Trimming Nails

About Your Dog’s Nails

A dog’s nails are a bit different than ours, so it’s important to learn some tips for trimming them safely and making the experience as positive as possible for your pup. Instead of a flat nail like humans have, our dogs have curved and oval-shaped nails. Dog nails are made up of two major layers: a dead and nerveless outer layer made of keratin protein surrounding the very sensitive and very much alive blood vessel-packed tissue called the quick. If your dog has clear nails, you can see the pink, tube-like quick in their nail. If your dog has black nails, it can be much more difficult to know where the quick begins and where to avoid cutting.

What You Need to Trim Your Dog’s Nails at Home

You need a few basic supplies to tackle nail trims yourself at home.

  • Treats. Have some treats or yummy food like peanut butter to reward your dog for staying calm throughout the nail trim process. You can give a treat after clipping each nail or finishing each paw. Another trick is placing a licking mat smeared with wet food or other spreadable treats on the wall to use as a distraction for your dog while you handle their paws. A food-stuffed toy can also work well to keep your dog occupied during the trim.
  • Dog nail clippers. If you have a small dog or puppy, nail scissors (or cat nail clippers) are easier to use and manipulate. If your dog is large, choose the larger nail clippers, often called “guillotine” style. These can cut through thicker nails compared to the scissor style. If your dog is medium-sized, you can try either style, but the scissor might not be strong enough to cut through thicker nails. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you aren’t sure.
  • Styptic powder. Keep some styptic powder on hand to help stop the bleeding if you trim a nail too short and cut into the quick. In a pinch, you can substitute a bit of corn starch for styptic powder.

 How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails at Home

  1. Sit with your dog in a well-lit area.
  2. Gently hold your dog’s paw, pushing back any long fur away from the nail you’re going to trim. 
  3. Firmly hold the toe pad between your thumb and forefinger, gently extending their toe to give you a better view of the individual nail.
  4. For scissor-style clippers, hold the clippers horizontally and perpendicular to the nail. For guillotine-style clippers, hold the clippers perpendicular to the nail in a direction that will cut from bottom to top. You want to be able to see where the clipper will be cutting.
  5. If your dog has clear nails, identify where the quick is before clipping so you can avoid hitting it.
  6. If your dog has black nails, focus on very small clips to cut down the hooked part of their claw.
  7. Clip just the tip of the nail straight across. You can angle the clippers slightly downwards in the direction of your dog’s nail growth. Doing so can help you get a closer trim without hitting the quick, as the quick tapers into a point inside of the nail.

And here are a few helpful tips: 

  • Start young. The best time to start getting your dog used to nail trims is as young as possible. Practice holding and touching their paws when they are a puppy and always provide treats to build the positive association. As your dog gets older, they will be much less likely to react to nail trims.
  • Trim only one nail at a time. Trimming your dog’s nails can be nerve-wracking, both for you and your dog. If your dog appears stressed or won’t tolerate multiple nails being trimmed, make it easier for all by just trimming one nail a day.
  • Ask for help. Having a second person focus on keeping your dog comfortable and entertained can be a huge help while you are trimming nails. A family member or friend can make all the difference. 
  • Don’t forget the dewclaw. Dogs naturally have a fifth digit equivalent to the human thumb that is located on the inside of their lower front legs near the paw. The dewclaw nail grows just as quickly as the other nails so don’t forget to give it a trim at the same time.

How Short Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

The goal is to trim a dog’s nails short enough that the nail doesn’t touch the floor when they’re standing. But if your dog has long quicks (which makes this impossible) try to cut to within approximately 2 millimeters of the quick. With consistent and correct nail trims, your dog’s quick will naturally recede, making their nails easier to trim to the correct length over time. There is a lot of misinformation out there that purposely cutting the quick helps to shorten it in the future — this is not true and can predispose your dog to bleeding, infection, pain, and a complete refusal to tolerate future nail trims.

For black dog nails, trim very short lengths off the nail and look at the center of the nail straight on after each trim. The cut end of a nail will appear whitish when it’s just the two outer layers (the safe part to trim). As you trim closer to the quick, the center of the nail will begin to look like a black dot. Stop trimming when you see the center of the nail appear black. If you see pink at the center, that’s the quick, and you shouldn’t cut anymore! 


Trim nails outside or in a well-lit room.

If you need “cheaters” for reading, use them for toenail clipping too.

It’s actually easier to see the nail structures on pigmented nails than on white ones.

The insensitive nail will show as a chalky ring around the sensitive quick.

Keep clipper blades almost parallel to the nail – never cut across the finger.

Don’t squeeze the toes – that hurts!

Use your fingers to separate the toes for clipping and hold the paw gently.

Use a pair of blunt edged children’s scissors to remove excess toe hair: nothing dulls clippers quicker than cutting hair!

Remember, no dog ever died from a quicked toenail. If you “quick” your dog accidentally, give a yummy treat right away.

Make nail trimming fun: always associate nail cutting with cookies and praise.

For maintenance, cut every two weeks. To shorten, cut every week.

Once the insensitive nail is thinned out and isn’t supporting the quick, the quick will dry up and recede. This will allow you to cut your dog’s nails even shorter. Each dog’s nails are different, but very long toenails often become dry and cracked, with a clear separation of the living tissue and the insensitive nail. This will make it easier to trim back longer nails.

What’s inside your dog’s toenail? 














On the left, the interior structures are shown, along with the suggested angle to remove the “roof” of the nail, while not harming the sensitive quick.

