Before deciding which breeder you should go to buy your beagle, first clarified why you want the dog. If you’re looking for a family pet then consider Beagle rescue organisations, your local pound or any reputable beagle breeder. If you’re planning to show the dog or think you might like to then go to your local dog shows and ask around for the names of beagle breeders that have produced some of the winning dogs. Alternatively, if you plan to use your beagle for hunting small game then you need to find a breeder that produces quality hunting dogs.
When she had a list of appropriate breeders then it is time for you to visit and see not only the kennels but the parents of the dogs you hope to buy. A quality puppy within even temperament is likely to be a reflection of its parents. Meeting the mother and the sire will give you clues as to the eventual temperament of your dog. You will need to review health records, competition records and pedigree of both the dam and the sire. If the Dam has just heard the puppies she may look a little out of condition, having just gone through approximately 2 months of pregnancy, the birth and be feeding the puppies. She should still, however, be friendly and personable.
The place in which the litter is kept maybe untidy, puppies tend to be messy, but it should be clean and sanitary. Observe the way the puppies are interacting with one another. It will be obvious which other leaders and which are followers. Note which puppies run to you for attention and which hang back.
Physical and Emotional Characteristics of Your Beagle
If one particular puppy catches your attention then pick him up for further examination. You are checking the following physical characteristics:
1. The eyes should be bright and clear with no visible defects.
2. The nose should be moist and cool, you should not hear any wheezing or coughing. Coughing may indicate that the puppy has kennel cough which is an upper respiratory infection.
3. The teeth should meet each other in the level bite, the top teeth should not extend over the lower teeth nor should the lower teeth extend further than the upper jaw. Either of these conditions called overshot or undershot, could effect the dogs score in any potential show and possibly, if severe, could affect the dog’s future health.
4. Beagle ears are a particular area of concern. The flat should look healthy, though there may be an indication of nips suffered during rough housing with other members of the letter, the canal should be clear and smell healthy.
5. Examine the abdomen for scabs and temples. It should be clean and healthy looking, anything else indicates the dogs have been housed in insanitary conditions.
6. A male dog should possess two testicles fully descended into the scrotum. A female dog should have no pasting or discharge round the vulva.
7. The hair around the anal area should be clean and should not indicate any signs of diarrhoea or worms.
8. The coat should be clean, shiny and healthy looking.
9. At 8 to 10 weeks the conformation of the beagle puppy should appear similar to that of an adult dog. If you intend to show the dog then you will want to go over the puppy point by point according to the ideal described in the breed standard.
10. When you lifted the puppy to examine him he should have in wriggling happily at the prospect of your undivided attention. If he Cowered, growled or snapped then he may not be a good candidate for either a family companion or a potential show dog.
11. Clap your hands to judge his reaction to sudden loud noises. He may start initially but should recover fast. If he runs and hides he may be overly sensitive to noise. This is a consideration if you take him to a home which contain small children. Nowadays small children generally have really noisy toys. A member of my family has a rescue dog who is overly sensitive to loud noises. This did not become a real problem until he also had a baby, now 2 1/2 years old, who is expected to show consideration for the dog’s sensitivities. This is a problem because the boy does not have a toy but that does not make a noise.
12. Take the puppy outside or to another room away from the security of the litter and see if he reacts in a confident manner to your attention. If he responds well with wagging tail and puppy kisses you may have found your dog.