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!