On a black claw, the interface between sensitive and insensitive nail is usually chalky and white – very easy to discern. On the right is a close-up view of the inside of the nail. On cross section, the sensitive quick will look translucent and glossy, like living flesh.

In untrimmed claws, there will often be a “notch” below the tip of the quick. It is usually safe to initiate your angled cut at the notch. Some dogs act like cutting their nails is their worst nightmare.

This may be a learned behavior from their painful, overstimulated toes, which will slowly dissipate along with the pain once the nails are short.

Use all your best restraint and behavior modification tricks to get through the initial phase, whether your dog is a squirmer or a drama queen. Start on the hind feet, because the nails tend to be a little shorter and less sensitive than the front.

But remember you can’t make an accurate cut on a moving target so get help from your dog trainer or groomer if needed.

Make nail trimming “quality time” you spend with your dog. Lots of kisses, lots of treats and a positive attitude go a long way.

If you dread it, your dog will too, so learn how to be a good actor until you succeed in believing it can be a loving experience for you both. If your dog loses patience quickly, try cutting one nail a day.

As long as you keep the order of toes consistent, this will be a good maintenance schedule, giving every toe a trim every 16 days.

Short toenails are critical to your dog’s health and soundness. Failure is not an option!



Getting Ready for Your New Pup!


While you wait for your new puppy or dog to arrive, there are things you can do to prepare your home.  Just like babies, puppies and even sometimes adult dogs will go around your house and yard and explore the new scene.  Think like a dog and look at what is at their eye level and what smells.  Keeping your new pet safe is most important.  Wires on the floor?  Buy a cap that goes over them or tuck them under a rug.

But before we go over these things, let’s talk about Training.  The most important thing you can do for your pet dog, or any dog for that matter, is to train it.  Why you ask? 

A dog left to his own learning will be more apt to have issues in the long run.  They cannot communicate with you effectively, so they may try to get your attention by doing naughty things, or they may just quit trying to communicate with you.

Spending literally 15 minutes a day for the first year working with your dog ensures a bond of communication unparalleled to anything you may have known in the past.  A dog knows you better than anyone else.

Our favorite resource, beyond a doubt, is Puppy Culture.  We use some of their techniques when we raise your puppy, but you have the time to give your puppy individual attention that it needs.  If you are interested in shaping your pups training, reach out to us and we will have you come over to work with your pup before it’s ready to go home, as early as four weeks old. Please purchase this DVD and learn the techniques – the DVD goes over all the questions you might have about your pup and how to shape your pups behavior for the rest of its life:  CLICK HERE.







OK, back to getting ready for your pup:    Check your outside fences for any small holes or cracks that a tiny pup might get through.  And start buying the things you need as follows:

Water dish and food bowl: be sure to use stainless steel, not cheap metal as it can leach chemicals.  Plastic can get bacteria.  You want to be able to sanitize the bowls daily or at least weekly.

Collar and Lead:  Everyone has a different preference.  Show people don’t use a collar – they use a slip lead so the hair on the neck does not get broken.  Hunters use a collar with a nameplate and phone number on it.  Some like to use a harness, but please, if you are getting a harness, wait until you get the pup before buying one and fitting it.  Here is a great link to a video on how to fit a harness to a dog.  It is very important to fit the harness correctly so it does not impair the movement of the shoulder blades and front legs. CLICK HERE.


Shampoo:  Artero is my favorite for babies, and I use their HYDRATE for the adults as well.  Bath your pup about once a month, dry well, and don’t get the inside of the ears wet.  CLICK HERE

Crates:  Use a crate that is just barely big enough for the Beagle to lay down and stand up.  But not too small.  A huge crate is not a good thing as it gives them room to go potty in their crate.  You want to discourage them from going in their crate.  You might have to buy a small one when they are pups, and then a larger one when they are adults.  We use a 24″ crate for the 13″ Beagles, and a 30″ for the larger 15″ Beagles.  There are many options and we have several throughout our house, some for the car, and some for the trailer we haul around click on the names below to see pictures:

        Wire Crate:  Easy to fold and carry, lightweight, and lots of air.

        Impact Crate:  Very expensive but wise to have one if you are traveling with your dog often – think of what a car accident will do to your poor pup.

        End Table Crate:  These are great to incorporate into your living room and next to your bed.

POOP BAGS. Just google them.  You will need a lot of these.  Use a poop bag to pick up any of your dog’s poop when you are in public or someone else’s home.  Not only is it polite, but dog poop can carry all kinds of parasites and disease, and the longer you leave it on the ground, the easier it is for all of that to transfer into the ground and make another dog sick.  Keep it picked up as soon as you can.

TOENAILS:  Dremel – So the Cordless Dremel #8220 is the one we recommend and you can get it at any Home Depot or hardware store.  It comes with a sandpaper band that will work for dog’s nails, or if you want to get fancy and not have to buy sandpaper bands all the time, you can buy a Diamagroove diamond plated bit that is amazing and you will love it.  They are pricey, but you can get the standard bit at  See the artcle on doing toenails HERE.  See the article on No Foot No Dog HERE.


Food and Nutrition:  From time to time, we change what we use for dry dog food.  C2R pups are started on goats milk and raw meat along with supplements and probiotics.  We then transition them over to dry dog food (kibble).  So dry dog food (Kibble), is made all the same way – they boil down a meat source to dry nothingness, and then spray on vitamins and minerals and preservatives and fats in the form of man made chemicals.  Its the equivalent of feeding your child cereal it’s entire life.  There is no government regulation on dog food companies – they can put whatever they want in the bag and the outside looks all flashy and pretty, but it may not be what’s actually in the bag!  So we like to add supplements and change foods sometimes.

