It’s Beagle training time! Now that you are the proud owner of a new Beagle puppy, it’s time to start thinking about how to train your Beagle. Taking shortcuts here will make your dog more difficult to manage.
Two important points are to start early and be consistent. Beagles are eager to please, so you can use this to help with your Beagle training regimen.
What Makes Beagles Unique?
Beagles are very friendly dogs. If socialized properly, they get along well with people and other animals and enjoy the company of others. They love children, so this makes them ideal family pets.
Beagles are bred for stamina, but moderate exercise will be enough. It isn’t necessary to run them to exhaustion. They’ll do well with daily walks or running free in an enclosed area.
Socialization and obedience training should be started early to avoid behavioral problems, such as digging or frequent barking, baying or howling. Beagles were originally bred to be in packs, so they can be prone to separation anxiety. This makes socialization and companionship especially important.
Beagles are intelligent with an even temperament and gentle disposition. Because of their breeding for hunting, however, they are also very single-minded and determined, so they can be stubborn. This can make Beagle training difficult.
For example, since Beagles are scent hounds, they tend to get wander-lust when they’ve picked up a scent. It will be difficult to recall them. They are also easily distracted by new smells.
Beagles might be described as having ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Not only are they stubborn and easily distracted, but they can be excitable and easily bored.
Beagle Training Basics
The key to successful Beagle training is to start at an early age. But you don’t want to overdo it – your new puppy should stay with its mother and the rest of the litter until at least 8 weeks of age. This starts the socialization process properly.
The next stage is the human socialization. You’ve replaced your puppy’s natural family with your own human family, so you’ll have to fill in for mom and the rest of the litter. Spend some quality time with your Beagle each day to avoid separation anxiety.
Be consistent and be sure the rest of your family is, as well. It will require patience and plenty of practice for your puppy to develop good habits that will pay dividends later. Don’t try your puppy’s attention span, though. Short training sessions (10 minutes or so) on a daily basis will be better than trying to cram it all in for an hour two or three times a week.
Beagles respond well with food rewards. Combine this with praise for good deeds (and a firm tone for not-so-good deeds) and you’ll have a happy puppy.
Beagle Obedience Training
Beagle training for obedience is the next step after he is housebroken. This should be at 10 to 14 weeks of age. Keep it simple and don’t try to take on too many things at once. Starting with some basics and working your way from there will produce quicker results that will make both you and your dog happier.
Avoid aggression while you train your new puppy. Again, you’ll need patience and this will teach your dog without leading to behavioral problems. You can be firm without being aggressive – just be consistent and give your dog some time to learn what you are teaching him.
While it might be tempting to start your Beagle training program with something really cool like an agility course, you’ll find that the basics, like sit, stay and leash manners are good first steps. Help your dog master the basics, and then move on to more challenging things.
Since Beagles are vocal little fellows, teaching them to speak and when to be quiet are good to do in the early stages. You’ll want to let them sing when appropriate, but they also need to learn to keep quiet when everyone is asleep.
Don’t lose sight of other important things when you start your Beagle training program. While working with your beagle on obedience, it is important to continue the socialization process. Introduce your new puppy to friends and neighbors frequently so he’ll get used to being around other people. Encourage your kids to play with him several times a day so he’ll feel like he’s part of your pack.
One of the best ways to socialize your beagle is obedience school. He’ll be exposed to other people and new places and situations, as well as many different dogs. One way or another, these are all important in helping your dog learn healthy behavioral habits, so don’t underestimate the usefulness of a good obedience class. Who knows – maybe you’ll learn something, too!