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Beagles are wonderful dogs and make excellent family companions. Their medium size (generally under 15" and usually under 30 pounds), their low maintenance coat and their affectionate, yet independent, temperament make them an ideal pet for many families.  Like any breed, though, beagles are better suited for some situations than others. 

Beagles are great with children but, if you have very young children, a beagle puppy may not be the right dog for you. Raising any puppy properly, is a lot of work. It can be overwhelming to meet the needs and demands of young children and a new puppy at the same time.  For most families with very young children, perhaps adopting a young adult beagle is worth considering and is often the better choice.

Beagles are scent hounds, bred for many, many generations to follow a scent. It is their instinct. Ideally, they require a fully fenced yard with at least a 5 foot fence and chicken wire or cement buried at the fence line.  Invisible fencing alone is not suitable for beagles, in most cases. They must also be walked "on leash" at all times. Young beagles are quite active and will be happiest in a home that can provide a safe and secure yard in which to play. See some examples of  secure fencing on this site and this one and yet another. Can you tell we are passionate about secure fencing, for beagles!

Whilst a very securely fenced yard is highly recommended, and it sure makes life easier, in many instances it is impossible.  Without a fence, people must do the work.  Many owners live in deed-restricted communities, others are in gated communities where fences are not allowed and some residential areas restrict the fence heights to 4 feet (if you can have a fence at all). Many people do quite well walking their beagle.  It just takes more diligence to ensure that they get the proper exercise.

Invisible fences have a role in emergency containment.  To secure the perimeter of your yard can be a safeguard if you have no fence and your beagle accidentally gets out of the house.  However, invisible fences do NOT keep other animals and people out of your yard and can easily put your beagle at risk for harm.  Not only could trouble find him to hurt him, but he would have no way to escape the harm.  Also, invisible fences provide a "painful" perimeter, which means that if your beagle learns that he can bust through the "moment of pain" to reach freedom; he will.  At times, the collar battery goes dead and the barrier disappears.  You only know this when your beagle gets loose from the yard.  The invisible fence provides you with a false security, so beware of the dangers.

Do you work outside the home?  Will your beagle spend eight or nine hours alone each day?  If so, this may not be the breed for you.  Beagles were bred to live and work in packs.  They are happiest when they can live and be an active part of their family's lives.  Beagles that spend too much time alone are beagles that develop behavior issues such as barking or destructive tendencies. An ideal home for a beagle is one in which they spend no more than four or five hours alone each day.

Are you bothered by barking, chewing, digging? Not all puppies will develop behavior issues but you will play a big role in the development of your puppy. Do you have the time and patience to raise the puppy properly and be consistent with house training? Will you attend puppy kindergarten or obedience classes? Your breeder will do everything they can to provide you with a well socialized, well-bred puppy but once it goes home, it's up to you to raise it properly.  Do you have what it takes to give your new puppy the best possible start in life? Are you up for the challenge?!?!

Finding a beagle breeder: A responsible breeder is someone who is passionate about their breed. They're actively involved in their breed, through conformation, obedience, agility, field trial or other events. They're a member of a breed club and they're knowledgeable about their breed, their sport and about the breeding and raising of puppies. A good breeder does not breed dogs as a source of income or let puppies go to their new homes before they're 8 weeks of age. They will require an inspection of the yard/fencing before selling a puppy. A good breeder will be there to answer your questions throughout the life of your puppy.

NBC Breeder referrals are available on this page.. Additionally, the Showbeagle website provides access to many other breeders in the USA and worldwide. Attending AKC events in your area will enable you to meet and talk to breeders. To find an event near you, visit http://www.akc.org/events/search/ 

You may want to consider adopting a dog from a local rescue organization. Rescue organizations can also assist in finding the right dog for you.