When you bring a new dog or puppy home with you from the animal shelter or store, you likely have a million different things on your mind. One of those may be getting your new pet trained. If the new dog you chose to make a member of your family is a beagle, the dog training process may be different from the training process for other breeds of dog. Before you get started in the training process, get to know some of the things that you should know so that you can better handle training your beagle. This can help you to build a bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.
Beagles Are Notoriously Stubborn
Every individual dog is different, of course. However, as a breed, beagles have developed a reputation of being among the most stubborn dogs around. They have minds of their own and even if they know a command and what you want from them, they may ignore it at times to do whatever it is that they would rather do.
Try not to get discouraged if it seems like your dog training is not going well with your beagle. It is not that they cannot learn. Beagles are just as smart, if not smarter, than other breeds of dog. The issue is to overcome their stubborn tendencies and get them to respect that you are the boss.
To do so, you need to be consistent with them. If your beagle wants something from you, be sure to make them follow a set of commands before you will oblige. For example, say your beagle wants a rawhide bone. Have them sit, lay down, and then stay as you get the rawhide bone out for them. Once you are satisfied that they listened, tell them to "take it" (another command they should learn). The next time, change up the commands to be sure they are listening to you closely each time. This will establish you of being in charge of everything they want and your beagle will know you are the boss, not them.
Beagles Always Follow Their Noses
Training your beagle indoors and then trying to apply the lessons out on walks or at the dog park can be another challenge. This is because beagles are hound dogs, meaning they are excellent trackers and hunters (bloodhounds are another example of hound dogs). As such, when they get outside, all they will want to do is sniff, track, and chase any and everything.
Again, establishing your dominance over your beagle is key to ensuring they listen to you when outside your home. While you will never be able to break these tendencies in your beagle, you can still leash train them so they know not to pull hard when they are trying to chase something and so you can snap them out of their behaviors when needed.
Carry treats with you on outings when you first begin the training process with your beagle. Because they have such a keen nose, they will be able to smell that you have something they like to eat and will therefore already be more attuned to you and your commands. If they begin to tug or pull, stop walking and hold firm. Make them sit before you resume movement. At first, you may have to physically guide them into sitting position with a gentle push on their back end.
Once they have sat for about 5 to 10 seconds, reward them with a treat and begin walking again. However, if they immediately start pulling again, repeat the process. Do this every time for several walks and then eliminate giving the treats (still carry them) and reward them with affection and praise. This will get your beagle better trained to break their undesirable tracking and hunting habits when you need them to listen.
Now that you know a few of the factors that can affect your beagle training process, you can get started as soon as possible. Remember not to get discouraged and that being consistent is the best thing you can do for your dog.