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Autumn Oak Beagles Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Are Beagles good apartment dogs?
A. Yes and no. Beagles can do very well in an apartment IF you have the time to exercise them on leash daily and/or have access to a safe, fenced in enclosure where they can have a good run at least 1-2x weekly. Beagles are very active, especially when younger, and tend to find mischief if bored. Also consider Beagles do howl, although a single Beagle normally uses his voice sparingly, it is loud, and that can be a concern for neighbors. So while it can work out with a dedicated owner, we do not generally recommend the breed as ideal for apartment life.
Q. I heard that Beagles are hard to housebreak and impossible to train. Is this true?
A. All hound breeds, especially Beagles, have an undeserved reputation for being dumb and untrainable. Beagles are more difficult to housebreak than some other breeds, because they are set on doing things their way. However, this breed is also prone to UTIs (urinary tract infections) especially during puppyhood, which can lead to more frequent urination. A good diet that keeps the urine properly acidic can help drastically with UTIs.
In housetraining and obedience, patience, consistancy & the use of positive methods are key.
Contrary to popular belief, most Beagles actually love training when fun methods are used - but be careful about using force on a Beagle because it will permanently turn them off to training. A Beagle must be persuaded and convinced - never forced!
Also keep in mind that 99% of pet store Beagles will never be fully housetrained. A breeder must condition the pup to "go" in a designated area and this just does not happen with pet store or puppy mill pups who are raised on wire in rabbit hutch type cages. They learn just the opposite - that they can go wherever they want, and this can be a very difficult habit to break. This is just one of numeous reasons why never to buy from a pet store ...
Q. Do you sell pocket or miniature Beagles?
A. No! Simply put, they just do not exist. They are a marketing gimmick and will either not be purebred or will likely be a Beagle with chrondodystrophy, a type of dwarfism that causes shorter front legs & a longer back. Dogs with chrondodystrophy often have disc disease, as well.
Pocket/glove/singing Beagles did exist in the time of Queen Elizabeth. However, there are no registries that have ever, in the past or present, recognized them as a seperate or special type of Beagle.This breed comes in two sizes, 13" & 15". The smaller size has a height cutoff of exactly 13" at the shoulders, and the larger size is anything that is even a hair over 13" proceeding upto 15" at the shoulders. Most 13" Beagles are actually under that actual size, normally 12" actual height, but we've seen and owned others who were 10-11". They are not pocket Beagles, just average 13" Beagles.
The true pocket Beagles bred by Queen Elizabeth, and later the tiny 9" Beagles bred for hunting by Mr. Crane's Doretshire pack were in fact *NOT* known for their health, hardiness, or intelligence. So even hundreds of years ago, there were consequences to breeding down dogs that were never meant to be toy sized, just as there are consequences today.
Furthermore, stories of Queen Elizabeth's pocket Beagles may have been greatly exaggerated. "... Good Queen Bess, who was said to be the possessor of a pack of hounds so small they could be carried in a lady's glove. Well, either the hounds must have been far smaller than the least of our toy terriers of to-day (which is extremely unlikely) ... or the story an exaggeration (which is perhaps true)."
On Mr. Crane's tiny 9" pack of hunting Beagles it was said: "He has reduced the Beagle to a minimum. Many of the mothers do not rear their offspring and distemper carries them off in troops. Single specimens may occasionally be found excessively dwarfed and proportionately deformed. These hounds would perhaps be wanting in nose or intelligence if they could be produced in sufficient force to form a pack ..."
References: The Dog Anthology (The Beagle) - 1892
Q. Do Beagles from hunting bloodlines make good pets?
A. Beagles are ALL hunting dogs - whether they are bred specifically for the show ring or field work, or both! The breed's hunting instincts are so inherently strong that Beagles are one of very few working breeds who do not require training to do what they were bred for, only experience. We've owned Beagles with a show champion pedigree going back many years, and they made just as good, if not better rabbit dogs than our field bred Beagles!!! So the instinct is still there, regardless of where you purchase your Beagle. Those hunting traits, however, are what set the temperament and personality of the Beagle apart from other breeds - the Beagle would not be the Beagle any longer were all the hunting instinct bred out.
Q. What sort of health problems do Beagles have, and how long do they live?
A. Genetic issues in this breed are not prolific when purchasing a well bred pup, but they still do occur. Epilepsy, heart murmurs, and intervertebral disc disease are probably the most common to affect the breed. Hip dysplasia, luxated patellas, cherry eye, hypothyroidism, allergies are also concerns but occur much less frequently. Musladin-Leuke Syndrome (formerly known as Chinese Beagle) is also a concern in some show bloodlines.
Average life expectancy for this breed is 12-15yrs. That figure will vary depending on weight, genetics, & nutrition.
For more in depth info on Beagle health concerns:
Q. Do you offer shipping for your puppies?
A. We do NOT ship our pet quality pups, as we want to personally meet all our prospective new homes before they leave with a puppy. It's very important to us that we know exactly who has our pups. We are located in a residental, easily accessably part of NYC - we are in the center of the tri state area and are 30 -45 min from parts of upstate NY, NJ and CT. So pickup should be as hassle free as possible!
*** We are, however, willing to ship pups to families or other reputable breeders for show/breeding purposes.*** Please contact for more details if you think you might be interested in a show or dual purpose pup from us.
Q. Why are your pups so expensive? I saw an ad in the paper for $250 Beagle pups, AKC registered!
A.  Anyone with two dogs of the same breed can put them together, register the litter with AKC and claim to be a "breeder". Every single hound I use for breeding purposes are screened for genetic issues before we breed, all are tested in the field - and on occasion we have shown in conformation to prove our breeding dogs are also excellent, sound representatives of the breed (i.e. they have good "conformation" to the Breed Standard). Each litter is carefully planned out to ensure we are producing genetically healthy pups who have a low likliehood of being affected with genetic disease. Behind each litter I breed is hours upon hours invested in pedigree research, a staggering output of money, and the massive amount of time it takes to properly raise well socialized, healthy pups. We are concerned about our pups for LIFE, stay vigilant about what we are producing, and spare no expense on our Beagles.
Most pups advertised in the newspaper are large scale commercial breeders or amateurs (a.k.a. Backyard Breeders - BYBs). There was little expense involved in breeding the litters, and in the worst case scenario, their breeding stock were purchased from pet stores, other amateur breeders, or even dog auctions to keep prices low. Their main goal is to "move" pups out and price them to sell quickly. Pups purchased from these venues may not have received much socialization or will sometimes barely resemble the breed they are supposed to be. Often, when you see a pup for rock bottom prices, the breeder is offering their pups at "broker price" or slightly above it. They have so many pups they make their profit by selling as great a quantity as possible.
Most amateur breeders are well meaning, love their dog and want to see her have puppies - they are normally the "just one litter" crowd. The best analogy I've come across when comparing BYBs to hobby breeders is that a BYB breeds for the love of the dog, whereas a hobby breeder, for the love of the breed. Well meaning as they may be, their dogs are still untested for genetic health concerns, they don't know what bloodlines are, much less how to keep genetic health & temperament problems to a minimum, and are not ideal places to purchase a pup. With cheap pups, you are getting exactly what you pay for, and likely will have to spend a great deal in Vet bills down the road.
Your best chances at acquiring a healthy, well socialized purebred Beagle puppy that grows up to look like what a Beagle should, is to find a reputable breeder.