Start with a good quality kibble that names its meat source (chicken, beef, lamb, etc.).  We mainly use Victor and Pro Plan brands.  It’s important when the puppy is under a year old to give them ample nutrients, and not to get the calcium and phosphorus out of balance as their bones are growing. 

Then add to the kibble – we always add some dog probiotics (see Natures Farmacy online).  We also use G and C Raw Dog Food out of Ohio and mix about 10% of their commercial meat mixture into the morning feed (make sure your meat mixtures do not contain preservatives or chemicals).  Don’t fee hamburger straight – it’s too fatty and only contains the muscle, not the entire animal. 

We will add an egg once a week, maybe some coconut oil or salmon oil daily.  Sometimes we add an 1/8 teaspoon Spirulina as well.  Fat is super important in a puppy and adults.  The fat in dog food goes rancid very quickly. 

Just keep an eye on the weight and condition of your dog and that will help you determine what he needs in his diet. 

As always, if you have questions, reach out to us and we can help you work through it!



Resource Guarding

C2R copied this article from the internet, and found it very informative about training your new dog!

Resource guarding is when a Beagle reacts when they perceive a threat to a valuable resource in their possession. The Beagle feels they are about to lose something and takes action to keep it. Resource guarding does not always have to end with growling, lunging, biting, or fighting. Patricia McConnell defines it well, as “any behavior that discourages another to take, or get too close to, an object or valued area in the dog’s possession.” This behavior could be as simple as a look, head turn, or slight baring of the teeth.

Guarding resources is a natural dog behavior. It’s a natural animal behavior — humans included! Access to resources like food, water, and a safe space is essential to survival. It’s hardwired into animal nature to protect the things we believe we need to survive. While it is a normal dog behavior, it’s not a desirable one. Resource guarding becomes a dangerous problem if a dog is willing to bite or fight to keep an item. This is especially worrisome in a home with young children, elderly family members, or if the dog is not predictable in what items they decide to guard.

Resource Guarding Between Dogs

Dogs will guard resources from each other. This might be a certain resting place (or even your bed if you let them sleep there!), food bowls, or high-value chews and toys. When resources are limited, such as when there’s only one chew but two dogs, we tend to see an increase in guarding.

Fortunately, most dogs will gauge whether a particular resource is worth enough to fight over. There’s no point in risking injury by fighting with another dog for something of lower value. Many dogs will communicate with each other using body language and vocalizations to express their desire for the thing the other dog has, or to tell the other to leave them alone.

If you have a multi-dog household, you might see the ebb and flow of resource guarding “conversations” they have. For example, my dog Sookie is possessive of chews in the office. However, she is conflict-averse and gives low-level signals to the other dog that means, “This chew is mine. Leave me alone.” She’ll take her chew further away, or I step in. It also helps that the humans in the office prevent an escalation of resource guarding by managing the situation and calling one dog away from another.

These are the most obvious signs of resource guarding. Unfortunately, too often it isn’t until a dog is doing these things that I get a call for help from the dog’s owner:

  • Growling
  • Lunging and Air Snapping (a no-contact bite)
  • Biting

In developing and “milder” cases of resource guarding, a dog might show less intense (and therefore less obvious) signs of guarding behavior. A certified dog trainer, veterinary behaviorist, behavior consultant, or someone with experience reading dog body language, will often see these more subtle signs prior to the actions described above:

  • Freezing
  • Eating faster
  • Taking item and moving away
  • Braced body position over the item
  • Side eye staring or tracking the offender
  • Raising lips and baring teeth
  • Ears pinned flat against the head
  • Hard stare

Sharing our lives with our dogs means that we need to make sure they understand that there are plenty of resources. There’s no need to guard food, toys, or space if we teach them that our removing an item, such as their chew, results in something equal or better than what they had. Giving up something to us willingly and happily needs to be trained and rewarded for our dogs, so that resource guarding doesn’t become an issue.

Unfortunately, the collective human response to a dog who is resource guarding has been the wrong one for too long. Using punishment and aversives as a response to resource guarding can result in more resource guarding. This is why you need to connect with a certified trainer if you have a dog who guards resources. They will make sure you stay safe and that your dog gets the positive training they need to learn that there’s no need to growl and guard certain items and help you with management techniques. Next, let’s look at what NOT to do if your dog growls or shows other signs of resource guarding.

Never punish a growling dog. You can punish away a growl, sure, but all you’ve done is make a dog bite more likely. If your dog learns that growling to express their discomfort at your approach results in an aversive (such as yelling, hitting, a “tap” from a shock collar), and the loss of the item they were guarding, the next time you reach for it, they’re more likely to skip the growl and go straight for a bite. If someone keeps stealing my fries after asking them to stop, for instance, the next time they reach across the table I might smack their fingers away. Ignored warnings will escalate behavioral responses, in both humans and dogs. You don’t want to take away important warning signs that your dog needs to communicate with you.

So many clients come to me for help with resource guarding and tell me, “We wanted to prevent resource guarding, so we’d always stick our hands in our dog’s food bowl while they were eating, or randomly take away their chew. That way, they know who’s boss and that the food or chew belongs to us.” Instead of the desired result, they now have a dog who snaps when they reach for the bowl or a dog that lashes out even at just their walking by the bowl. Without taking the necessary proactive and preventive steps (which I’ll outline further below), sticking your hand in your dog’s food bowl while they’re eating, or just taking away their chew toy will backfire. All you’re doing is annoying your dog and teaching them that when you reach for something, they’ll lose it. Not the association we want our dogs to make!

