by Frank Sutliff
Christmas day had arrived and I was a bit apprehensive about giving her the puppy. My wife to be, wanted a dog, and being the frugal gentleman that I am I decided that a cute, cuddly seventy-five dollar Beagle was as good as a big hulking four-hundred dollar black lab. The only problem was she wanted the black lab.
Since that day my wife has become a bigger Beagle advocate than I am. We have accepted not only one but two Beagles into our household and contrary to all I had ever been told, both have become proficient hunters.
While I am not trying to persuade every Beagle owner to open their houses up and make room for their dogs, I want potential Beagle owners and people who are looking for a pet/hunting dog to know that keeping a beagle in the house is not necessarily bad thing in terms of hunting. I hunt with several different Beaglers who kennel their hounds outside, these dogs are excellent hunters and give their owner the desired results of dead rabbits.
While rabbit hunting and field trials are certainly enough reason to want a Beagle, I wanted a house dog. Keeping my Beagles in the house has allowed us to constantly interact. They know I am the Alpha male. I have found that my hounds listen significantly better than those that are kept outside, and as most all Beagle owners know this is an invaluable asset. I have found no evidence in either of my dogs of having a failing nose or lack hunting desire.
One thing to be aware of as an in house beagle owner is their cute, cuddly, pleading ways. Not because it's necessarily a bad thing but because they beg for food as well as any canine in the world. Indoor Beagles have a tendency to get fat, thus slowing them down in the field and inevitably shortening their life span. You must become stern with treats and maintain a daily feeding regimen. I speak from experience when I say this is easier said than done. Be sure your Beagles get exercise a few times a week. Although house beagles don't need constant running they do appreciate any time outdoors.
The most important thing for potential house Beaglers to know is there is constantly the ever present danger of car traffic. Any time you let your beagle outside they run the risk of being struck with a car. It is absolutely essential that from day one, you begin teaching your hound to listen. I purchased 2 electronic collars to aid me in my progress and must say they have saved their life more than once.
Anyone living in a town or directly next to a highway would be wise to acquire a fence and purchase a shock collar. Beagles let their noses rule them and often times turn off all other senses while in sniff mode. Therefore all the yelling and screaming you can muster may not get there attention.
The bottom line is, Beagles make outstanding inside pets. They are loyal, loveable and low maintenance. Anyone looking for a small house pet would be crazy not to consider a beagle. The hunting instinct will remain whether they are inside dogs or out. So if your in the market for a pet don't underestimate the pleading eyes of the hound we call the Beagle.