Temperament And Behavior
Beagles can be wonderful family dogs as they are lively, playful and love to be part of a pack that they can adopt as their own.
This can include not only adults and children but also other dogs, especially beagles.
However, before adopting a beagle, it is important to consider how much effort you want to invest in training and maintenance.
Beagles are considered by many to be extremely stubborn, and this can lead to some difficulty when trying to train them. Training, however, can most certainly be accomplished with some investment of time and effort on your part.
Although Beagles are highly energetic and love a good romp, they are, by nature, scent hounds and are liable to chase off without warning after any smell that catches their attention.
This also means that they are not the greatest at returning to their starting point or responding promptly when called. It is recommended that Beagles not be let off their chain unless the area they are playing in is fenced. Beagles are also, not great swimmers and generally do not tend to prefer or enjoy the water.
Beagles make great playmates for kids and are highly curious. They love to explore all of their surroundings and bring you their finds to show off. Beagles are very friendly and love to give a good licking to newcomers. This is likely to include even unwelcome intruders, meaning that Beagles are not well suited to being guard dogs.
Along with their highly outgoing and outgoing personalities, Beagles tend to be very vocal and very loud. This can prove to be a big problem for those who live in apartments, duplexes, townhouses or the like.
It might even be problematic for anyone living in close proximity to their neighbors like in cramped neighborhoods. Beagles are barkers. They will bark and bay when they catch a scent they want to follow and explore. They will howl when they are playing with kids or other dogs.
They will likely even bark when they are left home by themselves while you are out. These social dogs cannot be expected to sit demurely and regally at your ankles while you entertain your guests, but rather will want to join in welcoming your company quite vocally.
If your living situation or your own disposition is ill-fitted to deal with the extra noise that a Beagle will surely introduce into your home, then you should likely consider a quieter more subdued breed of dog.
Despite the Beagle’s stubborn and persistent personality and their reputation for being very difficult to house train, they can be effectively house trained. It will require plenty of patience, effort and time from you, but it can most definitely be accomplished.
Beagles do well with crate training and this is one of the most effective and successful ways to achieve house training with your new pup.
House training a Beagle can be broken down into two basic efforts to focus on. The first is utilizing effective methods for avoiding accidents in the house.
These methods can include options such as the use of a crate, keeping a close and consistent eye on their activities or even putting them on a leash that you keep attached to you so that they are kept close by your side at all times.
Taking your dog out regularly to do his business outdoors can aid in teaching your dog that eliminating outside is normal, rather than inside.
The second effort involved in housetraining is that of rewarding your dog when they avoid messing in the house and eliminate properly outside.
Rewards can range from praise, allowing extra time to indulge in preferred activities such as playtime, or treats. Special bites of food or snacks are especially highly effective when praising dogs of any breed or disposition.
As mentioned before, crate training has been found to be extremely effective when house-training Beagles. When choosing a crate for your Beagle be sure to choose one that is the right size.
You want their crate to have just enough room for them to sleep comfortably and be able to do no more than turn and shift when needed. One of the reasons that crate training works so well, is that dogs generally avoid soiling where they sleep.
If you allow enough space in your dog’s crate for them to be able to eliminate when needed and still get far enough away from it to sleep, the crate method will no longer prove to be as effective.
You can place your Beagle in his crate any time that you are unable to watch him, whether that be when you are gone to work, on a trip or even when you are home and simply do not have the time to devote to keeping a close eye on them.
Before putting your dog in his crate, take him outside for a chance to eliminate and as soon as you release him from his crate do the same.
Additional helpful aids when house training includes associating a specific verbal command with proper elimination, adjusting the feeding schedule to aid rather than interfere with crate training, and catching your dog when they are in the act of messing inside so that you can properly discipline.
General Training Tips
When training any dog, the first and most important step is that of establishing yourself as Alpha.
One way to help establish this is by never allowing your dog to eat off of your plate. When dealing with misbehavior, never respond by hitting your beagle.
Rather, use commands in a displeased tone and then utilize tools such as their collar and leash to teach proper behavior.
Beagles need to be exercised regularly. Pent up energy can lead to bad behavior. To avoid aggression toward other dogs, be sure that your dog gets plenty of socialization.
You can effectively set boundaries for your Beagle by never allowing them on your bed or couch. Be sure they know their rank in your house.
Deal with chewing, nipping and biting early on. A Beagle pup should never be allowed to chew on your hands and should be taught that only their assigned toys are legal for chewing purposes.
Training For Hunting
Puppies can be hunt trained at ages as young as 6-8 weeks. Sessions should be kept short, around 10-15 min, and repeated several times per day. Start by teaching them to track scent by scattering treats around in the yard and letting them follow their nose.
At about 12 to 16 weeks you can set them loose in an enclosed yard with a tame rabbit to chase. Be sure to praise your pup when they bay at the rabbit. When the rabbit reaches exhaustion, or if your pup is being too aggressive, remove the rabbit.
This can be repeated many times, praising your pup each time he runs the rabbit to exhaustion. Finally, let your pup run in a pack of older dogs so that he can learn from them how to spot and track prey.
It is also highly recommended to ensure that your dog is trained to quickly respond to your commands to drop whatever they have picked up and to stop and return quickly on command at the end of a hunt.