Beagle Training Tips

Beagle training is important since, as beagle owners know, they can be notoriously stubborn. In addition, when they catch a scent, it can be difficult to get their attention. However, they are easily motivated with food and scents and can be trained to play scent games.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Your beagle will be much easier to train if he is receiving the correct amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Because beagles are bred to hunt, they need to get out and run as well as sniff. Luckily, this provides a fun way to provide mental stimulation—scent games.

To teach your beagle how to search for something, start with a treat or toy. Put it right in front of him and say "find it." Gradually, start making it harder by moving it farther away, putting it up higher or hiding it under something.

As your beagle gets more advanced, give each toy a different name and have him bring you only the one you tell him. Start by naming one toy and having him find it. Then, add another with a different name. If he brings you the right one, reward him with a treat or game. If he brings the wrong one, ignore and repeat the command. You can add more toys as he gets more proficient.

You can also teach him to find different members of the family or recognize certain scents bought on specialty web sites.

Potty Training

Beagles can be difficult to potty train, so stick with a consistent schedule from the first day. Feed at the same time and take him out before he needs to go. If you can't supervise, he should be in his crate. When you are supervising, if you see him start sniffing, lead him outside quickly. Don't allow him enough freedom to sneak off and have accidents.

Reliable Recall

Because beagles can get very focused on their scents, recall can be difficult. Thus, it needs to be trained very carefully, beginning on a 6-foot leash. Toss a treat away from you. Once he has run away from you to eat it, call his name while running backward. When he gets to you, say "come" and reward with a big treat and praise.

Don't move to the next level until he can do that one perfectly. Then, start practicing on walks, calling him off scents. Start small and gradually try calling him off his most fascinating scents. You will need to have big rewards ready for this!

Once he can be called off any distraction at 6 feet, move to a 30-foot leash. Never practice off leash until you can call your dog off absolutely any distraction at 30 feet.

Loose Leash Walking

That beagle nose can also make loose leash walking a challenge because your beagle may never pay attention to you. Even if you want to exercise on walks, some sniffing should be allowed. Use this to your advantage by using sniffing as a reward.

Never let your dog pull you to a scent. Stop until he turn to look at you and make the leash loose. When he does, allow him to sniff. You can also reward your beagle with a block of loose leash walking by allowing him to sniff his favorite spot.

The biggest key to training a beagle is to be more stubborn than he is! Be positive, but only let him get his way by following your rules.