If your dog loves to grab socks from the laundry basket, and then growls or tries to bite when you try to take them away, set yourself up for success from the get-go (and avoid the possible surgery to remove the sock foreign body) by removing the opportunity. Don’t leave items lying around that your dog might find valuable enough to guard. Keep your laundry basket up high. Pick up their food bowls between meals after they’ve finished eating and have walked away. Don’t give them certain toys or high-value edible chews that they’ve become protective over.

Once I gave each of my dogs a new chew, a super smelly (and I’m assuming super delicious to dogs) lamb spine. They sat and enjoyed it for a while, and then I got up from my spot on the couch and walked past one of them to the kitchen. As I got near, I reached down — not to take the chew, but to give my dog a scratch on the neck — and I was greeted by a low, sustained growl. I immediately stopped what I was doing, took a step back, and assessed the situation. This was the first time that my dog had shown resource guarding behavior towards me. And you know what I did? I called him into the kitchen and traded him some cheese for the chew, and then never bought those chews again. If only all my resource guarding cases were that simple.

Make a list of all of the things your dog has become possessive over. Then think about how you can change the environment to remove access to these things (if they are possessive of your bed, do NOT let them sleep in your bed – instead, put them in a crate, or close your bedroom door and give them their own bed outside of your bedroom – have multiple places available for them to sleep- other than your bed!). Obviously, this doesn’t work with everyday necessities, like food bowls. We’ll talk about those in a second. But, for example, one of my training clients had a dog who loved to grab kitchen knives off the counter and then would not want to give them back. Not necessarily something you want to be chasing after your dog to get! The first step in his training was to block off his access to the kitchen. Voilá! He didn’t have access to the knives, and therefore couldn’t grab them and take off. Once his environment was managed, we then practiced cues like “Go to Bed” while his owner cooked meals, and the Drop It cue.

For things that you can’t just remove from your dog’s environment, think about managing the context. If your dog guards their food bowl, set up a separate area where they can eat in peace. Use a gate to block off this area during mealtimes, so that no one can approach and make your dog feel the need to react. This is imperative if you have young children or elderly parents in the home who might not understand that they can’t pet your dog during mealtimes. Blocking off separate feeding areas is also important if you have more than one dog, and one shows inappropriate resource guarding behavior.

If your dog guards things like a chew or long-lasting treat, give these to them in their safe space, crate, or other areas where they won’t be bothered and let them enjoy it in peace. Ensure that everyone in your home knows that if the dog is eating or enjoying a chew, they are to let them be.

Instead of the dread and fear of losing it, we want them to think, “Oh goodie! She’s coming over here, and that means something awesome is about to happen!”

  • Find a high-value treat that your dog loves more than the thing they are guarding. Usually moist and smelly works best, such as small pieces of chicken, or turkey hotdog.
  • Know the distance at which your dog begins to resource guard. Some dogs don’t get possessive of their item or food until you’re a few feet away. Others get tense if you’re even in the same room while they eat. The goal here is to find the distance at which they know you are there, but aren’t becoming tense or reacting with guarding behavior. For example, if your dog begins eating faster when you’re three feet away, start this exercise from six feet away. You’re determining what their distance threshold is for guarding a resource.
  • Give your dog their meal or chew as usual, then walk away.
  • Approach your dog, but stop a few feet before their distance threshold. Toss a piece of chicken to them. Once they eat it, toss another. Do this a few times before leaving the area.
  • Continue this exercise any time your dog has something they guard.
  • After a few sessions, begin to add one more step towards them before tossing the treat, and then step back. This is where you’re decreasing their distance threshold. Don’t rush this step.
  • If your dog gets tense or shows other signs of resource guarding, take the training back a step.

Think about working in small “slices” when treating your dog’s resource guarding. Don’t rush through the process and just reach for their bowl — that’s setting them up to fail, and you might get bit.

With practice and consistency, your dog will learn to anticipate good things when you approach them. In many cases, these dogs choose to leave their food bowl or chew to happily approach you.

Both the drop it and leave it cues are important skills for all dogs to learn, but especially those that struggle with resource guarding. Drop it means to let go of something that’s already in their mouth or possession, and leave it means to turn away from something.

If your dog guards food items, start practicing drop it with toys and then move on to practicing food trades. If they drop a low-value chew, they get a high-value treat. Make sure you’re rewarding with something equal or better!

Using a reward that of equal or higher value to your dog will help speed up the training practice and increase your success with the leave it cue. 

Training a reliable recall with your dog is useful for preventing resource guarding behavior. You can call them away from something that they have, rather than approaching them and trying to grab it.

The process of preventing resource guarding isn’t much different than the tips outlined above. Prevention is always easier than treatment! Set your puppy or new dog up for success by:

  • Letting them eat or chew in peace. Don’t put your hand in their food or pet them while they’re eating.
  • Practicing positive-sum trades. They drop a chew, they get a high-value treat and then their chew back.
  • Teaching them drop it and leave it.
  • Managing their environment. If you don’t chase after them when they have a sock, the sock will have less value.
  • Make sure to properly socialize your puppy. Socialization is crucial for preventing a variety of dog behaviors, such as resource guarding, fear aggression, and separation anxiety.

