they might go to ensure there is nothing they can reach and chew (as mentioned above).
- Remove any price tags or packaging off your puppy’s new toys.
The Journey to Collect the Puppy
Firstly, make sure you have someone with you if you are driving to collect your puppy. Someone will need to hold her on the journey home.
Secondly, bring a fleecy blanket with you for your puppy to sit on your lap. For all our puppies, my husband and I went together to collect our puppies.
It’s quite traumatic for them to be taken away from their mom. Therefore, I always have them on my lap in the car, rather than in the trunk rolling around and scared.
Questions to Ask the Breeder
When you arrive at the destination to collect your puppy, it’s exciting, and sometimes you forget to ask things about your new puppy. That’s quite understandable. So below are some questions to ask the breeder:
- When was the puppy last fed and what is she eating (sometimes they will give you some of their food to provide you with time to buy your own.)
- When was the puppy vaccinated (if applicable) – when is her next/first vaccination due?
- When was the puppy wormed – when will she be due again?
If your puppy is pedigree, don’t forget to ask for the official certificate. If the puppy has had any vaccinations, also ask for the vaccination card.
Check your puppy over to make sure she seems in good health and doesn’t have any injuries. Remember, however tempting it is, you don’t have to accept your puppy if you have concerns over her health or temperament.
The Journey Home With Your Puppy
With all of our puppies, I always pop a blanket on my lap and hold the puppy. If you have a small crate you can also place them in there, make sure you and your puppy are safe for the drive home. It’s entirely reasonable for your puppy to be nervous or even scared, she’s just been taken from her mom and littermates. So, give her lots of cuddles and speak to her gently, reassuring her she will be OK.
When you bring your dog into the house, she may need to go pee or poop. So, take her to your designated place outside for her to go. If your backyard isn’t secure, pop her leash on. As soon as she does pee or poop, reward her with a treat and lots of praise.
Take her inside the house and let her have a wander around and a good sniff. Make sure you or a family member stay with her while she’s getting used to her surroundings. Show her the bed or crate she will be sleeping in, any positive behavior reward with a treat.
Meeting the Family
As everything is new for your puppy, give her lots of reassurance. Keep introductions low-key to avoid overwhelming them. Try not to smother your puppy but playing with her and giving her a gentle scratch is an excellent way to start bonding with her.
If you have another dog, do introduce them but allow your other dog to take time to get used to your puppy. Bracken, my first Beagle, had the pleasure of being introduced to two beagle puppies, Polly and Baylee (separately).
Bracken was not interested in either puppy, and it took over two weeks for Bracken to adjust and get used to having a puppy around. Make sure your other dog has his or her own space and sleeping quarters.
Puppy’s First Night
Leading up to bedtime, don’t allow your puppy to fall asleep, I used to find playing with them, not only kept them awake but also tired them out ahead of bedtime.
The key thing is to have a tired puppy at the point you put them to bed. Right before bedtime, take them outside for a pee or poop, then place them in their crate or bed. Don’t make a fuss, close the crate door, turn the light out and leave the room.
Your puppy will start to whine and cry out for you, just ignore it. I find putting on headphones and listening to music helps to avoid the temptation of going to see them. You need to stay strong, the moment you go to see her, she knows crying gets your attention, and you will end up having a Beagle sleeping with you for the rest of your life! Eventually, they will fall asleep.
You may hear them again later in the night; the challenge is to work out if they are crying because they need the toilet or for attention.
If the crying seems to go on longer, pop down, do not give them a cuddle when you see them, just pick them up and put them outside. If they go to the toilet, give them lots of praise and a treat. If they don’t relieve themselves put them straight back to bed with no cuddles, close the door and leave them.
The first night is stressful for both parent and puppy, but don’t worry it’s completely natural.
Crate Training Your Puppy
All our beagle puppies have been crate trained; it’s an effective aid to use for training your puppy. Crate training your puppy is relatively easy to do, requires commitment, and shouldn’t be rushed.
The crate itself should not be so big that the puppy can pee or poop in a corner. Crate training is based on the fact your puppy will not want to soil in her sleeping area. Make sure you start crate training the moment they arrive in their new home. Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure your crate is set up, is placed in a quiet spot in the house and has a vet bed or blanket inside it.
