If you have the proper crate combined with constant supervision and lots of patience you can housebreak your Beagle in a week. You need to make sure that somebody is at home with him/her during that week. Beagles are creatures of habit; that means that it is important to keep to a schedule. It works best if the entire family is involved.
Young Beagle puppies can’t physically control their bodily functions like a grown up can. Even after your housebreaking appears to be successful it’s important to keep in mind that not many four month old Beagles can go for 8 to 10 hours without a “potty break”. Making your young Beagle go for more than a few hours without that break is poor training on your part.
Effective house training of a beagle begins with a crate and you should purchase one and have it available immediately when you bring your new puppy home. Beagles, like all dogs, are den type animals and that’s the key to crate training. The crate will become your dog’s den and he will naturally avoid urinating and defecating there. The crate should be small enough that the puppy will only have room for a “nest”. Rather than purchasing a small crate a better strategy is to buy one large enough for when your Beagle is an adult and partition it off. As the puppy grows you can increase the size of the partitioned area.
Here are some housebreaking tips.
1. Don’t leave food out for your puppy all day. Only feed him in the morning and in the evening. He will normally need to relieve himself within minutes of eating. As soon as he eats, take him outside and when he relieves himself, praise him. Take him inside and place him in his crate with some toys.
2. While housebreaking always keep your puppy on a leash while outside so that you can better keep track of his activities. This will also be a good bonding time for you.
3. Besides taking your puppy out after his meals you should also take him out on regular intervals. On the first two days of your new Beagle’s stay take him out to do his business every hour. On day three increase the frequency to 90 minutes; on day four increase it to 2 hours; on day five go to 2 1/2 hours; on day six increase it to 3 hours; and the seventh day to 4 hours. On the outdoor trip stay out for at least 10 minutes. When your puppy relieves himself praise him. If he wants to go back inside distract him and give him his full 10 minutes. If he doesn’t relieve himself during the “potty break”, put him back in his crate until the next break.
4. While in the house if you catch your dog in the act of urinating or defecating issue a sharp “No!” and immediately take him outside. Don’t yell at your puppy; a firm “No!” is sufficient. If you find an “accident” don’t correct your dog; it’s already too late. Clean it up and be sure to use a pet deodorizer, that way your Beagle pup won’t smell his waste and be stimulated to go in that spot again.
5. If it is unavoidable to miss a scheduled “potty break”, put your puppy in a bathroom or other small room that can be closed off until your return. Put down newspapers or puppy pads so you can easily clean any possible mess. Be sure to clean and deodorize the soiled area.
6. Beagle puppies younger than 16 weeks old often can’t go all night without a break. If he wakes up during the night take him out.
7. The goal is to train your dog not to leave waste in his den and to a puppy your home is too big to seem den-like. Limit his access to your home and keep him tethered to you when he’s not in his crate. During the training period it’s a good idea to restrict him to only a couple of rooms in your home and always keep him in your sight.
Be sure to learn the difference between having an accident and nervous urinating. Understanding this behavior is extremely important, because correcting a nervous urinator will make the problem worse. If your Beagle urinates in front of you or a visitor, especially upon greeting him, then you have a nervous urinator. This phenomenon is a sign of insecurity and may be a result of over correction, heredity, or even trauma. Urinating in front of the Alpha dog pack leader (in this case you) is normal behavior for dogs.
We all get frustrated with our pets from time to time and it’s not uncommon for a new Beagle owner to yell at his dog. This is a bad behavior on the owner’s part and needs to stop. It may seem counter intuitive but the way to stop the nervous urination is to stop correcting your dog. If he urinates when he greets you, change your behavior to stop the big homecoming scene. Ignore him when you enter the house, walk past him and go directly to the kitchen to give him a treat. When guests arrive distract hour dog in the kitchen with a treat. With time and the following of these guidelines the piddling should stop. Don’t worry, you won’t have to ignore and distract your dog forever. As you continue to bond with your dog the nervous urination will stop.
Some male Beagles will choose to lift their leg on every piece of furniture in your house to mark his territory. Here are a couple tips on how to stop this behavior: Neuter your male Beagle; this often eliminates the need to mark territory. If neutering doesn’t stop the behavior (or you haven’t neutered your Beagle for breeding purposes), try limiting his access. Keep him tethered and in your sight so that you can catch him in the act to give a correction. If you catch him hiking his leg, give him a stern “No!” and put him in his crate for an hour. When his time out is over take him outside and praise him when he urinates there.
If your Beagle seemed to have been housebroken for some time but begins to start slipping, a trip to the vet is probably in order. Dogs that start relieving themselves in the house after years of being housebroken most likely are ill.
Most experts recommend you train your Beagle to go outside from the time you bring him home. In the old days the recommendation was to paper train your dog first but this proved to just delay the housebreaking process. Regardless, there are some situations in which paper training may be necessary. One that I have already mentioned is when you absolutely can’t get home during the day to tend to your puppy. Another is when you have a senior Beagle. Your senior Beagle may have a more difficult time “holding it” as he gets older. In the case of a senior dog that is losing bladder control, you may want to try paper training.
Whatever your reason, if you decide to paper train, choose a room that your dog would not normally be in, like a bathroom. Cover the floor with a thick stack of newspapers or puppy training pads. Every few days you can cut down on the amount of newspapers or pads as he learns which spot to go in but be sure to have enough to capture all of the moisture.