Beagles are one of the most loveable breeds of dogs, but training a Beagle is said to be quite a challenge. Do Beagles really require any special techniques for training to avoid problems? Let’s find out.
What Makes Beagles Different
Beagles are an independent breed with a short attention span and are known to be a bit stubborn. For these reasons, training a Beagle is not easy, but it can still be done effectively if you have patience and the right tools.
Even though Beagles are cute and cuddly, especially as puppies, it is important to remember they are still dogs. Don’t get the idea in your head that your loveable Beagle is like a human being, because they aren’t. Going down this path is the cause of many a dog-owner’s problems, so it’s best to avoid it right up front.
Your Beagle will also not train himself. If you neglect training him, you risk all kinds of problems that will only get worse with age. These range from boredom-related problems, like digging or howling, to more serious problems, like aggression and biting. Not training your Beagle properly will put him and others at risk.
Fundamentals of Beagle Training
To make training a Beagle more effective and easier, be sure you start when they’re young. You’ll want to keep them occupied so they don’t get into mischief and two of the best ways to do this are with the training itself and some moderate exercise.
Beagles don’t need to be run to exhaustion to get adequate exercise, but they should be walked daily and this is best done before your training. Burning off some energy will help them to focus a bit better, which can be a problem for Beagles. Plan your training in advance, so your dog doesn’t get bored while you figure out what to do next.
Basics – Start with some fundamentals, like sit, stay or come. These should include a healthy dose of boundaries, for example training your Beagle to “stay” will help him understand that he needs to obey you, the alpha leader.
Short Sessions – Beagles have a short attention span, so limit your training sessions to about 10 minutes each. If you let your dog get bored, it will be harder to maintain your place as leader and he won’t learn much.
Rewards – You want to use mainly positive reinforcement when training a Beagle. Things like treats (which they love!) and petting with praise should be your main tools. Avoid too much punishment for bad behavior. This can lead to aggressive behavior in the future.
Clicker Training – Beagles usually respond well to clicker training. They like to please and this will often make training quicker and easier for both you and your dog.
Training a Beagle requires time, effort and patience. Invest these in your dog and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. Don’t take short cuts and don’t give in if your dog tests your patience. If you lose control, it will just be that much harder to regain in the future.