I'm searching for the perfect dog. Of course, "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder. That can be seen on any given day at Petland Naperville, where they can have up to 100 (or more!) different puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many different breeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched a Beagle. I decided to speak with a Pet Counselor about this puppy, and she told me all about the Beagle.
The Beagle is a scent hound. Historically, they were used to hunt rabbits. Today, they are used by the US Department of Agriculture to sniff out food in places like airports. They can be difficult to train because smells can sidetrack them from paying attention to you. In one scientific study, a Beagle was able to find a single mouse in a one-acre field in less than a minute!
Beagles are gentle dogs, and are usually friendly. They make great family pets for this reason. The Pet Counselor at Petland Naperville told me, however, that because they are pack animals, they can get what's called "separation anxiety" when left alone. If left unattended, they can damage or destroy things around your house. The solution to this problem? A proper-sized kennel for the Beagle to call home is the perfect answer for both you and your Beagle. Beagles are explorers and will follow wherever their nose takes them. They enjoy long walks and exploring new smells. They respond well to training that involves food rewards so keep a treat or two with you for them when going for a walk and working on obedience training.
Because of their long ears, Beagles are prone to ear infections. While not the end of the world, this may require ear medicine. If your dog starts shaking its head a lot or scratching its ears a lot, you might need a trip to the vet. To help prevent infections, you must really dry a Beagle's ears well after bath time and any other time when your Beagle plays in water. They also can shed quite a bit, but if you brush your Beagle regularly with a brush specially designed for shedding, you can prevent much of the hair from floating around your house.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with a Beagle. I love the fact that it is very interactive and good with people. I absolutely love that they can come in many color combinations. I recommend the Beagle to anyone with a family, and I'm sure you can find beautiful examples of this breed at Petland Naperville.