Description

Beagles are a short-coated, medium-sized dog breed. They are intelligent, friendly and curious companions with unique personalities and a loving temperament. They are, however, notoriously stubborn and mischievous — sometimes pointedly ignoring commands when they think they can get away with it. If you are patient in training and have an escape-proof yard, having a Beagle puppy can be a rewarding experience.

Neonatal

During the first 4 weeks of your Beagle's life, they should spend most of their time with their mother and litter-mates. It is highly unusual for the puppy's owner to care for them during this time and is best left to a responsible, reputable breeder. Your puppy's body will double in weight as their muscles, organs and bones develop.

Nutrition During the neonatal stage, your Beagle puppy will get most of their nutrition from their mother's milk. At around 4 weeks you may wish to introduce a mush of minced protein such as beef, but always consult your vet first before changing your puppy's diet at this stage.
Health During this time it is important to monitor your Beagle for any infections, diseases or birth defects. Puppies are unable to urinate or defecate by themselves initially, so their mother helps them but may additionally require your assistance.

Keep your vet's contact details close by and educate yourself thoroughly on this stage of puppy development. By the end of this period, your puppy will be mobile and will explore the world mouth first — be sure to keep choking hazards and toxic foods out of their reach.
Behaviour During most of this time your Beagle puppy will be asleep or inactive, but they will soon be playing with their brothers and sisters. After 3-4 weeks they will go through as much sensory development as a human baby does in a few months. It is important to avoid disturbing the puppies' mother as she will be likely be protective, but some interaction with the young pups is normal so they become used to human touch.

Weaning

When you take your Beagle home (usually at around 8 weeks) you should provide them with lots of stimulation and attention. This is a formative time for your puppy and will be when they learn to walk, play, bite, hold their bladder, and interact with others. Beagles are highly social from their heritage as pack hounds, so they will crave your affection. Another byproduct of their heritage is their unique bark-howl, which you will soon become accustomed to.

 

Nutrition During the weaning stage, you should slowly introduce into their diet a nutritionally complete dog food which is appropriate to your Beagle's moderate size and young age. This breed tend to be gluttonous eaters so care should be taken to avoid overfeeding them or they will become bloated and sick. You should also familiarise yourself with lists of toxic foods and plants to avoid - Beagle puppies will climb obstacles if they smell snacks.
Health During this time you should provide your puppy with a small, shallow bowl of clean water and refresh the contents frequently. Regularly touch your Beagle puppy around and inside their ears as their significant size makes air flow difficult, increasing the chance of ear infections greatly. Regularly exercise your young Beagle puppy with lots of play and toys — this keeps them fit, healthy, and will tire them out so they do not destroy your furniture or attempt to escape your backyard.
Behaviour Due to the changes in their environment, your Beagle will be under a significant amount of stress. It's important that you provide lots of attention and affection, however, you should avoid coming to them when they howl for you or this will only encourage the behaviour. Beagle puppies are attentive to companions, so already having a well-behaved dog for them to follow is advantageous.

Puppy

By the time your Beagle reaches puppyhood their personality will be well developed, so you will have an energetic and well-humoured companion. Your Beagle will be excited to spend time with you and curious about the world around them, so socialising them with strangers and other dogs is essential to make sure they can leave the house.

 

Nutrition Your Beagle puppy's diet should be based around a high quality, nutritionally complete puppy food. You may also wish to introduce them to fresh, lean raw meat — however, don't feed your puppy any meat you would not feed to a fellow human being. It is particularly important that you make sure you do not overfeed your Beagle puppy as they can become obese when they get older.
Health Beagle puppies should be relatively low maintenance, requiring brushing every 2-3 days and infrequent bathing — however, they have a strong instinct to roll in filth so keep an eye on them during walks and get them used to bathing from a young age if they seem prone to this behaviour. After around 8 weeks your puppy will be due for some vaccinations, so they will need a checkup at the vet and to arrange for boosters after that.
Behaviour Beagles are very intelligent, friendly and stubborn — which means they are likely to find a friend at the park and be unstoppable once they are on the trail of a scent. This can be combated with obedience training from a young age. Using treats will assist greatly in training your Beagle puppy to listen to you as they do not respond well to yelling or hitting and will ignore you in future. Normalising storms, planes, cars, other animals and children is essential to stop your Beagle puppy from howling.

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