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Our family is getting ready to adopt a beagle. There are four of us: my wife and I in our 50s, and our adult sons in their 20s. I had a dog in the 1970s and was primary caregiver for several years. I’ve updated my knowledge recently on dog-proofing the house, and that effort’s nearly complete.

The beagle will be an inside dog and will be walked daily. He/she will have a crate. But I’ve never had a beagle before, and the one thing that I’m puzzling over is outside preparations.

Our yard is mostly woods, complete with rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, mice… so the woods are clearly off limits. But we also aren’t in a position (esthetically or financially) to fence off 100% of the lawn. And what I read about invisible fences is consistent: they don’t work well with beagles. My dad’s solution for our 1970s dog (a wire run with a pulley), is now frowned upon.

I have to believe a beagle would like some outdoor, unleashed time. I could put up a small fenced area (15 x 25 feet) fairly easily. This would allow some unleashed play, but not like a full yard. When the dog's there, we’d either be in there with him/her or nearby. We could look at having a professional do a larger fenced area in time.

Beagle owners: thoughts? Worth the effort? How much do they want outside time?
 

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Hello Ancistrus, welcome to the board.

Here we have small yard and is not enough for our dogs so we always walk in the park or visit a close friend who have larger yard where our dogs can play together. Beagles are hunter, they are easily curious with animals around so it is essential to have a closed fence or always supervised when they are outside. There are lots of good wireless fence but other animals can easily get near the house so you may need to fence them if necessary. I heard there are run-through preventive systems but a very determined hunter who run fast through it ignoring the correction. Ask expert advice about training your incoming dog.
 

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Being a former beagle breeder, and current "mom" to 4 beagles, I am a firm believer in SECURELY fenced areas for beagles - they can be real "escape artists" and I never let any of my beagles off-leash. Your idea of a 15 x 25 foot fenced area is great - I don't believe in the wire run with pulley - because they CAN get slip off harnesses or leashes - as I said, beagles are escape artists. Yes, it's well worth the effort - my "kids" love to be outside - and even love to run and play in the snow. My yard isn't very large, but at one time had 10 adults that spent time out there (but they were mostly "inside" dogs). 3 of my girls are seniors now, but they still enjoy their outdoor time. From what I've learned about wireless fences, they are NOT good for beagles, tho I have never tried one, I do know others who have. Good luck with your pup - if this is your first beagle you're in for a great (but sometimes frustrating) experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I saw this post in the monthly newsletter and said, "Hey, that sounds like us!" (For good reason, it IS us.)

Except we are no longer "prospective" owners. Skeeter (rescue; probably ~6 years old) has been with us for a week. We do have a wire run for the time being, after running the idea by three other beagle owners... but he is not allowed out there alone. That gives us time to think about fencing... which is definitely in our future.

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Speaking from experience: We have 1 1/2 acres behind the house for the Beagles to play in. We chose to try an invisible fence. They absolutely love it. They can do a lap in under 10 seconds.... it's a blast to watch them be safely confined and play freely.
The cost was almost $2,000 for three collars, training and the perimeter fence.
The other options:
A permanent fence that size would have been either chain link (unsightly) and the dogs could still dig their way out. OR
solid fence with an electric line at the bottom... destroying our view of the wide open spaces OR
all those options cost more than an invisible fence.

The truth about the problems: You really have to keep up with the strength of the batteries, or they will escape.
There AREn'T any other creatures who come in to attack our Beagles !!
Even at the highest speed, they do NOT leave the yard to follow a rabbit who stupidly came into the dog's perimeter.
You have to check everyone's collar regularly to be sure the batteries are still good.
Have an alternative method for letting the dog's go outside if the system is down.
If there is a system failure, you might have to wait 2 days for the technician to come and fix the problem.
Bottom Line -
I love it- love it- love it. My dogs get hours of exercise outside every day. They don't bark (which happens when tied or not enough running).
 
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