There are two Beagle varieties: The height limit of a beagle in A.K.C. is 15 in. in addition, there are two varieties within the prescribed height: those under 13" and those over 13" but not over 15".
There is also the type of lines, "show line" beagles are bred more for conformation and temperament and health, although the hunter instincts are there it may not be as pronounce.
The 'field line' beagles are bred more for their instincts, strength for field hunting and health, so their 'look' isn't the first on the minds of the breeders. That said the dogs should still be within the breed standard.
Show or Field, one isn't better then the other in my option. When selecting a dog from a breeder it is something to consider what you are looking for. When looking for a hunting dog, I personally wouldn't go to a breeder that only has "show line" beagles, they usually aren't suited well for a hunting dog. Field lines do make great pets but usually have more energy so they are better suited for active families.
I believe the most impressive of breeders will have duel- show and field champions lines, that is when I believe your getting a complete, well rounded beagle with health, strength, conformation and instincts.
With that all said:
Both varieties are sturdy, solid, and “big for their inches,” as dog folks say. They come in many pleasing colors such as: lemon, red and white, chocolate-white, tricolor and many more.
The Beagle’s fortune is in their adorable face.
A breed described as “merry” by its fanciers, they are perfect for families because of their loving, loyal, happy, curious, clever, and energy. For years the Beagle has been one of the most popular dogs among American pet owners and I can see why.
Beagles do require plenty of playtime and training. For great information about beagles I would recommend www.beaglepro.com
Are Beagles difficult to crate or house train?
Beagles can be as stubborn as any of the hound family but are no more difficult to house train.
The secret to housebreaking is timing and consistency. The most successful method in the majority of cases is to crate train; the theory behind this being that dogs instinctively dislike soiling their "den", and will do their best to wait until released to the appropriate outdoor location to relieve themselves.
It is important to associate the crate as a safe and happy place. This will teach your pup to stay calm(er) while you're away. Encouraging your beagle to go in and out of the crate on their own with a small toy seems to work great for most hounds. When you return after a short time, take your beagle outside to potty immediately after releasing the crate. You might find a leash helpful in guiding your beagle from the crate to a designated potty spot, as they might need to go!
Being aware of where your dog is and what they’re doing isn’t an option. It’s vital.
Beagles are known for following their nose and if they can get into a room, they will! Restricting your beagle to certain parts of the home by closing doors or installing a baby gate in a hallway, will help establish boundaries for your pet. For example, some people don’t allow their dog in the kitchen because it is easier (and safer) to cook without your little friend near your feet. This can prove to be a difficult task without a physical boundary. Oftentimes people find themselves in a game of chase with their pets, as they try to coach them out of the room. Be firm, stand tall, and project your dog-parent awesomeness! If allowed to roam unsupervised, and permitted to relieve themselves in your home it is likely to become a difficult habit to break and nobody wants urine-scented carpet.
Accidents are going to happen. If your beagle soils or urinates in your home, be sure to clean up with an enzymatic cleaner so that the beagle does not come to recognize this as their regular potty place. Younger puppies will need to relieve themselves quite frequently. Ignore mistakes and praise/reward all successes.
My female is in heat. What should I do?
A normal part of the female dog's reproductive cycle is called being "in heat" or being "in season".
It will begin with vaginal bleeding or spotting and progress to a heavier discharge, gradually becoming lighter in color and then going away completely. During this time the female, or bitch's, vulva is very swollen and sensitive. If your female is not of breeding quality or is too young to breed (you should really wait until they are about 2 years of age), you will want to keep her isolated during this time. By isolation, we do not mean putting her in the backyard, no matter how secure you think it is. While she might not be able to get out, although she might be so inclined, there will be plenty of male dogs trying to get in, and you never know when one might succeed. It would be much better to keep her contained in the house or garage where she is absolutely secure. (Be sure to watch her or put her in a crate or separate room if you have to open the front door). She can be exercised in your own backyard, although you want to take her out on a lead, yes even there. If you must walk her away from home, you can carry her to the car (don't walk her as she will leave her scent for any male to catch and you may answer the doorbell to see some Lothario sitting there with bated breath and a silly grin on his face (don't laugh, it's happened). Once in the car, drive to a place where you can exercise her on lead. Once she is done, take her strait home remembering to carry her back into the house. You will probably find that she will need to urinate more frequently while she is in season too, since the same hormones that cause the external swelling also cause some of her other organs to swell and put more pressure on the bladder. You can protect your furniture and carpets by using some of the panties that are sold for such a purpose, although she might find them too uncomfortable and chew them off; or you can cover the furniture with washable blankets, quilts etc., or keep her confined to a room for the duration.
