Your New Beagle . . . What to Expect
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU BRING YOUR NEW BREW BEAGLE HOME
Congratulations! BREW is here with you throughout the initial phase of bringing your beagle home, and hopefully through a long and healthy life! We love hearing from our current and previous adopters because we love our beagles.
Bringing a new dog home is a process – it takes patience, love, and consistency. Like children, they need to be a priority. They must be walked regularly, fed, and they need a LOT of time and attention, not to mention patience. The initial few weeks after adoption are critical – you need to focus 100% of your available time to ensure a good transition from the BREW foster home to your home. We know that it takes 3 days for your new beagle to feel comfortable in your home, 3 weeks for your new beagle to understand their new routine, and 3 months to become part of the family. So here’s what you can expect during this transition.
When you first bring your beagle home he/she will likely be insecure, scared and a bit overwhelmed. Try to make first introductions as calm and quiet as possible. When you get home, take your beagle to your yard or somewhere outside to relieve him/herself … and when they do their business quietly say ‘good dog’ and give a small treat. Then allow it to explore your home, one room at a time, with careful but distant supervision. If there are children at home, make it a rule that they are not permitted to try to pick up the beagle and that they do not run around too much or crowd the beagle into a corner. Also stress to children (or adults who act like children) to NEVER bother the beagle while eating or sleeping. NEVER!
Body Language = Dog Speak
Your new beagle can’t tell you if he or she is feeling insecure, helpless and alone. They can’t send you an email or text saying they don’t like some of the new smells, sights and sounds in their new environment. Dogs can only demonstrate their emotions and fears through body language, sounds and facial expressions – all of which you will get to know in the next few days, weeks and months.
A few examples: Your new beagle is nervous – a loud noise, or sudden jerky movements by a teenager or young child, may result in the tail tucked between legs, or s/he may urinate or even defecate in fear. If this happens, stay calm, try to keep the area quiet, and clean up as needed. OR – the fear response could be excessive chewing on whatever is close by, be it a couch, pillow or preferably a chew toy. This is where Bitter Apple (anti chewing spray) will come in handy! An older dog may react badly to being cornered in a strange environment – grabbing an adult dog to put it outside or prevent it from doing something may seem logical to us but to the dog it may signal punishment. In this situation it may choose to use paws or jaws to defend itself. Respect the GRRR as a way of saying “you’re in my space”.
Follow your dogs lead … stay close and calm without being overbearing. If you decide to try playing just throw a toy to the dog and see what he/she does. If he/she goes for the toy, let them show you how they want to play – do not try to take the toy away …. If you do be prepared for a grrr and maybe a snap or bite – and it’s not the dogs fault. Once you get to know the dog better, and the dog gets to know you and a bond has developed – the rougher playing can begin.
Think of how you would act on a blind date after initially meeting someone on social media – you would meet in a safe neutral area, you wouldn’t crowd the person – or expect to be cuddled and kissed and saying “I love you so much” … don’t try to cuddle with your dog on day one, week one or month one unless the dog cuddles up to you … trust and bonding take time to develop.
Remember: The dog will respond to your behavior. A stressed person will result in a stressed dog.
Beagles are Door Dashers
So … everyone in the family needs to make sure they know where the beagle is before opening any door to the outside – even if you have a fenced in yard. Especially for the first few weeks (then it will become a habit) be extremely careful and have a leash on the door before opening. It’s a good idea to keep the leash on the dog in the house – at least initially. It’s easy to get the dog quickly that way without having to grab by the collar and if the unthinkable happens and the dog starts to run you can step on the leash.
Before going outside or to a fenced in yard – put on the leash. We’ve had newly adopted beagles escape as the owner thought the gate was closed – someone forgot to close it and there goes the beagle. Once outside keep a firm grip on the leash. Always put your hand through the loop … taking care to also wrap the leash around your thumb (the strongest joint in your hand) – if your dog sees a squirrel and decides to bolt, the leash will jerk your arm, but the dog will not get away.
NEVER use a Retractable Leash – they are not safe for you or your beagle and are not approved for use by BREW Beagle.
If your BREW dog was in foster care, he/she has likely had some house training – but be sure to talk to the foster to understand how the training went, and what if any weaknesses are still a work in progress. You can definitely expect a few accidents – remember your beagle is in transition and nervous – he/she wants to please you, but doesn’t yet know exactly how to do this. There are four factors to remember when housebreaking your dog:
- The time of day you provide food and water for your dog
- The time of day you walk your dog
- The type of confinement used for housing your dog
- The type of food you are feeding your dog
Depending on the age of your dog, you will feed 2 or 3 times a day. Beagles are chow hounds and will eat their food at one time … don’t leave food out all day.
After each meal your beagle should be allowed to relieve themselves with a walk or let out in a secured, fenced in yard. In the first days of training you should accompany your dog to the bathroom area. Remember to say good dog and reward with a small treat when they do relieve themselves. Keep a leash on the dog during house training. Grabbing the collar to get them outside can cause the dog to startle. Grabbing the leash and guiding them outside is less aggressive.
Outside: Allowing the dog to drag a leash around the yard makes it easier to get him back inside until he learns the routine.This also works when the dog is shy. You just pick up the leash and reel them in. Two leashes tied together or a 25′ training leash works even better. Remember – NO RETRACTABLE LEASHES.
A crate is an effective way to confine your dog while housebreaking. If a crate is not available baby gates are also very useful.
Talk to the foster parent about food the beagle is currently receiving – if you are going to change the food, do so gradually as a sudden change, combined with the stress of a new home, can easily result in upset stomach accidents. A good premium diet is very important in helping you housebreak your beagle.
Always walk your dog after:
- Dog has been sleeping
- Released from crate or baby gated area
- Arriving home
- Seems restless or is sniffing around
- Riding in the car
Remember … a dog is only as consistent as his/her owner – follow the schedule faithfully. And very important, don’t forget to praise your dog when they eliminate outside!
Let’s face it – there is no magic to housetraining. If your dog lifts his leg on your favorite chair – don’t yell at him and drag him outside to finish there. The dog went because he had to – with time you will learn the signal that tells you it’s time to go out. If you yell your dog will be scared and go somewhere else outside of your presence – then you will find that wet spot when you least expect it. Be sure to clean up well so this spot doesn’t become the beagles inside toilet!
- Always have fresh water out, in the same place
- Schedule play time a few times a day (depending on age of your beagle)
- Wash food and water bowls
- Check your beagles nails and trim as needed (or take to the vet to trim)
- Give flea, tick and heartworm medications – mark your calendar to do every month!
Annual wellness check. Ask your vet if your beagle needs dental cleaning every year or two years.
- Your beagle has been chipped. You will receive all information necessary to change your name to the primary caretaker of your beagle. BREW asks that we remain as #2 contact … if the worst thing happens and your beagle gets out while you are out of town or not available then BREW would be contacted to pick up your beagle.
- Be sure to have tag with dogs name and your phone number
- Remember to get your dog licensed in your local jurisdiction.
You’ve had a home check so hopefully your house is beagle-proofed. Be sure to have supplies on hand and in easy reach:
Dog bed(s), toys, food and water bowl, lead, harness, preferably a martingale collar, tags with dogs name, your name and phone number. Anti-chewing spray (i.e, Bitter Apple or other brands) may come in handy.
The beautiful beagle you’re taking home today is not the beagle you will see in a week, a month or a year. They evolve as their trust and love for you and your family grows – if you introduce your beagle to your family routine and life correctly and consistently, you’ll have a new best friend who will love you unconditionally. Congratulations!