C2R Sharpens The Saw

Part of being a good breeder is learning about health and nutrition and training.  Here at C2R, we have a large network of veterinary friends, long-time breeders, and mentors.  We record and track our litters and continuously try to improve our packs, ever learning new things.

Rachel attends many online seminars as well, and recently attended the following seminars:

3/18/21: Ocular Diseases , by Good Dog Breeder, with Dr. Casey Carl, DVM presenting.

3/10/21: Breeding Success Starts with Managing Your Brood Bitch, by AKC and Purina Pro Plan, with Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, presenting.

2/25/21: Stages of Labor, by Good Dog Breeder, with Dr. Robert Hutchinson, DVM presenting.

10/21/20: Coat Color Genetics, by Good Dog Breeder, with Dr. Casey Carl, DVM presenting.


Sterilizing (Neuter/Spay) – Is it Safe?


Spaying a Female: Removal of ovaries and uterus.

Neutering a Male: Removal of the testicles in a male.

Most vets and rescues will push sterilization of dogs because it can prevent unwanted pregnancies and overpopulation, stop or reduce some behavioral problems, and prevent some health issues.  But at what age is it safe to sterilize an animal?

Science tells us that early neuter (before the animal is mature) is associated with increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors like mounting, and that more behavioral problems were seen in sterilized animals, including aggression. 

Science proves that females spayed early had significantly delayed closure of growth plates in their bones, as compared to later spays or left intact.  This means that the bones do not grow properly in a spayed female, causing things like crooked legs and other bone-related issues, even cancers and other health issues.

Even though there are reasons to sterilize an animal, there is scientific evidence that says to wait until the animal has quit growing and is nearly mature.  In Beagles, the bones stop growing and growth plates close around 18 months old, therefore, C2R requires that any dogs from our breeding program not be sterilized until 18 months or older, and if done earlier than that, the health guarantee is null and void.

Please research the studies that have been done in support of this, and if you have questions, you may contact us directly to work though any behavioral issues or health issues your dog has, and make sure to be your pet’s advocate – speak to more than one veterinarian on the subject, read new research and articles.  Get a second opinion.

Potty Training

Bringing home a young puppy or a dog that is new to your home? Have some paper towel and some cleaner handy! It’s inevitable that your new puppy/dog will go potty on your floor. When a dog goes into a new place, there are so many new smells and things going on, that peeing on things just seems to make them feel more at ease.

Have a plan in place that includes the following:

  • A Word to use so the dog understands, like “outside”, or “potty” – just one word, and use it consistently.
  • A Crate – for a 15″ inch Beagle, buy a wire crate or one that looks like an end table and can be a part of your decor. For a puppy, put a big pillow or a puppy size bed in it to take up the space – only leave a very small area for the pup – keep it tight until they are fully potty trained. If there is extra space in the crate, the puppy will have accidents.
  • A Spot, carefully chosen outside that you will want your dog to use as the toilet – they will use this spot the rest of their life. Plan out the best location to keep poop out of the way and easy to pick up.
  • Pooper Scooper & Bags– the nice ones are the metal handled scoop and a separate spade, or you can use the cheap plastic ones. Buy some doggy poop bags too – they are super cheap and easy to use, or just use plastic grocery bags – but PLEASE pick up your puppy/dog poop – both at home and in public. Not only is it a hazard to step in, but dog poop carries parasites and other diseases, sometimes deadly diseases, so picking it up immediately helps keep your yard healthy, and any other dogs in the area won’t be exposed either. 
  • Observation – learn your new puppy/dog’s behavior – what does his cry sound like when he is sad?  Happy? when he has to go potty?  What does he do right before he goes potty?  there are tell-tale signs and you, as the new owner, are responsible to understand that.  You only have a few seconds before an accident happens inside the house.  The only way to properly potty train is to take the pup outside as SOON as he THINKS about going potty – not during or after.  You have to know BEFORE it happens.  Take him outside often until you learn it.  It’s really you that is being trained!

When you arrive home with your new pal, take them immediately to the potty spot outside. Let them sniff it out, and say your “word”, just once, and don’t talk to them after that. Give them a few minutes to see if they go potty.

Bring the pup/dog in the house, to your “area” that is already set up with your crate and crate pad, maybe a new toy or homemade treat in the crate, and you can have a blanket or a covering over the crate – you want this to be your new puppy/dog’s favorite place in the house. I personally have wire crates right now set up in my bedroom (see picture above) and in the living room – eventually I want to buy some that look like part of the furniture (below) – has these for about $120 I believe, and if you search, there are really nice ones that will match your decor and you can use them as end tables too. Put the pup in the crate as soon as you walk in the door – IMMEDIATELY. Now, take your coats off, get situated. Even if the puppy is crying, just ignore and carry on your business for about 5-10 minutes. I move my puppy to the room I am in so they can see me and I can talk to them. Even if they cry I leave them in there and do not take them out unless they are NOT crying.

After 5-10 minutes, Get your shoes back on, and when the pup is NOT crying, get the puppy out of the crate, and immediately go outside to the potty spot. Say your “word”. Be silent, let the pup smell around. Hopefully by now, the new pup has at least peed once in the outside “spot”. You get the idea – do this over and over, especially if its a very young puppy, and even if it’s an adult. Do not just let the new puppy/dog wander around the house immediately.

