A Dog Lover
I have been a dog lover for as long as I can remember – ever since I was a little girl I had begged my parents for a dog. For a few years they placated me with other, smaller pets such as hamsters. However, nothing could come close to satisfying my desire for a puppy of my very own, and, for my twelfth birthday, my parents relented and bought me my very own dog!
As you can imagine I was over the moon – I got to choose the breed, gender and name of our new family member. Young and inexperienced, I immediately chose my favourite breed of dog without putting in a second thought or doing any research on the subject.
And so, in October 2007, Tanner, a twelve week old the beagle puppy came home with the Jamiesons. And, fortunately for us, he is a very well-natured, placid and (generally) well-behaved dog. We have never had so much as a growl out of him in nine years. However – he was definitely more of a handful than any of us were expecting, and this leads me to my main point when selecting what breed of dog you want to join your family: research your breed!
With a few quick google searches you can discover many important factors you should consider before jumping in with both feet and buying a pet, like how much exercise they require, any special dietary requirements, whether they cast hair, whether they are good with other pets or children, if they have any common health conditions that their breed is prone to and much, much more.
We discovered all of this as we went, having made a crucial beginner’s error and not having done the appropriate research before purchasing our pooch. We chose our breed based purely on aesthetic and a few articles we found on the good nature of beagles that made them perfect family pets. However, to this day, we have a few things we wished we had known sooner!
More about Beagles Breed
Beagles are trusting, loyal and laid-back dogs that make for excellent family pets. However, they are also hunting dogs, and this means they follow their noses; quite literally! Once we lost Tanner overnight in our local park because he was chasing foxes and we couldn’t get him to return to us. Despite being a usually well behaved dog that can walk off of a leash, instinct is a stronger impulse than obedience, and we stood dismayed as he disappeared into the night, yowling the whole time. Thankfully, a kind fellow dog-walker found and returned him to us the following morning.
Another of Tanner’s bad habits, especially as a puppy, was chewing. It is a trait closely linked with the beagle breed. We discovered this after our new pup had chewed his way through a couch, a carpet, some dry-wall and several pairs of shoes. A phase we can look back on and laugh at now, years later after he has lost a lot of the bad habits of his youth. We discovered that this need to chew is particularly high in beagles and we wish that we had known this prior to getting him, not that we wouldn’t have chosen him as our pet, but so that we as owners could have been better at looking after his needs.
As we soon discovered, our beagle casts a lot of short white hairs, is entirely motivated by food, and can be very stubborn when it comes to training. Speaking to breeders and doing even the smallest cursory searches could have brought this information to our attention. My parents joke that they will be finding his hair on their clothes and around their house for a decade after he is gone.
A Source of Love and Comfort
Honestly, being a dog owner is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope to have many more dogs after Tanner, who has been the centre of our family and a source of love and comfort for us all for almost a decade. However, I will definitely be learning from my previous rookie mistake and will be taking many factors into consideration before selecting the breed of my next dog.