Beagles/Is Raising Two female puppies asking for trouble?
QUESTION: Hi, I recently bought two female Beagle puppies, having the same father, being two weeks apart.
I intended for them to have a companion for when we are not home as much once my four year old starts school full time.
Now someone told me that is not a good idea at all after all and after reading a couple articles on that subject, it seems to ask for a lot of difficulties if not done properly.
I understand their need for individuality and all the things I should be doing with them separately,
But I am worried that they still might end up being their own pack and might be aggressive towards my child one day. Is that something you would call inevitable, or rather preventable?
I would rather give up one of the puppies now than later. Do you think they would get a better or worse life by having both of them growing up in one family? Thank you so much, Mel
ANSWER: Hi and thanks for writing to me.... I am not sure what you read or where but to my knowledge there is absolutely no issue with having two pups brought up together at the same time. Out of all the combinations though female and female is the 3rd choice, 1st being male and female, then 2 males, then 2 females. If you work with them together AND individually there shouldnt be any problems, beagles do NOT tend to be aggressive dogs, they do however live for food and can become food aggressive IF you do not train them well or establish dominance with them. With any pups, there should be no rough-housing and your four year old must repect them as living creatures who won't like being mauled or sat on, pulled on, picked up constantly etc. I am not saying he would do this, I don't know him, I just know the demeanor of most 4 year olds. He cannot use them as play things or rough house with them, he should be taught to make them obey just as you would and be gentle with them. This is the beginning of teaching a child good dog ownership. You need to start training right away and spend time with them singularly and as a pair. Of course they are going to bond to each other, they are canine but will also bond to the humans, beagles readily accept humans as part of their pack, beagles especially are pack animals and so having another one is a good idea in my opinion to keep each other company and knock down the chances of separation anxiety beagles sometimes have being loners.
Any aggression a dog shows to a child is the result of not being trained well. If the ALPHA is in charge and they realize they are at the bottom of the pack there shouldnt be any issues. That being said the way to do this is many but suffice to say NO punitive discipline, no hitting, spanking etc. Aggression breeds aggression. Some people say that beagles are hard to train, I dont think that but I do recognize that because they are hunting dogs their bigger brain lies in their nose and they will follow it before engaging the bigger one, :) They will eat until they pop and follow anything that smells interesting, they are never considered 100% reliable off leash and free and need to be contained in a well fenced yard, a dog park or other such walled off area. The positive of this is that they are so food motivated that I think it makes training easier, other breeds are not always motivated by food, especially after a few treats, beagles will go for the food every time, no matter how much they have eaten.
Beagles are loving and sweet and great family dogs and want to be part of the action all the time, right in the middle of it. They are highly active so get ready to take a lot of walks. A bored beagle is a destructive beagle. They need to be walked AT LEAST once a day and for long enough to tire them out. Beagles are not good dogs to just leave outside and occasionally say hi to, they NEED companionship and stimulation.
I hope all of this is helpful, find some good training books and begin now, as I said spend about 15 min a day with each without the other one and then the same with them together working on sit, stay, down, etc. Also I am a believer of there is no free lunch for a dog so before they eat they need to sit, before they get a treat they have to do something for it etc, and they should NEVER be given human food, beagles are notorious for being allergic (which is why horrible places like Proctor & Gamble use them for experiments)Give them a high quality dog food, like Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance which is grain free with novel proteins and very good for avoiding allergies.
Remember, dogs are like computers.... garbage in... garbage out.... if you want a well beahved dog in a human world you have to teach them....
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QUESTION: Hello again, after some more research and talking to a vet, some think it is a good idea to have separate kennels for them and maybe even separate them with a fence overnight. Do you also think this would be necessary, or it might be rather a thing I have to decide if they won't get along too well as adult dogs? What should I do if they do fight a lot not getting along? I might have to give one away? Or if I as the pack leader not let them get into bad fights, would that help? But when I am not there I cannot prevent that either. There are a lot of ifs and unforseeable things I suppose, but maybe one way of doing things is better :) thanks again, Mel
I am happy to see that you are taking this so seriously because that means maybe these pups will get a good upbringing and a committment to doing things right. I am though worried about why people keep telling you things that seem against the norm. Is there something I don't know, have they ever fought? How old are they? What is their reasoning for having separate kennels and seperating them at night? Would like to hear this.... I do think that if you are going to crate train them it would be ok to each have their own crate so they have a place of their own when they are older and you can then be in control when you aren't home, espeically since they are puppies. They should also have two dog beds but don't be surprised if they want to lie together in one of the beds!
You asked what you should do if they get in a lot of fights.... my answer is if they do then you havent trained them well nor have you become the Alpha...... IF and when that happens we can cover that then. I am going to go on the assumption you will train them correctly.
I have had 4 dogs at a time (currently 3)and know of people with more, when you are in charge the pack follows YOU and YOUR RULES. I may have to intervene at times when one of mine who is particularly rambunctious tries to instigate play with the others and they dont want it but when I tell her to stop, she stops. Think about it like having multiple kids, you love them all, each one has a sep. personality though and may need handling in a special way but playing favorites inspires jealousy so they have to be treated pretty equally.