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Breeding a Beagle

You won't find anything cuter than a Beagle puppy; however one must consider the seriousness of breeding.
Important Elements

All Beagle owners should think very carefully before breeding their dog. Many owners of beautiful Beagles want to know how to breed a Beagle to continue the bloodline.

We would hope that anyone thinking about this will be diligent to strengthen the Beagle bloodline and take all health precautions seriously.

A great breeder does so for the "Betterment of the Breed" and keeps away from "Designer Dogs". This is most likely a trend and trends can disappear quickly. If you wish to breed your Beagle, it is highly suggested to breed a quality purebred to purebred.

One must be fully prepared before breeding. You will need:
  • Finances. It requires an investments to acquire quality purebred Beagles. Even if you have a female you may need to pay for a stud service, etc. Aside from that cost, be ready to be able to cover veterinarian bills, very high quality dog & puppy food, baby gates, crates, blankets, bottles, droppers, dishes & bowls, grooming supplies, dog toys, medications and always have a reserve for an emergency C-section.
  • Time. Those newborn puppies need to have a careful eye on them around the clock. Hypoglycemia is just one of the many health issues that can suddenly strike a newborn puppy. All puppies and dogs need to have a good amount of time with their owner for proper socialization. If you do not have the time to devote to your Beagles, breeding is not for you. To allow the dogs & puppies to live the majority of the time in crates or cages is very unethical.
  • Emotional Strength. Even the best breeders in the world suffer loss. Even with years of experience, there may be puppies that do not make it. Aside from that heart-wrenching aspect, when all goes well, how will you feel when the puppies must leave you and go to their new homes?
litter of Beagle pups
When it is the Correct Time to Breed

Weight: It is okay if the female weighs more than the male; however the male Beagle should never weigh more than 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) over the weight of the female and it is best if the female weighs slightly more than the male. 

Please note: Taking two very small "runt" Beagles and breeding them together to produce unnaturally small Beagles (pocket Beagles) is extremely unethical and will only produce very unhealthy puppies. Any puppies born from that type of breeding will have huge risks of major health problems.

Age: How old should your Beagle be when you breed him or her?
Per the AKC, the dam must be at least 8 months old; however we recommend waiting until she is at least 2 years of age which allows her body to mature before going through the stress of pregnancy.  Females are normally retired from breeding by the age of 7 years old (though the AKC will register a litter from a dam up until the age of 12) and your veterinarian may recommend a much earlier retirement based on individual health.

She can continue to enter heat until she is in her teens (and sometimes for her entire life). As soon as you know that you will not breed her anymore, you should have her spayed. This is very important for her health.
Male Beagle dogs should be at least 9 months old; with the 1 year mark being preferred to ensure good, viable sperm.  

Health: Both dogs should have full medical checkups and be cleared as dam and sire. This will check for genetic issues that can be passed down to puppies. You will want to make sure that both dogs are healthy and that both dogs do not carry any hereditary diseases that can carry through bloodlines. Testing should include hips, CERF, elbows, CCD, and thyroid.

How often can you allow your female Beagle to breed? Each Beagle must be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if their body has recovered and are able to have another litter. The recommended guidelines are as follows:
  • It is recommended to wait until your female Beagle is at least 2 years old to have a litter
  • Many breed 2 heat cycles in a row and then allow a rest or breed every other heat cycle. Remember, these are guidelines only...your female should be evaluated by your experienced veterinarian to make sure that she is able to handle this schedule. For example, if your Beagle had to have a cesarean, extra rest in between liters is vital. Alternatively, if her body is slow in recovering and her coat has not come back, she may need more rest. Mother Nature has the final say when all is said and done. However it is important that the female be given plenty of rest.
  • The female should be retired from breeding between the age of 5 and 7. Your vet may decide that your Beagle should retire earlier, perhaps at age 4. Again, medical testing and evaluation must be done for your dog on a regular basis to make sure that she is receiving plenty of rest in between litters and that her body is fully recovering between litters.
Some breeders prefer to take a break in the fall, so that there are not any winter time litters when sale expectations are low. The majority of people obtain new puppies in the early summer, often putting down deposits (a portion of the cost) in the late spring. 

Tip: Even if a full "tie" does not occur, a female Beagle can still become pregnant.
Heat Cycles & Issues

What do you do when your female Beagle just does not seem interested in the male? Most male dogs (un-neutered) will breed absolutely at any time. There will be a few exceptions when a male is just not interested in the female dog.

A female, of course will only breed when in heat. A female dog will go into heat about twice a year. However, there is a big misconception regarding this: Once showing the signs of heat, the dog will most likely not immediately breed the first day. For some dogs it is over 2 weeks after the signs. The average time to allow for breeding is anywhere between 1 and 17 days. Every dog is different. The good news is that every dog has a pattern; she will raise her tail (known as flagging) when she is receptive. Once you figure out what your Beagle's pattern is, you will know exactly which days she is ready. 

Once you know you do not wish to breed your Beagle any more, you should have her spayed. A Beagle that is not spayed in her later years of life may have severe complications of the uterus. For pet owners, it is best for your dog to not breed her and to have her spayed as early as possible. Spaying even before the first heat eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the risks of infection.  
Other Breeding Issues

For those who are serious in wanting to know all of the details of breeding, such as:
  • The Health Issues that Only Affect Pregnant Beagles
  • What to do Before, During & After Delivery
  • Colors, Markings, Patterns, Appearance Issues
  • Pregnancy Step-by-step
  • And so Much More... You will want to have a THE GIANT Book of Beagle Care, available in both hard copy and eBook. Simply the most helpful, comprehensive Beagle book that exists.
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