We recommend crate training. A crate is similar to a dog's natural environment. A crate is the ideal home and bed area for your dog. Dog's feel more secure in their own "den" and a crate can become your dog's private space. Your dog will learn to anticipate the time he spends in his crate. Make the crate comfortable with bedding and toys. Make sure his crate is in a warm dry and quiet area. The crate is where your dog can safely be left when no one is at home to supervise him.
Feed your dog while he is in his crate and then take him out to relieve himself. This is the quickest and easiest way to housebreak your dog. Many dog trainers agree that crate training is the preferred method for housebreaking. Crate training is quicker than other methods and usually requires less scolding. Crate training also helps eliminate undesirable behavior such as chewing shoes or furniture.
In addition, a crate or pet carrier is standard equipment when traveling with your pet. Whether you are going to the Vet, shopping, or on vacation, car travel is much safer when your pet rides in a crate or carrier.
For the Beagle we recommend a Vari-Kennel 200 by Doskocil. The crate is plastic with a wire door and measures 20"WX27'LX19"H. Wire crates are suitable as well, however the plastic crates provide an added level of security for your dog. introduce your dog to his crate slowly. Talk to him in a reassuring tone when he is in or around his crate. Let him become accustomed to his new little home. The puppy or dog should initially stay in the crate for short intervals, and work up to longer time periods, but always for the night and when no one is home.
Dogs are creatures of habit and training is easier when a routine is followed. Consistency in feeding and regular exercise is the key to successful house breaking. Follow a schedule that includes time in the crate, play time, feeding time, periods of time for walks or outside time. Training is simplified if you can feed your puppy at the same time each day. Take your dog out of the crate and to the designated "toilet" area immediately after he eats. Praise him lavishly when he goes in this area outside. If your dog makes a mistake, correct him ONLY if you are there at the time the mistake is made. A dog associates praise or punishment with his most recent behavior. Rewards or punishment that come to late is completely ineffective training. After he is four months old, a healthy dog will not eliminate in his bed, so he will seldom, if ever, relieve himself in his crate.
Eventually your dog will know his routine and learn that when he is taken out of his crate and on a walk or let out into his yard, he can relieve himself. Always take you pup out to relieve himself after meals, after a nights sleep and after nap.