Once the ‘crate training’ has been done several times that first day, your pup begins to get the idea that the crate is it’s den. IT’S DEN. The next time he comes in from outside, put him in his crate for a few minutes, and then let him into the room to play with you. Just for a short period. After a bit of play, back outside to the “Potty Spot”. Say your “Word”.

Over and Over, this becomes a habit for the new puppy/dog. You want him comfortable in his crate, and you want him to have very few accidents in the house. Do not scold him for having an accident. Just keep taking him outside and back in, outside and back in. Week by week you will see improvement and understanding. You can start to introduce him to new rooms in your house for brief periods at a time. If you open up your entire house to the pup right away, it’s too much and they will go potty without you even knowing, and potty training will take longer.

A puppy cannot physically hold his urine and feces until they are about 4 months old – that’s 16-18 weeks people. It’s your job, as the new owner, to make sure they get outside to do their business and to train them appropriately to be in your home. Puppies are not fully mature, fully adults, until they are three (3) years old. The first year is critical – train this puppy/new dog every day for about 10-15 minutes a day, and you will have the best adult dog ever!

Our Health Team

Chance 2 Ranch uses Concord Veterinary Clinic, 412 N Main St, Concord, MI 49237. Dr. Klingler and his staff are knowledgeable about day to day vetting, and even some reproductive vetting. they do offer surgeries and cesareans as well when needed. I have Dr. Klingler do all our dew claw removals as his is a skilled surgeon, ensuring the pups will have no problems later in life at the dew claw tendons. Give them a call at 517-524-8180 or visit

When we need some specialized reproductive service, we use Schultz Veterinary Clinic, 2770 Bennett Rd, Okemos, MI 48864, Michigan, 517-337-4800. Dr. Schultz and his staff have done semen analysis for us as well as female reproductive checks.

When our litters are due, Dr. Klingler and his staff are available to discuss any birthing issues we might have, and if there is an emergency, we take our dogs to Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center, Small Animal Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. 517-353-5420.

Something that most people don’t think about is chiropractic for dogs. Beagles, in particular, are “long and low” body style, meaning that their spine is very long and subject to injury. When they work hard in the field or even from jumping up and down off a bed, on the furniture, out of a car or off a tail gait, can cause serious disc damage. At C2R, we start chiropractic on our pups when they begin to walk, around 4 months old. This early treatment catches any issues sustained from the birthing process and also trains the muscles and bones to line up properly. When the pups reach 6-7 months old (after puberty), we have them adjusted again. And then, anytime during their lifetime if their stride seems a bit “off” or if we notice anything, they get adjusted. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been so so many dogs we have owned, and how much it prolongs their life. Currently, we use Kimberly Jackson, on Saline-Ann Arbor Road, Saline, Michigan, (734) 930-6990. She is really good and very reasonable pricing.

We also use The Animal Ophthalmology Center 1300 W Grand River Ave, Williamston, MI 48895, 517-655-2777 for any eye exams and eye injuries we encounter. They have been wonderful and have the best equipment to take care of your dog’s needs.


From time to time, we run into a training issue or behavioral issue that we can’t put our finger on.  We have called in the help of Judy Ramsey from Chelsea, Michigan.  Judy runs Heart to Heart Animal Communication and Shamanic Practice and has spent a lifetime learning about support for animal behavioral issues, death and grieving issues, and PTSD in animals and people.  Mrs. Ramsey can connect with our animals and she gets pictures of what the animal is picturing in their minds – it’s not voodoo- its just a deeper connection.  This insight has helped us figure out better ways to train our animals and help them be as happy as possible.  Mrs. Ramsey also teaches a two-year shamanic program and provides shamanic healing for animals as well.  Visit her website at and see what she can do  for you.


Health Testing

The term “health testing” is pretty generic in dogs. Each breed has a “parent organization” that recommends certain health testing be completed for breeding stock.

For Beagles, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of America), in working with the National Beagle Club, recommends the following testing be done. Hip Dysplasia, Eyes, MLS, Cardiac, Thyroid, Patellar Luxation, LaFlora, Factor VII, and Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration.

Currently, we send saliva to Embark labs, and they send a report back that covers color genetics, the breeding coefficients, and the diseases most commonly known to Beagles.

Chance 2 Ranch Beagles are relatively young, so some of the above tests cannot be performed until certain ages, and as our program grows and our dogs develop, we will be adding more health testing.  Chance 2 Ranch tests its breeding stock, both hunting and show, through Embark to determine if our dogs carry any genes for the diseases below. For a puppy to actually show signs of disease, it must inherit a gene from its mother, and a gene from its father. We pair our matings so that no C2R puppy will present with the following diseases. Our health guarantee covers the diseases below:

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – a back/spine issue that refers to a health condition affecting the discs that act as cushions between vertebrae. All Beagles carry one or two copies of this gene and very few ever show signs. Something to be aware of.

Factor VII Deficiency – a type of coagulopathy, a disorder of blood clotting. Again, many Beagles carry one or two copies of this gene, but few are affected. It’s a good test to have and make your vet aware if your Beagle carries both copies.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency – This is a disease of red blood cells characterized by low energy level, jaundiced skin, and pale and cool extremities.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a retinal disease that causes progressive, non-painful vision loss over a 1-2 year period. This is a relatively new found gene in Beagles, and rarely ever an issue.

Glaucoma – the result of high intraocular pressure, and if left untreated, can lead to pain and vision loss.

Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration – Known as the “oldest” (even reptiles and more ancient species have them!) part of the brain, the cerebellum fine-tunes motor signals from the brain to the muscles, allowing for balance and coordination. When the cerebellum does not function properly, dogs become uncoordinated and do not have the ability to perform fine motor skills.

