First of all, Welcome to Progressive Pack. Second and most important of anything you may read on this site, BE PATIENT !!!
I have owned and raised beagles for nearly 15 years and I field trialed hard for about 8 years. I have owned some awesome hounds in my time and developed my kennels to produce dogs that would start and be running on it's on by 4 months. I listened to the old timers, for a long time, then decided I would try what others had done or was doing. I had a little female, " Shawdog's Midnight Lexus", who was doing things I had never seen before in a 4-5 month old pup.I took her to her first trial @ 7 mths. and she placed 9th out of about 25-30 hounds. The second hunt 7th, and then a couple other hunts. Then we had the break during the summer months for a couple of months. After we started back up, the first hunt we went to, she minused out for opening & not producing. OK , bad scent day. The next hunt 2 minuses for O.N.P. and 3rd minus for reaching. It only got worse. By the time she reached 11 months old , she had became so competitive, and wasn't mature enough to handle it. she had became a complete idiot, and had to leave my kennels.
From that point on, I would not trial a dog until it was at least 18 mths. Most of them were 2 yrs. What has always and I emphasize ALWAYS worked for me, was after the dog was started, I would run it with a experienced older dog that it could keep up with and out foot it if he/she wanted to. Then, SOLO....SOLO...SOLO.. that dog until it became totally confident and could circle a rabbit back to the jump with no help. It sometimes get's boring being out with only one dog, but the enjoyment of winning a field trial is always rewarding. I personally feel like a dog CANNOT reach it's full potential if it's not running at least 3-5 times a week. Be selective with whom you run with also. If you run with people who don't care what the dogs are doing or running as long as the sweet sound of "BEAGLE BLUEGRASS", can be heard, your dogs will develope bad habits.
If you can't wait on your pup to grow up and mature into it's fullest potential , then I highly recommend you finding a hound that is already 2-3 yrs. old that can provide you the enjoyment you are looking for. What's even more satisfying is when YOU raise a pup , start it, and it becomes Champion. Remember, it takes time. Give your hounds all the time they deserve, and they will give back all they can. Good Luck
Lord help me to be the person my dog's think I am