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Beagle: How To Choose the Right Travel Crate

Updated on February 14, 2012

Beagle: How To Choose the Right Travel Crate

Beagle lovers: can we choose the right dog travel cage (aka "dog carrier" or "vari-kennel"), the essential accessory that helps us to manage our dog?

Of course! Here I deal with some aspects of the right travel cage for a standard beagle, suitable for both a puppy or an adult.

I'm a dog trainer and beagle is my favorite breed. Talking with customers and in my private life I often dealt with this topic.


First of all: what is a "dog travel cage"?

It's a kind of "container" usually made of plastic, designed to carry the dogs in safety during any type of travel, by car, train, airplane, etc.

In this lens I don't consider pouchy carriers: beagle is not a dog to put in your bag :-)

Thought for this specific purpose, a plastic carrier has many details that facilitate the task of the owner: obviously it has an access door, usually it is equipped of wheels (sometimes included in the selling price), extensible handles for towing it, openings on the walls and on the upper side (to take care of the dog and to see the landscape) and some small containers to carry the accessories of our furry friend.

What is the ideal size of a dog travel cage for the beagle?


To avoid troubles...

...and to spend money just one time, is better to consider the size of the adult dog. Then, the indicative size of the carrier is 20x20x28 inches (HxWxD), like in the draw beside.

May seems too small but that's okay: a crate of this size is ideal to give the beagle the right comfort and prevent it from being bounced when traveling by any means of transport.

In addition, a plastic dog carrier is an irreplaceable aid if, for example, you decide to bring your beagle to a dog show, if he needs a period of convalescence at home or if you invite guests who don't like dogs (yes, it happens...).

On the market there are many models, in many price ranges and quality: once found the desired size, choose what you like!

For safety, however, it must be manufactured in according with international standards for the transport of animals, especially if traveling by plane (e.g. with IATA regulations, highly recommended!).

A nice thing that I tried

Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB
For those who live and travel with a beagle, I think it is an essential accessory. I love PetMate products and I personally tried this kennel for a few months (I borrowed it, here in Europe costs twice than in the USA then... take advantage of the opportunity *lol*).

Accustom the dog to travel cage

It 's important to accustom the dog naturally to use the carrier, without forcing him or punishing him. 

If he feels uncomfortable in travel cage, it is hard to rediscover confidence in this accessory!

Moreover, before starting you must remember one thing: the travel cage is comfortable and safe, but the dog should not be in it for a long time, even more so the puppy!

So, be careful and keep the dog in the carrier for the right amount of time.

You can calculate the amount of hours in which a puppy can stay in the carrier by adding 1 to its age in months.

For example, with at least a pause to pee or poop, a beagle of 2 months may remain there to a maximum of 3 hours.

In any case, during the day should never remain in the carrier more than 4 hours.

Remember it very well: if the dog gets dirty in the vari-kennel, even once, undo any progress in its habituation.

Some tips to get him used to the carrier:

  • Put the vari-kennel in a quiet place inside your house. Better if you put it instead of his bed in an enclosed space reserved for him: this is the most effective way to get him used naturally.
  • Make the carrier attractive for the beagle: put inside a toy or a treat when the dog is out of his reserved space.
  • Put on the bottom a soft towel or a small folded blanket and leave the door open.
  • Put in his reserved space one or two toys, preferably already used by beagle.
  • Remove the collar on the dog before you get him in his reserved space.
  • Let the dog enters the carrier deliberately.

Other important steps

Never annoy the beagle touching, calling unnecessarily or patting him when he is in: he must consider it his personal retreat to protect himself from the outside.

Note that this step is crucial and is the most common error in the dog travel cage training: when he is in, never interact with him!

In place of his bed, in a short time the beagle will learn to use the vari-kennel, and to identify it as his "den", his personal retreat where to feel safe and protected from the influence and pressure of the external environment.

The secret, as said before, is to ignore him completely and do not interact with him for no reason when he is in the carrier.

Here's proof that the beagle has become familiar with the accessory: once inside his personal fenced space, he spontaneously enters into carrier and then crouches inside. Used in place of his bed, the dog learns fast.

Important: during the habituation period, always leave the door of the carrier open.

Later, when the dog has accepted the carrier with complete peace of mind, you can close the door, for the first few seconds, then for a couple of minutes to more and more time in a very gradual manner.

When he is calm and quiet inside the carrier (with the door closed) for about half an hour, you can begin to get him used to being moved.

With the door closed, first move the carrier in another room then open the door and immediately reward him with a treat and lots of praise.

Always proceed very gradually, working no more than ten minutes per day for each step (except when you see that the dog remains quiet in the cage for longer times).

It will take a lot of patience, of course, but you get to the point where the beagle accepts with no hesitation to use the carrier.

When you can easily move the vari-kennel inside the house, do the same steps outside, maybe starting from the balcony or garden.

If the place to bring your pet-carrier is public, when you open the door to reward your beagle put him collar and leash.

At this point...

Well done! Now you can accustom the beagle to the use of the carrier... in the car :-)

  1. Make the crate more attractive by putting inside a treat or a toy.

    Put the crate in the car with the door open. First, the car must be stopped with the engine off.

  2. Accompany the beagle with collar and leash and encourage him with a treat or a toy to get into the car and to get inside the kennel.
  3. Close the door of the kennel and keep it closed as during the initial process of habituation: first for a few seconds, then for a couple of minutes to more and more time in a very gradual manner.

When you see that the beagle is quiet in the kennel inside the car for half an hour, you can start the engine and move.

The beagle might get excited at some step, but this is not a problem, every dog has his habituation times: make the steps more gradual, until the dog is completely at ease.

Always remember that before staying for a long time in the carrier beagle must have pee/poop outside. In any case, during the day should never remain in the carrier more than 4 hours.

Now, if you want to create a good relationship with your dog, there's another very important thing to remember: his lair must always be associated with something positive, never a punishment.

So now you know a mistake that must be avoided: Never bring or send your beagle forcibly in his den, as punishment for something wrong he has done! He would live his reserved space terribly and much of the work of education would be undermined.

It is a mistake that many do, shouting to go to the "bed" when the dog makes some mess and then force him to remain in "punishment".

Now you know that you should not commit.

That may distinguish you from thousands of owners. :-)

See the quiet behavior

If the dog discovers the kennel as naturally as possible, he will always (and anywhere) be at ease with this accessory. Sometimes he might even go in of his own free will, to feel comfortable and safe.

Thanx for your attention!

I personally followed the steps in this lens and Diana, my beloved beagle (she's in the video), now use her dog-carrier with complete confidence. I hope this information can serve you.

See you soon, beagle lover! :-)


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