Hypocatalasia, Acatalasemia -Catalase is important in fighting reactive oxygen species, which can cause cellular damage. Fortunately, many enzymes can break down reactive oxygen species; as such acatalasemia is usually a benign disease: however, some acatalasemic dogs suffer from what is known as Takahara’s disease, where patients have progressive mouth ulcers.

Cobalamin Malabsorption – a gastrointestinal disease where dogs cannot absorb cobalamin, often causing them to be small with poor energy levels.

Musladin-Lueke Syndrome – causes abnormally strong connections between the structural proteins that provide strength and integrity to tissues like the skin and skeletal muscle, as well as the protective tissue sheaths of the bones and central nervous system.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta – Dogs affected with OI have lost the flexible part of the bone, which is primarily made of Type I collagen. This leads to extremely brittle bones and teeth.

A health problem that is well documented in Beagles that there is NO test for, is Epilepsy. This is a terrible disease and causes seizures, and doesn’t normally present until the dog is over four years old. C2R has not seen any epilepsy in our dogs, however, Epilepsy is documented in every Beagle bloodline, therefore Epilepsy can present in any Beagle. However, there are recent health studies that show a connection between gut health and epilepsy in both humans and dogs, and you can research that to get the best nutrition for your dog, including using probiotics.

Other issues that we have NOT seen in our bloodlines but can pop up sometimes is Cherry Eye, where the inside lid pops out and needs surgical repair. Also allergies, and cancers cannot be tested for and may pop up. We do not have any dogs that show any of these problems, and if we discovered any, we would not breed them.

To combat the health issues, we go our of our way to properly start our puppies – beginning with weaning. When the pups are about 3 1/2-4 1/2 weeks old or older, we transition the pups from sucking on mom’s milk to licking up raw goats milk. Over a period of about a week, we begin to add probiotics, local honey (helps to ward off allergies), Tahini, Spirulina, Ginger, and finally, ground up raw Tripe (cow stomach). This natural process develops the muscles and the flora in the digestive track. There are health studies that show pups started this way are much healthier adults. Before the puppies go to their new homes, we begin adding dry dog food kibble, ground up and mixed into the raw goats milk mixture. Over a week they transition to kibble that has been moistened with water and can continue that with the new owners.

Groom & Leash

Grooming Your Beagle: Beagles have a double coat.  This means they have a downy, soft hair underneath, and long, guard hairs on top.  So they do shed and grooming should be done on a regular schedule. Monthly bathing and daily brushing will help keep your house clean and your dog happy.

We use Chris Christensen products – a good shampoo and a conditioner.  You can do an internet search and find the best price.  Shampoo and condition your Beagle thoroughly, and then rinse even more thoroughly, especially under armpits and tummy and neck. Make sure to dry thoroughly, even the undercoat!

Invest in a Furminator (specifically for medium size, double coated dogs) which is a great way to get any dead undercoat out and will help keep your house clean.  Then use nice boar bristle brush to finish brushing the coat.  Daily brushing is ideal, but at least once a week should do the trick.

Because of their hanging ears, Beagles can develop yeast infections in them, so ears need to be checked once a week. What to look for?  Any redness or bad smell – you will get to know what infection smells like if you do this weekly as you should.  Use a lint-free towel (do not use paper towel!) to clean out the reachable areas.  You can use a mix of 1-part apple cider vinegar to 1-part water to wipe the ears clean, and this will discourage yeast growth.  You can use a syringe to pour the mixture into the ear canal (don’t use force), and then let them shake it out.  After wiping, use the dry, lint-free towel to dry the ear as much as you can.  If you notice any redness or smell, the vet can give you some medicine to clear up the infection.

Just like humans, Beagle’s teeth need to be cleaned. There are many dog teeth cleaning remedies out there to buy but read the labels and avoid any PROCESSED products like rawhide or other man-made chewies.  Dogs (especially Beagles as they are scent hounds) are super sensitive to preservatives/pesticides/synthetic products and they should be avoided at all costs – including man-made treats (use cooked, plain chicken breast with a little garlic salt for treats instead – cheap and easily stored in the freezer in bite size pieces). 

You can buy a doggy toothbrush and paste – just make sure you use it!  All puppies should be introduced to tooth brushing early on. If you haven’t done this before, start by running your index finger in their mouth across their teeth. (Helps to smile, laugh and perhaps, sing a tune while you’re doing this…..Sounds strange, I know, but while the dog might not like this, he understands when you’re happy….there you are, singing and laughing – obviously happy! So he thinks “Hmmm, we must be having fun” and is more likely to tolerate the tooth brush.) Once he gets use to you putting your bare finger in his mouth, try wrapping a bit of wet gauze around it and “brushing” his teeth. When he tolerates that, dab that web gauze in some baking soda and “brush” his teeth. (Remember to smile and sing!)  Then you can get a doggy toothbrush and paste specifically for dogs give him a daily brushing, but baking soda is a perfectly good cleaner, cheap and easy to come by.

Some beagles will tolerate you clipping the nails while others tolerate grinding the nails. I personally clip the nails first with dog toenail clippers, and then follow up with a Dremel grinder. If you are unsure how to “clip nails” enlist the help of a doggie friend or ask your vet or breeder.  If you have a tough Beagle, just have one person hold them with belly and paws facing out, wait for the dog to relax and settle, and then the other person can do the nails quite quickly. 