Q. What about buying a Beagle pup from a pet store?

A. We do not recommend getting a Beagle pup from a pet store. Consider this. When a breeder sells to a pet store, they go through a broker, who is the middleman selling the pup to the store. The breeder never knows which store in what state the puppy will be shipped off to. Much less if it survives the trip or what family purchases the pup! If their dogs produce health problems, they would never know, because they don't know where many of their pups are. So they continue to breed dogs who may be producing problems, and their ignorance leads to sick pups and heartbroken families. Pet store pups are sold to a broker for an average price of $50-$150, then re sold to the store for a higher fee, and in turn the store sells to the public for several hundred to thousands of dollars. Often, pet store pups are much higher priced than those from a good breeder - and instead of paying for the quality, breeding, socialization and care that pup received, you're paying the store's overhead.

Q. Are Beagles good with cats and other small animals?

A. In general, most Beagles are excellent with house cats, especially if raised with them from a young age. Even most adult Beagles can be easily taught to respect or will sometimes simply ignore any cats already in the household. It's been my experience that this breed will either LOVE cats, want to play with them every waking moment - or couldn't care less and will ignore kitty altogether! They can sometimes chase and play wrestle roughly with a cat, however, unlike other hunting/high prey drive breeds, this is not a display of aggression. I have even had one particularly motherly Beagle attempt to play midwife with a cat who delivered a litter of kittens in a room full of Beagles, lol. 
Small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, etc. are another story. Beagles and their ancestors were bred for at least 2,000+ yrs to hunt primarily hare & rabbit. This is a deeply ingrained instinct and while some may be ok with small & furries, I will never consider a Beagle to be trustworthy around these animals. Never even leave a Beagle unattended around a small animal's cage because most can and will figure out a way to knock it down unless it's in an inaccessable area. The best way to keep Beagles and small animals is to seperate them 100% of the time.

Q. What colors do Beagles come in? Is there such a thing as a pure white, dappled or "blue" Beagles? Which colors do you breed for?

A. All hound colors are accepted in the Beagle according to the AKC breed standard. Those colors would include the traditional tri color, black and tan, red and white, lemon and white, redticked (a.k.a. chocholate/liver ticked), blueticked (a.k.a. blue mottled), black and white.
Tri colored Beagles with the dilution factor are sometimes referred to as either a shaded or dilute tri, giving the black coat a bluish cast. There are also Beagles who are born without the black saddle and are grey/white - this is what would be called a blue Beagle. The color is a recessive trait, meaning two carriers must be bred together to produce it, so it is sometimes labeled as "rare" and used as a marketing gimmick by some disreputable breeders. Beware any breeder marketing pups on color alone!

A lemon & white Beagle will be a lighter version of the red & white, and a mostly white Beagle will then be either a diluted lemon & white OR will have the "sw" gene for extreme piebald spotting. In actuality, there are no pure white Beagles - the gene does not exist in the breed.
"Dappled Beagles" do not exist either - again, the breed does not carry the dappling factor, only the ticking factor, which will produce black or brown speckles in the white coat. Some "pocket Beagle" breeders have crossed the Beagle with the Daschund to achieve smaller size, thus there will be Beagle mixes with dappling passed off as purebred minis.
We do not breed for any specific color, or keep back pups solely based on coat color patterns.