- Pop your puppy inside the crate, leave the door open and with praise give her a treat. You can substitute the treat with a toy.
- Repeat the above step a few times, and make sure every time she goes in the crate, she gets lots of praise and a treat.
- When your puppy enters the crate herself and seems happy going in and out of it, close the door. Give her a treat through the crate and then immediately let her out.
- The trick is to repeat this step and slowly build the time up she is in the crate. We used to fill a Kong up with some treats and give to our puppy Baylee while she was in the crate. She would blissfully sit in the crate enjoying her kong. Not only was she getting used to being in the crate, but she also associated the crate with something rewarding.
Remember the crate should never be used to discipline your puppy; it should be seen as something positive for your dog.
When you collect your beagle dog, I would suggest you stick to the feeding regime your beagle breeder has been doing, at least for the first few weeks. If you decide to swap your puppy’s food to something different, do this over 3-4 weeks to avoid stomach upset.
There are three types of food you could feed your beagle;
- Raw food diet – raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables
- Dry kibble/biscuit
- Wet tinned foods sometimes mixed with dry kibble
Whichever feeding regime you go with for your puppy, the table below shows the number of times you should feed your puppy. So, take the total daily food weight you calculated for raw or dry food, and split it over the number of feedings during the day.
|Age of Beagle
|Frequency of Feeding
|8 – 12 weeks
|3 – 6 months
|6 – 12 months
|After 1 year
Keep an eye on your beagle dog if she’s looking fat or thin, alter the weight of the food you give her. Not all puppies are the same, so I’ve found it tends to be trial and error to find the right amount to feed. When in doubt, speak to your qualified veterinarian.
Raw Food Diet
There are many health benefits to feeding a raw diet; they are:
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller and stiffer poops
A raw diet consists of raw meat, bones, some fruits, and vegetables. You can either prepare the raw food yourself by purchasing all the ingredients from a supermarket or butcher.
Or for convenience you can buy prepacked raw for puppies, there are several suppliers online that supply good quality raw.
Choose a quality brand, that includes high-quality, natural, human-grade ingredients. We use Nutriment Raw for all our puppies and adult Beagles.
In terms of how much you feed, Nutriment Raw advises feeding 5-6% of your dog’s weight daily.
Dry Kibble/Biscuit Diet
Kibble is another word for a dry biscuit and is the most popular type of food for dogs. Kibble consists of ground-up ingredients, formed into various shapes or pellets. Ingredients in kibble usually include meat, grains, vegetables, and other materials. Kibble is an excellent nutritional source after raw.
For most kibble products, there is a puppy variant, which will consist of higher nutrients than the adult variant. Your developing puppy needs to have the correct product. There are many choices of kibble, ranging from low-budget to high-cost premium brands. Typically, the low-budget variants will not consist of high-quality products and instead will have lots of preservatives, bulking agents, and by-products.
Before we moved our Beagles onto a raw diet, we used to feed them a high-quality brand called Eden Pet Foods. Their kibble contains quality fresh meats, organic minerals, and vitamins, a range of fruit, vegetables, and botanicals. Their kibble doesn’t have any grain, gluten, or white Potato.
In terms of how much to feed, all kibble brands will have a feeding guide either on the product itself or on their website. Many kibble brands will have varying levels of nutrients and ingredients; therefore, I recommend following the feeding guide for the brand you have purchased.
Tinned Wet Dog Dood Diet
We have never fed tinned wet dog food to either our puppies or adult dogs. There are puppy variants available; however, I question the quality of the ingredients and the level of preservatives in the food. A growing puppy needs to have a balanced and healthy diet, and therefore I wouldn’t recommend feeding your puppy with this type of food.
House training can be a challenge for a new dog owner, however, approaching it positively and with commitment, it can be successfully done.
First, choose the designated area your puppy will go to to relieve herself. Some parents choose to use training pads and initially train indoors. That’s not an approach personally I have used with any of my Beagles. I have made a designated spot outside and have trained them from the very start to go in the backyard. Here are some helpful tips:
Tip No. 1: Your puppy will need to relieve herself every hour from 8 weeks old. She will also want to relieve herself after sleeping, playing, and feeding. So, I got myself into a routine to take my puppy out every time she did one of those activities.
