World War One Flying Ace, Joe Cool, Bringer of Easter Joy – Snoopy from Peanuts has played many roles on the way to becoming the “World’s Most Famous Beagle.”
He also has a pretty cozy living situation. Who wouldn’t want to be served food while transforming their home into a Sopwith Camel fighter plane or winning a “Christmas Lights and Display Contest?”
Still, one thing Snoopy’s never done is live in an apartment. But is living in an apartment a challenge for a Beagle?
Beagles can be good apartment dogs. But there are several things to consider and do to make it work. The important thing is that you can make sure that your dog can have a good, healthy and happy life when living in an apartment.
Let’s dig deeper.
No Dogs Allowed
One obstacle you can’t overcome is the prospect of your apartment not allowing dogs in the first place.
You don’t want to arrive at your new apartment only to find that dogs aren’t allowed and you have to make the impossible choice between your new boudoir and old Beagle.
That’s why it is of the utmost importance to make sure you’re clear on your apartment’s pet policy.
A Lack of a Backyard
Beagles are without question some of the most energetic dogs out there. They are derived from hunting dogs, and so they have quite a bit of energy.
You always want to make sure that your dog has ample opportunity to exercise and get all that energy out, and that’s doubly true of the energetic breed of Beagles.
That’s where we come across the first problem with having a dog in an apartment – the lack of a backyard. This is going to make it harder for you to ensure your Beagle gets the exercise it needs.
You definitely don’t want to skip out on giving your Beagle a chance to exercise, either. The amount of exercise your Beagle gets daily can have a profound impact on their life expectancy.
The practical effect of this is that, if you choose to keep a Beagle in an apartment, you are going to need to take it for lots of walks. You should already be taking your dog for walks, of course, with at least one walk a day typically recommended.
If your Beagle doesn’t have the chance to run around a backyard, however, as is the case if they are apartment-bound, you may have to walk it even more frequently.
Ideally, your dog should get at least two different forms of exercise. One are those walks, which should ideally be around the same areas day after day so as to get your Beagle acclimated to the area as soon as possible.
The other form of exercise you’ll want to include are cardio exercises. These exercises should involve more than just a light walk. Among the most popular and easy to pull off cardio exercises you can have your Beagle do in an apartment setting include playing fetch, frisbee, and going for runs together.
The Bark of the Beagle
One of the most significant drawbacks to living in an apartment is that you have less privacy and say over what goes in your boundaries than in a house. Living spaces are packed closer together, which makes it easier to hear what’s going on inside each one.
That means that if your dog is “barking up the wrong tree” over a lack thereof, your neighbors are bound to hear it – and be none too pleased.
Even if your dog isn’t barking and pining to run around outside, dog noise can be a major obstacle to overcome when keeping a Beagle in an apartment.
This is especially true with Beagles, again, owing to their background. Because Beagles were hunting dogs, this breed tends to have a louder bark than some other smaller dogs. Put a Shih-Tzu, Chihuahua, and Beagle next to one another, and everyone will instantly know whose bark is the Beagle’s.
Having Your Beagle “Apartment” Trained
That’s what makes it all the more important to make sure your Beagle is “apartment” trained ahead of time.
Of course, that implies that your dog is “ready” to be apartment trained. If your Beagle doesn’t obey basic commands, how will you be able to train them specially so they’re able to get along in an apartment setting?
That means that you are going to need to first make sure that your Beagle knows the basics, which in turn means training your dog from the very beginning.
Luckily, you have the benefit of breeding on your side. Beagles tend to fall on the more intelligent side of the spectrum as far as dogs go, being able to remember and obey dozens of commands when properly trained.
It is, therefore, entirely possible to train your Beagles to be a well behaved dog in an apartment setting.
Your training should begin almost from the beginning of their lives, and can be broken down into several distinct stages of learning:
- By the time your Beagle puppy is six months old, they should be able to recognize their name already. You can begin teaching them basic commands at this point. This will be essential for laying the groundwork for future apartment training.
- By the time your puppy is a few months older, they should be ready to learn slightly more advanced commands. If they are already living in an apartment, now is the time where you’ll want to start giving them more apartment-specific commands and apartment training them.
- By the time your puppy is one-year-old, they are basically adults and are ready to be treated as such. If you have not begun to train your puppy to be apartment savvy, you should do so now. While it’s never too late for a dog to learn, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be, so the sooner you are able to start training them to act appropriately in an apartment, the better.
One example of apartment training that you are going to want to instill in your Beagle as soon as possible is teaching them to adhere to commands without barking.
The sooner you can teach your dog to follow nonverbal commands, and the more they’re able to do so without making noise themselves, the better. You want to train your pet to know better than to bark at every little thing while indoors.