The duration of the heat is basically about 3 weeks long, although some bitches will go 4 weeks. Usually, but not always, after about 7 days she is considered breedable and any breeding that takes place during this time will result in pregnancy. The breeding period last about another week and a half, but don't take anything in the textbooks as gospel because dogs do vary. Many bitches will stop bleeding once they are ready to breed, but some don't, and might bleed through the entire season. Just because they have stopped bleeding, don't assume they are out of heat. And then she'll repeat the whole thing in about another 6 months.
If you are considering breeding, please make sure your female receives the necessary x-rays and blood work to assure she dose not have any known hereditary diseases which can be tested for, in addition to knowing the standard to be sure she is a good representative of the breed with no disqualifying faults, and knowing full well the problems, both financial and physical, that can arise when undertaking a breeding.
Should I take my beagle to obedience class?
Any family pet needs rules to live by, and an obedience class is just the ticket. You and your Beagle will learn to work together as a team and you'll probably enjoy it too. By the end of the course you will find your Beagle has mastered basic manners, and can sit, stay, come when called, lay down, and walk nicely on a lead, all of which will make him a more pleasant companion to live with. You may be amazed at how quickly your Beagle might learn with a little practice and the reward of a tasty treat.
What if I live in an apartment?
While a securely fenced yard is a plus, it is not an absolute necessity...
...if you are willing to commit to walking your beagle on lead several times per day in any and all weather conditions. Because of their smaller size and gentle temperaments, beagles can be wonderful apartment pets. But such a situation will require a major commitment on your part to providing adequate exercise and opportunity to relieve themselves.
What would be a good age to start training?
We recommend that basic training begin as soon as you bring a new puppy into the home.
They have a wonderful ability to learn things at this age, and you want to establish good habits right from the start. Just remember, that like children, their attention span is rather short and they easily become bored with repetition, so keep lessons short. Be consistent.
Do I need to fence my yard?
Yes, a fenced yard is preferred.
It is highly recommended that your Beagle always be kept in a safe, secure environment. The securely fenced yard provides an area where your beagle can exercise without fear of his wandering off in pursuit of an intriguing scent trail. Because of their scent hound heritage, beagles should not be permitted outdoors off lead unless confined to a safely fenced area or while a field hunting. If you are not home during the day, a 6'x8' kennel enclosure placed on a concrete paved run with an insulated doghouse and shade is a fine place for your Beagle to hang out in. Beagles enjoy being outdoors, but hate to be tied-out, and can become escape artists. A kennel run is not always the best solution, however, as a bored beagle may tend to pace back and forth and bark. A crate in a quiet location inside the home is the alternative solution. Some breeders will not sell a dog unless there is a fenced yard due to the incidence of "hit by car" deaths. An invisible fence with collar does not prevent another animal from entering your property and attacking your dog. Many breeders will not sell dogs to homes where the dog will be a strictly outdoor dog, either, as they feel that beagles, being the pack-oriented animals that they are, need the companionship of their human pack of other animals. A beagle left outside can quickly become bored and destructive or noisy, even with another dog in the yard.
Beagles are also very intelligent and will quickly discover a way out of the yard if there is one. For this reason, it is not enough that the yard be fenced, but it must be beagle-proofed, as well. This means having a fence that cannot be climbed or dug under, or one whose material is such that a beagle cannot go through it or under it. It is surprising what small spaces they can escape through and how determined they can be to find a way out.