Whether you have a beagle already and are planning a baby or you have children and are planning on adding a beagle it is always good to think ahead and plan how you are going to introduce them together. Introducing a beagle to your family means everyone is on board. A rescue will be different from a baby puppy. If you bring in a puppy they all need to be aware that a puppy is young and needs time for play and time for rest. An older beagle will be awake more but also needs “down” time, when the dog can rest in his own bed-cages, which are good for this and should be regarded as the dog’s own den where he can rest and re-cooperate, not a punishment.
Baby on the Way?
As soon as you know there is a baby on the way and this also means a visiting one-it is good to polish up on your beagle’s behaviour. Make sure he knows not to jump up, that he will settle down in his bed when asked and that he is used to some periods on his own. It is hard for a dog that has been the centre of attention to understand he is less important but if you make the ground rules early on he will accept having less of your time more easily.
Teach him to accept not being allowed in certain areas such as the baby’s bedroom and get him used to be put away at times. It is safer to start with rules such as never leaving the dog in the room with the baby when no adult is there from day one, so get your dog used to being put quietly where you want. Stick to a routine, dogs respond well to being in a routine and having consistency.
Make sure your dog is up to date on health matters-worm him regularly-roundworms can be transmitted to children but regular worming reduces the risk. Make sure all the family stick to the same rules!
Generally, beagles are good with children. However, never leave your dog alone with a child unsupervised.
Puppy on the Way?
This situation is the same to some extent. It is important that the whole family are wanting the new puppy and will all abide by the same rules. The puppy needs space for sleep and rest and a routine to follow. The pup early on will need more sleep than play but this gradually alters and plenty of time is needed by the pup to develop and exercise. A crate is a good place to allow the puppy some downtime and good habits such as specific meal times and not allowing titbits at the table will help you have a beagle that fits in well and has good food manners.
Problems such as nipping should be discouraged by squealing when the pup nips and not playing tugging games or letting children play games when the pup grabs at trousers and feet. Children need to be taught to respect the pup and not to pester it. Also, toys for the pup and children should be clearly segregated. Often the best way is to keep bedroom areas as a no go zone for the pup and explain to children that their toys should be kept upstairs.
The pup should be fed a distinct food for puppies and no human food and clear guidelines such as not going on furniture from day one. This would include sitting on anyone’s knee other than on the floor