You’ll also want to make sure they are properly “apartment-broken.”
We all need to get our dogs housebroken, so this should come as no surprise. At the same time, however, while your Beagle probably knows where they shouldn’t “do their business” in your home, you’ll have to reteach them which places are okay for that “purpose” and which aren’t once you reach your new apartment.
Moreover, there are parts of an apartment which will be new to your Beagle. Chances are you don’t have a lobby with trees or an elevator in your home. Your dog will need to be trained to know not to go near these places without your consent, let alone “do their business” in them.
It’s necessary to train your dog to go to the bathroom outside and do his things in specific areas. You also have to consider the use of pee or grass pads as a solution that can help you in those moments when your dog cannot go outside.
Besides their personal business, there’s also the matter of training your dog not to “mark their territory,” either. Granted, this is one of the first things you are bound to teach your Beagle. Even so, with so many new scents in an apartment complex, your dog may feel threatened and stressed.
Adjusting a Beagle to Apartment Life
As such, one of the most important steps you can take to curtail your Beagle’s marking is making sure that they are at ease with their new surroundings.
Moving takes a toll on all of us, and your Beagle is no exception. If they are marking, barking, or otherwise acting up when they “know better,” chances are they’re stressed and reacting to the move.
You’ll thus need to acclimate your pet to their new surroundings by doing things such as:
- Giving them a bit of free reign (with supervision, of course) to see and sniff out their new surroundings. This can help them become familiar with these new surroundings all the faster, which in turn can help ease their stress and make sure that they don’t act up.
- Giving them attention. They’ve just gone through a huge transition, and with so many changes, they’re going to need the security of knowing they can still count on you to be there for them.
- Giving them treats. While you don’t want to go overboard, since they’re going through a difficult change, a few treats for being a good boy or girl won’t go amiss.
- Giving them clear boundaries. You don’t want to confuse your dog by making some things allowable early on and then changing the rules on them a few weeks after you’ve gotten settled in your new apartment. A clicker can be of use here, helping you ward your dog away from items and areas that aren’t okay.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you’re doing your part to make the training process easier for them by doing such things as:
- Making sure that you don’t teach them too much at once. This is especially important when training puppies. Bite-size beagle puppies need bite-size training sessions.
- Making sure that there isn’t anything around which could cause a distraction. For example, if you are training your Beagle in an apartment setting, be sure to shut out the sound of traffic and neighbors talking in the hall as much as possible.
- Making sure that you use treats as rewards for good behavior.
Size (and Space) Matters
Now let’s tackle another one of the biggest stumbling blocks to making a living in an apartment with your Beagle feasible – size.
That said, as the saying goes, “size isn’t everything,” and that’s certainly the case here. Far more important is making sure that your dog has enough space. These concepts may be related, but one doesn’t necessarily correlate with the other.
You could have a large penthouse suite, but have very little room for your dog to run around or make their own. On the flip side, you might have a smaller apartment, but allow your Beagle more room to roam.
If you are planning on getting a Beagle after you finish your move, you may want to hold off on packing the space with too much furniture before you get them.
You want to make sure that there is enough space for you and your dog.
What’s more, even if you do allow your Beagle a lot of space within the apartment itself, that won’t cancel out its need to go for walks and get exercise outside.
All that said, however, dog size does work in your favor when it comes to raising a Beagle in an apartment. Other, much larger dogs, such as Great Danes, can have a hard time fitting into an apartment, literally and figuratively.
By contrast, Beagles’ small size means they take up and need a lot less space, which makes it far easier for them to adapt to an apartment.
Last, but not least, you’ll need to make sure that your Beagle has proper “etiquette” and socialization opportunities.
On the one hand, socialization can be vital for your Beagle’s happiness and mental health. On the other hand, you can’t have your dog running around sniffing or barking or “introducing” themselves to every dog that passes.
One of the most important keys for making sure that your Beagle is properly socialized in an apartment setting is to make sure that they are socialized early on.
A lack of socialization can lead to a Beagle that reacts negatively or aggressively to other dogs it sees. The longer you wait, the more insular your Beagle may become.
This is yet another reason why it is so important to take apartment-living Beagles to the dog park regularly.
All in all, Beagles are highly adaptable dogs, and are certainly small enough not to pose too much of a size problem when it comes to living in an apartment.
Their loud bark and high energy levels will require much more forethought, which is why you’ll want to work to lower their stress levels and get them acclimated as quickly as possible.
Snoopy may not be into traditional dog training that much, but with the right amount of training and patience, it can help Beagles to be good apartment dogs.