Learn what the “quick” is in the toenails and watch for it – get as close to it as the dog will allow and keep the nails short.  Don’t go into the quick as it is super painful for the dog – they will let you know!  Dog nails grow fast, and the quick grows out with the nail.  So, make it a routine to do your dog’s nails at least 2 times per month, and once per week is even better.  Too long of nails causes the knuckles to be pushed up and the dog will end up with arthritis when he is older.  Keep em’ short!

How to lead your Beagle:  There are many choices in leads, collars, and harnesses.  Before you buy, do some research.  Collars will break the hair on your dogs’ neck, so a slip lead (that slips around the dog’s neck only when you need it) works great and is easy and convenient.  Harnesses seem like a good choice but think about how that harness interferes with the movement of the shoulder blades and how it can actually cause damage to the dog.  What really is BEST for the dog is training. 

Especially when walking your dog in public, it is wise to stay a distance from dogs that you do not know.  Not just because the dogs could fight, but because there are a ton of diseases out there are that are spread through contact.  Use the methods below and teach your dog to leave other dogs alone unless you give them a command to allow them to play.

Teach the Beagle to walk at your side.  It takes perseverance.  On a loose lead, start walking.  If the dog pulls ahead of you, you can try a few things – first, change directions so the dog has to pay attention to where you are going.  Do this a LOT and often and just expect the dog to follow – don’t even look at him, just walk ahead like you know where you are going.  Pretty soon he won’t know which way is “forward” and he will look to you for direction. 

Also, when he rushes up past you, take your foot that is closest to the dog and tap his chest as if to say, “Get Back”.  Do it hard and quickly.  Then, repeat, repeat, repeat.  If the leash is tight, you need to tap the chest and change directions.  Pretty soon, the dog will learn to not rush out in front.  But you have to be willing to spend 15 minutes daily practicing this for the first six months you own the dog, and you have to be willing to keep the leash LOOSE.  If the dog is not pulling, let the leash slack.  The leash should never be tight.  If the dog does pull and tapping him does not work, you can give a quick, hard jerk on the lead but you must loosen the lead immediately after the jerk. 

This is a hard leash lesson, but once you and your dog have mastered it, what a beautiful, fun partnership you will have!

Beagles & Nutrition

Everyone has their own theory on how to feed dogs. Here, we will tell you ours.

C2R researches nutrition for many reasons – to help dogs run more efficient in the field, to grow healthier puppies, to have longevity in our breeding stock, and to have the best looking dogs out there. As nutrition is one of the few things we can control about our dogs, we focus on it.

Studies have shown a link between gut health and Epilepsy. Epilepsy does show up from time to time in Beagles, both field and show. There are no genetic tests we can do to prevent epilepsy. In the last decade that we have been breeding Beagles, we have not had any epileptic episodes in any of our dogs that we are aware of. To help prevent epilepsy, we ensure our dogs have plenty of probiotic and enzymes to help break down their food. This has come in many forms over the years we have been doing it. Currently, we use a product called “Complete”, from Complete contains probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and a bone supplement.

Dry dog food, “kibble”, is all made the same way, and it started years ago by the industry telling pet owners that its’ more convenient and balanced for your dog, and to not feed your dog people food. A meat source (sometimes disclosed, sometimes not – think about that for a minute) is cooked down to and grains and vitamins are then mixed in, ultimately forming kibble. There are no regulations on dog food currently, so no one checks to see if the content in the bag matches the label on the bag. Any form of “probiotic” that is supposedly in the kibble is most likely cooked out. The best you can do is try to buy a well known brand and keep an eye on how your dog is doing on that food.

C2R adds a supplement called “Complete” to any dry kibble we feed (, and in addition, we rotate feeding Salmon Oil, sometimes an egg, and sometimes spirulina. We have specific supplements for different requirements. We also buy a commercial raw formula from They grind the muscle/organ/bone into a balanced meat that looks like hamburger. We use this meat mixture in a 10% ratio in the morning feeding for both puppies and our show adults, in addition to the supplements.

Newborn puppies go through stages when being weaned – from the suckling stage, to a licking stage, and then on to chewing. It is important that they go through all 3 phases to properly grow and condition their digestive system. Missed steps can cause allergies and other digestive problems later in life. C2R starts their pups at about 3.5 – 4 weeks old on raw goats milk, then begins to add things like Tahini, Spirulina, probiotics, ginger, Omega 3’s (helps the brains develop) and a few other items that help the digestive system prepare.

Over the course of several days to a week, the pups are then introduced to green tripe (ground up cow stomach). Tripe contains digestive enzymes already, so prepares the puppy digestive tract even further. At about 4.5 to 5 weeks old, we begin to add ground up dry kibble in small amounts over a few days, until we are sure the pups are not having any troubles with it. We feel this gives our pups the best nutritional advantage.

Puppies require a specific diet including calcium and phosphorus ration for growing bones. We are careful to watch the front knuckles of our pups around month 3-4 – you can begin to see the bones start to grow and well, and during this time, protein should be carefully monitored as well as calcium and phosphorus to prevent any bone growth issues.

Our hunting dogs get kibble throughout the summer and then during their hunting season, they get supplemented with venison, rabbit, eggs, salmon oil and other supplements. It’s important for working dogs to have the right portion of protein to fat. Protein can cause a working dog to overheat and pant, while a higher fat content helps the body work properly while feeding the brain.

Always check with your vet regarding your dog’s specific needs and how to best keep the ratios correct.