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Ok, so this one is one that I have no experience with whatsoever. My dad and pap always kept beagles, but none were ever fixed. Well now I have both a male and female and the... ahem... unsavory behavior from the male is starting. I believe she may be coming into her first heat soon (she is six months old) and I don't really want puppies, so I am considering strongly having her spayed.

Two reasons I have against it are: obviously if she turns out to be a great dog (she is from good lines, but unpapered) and I want puppies from her, it'll be too late and I won't get any pups. We are by no means inexperienced in the breeding department, at least my dad isn't, so I would definitely consider breeding if she turned out to be a great dog. The other reason is I'm afraid it will affect her prey drive and make her a less driven hunting dog.

Arguments for: I don't have to worry about unwanted puppies, either from my male or other males who may find her in heat. That would be a great load off my mind. Also, my male will finally leave her alone. Lastly, she is an indoor beagle and we won't have to deal with the gross aspects of having a female in heat.

So, can anyone calm my fears about doing this? How many run fixed beagles, and how are they as far as hunting? My dad has a good female as well, so if I really end up wanting to breed a litter of dogs his dog is from good lines and is an excellent hunter and she can be used to get pups. So, what do I do? Should I make the appointment to get her fixed?

Disclaimer: I know how these kinds of threads tend to blow up, so please if you have positive feedback leave it, but guys I really don't want spewed back a bunch of crap about over-population and breeding in general. Again, if you have something to contribute I am glad to listen, but comments like "NO ONE SHOULD BREED DOGS" are not appreciated and will be ignored. I'm sorry that sounds a bit standoff-ish and maybe even rude, but it's frustrating to get that kind of feedback and no real conversation on the topic. Thanks guys, hoping to get some helpful feedback!
 

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I have had all my beagles (4) fixed. Males and females. It had no effect whatsoever on their hunting ability. I do believe it disqualifies them from any competition though, which I didn't care about.
 

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I raised beagles for hunting for over 20 years, belonged to some beagle clubs and even judged some SPO and Brace trials.
I`ve had some good female dogs along the way. When I hunted with them I always tried to hunt with 3 dogs, but when my females came into heat and I didn`t want them bread I kept them away from my males and left them back at my kennel.With that being said.

I never considered getting my females spayed.If shes a good hunter, Your 2nd reason would be a big factor in not getting her fixed.You do not want to change anything.

Just my personal opinion, perhaps an HPA-er with a fixed hunting dog can give you another perspective on this subject...Good Luck, and good hunting on whatever you decide....
 

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Some things to consider... a heat cycle averages out to 2l days... 7 days pre estrous 7 days estrous 7 post estrous.. It's the 7 in the middle that is the most trouble but no guarantees for the other 14 days either... so two heats a year we're at approximately 42 days/year you have to be aware.


If the female is a great hunter she may produce good pups... then again, she may not. If all it took was to breed to great dogs together it would be so easy.. Doesn't happen that way... Breed the best to the best AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.

I currently have two females, both spayed, both are very good lines, only fair hunting dogs, but they can hunt all season. .. I just prefer to keep males.

Just a matter of personal choice for your answer... and this is her first heat, she's young you don't have to make that decision now. You've got time... She how she turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That was my feeling on it as well, but my wife doesn't want to deal with the mess and the unwanted attention from my male lol. How early did you spay, and can you say whether or not it had an effect on their hunting ability / drive?

Edit: Sorry, I only noticed timber's answer when I responded. So I have one "fixing her will be fine", one "you don't want to change any variables that could affect hunting ability", and one "up to personal choice
I think I will hold off fixing her until after her first heat cycle. I don't care about competitions either; she isn't papered anyway so I can't get into any local clubs or anything. All I want is a few dogs to run me some rabbits, so I'll just hold off and see how it goes.
 

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My females are spayed and I don't notice any prey drive difference. I don't want to deal with puppies and I don't trial. So to me it's easier to buy a puppy from someone else than for me to breed a female of mine.
 

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In answer to your question... one was 4yoa the other 6yoa....


Like I said both were and remain fair rabbit hounds... I never noticed any change whatsoever in a dogs ability after neutering or spaying...

One thing to consider...I always had plenty of dogs to run in a season so laying up a female in heat was never an issue to my fielding a pack of dogs for a hunt. If I only had oneor two dogs and the female was laid up for a few weeks in hunting season I more than likely would have considered spaying earlier than I did.
 

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vets like it if she isn't in heat if/when you go to get her spayed. sounds obvious but something to keep in mind because their organs are swollen at that time.
 

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No difference in hunting ability or desire one way or the other. I always spayed my females so I didn't have to worry about any unwanted breedings or sitting her on the bench for 21 days during hunting season which REALLY stinks. There's enough great dogs out there being bred every day that I never worried about not being able to breed to my female.
 

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Spaying or neutering should not affect prey drive. Lack of exercise has much more of an effect on hunting desire and stamina. If you keep your dogs in relatively good shape year round and don't just bring the dog out at the beginning of hunting season, run it and then put it away after the season your dog will still have the prey drive it at before it was fixed.

If you do think you might have a future breeding prospect why not consider neutering the male? It's not that hard to find a truly quality stud dog to breed your female with should you choose to in the future. Whatever you choose I'd at least wait until AFTER the female's first heat for spaying and 12-18 months for the male. I've had unspayed females, even in the house, the "mess" isn't really bad. It's mostly a somewhat slight leak or drip. And for the short time it goes on there are plenty of ways to minimize and protect your couch and carpeting (like keeping her off the furniture or confined to the kitchen area or even outside. Or use a towel or old blanket for her to sit or lay on while she's in the house with you.

I have a 4+yr old male Drahthaar, with absolutely no lack of prey drive. Finally got him fixed just shy of his 4th birthday. My only regret was waiting this long. Should've done it sooner. All his prey drive is still there but some of the less desirable "male traits" have greatly diminished or disappeared. He's actually a better overall hunting companion for it.
 
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