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page last updated April 27, 2011  

 

Thinking About Buying That New Puppy?  Everyone likes the thought of owning a new puppy.  They are so cute, and entertaining.  They can bring such joy into a home.  Sometimes we forget that bringing home a puppy also requires an enormous amount of work, patience, and responsibility. 

So much of the success in raising your puppy is driven by matching the right dog to your lifestyle.  There is a wide variety of beagles, within Beagles.  You first need to understand that there is a difference between hunting and show-bred beagles.  They are very, very, different.  Which one fits your lifestyle?  One is not better than the other; they are just bred for different things.  A hunter lives for the chase and a show-bred beagle lives to be a companion.  Make sure what you get is the right one for you. 

Whether for conformation, performance events, or field trials, if you wish to participate in competition with you new dog, then you need to be sure that you get a puppy that appears to have the best chance to provide that for you.  Make sure the breeder you select has a history with the type of dog you seek.  Any reputable breeder will be thrilled to mentor you in such events. 

Do you have children?  There is nothing that warms the heart like beagles with children.  Each beagle should be fortunate enough to have its own kid.  However, make sure the child is of an age where they can understand the dog’s needs, and the behavioral boundaries involved in interaction with the puppy.  Simply put: puppies are active and under-foot; have sharp little teeth and nails; and will carry and chew any toy left unattended.  All of these things can be dangerous to any child not equipped to manage it; and any puppy that is not attended properly.  If you get a puppy, and have a young child, make sure they are not left unattended.  For this, it takes time, patience, and dedication.  As part of any decision-making process about buying a new puppy, you need to be sure you are prepared to protect and educate both the puppy and the child. 

Another question you should address might be one of time.  Do you have the time for raising a puppy?  When a puppy comes to you, it is a blank slate.  Everything you do, from the moment you bring it home, will mold it into what it will grow to be.  Behaviors can be intentionally acquired, through training, or inadvertently acquired, through failure to act on bad behavior.  What any puppy learns from you and your family is learned through consistency, and positive reinforcement.  It is important that the consistency and positive reinforcement be for acts of good behavior.  The only way to properly provide the discipline and love needed to mold a puppy’s behavior is to be able to watch the puppy.  When the puppy cannot be watched, it will get into trouble.  Crate training your puppy is very important.  It keeps the puppy and your home safe when you can’t be there, and it gives you some time to do other things when you need it. 

Few people think about the future when purchasing a puppy, but it is important to do so.  Beagles live long lives.  The average life span of a beagle is about 15 years.  Are you prepared to have this puppy mature and live with you for his, or her, lifetime?  It is extremely traumatic to tear a dog away from its family.  Make sure you are committed to this puppy for his lifetime, as a member of your family. 

Once you have thought through the responsibility of owning and raising a puppy, how do you know where to get one?  The National Beagle Club of America has a strong ethical expectation of its members.  There is a Breeders List available, of our members, to assist you in finding reputable breeders.  Any reputable breeder will stand by you for the life of any puppy purchased from them.