Tip No 2: In the UK it rains a lot, so I kept a coat and appropriate footwear by the backdoor, to avoid wasting time getting myself ready to take my puppy outside! I also kept treats and poop bags in my coat pocket.
Tip No 3: Every time I took my puppy outside to the designated area, I would call out the word ’empties’. This has been hugely beneficial for when they become adult dogs, and I can simply call the word, and they will go (helpful when you are in a rush!).
Tip No 4: The trick is to be consistent with your dog and disciplined to take them out regularly. Accidents inside the house will happen, never shout or get angry with your puppy if they mess in the house. Keep plenty of antibacterial floor wipes; they are a quick and easy way to clean up your dogs mess.
Tip No 5: Your puppy should be adequately house trained by the time it is six months old. If you stick to it, you can have your beagle dog puppy house trained in 3 months.
The first 8-14 weeks before your puppy is fully vaccinated, exercise will mainly play. A puppy’s skeletal system does not fully develop until 18 months old, so playing should not be overdone. Avoid them launching themselves off chairs or going up and down staircases. Using a rope toy and playing tug of war, for example, is a great way to exercise your puppy. Make sure you allow them to win occasionally!
When your puppy is fully vaccinated (from 14-16 weeks) and can venture outdoors for the first time, keep walks limited to a maximum of one mile per day and spread out over several short walks. Make sure you have treats in your pocket to reward positive behavior and poop bags to pick up any poops on the walk.
Remember the first time you take your puppy outside, it will be exciting but also a bit scary for the puppy. So, choose an area to walk your puppy that is quiet and not overwhelming. Avoid busy roads with cars and pedestrian areas with lots of people. Over time exposing your puppy to these kinds of situations is essential but should be done when they are a little older and more experienced.
When out on the walk, if it’s safe to do so, let your puppy meet both people and other dogs. Socialization is essential for the puppy, so reward her with praise and treats when she positively approaches people and other dog friends!
Read our article about beagle exercise requirements.
How to Deal With Chewing and Destructive Behavior
Puppies like babies teethe, and so your puppy will look for ways to soothe her sore gums. Teething occurs between 4 and 8 months. Your puppy will probably try to chew both you and things like items or even furniture.
Luckily with all my Beagles, they have never tried to chew furniture. I’m not sure if that’s down to luck or the beagle dog breed. However, they have chewed some of our belongings, such as I-phone, designer shoes, sunglasses, and headphones. Some home insurance providers don’t cover damage done by pets, so check your details.
Firstly, it is essential you puppy proof your house, so ensure all footwear is stored away, anything that’s puppy height and therefore reachable such as books, ornaments, etc., place out of the way. Cables for electrical items, also try to hide them. Secondly, don’t leave them unsupervised and if you catch them chewing, say a firm ‘Leave’ to them.
You shouldn’t discourage them from chewing, but instead, redirect them to chew something else such as a toy. Kongs are quite good toys that Beagles can chew, and they don’t fall apart. There are plastic chew bones available, but I have found with these toys, bits of plastic break off, which isn’t suitable for your puppy. If you catch them chewing something appropriate like a toy, do give her praise.
Read our post about when beagles stop biting.
Your puppy will also try to chew you to soothe her teething gums. This will look and feel like she is nipping you. This is bad behavior and has to be discouraged. Puppy teeth are pretty sharp, as adults, we can just about take it, but for children, it’s a lot worse.
There is more detail about nipping and biting in our post on how to stop a beagle from biting.
In summary, nipping or biting should be discouraged, the moment they do this, yelp or shout out and turn away from them. If they do not respond and continue to try to bite, say a firm ‘No’ and get up and walk away from them. Make sure that you always yelp or shout out when they bite, stay consistent, so they understand it is wrong.
If you have any concerns, do either speak to your qualified veterinarian or dog behaviorist.
Puppies learn much quicker than adult dogs, therefore start training as early as possible to get the best results. I’m sure you are familiar with the old saying, ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks, there is some truth in this! There are several commands you can teach, below are three nice easy ones to start with, while you build your confidence training and your beagle learns you are the pack leader.
