When it comes to adorably awesome dog breeds, the Beagle ranks quite high on the list. They are intelligent, loyal, and lovable, not to mention undeniably cute. But, being a Beagle owner isn’t all rainbows and butterflies – it does come with some challenges, namely with regards to the training process. Although remarkably smart, Beagles can be exceptionally hard-headed. They might not be the hardest dogs to train, but they are also most certainly not the easiest, either. Hopefully, the following Beagle training tips can help make things go just a little bit smoother.
13 Useful Beagle Training Tips
13. Use Their Instincts
Beagles are known for being hunting dogs, and most animal lovers are aware of this fact. But, did you realize that you can use these natural instincts to help train them? Hunting dogs have their minds set on a specific goal, and nothing is going to get in the way of accomplishing their goal. This can be used to your advantage when figuring out your coaching plan. The key is to get him interested in completing his ‘goal’ (or training technique).
12. The Earlier The Better
As much as being known for their sweet, loyal dispositions, Beagles are also very well-known for being quite stubborn. This is why training should be started as early as possible, preferably as a puppy. While it is not impossible to teach an older dog new things, it does make it more difficult. Training needs to begin as soon as you bring your pooch back to his forever home. Set the boundaries and stick to them.
11. Keep It Short And Simple
In order to avoid losing his interest, and wasting both of your time, the training sessions should be kept short and simple. Attempting to dominate your Beagles’ attention for extended periods of time never really works out too well. Start with training for 15-minute increments, which can gradually be increased once your pup seems to be getting the material down pat. Begin by teaching simple commands until he seems to be getting the hang of things and then adjust accordingly.
10. Don’t Fall For The Puppy Dog Eyes
Beagles are basically born with the ultimate art of manipulation (unintentional, of course). One look into those big, soulful brown eyes, and you can’t help but melt. We get it – he can make it super easy to give in to him. But, it is important to stand your ground and not allow your dog to call the shots as it can be a difficult attitude to break, particularly with a naturally extra-stubborn Beagle.
09. Use Breed Specific Techniques
As already clarified, Beagles are chock full of personality, and their personality is typically an incredibly strong one. To have success with training your dog, you need to use techniques that have been proven to work with this somewhat difficult breed. Training is not a ‘one method fits all’ type of thing. Breed characteristics vary greatly and should be taken into account, and even dogs of the same breed can have wildly different dispositions. Get to know your pet’s strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to get the most out of your training plan.
08. Easy On The Edible Rewards
Using treats for rewards can be a great tool in training, as long as it is only done occasionally. Dogs, and Beagles, in particular, can run the risk of becoming overweight. This can lead to serious health issues such as diabetes and heart problems. If you must use treats try acquiring reduced or low-fat ones. Or you could even use ice cubes (yes, most dogs consider that a snack!). Usually, treats aren’t even really necessary; honestly, your Beagle will just be happy that he has done something that makes you happy.
07. Take Advantage Of Obedience Classes
While you might have your heart set on doing the training yourself, realistically, you might end up needing to call in the experts. Obedience classes can be a great instrument in training your sometimes very headstrong fur-friend, although a behavioral specialist might be unavoidable. If your Beagle has not been socialized and is not accustomed to being around strange pets or people, be sure to mention it to your obedience instructor. Gradual introductions may be needed.
Make Sure To Check Out 11 Brilliant Beagles Facts!
06. Use The Right Equipment
Different situations can sometimes call for different measures. One of the things to keep in mind is that it is a good idea to use the tools that will be most beneficial to your specific situation. Take leash-training, for example, a harness, as opposed to a traditional lead, is going to make controlling your pooch much easier. It is also much safer for the dog as well. Beagles are known for pulling when learning to walk on a lead, nevermind chasing anything they see, and traditional leads can damage the esophagus.
05. Don’t Forget To Give Credit When Due
Praise is a large part of successful training. Beagles especially are big on people-pleasing, even more so with regards to their owners. Whether it be a (healthy) treat or a simple, yet effective, ‘Good Boy’ – letting him know when he has done a good job is imperative in the Beagle learning process.
04. Incorporate One On One Training Sessions
As beneficial as obedience classes can be, it is also vital that he get one on one sessions with you. This is even more significant with dogs that have not yet been socialized. Individual training can help keep him from being distracted and it is a wonderful way to get the basics down. Once he is able to focus for long(ish) periods of time, he can graduate to obedience classes. Remember, one on one sessions should still be done occasionally, too.
03. Stick To The Routine
Beagles tend to get distracted fairly easily and because of this, sticking to a training routine is essential. Taking into consideration what works for you and your furball, map out an appropriate, and not too complicated, routine, and do your best to not deviate from it. You can switch it up a bit after he gets used to the process.
02. Learn Your Specific Beagles Cues
Each dog is an individual and as such, they all have their own ways of reacting to things. By learning to read your Beagles cues, it can help to narrow down the techniques that are working as well as those that are not. If your pooch is showing signs of agitation it might be time to move on to the next activity.
01. Practice Patience
Training any dog can be a taxing experience but Beagles can be a bit harder. As frustrating as it can admittedly be, you must practice having patience. A dog knows when ‘their person’ is unhappy or stressed, and he will react accordingly, which can make the entire lesson pointless as no one is learning anything. Thanks to their stubbornness, they can be harder to train, it is what it is but getting upset isn’t going to help anything. If need be, take a break.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
- Don’t Overdo It: If your Beagle starts to become overwhelmed, he is probably not taking in any new information. Don’t try to teach him too much at one time and keep the sessions relatively short.
- The Force is Likely Staying with Him: Beagles are energetic dogs and no amount of training is going to completely eliminate that trait. Try not to have unrealistic expectations.
- Expect a Challenge: Beagle training is not easy but it is very rewarding. They are fantastic dogs and very much worth the work. However, you do need to prepare for a challenging experience.
- Giving In Can Be Detrimental: Once you show your Beagle that he is the boss, it can be very hard to convince him otherwise. Not unlike a child, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
- Punishment is Probably Going to be Counterproductive: Beagles love their humans and yelling, hitting, or scolding is not likely to have any positive effect, quite the opposite actually. It is more likely to impede his training than to help it in any way.
- Separation Anxiety: Beagles are notorious for suffering from sometimes extreme separation anxiety (barking, destruction, marking the territory, etc.). If not nipped in the bud, it can cause various behavioral issues, which obviously can interfere with any possible training lessons. Teaching your pooch to entertain himself early on will reduce the risk of him developing separation anxiety. Crate training can be very useful as well.
Find Out More About Beagle’s Health, Temperament, And Personalities!
Although admittedly not the easiest breed to train, Beagles are not incapable of learning – it is just going to take a little bit more work (and lots of patience!). Nevertheless, they truly are worth the extra effort. They are a really special breed and they make excellent canine companions, but they do take commitment. If you are not going to be home very often or do not have the time to put the work in, a less challenging breed would probably be a better option. However, if you are ready to take the Beagle plunge, it will definitely be the best decision you’ll ever make.
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