If you have the right crate combined with constant supervision and a lot of patience, you can housebreak your Beagle in a week. You must make sure that someone is at home with him/her during that week. Beagles are creatures of habit; that means it’s important to stick to a schedule. It works best if the whole family is involved.
Young Beagle puppies cannot physically control their bodily functions like adults can. Even after your housebreaking appears to be successful, it’s important to note that not many four-month-old Beagles can go 8-10 hours without a “potty break.” Making your young Beagle go more than a few hours without that rest is poor training on their part.
Effective beagle house training starts with a crate and you should purchase one and have it readily available when you bring your new puppy home. Beagles, like all dogs, are burrowing animals and that is 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 pup only has room for a “nest.” Instead of buying a small crate, a better strategy is to buy one large enough for when your Beagle is an adult and separate it. As the pup gets older, you can increase the size of the partitioned area.
Here are some tips for breaking and entering.
1. Do not leave food for your puppy all day. Feed him only in the morning and at night. You will usually need to relieve yourself within a few 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 cage with some toys.
2. During housebreaking, always keep your pup on a leash while outside so you can better keep track of their activities. This will also be a good bonding time for you.
3. In addition to taking your puppy out after meals, you should also take him out at regular intervals. For the first two days of your new Beagle’s stay, take him to the bathroom every hour. On the third day increase the frequency to 90 minutes; on the fourth day increase it to 2 hours; on day five go to 2 1/2 hours; on the sixth day increase it to 3 hours; and the seventh day at 4 hours. On the outdoor trip, please stay outside 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 “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 pooping, give a resounding “No!” and immediately take it outside. Don’t yell at your puppy; a firm “No!” It’s enough. If you find an “accident” don’t correct your dog; it’s too late. Clean it up and be sure to use a pet deodorant, that way your Beagle puppy won’t smell his poop and will be encouraged to return to that spot.
5. If missing a scheduled “potty break” is unavoidable, put your puppy in a bathroom or other small room that can be locked until you return. Lay out newspapers or puppy pads so you can easily clean up any potential messes. Be sure to clean and deodorize the dirty area.
6. Beagle puppies under 16 weeks of age often cannot go all night without resting. 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 his house is too big to look like a den. Limit his access to your home and keep him tied to you when he’s not in his crate. During the training period, it’s a good idea to restrict him to just a couple of rooms in your home and keep him in your sight at all times.
Make sure you learn the difference between having an accident and nervous peeing. Understanding this behavior is extremely important, because correcting a nervous urination will make the problem worse. If your Beagle urinates in front of you or a visitor, especially when greeting them, then you have a nervous urination. This phenomenon is a sign of insecurity and can be the result of overcorrection, heredity, or even trauma. Peeing 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 their dog. This is bad behavior on the part of the owner and needs to stop. It may seem counterintuitive, but the way to stop nervous urination is to stop correcting your dog. If he urinates when he greets you, change your behavior to stop the big greeting scene. Ignore him when you enter the house, walk past him and head straight to the kitchen to give him a treat. When the guests arrive, distract the dog from the hour in the kitchen with a treat. With time and following these guidelines, the insignificance 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 put their paw up on every piece of furniture in your house to mark their territory. Here are a couple of tips on how to stop this behavior: Spay 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 her access. Keep him tied up and in sight so you can catch him in the act and give him a correction. If you catch him moving his leg, give him a stern “No!” and put him in his cage 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 slip, a trip to the vet is probably in order. Dogs that begin to relieve themselves in the house after years of being housebroken are probably sick.
Most experts recommend that you train your Beagle to go outside from the moment you bring him home. In the old days, the recommendation was to paper train your dog first, but this only delayed the housebreaking process. Regardless, there are some situations where paper training may be necessary. One I’ve already mentioned is when you absolutely can’t get home during the day to tend to your pup. Another is when you have a senior Beagle. Your older Beagle may have a harder time “holding” him as he gets older. For an older dog who is losing bladder control, he may want to try paper training.
Whatever the reason, if you decide to make a paper train, choose a room your dog wouldn’t normally be in, like a bathroom. Cover the floor with a thick stack of newspaper or puppy training pads. Every few days you can reduce the number of newspapers or pads as you learn where to go, but make sure you have enough to capture all the moisture.