|Courtesy Westminster Dog Show|
Are you in love? Are you ready to run out and get a Miss P of your very own to show in the ring.
Well guess what?
You probably won't find a Miss P in a puppy store. And she probably won't be online either.
Here are the five things you need to know about getting a beagle like Miss P.
1) Not every beagle is a show beagle.
|Miss P photo courtesy Westminster Dog Show|
There are show beagles -- they conform to a rigid standard and are bred for show. And then there are field beagles -- beagles bred for hunting and tracking. They have their own standard, but they won't look like show beagles.
Check out the standards information from the National Beagle Club.
There are lots of beagles that don't conform to either standard.
|Lokavi Beagle show beagle puppies.|
I have personal experience with pet store puppies. My parents bought a Lhasa Apso when I was a kid. He cost at hundreds of dollars, had papers and everything. Mom thought she would breed him. She didn't, know why? He was a miserable, spiteful son of a bitch who had every allergy known the man. At least a year after we had him he started losing his fur. A Lhasa without fur is not cute. He didn't have the health nor the temperament to be anything.
We learned after that the pet store got puppy mill dogs.
|Photo courtesy of Our Beagle World|
Getting a dog from a breeder may not protect you from these problems either. Not every breeder is reputable. And if you are buying a dog, sight unseen, online, you don't know what you will get? Would you buy a car that way? Think of a dog as you would a car. They may cost as much in upkeep.
Lori Norman is an AKC reputable breeder. She owns Lokavi Beagles in South Florida. She doesn't breed out her female dogs. They have maybe two litters and are then spayed. Norman once told me that when you adopt a beagle from a reputable breeder, you adopt the breeder as well. A good breeder will be part of you life.
"Reputable breeders will use their normal screening processes to be sure their pups end up in a good, prepared, and responsible home," Norman said.
And outside of that, beagles aren't always the easiest dogs to live with. If you've never had a beagle before, watch this:
3) A beagle like Miss P costs money.
If someone tells you that they have AKC show quality beagles with papers for next to nothing -- question. Question the bloodlines, question the dog's care, see everything.
Lori Norman's beagles are from grand champion stock. Her beagles are not going to cost less than a thousand dollars.
|Beagles at an AKC dog show.|
The only reason to buy a show beagle puppy is really to raise it to show, unless you have tons of money lying around to blow on a beagle.
4) Showing a beagle is not cheap.
If you look at the info for Miss P, you'll see she has three owners. None of them are the man who actually handled the beagle in the ring.
Many show beagles are owned by a group of people. That's because it is so expensive to show a beagle. You have to travel all over to events to show the beagle so they can collect enough points to get to these bigger shows. They need to be groomed (even beagles!), they need show training. There's room and board too. And food. And show fees.
5) There are lots of beagles out there who are inexpensive, feisty and loveable.
The good news is if you think, after seeing points 2, 3 and 4 that buying a beagle is not for you, you can still get a beagle.
There are beautiful beagles who need rescuing all over the country. They fill up shelters and dog rescues. Some are discarded hunters. Some are discarded bred-out dogs from backyard breeders or puppy mills. Some are former research lab beagles. And some are just beagles who were unlucky in finding their forever home.
Here's some great beagle rescues in the US where you can start to find the right beagle for you.
- Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue
- Arizona Beagle Rescue
- NorCal Beagle Rescue
- Beagle Freedom Project
- Beagle Rescue League, Inc.
- Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education and Welfare
- American Beagle Relief Network