Step 1: Get some tasty treats and place one in your hand ready.
Step 2: Make sure your puppy is stood up and not sitting or lay down
Step 3: Move your hand up above her head, close to her nose. She should raise her head and follow the treat in your hand. As you move your hand over her head she will eventually sit. As soon as this happens, give her lots of praise and let her eat the treat out of your hand.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 five times.
Step 5: You should start to notice she starts to sit down quickly as you raise the treat over her head and sit for longer. This time when you repeat steps 1-3, introduce the command ‘sit’ just before she sits. Continue to praise her and give her a treat every time she sits down.
b) Lie Down
- Get some tasty treats and place one in your hand ready.
- Make sure your puppy is sat down, and you are at the same eye level, it makes this training a little easier for you.
- Lower your hand with the treat in it to the ground between her front paws and close to her nose. To start with, she may stand up, don’t give her the treat if she does this. Keep repeating until her elbows drop to the floor. At this point praise her lots and give her the treat.
- Repeat steps 1-3 five times.
- You should start to notice she will drop to her elbows much quicker, moments before she drops to her elbows add in the command ‘down’. Continue to practice this, making sure you praise and reward her each time she lies down.
c) Stay & Come
- Get some tasty treats and place one in your hand ready.
- Make sure your puppy is sat down
- Stand in front of her and slowly back away. To start with, she will try to follow you, say the command ‘stay’ firmly. The moment she doesn’t move, praise her and give her a treat
- Repeat steps 1-3 five times.
- You should start to notice you should be able to begin to create a larger gap between her and you. As you back away and she doesn’t move, in a higher pitch say the command ‘come’ and use your hands to encourage her towards you. As soon as she returns to you give her praise and the treat.
- Repeat the above steps practicing both ‘stay’ and ‘come’ ensuring you reward her with praise and a treat each time.
Traits to Watch Out for in a Beagle
I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of raising three beagle puppies over the last 11 years. It has been a rewarding experience and I have found raising them has gotten easier. All my dogs have had their personalities, but there are certain Beagle traits that I’ve seen in all of them.
Sharing them, should help prepare any first-time Beagle owners for this fun but sometimes challenging experience. Many beagles are rehomed each year, as people do find them hard work. Their merry, energetic and stubborn nature is quite charming and funny when I look back but living with this day to day can prove challenging particularly if you have never owned a Beagle before.
They are into absolutely everything! Being hounds and extremely greedy, Beagles will continuously be looking for opportunities to sniff out food or things they think are food. You may beagle proof your house as discussed early in the post, but when you take them to other places, cafes, people’s homes, etc. they will look for food. This may seem funny, but the reality is there might be food that they should not eat as it’s poisonous or not even food. There are times I choose not to take my beagles to places if I’m concerned the location isn’t ‘beagle’ friendly.
They will happily take food from a child’s hand! Again, being very greedy, often if children are in your house or you are visiting friends or family with children and they are eating food. Beagles will see this as a perfect opportunity to steal straight out of their hand. Firstly, the food will be easy to take as younger children will be at the right level for the theft! Secondly, the Beagles just know they can get away with it with kids.
They have endless energy! Beagles need regular exercise, and the length of time you walk them should be increased as they mature into adult dogs. If you believe that you won’t be able to exercise them daily, you should reconsider Beagle ownership. Bored and high-energy beagles can become more mischievous, destructive, and develop anxiety.
Walking can be a little stressful! Beagles who are not trained on the leash effectively can prove a challenge to walk. They love a sniff and can become strong on the leash, effectively, they end up walking you. Also, Beagles more than other dog breeds tend to run off if not on a leash. They get a smell and become obsessive about it until they’ve located the source, which could be three fields away.
Don’t discount beagle mixes. The beagle pug mix is an excellent alternative for those looking for all the good traits of a beagle without the drawbacks.
Hopefully, this post has provided some quite detailed information on how to prepare for a Beagle to join your household. There is a wealth of information on the internet, in some instances, quite different approaches to the same problem. I’ve written this based on what I’ve learned and what has worked well with all four of my adorable Beagles.