Beagle dogs: diet, care, exercise, training, health

Beagle dogs: diet, care, exercise, training, health

The beagle is not only an excellent hunting dog and faithful companion, it is also cheerful, funny and - thanks to its pleading facial expression - cute. They were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy company and are generally very sociable.

- Size: 13 inches and under, 13-15 inches.

- Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches and under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches).

- Life expectancy: 10-15 years.

About the Beagle

There are two Beagle varieties: those that are less than 13 inches tall at the shoulder, and those that are between 13 and 15 inches tall. Both varieties are sturdy, solid, and "big for their inches," as the dog people say. They come in such pleasing colors as lemon yellow, red and white, and tri-color. The Beagle's happiness lies in its charming face with large brown or hazel eyes accented by long, low-set dog ears on its broad head.

The breed is described by its breeders as "cheerful." Beagles are affectionate and lovable, happy and sociable - all qualities that make them excellent family dogs. It's no wonder that the Beagle has been the most popular hunting dog among American pet owners for years. They are curious, smart and energetic dogs that need lots of playtime.

FOOD

The Beagle should do well on a high quality dog food, either commercially available or home prepared under the supervision and approval of your veterinarian. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult or senior). Some dogs tend to be overweight, so pay attention to your dog's calorie consumption and weight. Treats can be an important aid in training, but too many treats can lead to obesity. Educate yourself on which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should always be available.

CARE

The Beagle has a smooth, dense, double coat that becomes heavier in the winter, so spring is the time to start shedding. Beagles also shed moderately throughout the year. Weekly brushing with a medium bristle brush, rubber grooming mitt or tool, or dog glove will remove loose hair and also encourage new hair growth. Beagles do not need to be bathed too often unless they have gotten into a particularly messy mess. As with all breeds, the Beagle's nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.

EXERCISE

Beagles are active, energetic dogs that need at least an hour of exercise every day. That doesn't mean just letting them run around the yard. Beagles were bred to work in a pack and are happiest when they have company. A Beagle left alone indoors or outdoors for long periods of time tends to become destructive. This can be avoided if he has a companion (whether human or canine) to play with. Beagles are escape artists, so the run must have a fence that is at least six feet high and underground to prevent tunneling. Walks must always be on a leash because, as a scent hound with a very strong hunting instinct, a Beagle cannot resist the urge to run after an enticing scent.

TRAINING

As with all dogs, early socialization and puppy training classes are a must. Treats are a great help in training. Beagles do not respond well to harsh techniques, but patience, positive reinforcement and even a little creativity will win out in the end.

HEALTH

Responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health problems such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, patellar luxation (a dislocated kneecap), and eye disease. As with all breeds, a Beagle's ears should be checked weekly and teeth brushed regularly.

Recommended health tests by the National Breed Club:

-Hip examination

-Evaluation by ophthalmologist (ophthalmologist) 

-MLS DNA test

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