Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs with their energetic nature, intelligence and independence coupled with an overwhelming fondness for being part of the pack. They are tough and individual dogs. In order to make good pets, these issues have to be addressed to avoid possible behavior problems.
For this reason, it is very important to begin their training by establishing yourself as the Alpha of your pack or family. This will help set the pattern to give the best results when training your Beagle.
Beagles are scent dogs. They have 225 million scent receptors in their nose compared to humans who have 5 million. Beagles were born to sniff and this is a good way to bond with your puppy. Playing different games where you hide his or her toys around the house and then send your puppy to find or sniff them out allows your beagle pups fulfill some of their natural urges.
Beagles, more than most other breeds, crave attention and they can suffer from separation anxiety, so are likely to get into trouble if left alone for long periods. To avoid this, they need to be trained to spend time alone in their cage, usually accompanied by some chew toys.
Beagles are very vocal, some people call it barking, others suggest it is more like howling or baying. Their distinctive voice can carry for miles. To keep the peace, it is necessary to teach your puppy when barking or howling is not appropriate. Usually teaching the commands “quiet” and “speak” allows you to let your puppy know when he can bark.
It is important to understand that punishments like hitting or shouting are a bad way to try and train a dog. Your Beagle is very sensitive and once you have shown you are the Alpha or dominant one, he or she will always look to you for clear instruction. So you need to give simple and clear instructions that are rewarded with treats and affection. In this way, you will define your relationship based on respect, companionship and love rather than on fear. Use the tone of your voice and gentle movements to convey your instructions.
Training your puppy should start when you first meet and continue every time you introduce him or her into a new situation or environment when meeting other people and animals. This should present little problem as Beagles naturally like people and even other animals (except squirrels, rabbits and foxes.)
- Introduce your puppy to all your social contacts, including service people who regularly come to your home, such as meter readers and the mail person.
- Try and take your puppy to friends’ places and anywhere dogs are permitted to go so he or she can learn about different places and become familiar with socializing in different environments with new smells.
- Take your puppy to public playgrounds, the beach and dog parks so as to become comfortable with seeing and mixing with other groups of people and animals.
- Housebreaking Your Puppy
Start housebreaking your puppy as soon as you bring him home, but like many of the hounds, Beagles do not tend to be naturally clean animals. It often takes them a while before they catch on to what you want them to do, so expect it that training may be slow.
- Keeping a Beagle Secure
Beagles are hunting dogs that naturally love to chase anything that runs. It takes a lot of training, usually from an early age, to get a Beagle who is in the chase to break off and come to you. They are normally considered a dog that needs to be kept in a fenced area and walked with a leash.
Beagles are great climbers and can go up and over a 6ft chain link fence like a monkey or they will dig underneath it.
Beagles are not the type of dog that will do well kept in an apartment all the time and there is no training that will keep them in. What is needed is a way to use up all their energy such as lots of playing and exercise plus an escape proof pen.
Beagles are a wonderfully affectionate and loving dog but like many good things in life they take a lot of effort to maintain. I am sure every Beagle owner will agree they are worth the extra effort needed to train, keep them fit, happy and safe