How to Choose a Beagle for Breeding
Breeding your dog is a tremendous undertaking. You must invest time, money, and even your emotions. This process begins by selecting the right dog. Beagles are a popular and beloved breed because of their friendliness, obedience, and personality. Begin your beagle-breeding journey by finding the right beagle.
Finding a Dam
1. Ensure your beagle is not spayed.
When you are looking at a potential female beagle (or dam) to breed, you must first ensure that she has not been spayed. Your first step should be to look for a scar on her lower abdomen. The presence of such a scar indicates that she probably has been spayed. For a more thorough diagnostic test, you should bring your potential dog to see a vet.
2. Take her for a check-up.
You’ll want to have your potential dog tested for genetic issues that could be passed down to her puppies. You’ll also want to test for any hereditary diseases. Additionally, testing should include hips, CERF, elbows, CCD, and thyroid. Take your dog to see a vet and rule out any problems.
3. Test her temperament.
In addition to a clean bill of health, you will want a dog with a good, stable temperament. A local dog trainer or local chapter of the American Temperament Test Society can do a quick test on your dog to see if she is prone to anger or panic.
- These mood swings can be passed down to your puppies, or may even make breeding difficult.
4. Make sure she’s the right age.
According to the American Kennel Club, the female dog (or dam) must be at least 8 months old we she is bred. However, many breeders recommend waiting until she is at least 2 years old. This allows her body to grow and mature before enduring the stress of pregnancy. Females are normally retired from breeding by the age of 7 years old. Once again, if you are not sure about your dog’s age, a vet can give you a ballpark figure.
5. Determine when she has been in heat.
A female, of course, will only breed when in heat. A female dog will go into heat about twice a year. If you can find out from a breeder or previous owner approximately the last time she went into heat, you can determine if she will be ready to breed soon enough for your timeline to allow.
Finding a Compatible Stud
1. Find a healthy male.
Just as with your female, you will want to ensure your stud is free from health issues, including genetic and hereditary problems. Bring your potential stud to a vet and have him tested. Testing should also include hips, CERF, elbows, CCD, and thyroid, just like when you brought your female in.
2. Ensure that he has not been neutered.
Just as with your female dog, you will need to ensure that the male dog you choose has not been fixed. Fortunately, with male dogs, it is a bit easier to tell. Simply look and see if the dog still has his testicles. If you see testicles, the dog has not been neutered and may be a potential mate for your female dog.
3. Test his temperament.
Once again, the temperament of the dog can be passed down to his offspring. Furthermore, an unruly temperament can make a stud difficult to breed with. Bring in a dog trainer or contact a local chapter of the American Temperament Test Society in order to test your stud’s temperament.
4. Look for a compatible weight.
You will need to find a male that is compatible to your female in terms of weight. It is perfectly fine if the female weighs more than the male (in fact, this is ideal). The male beagle, on the other hand, should never weigh more than 3 pounds more than the female.
5. Look for a compatible size.
Beagles are available in 13-inch and 15-inch varieties. These are not considered separate breeds, but merely two distinct sizes of the same breed. Look for a stud that is the same size as your female or a smaller.
- The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize a “pocket beagle.” This is term used by breeders to try to make extra small puppies seem appealing.
Breeding a Champion Beagle
1. Make sure your beagle comes from a line of good dams.
If you are attempting to breed a champion beagle, you must select a female dog from a matrilineal line you can study. You will want a female with AKC papers and a good pedigree that you can verify.
2. Ensure she can run in a smooth straight line.
A champion beagle must be able to run in a smooth straight line. Be sure that your female can accomplish this with ease, not making an jerky stops or clumsy movements.
3. Find a dog who can run in front or behind their brace mate.
A champion dog must be able to follow behind, or to lead, without being overly competitive. Look for this skill and temperament in a dog you seek to breed.
4. Look for a beagle who can stay calm while working a check.
A “check” is what happens when a dog gets off the line and tries to fix it again. A champion dog will be able to do this calmly and with focus. This is not usually a skill that can be taught to a dog who doesn’t have a natural aptitude, so it is very important for you to look for this ability in the dog you seek to breed.
5. Select a stud dog who can improve the traits of your female.
If your female dog has many positive traits, but also a few shortcomings, you may be able to locate a stud dog who can compliment your female, and improve upon some of these traits in your puppies. Identify any areas where your female dog needs improvement, and look for these as outstanding traits in the stud you choose.
- Breeding dogs is expensive, time consuming, and demanding work.
- Even if you do everything correctly, things can still go wrong. For this reason, it can be emotionally draining and heartbreaking work.