Tips for Training Beagle Dogs

Beagle dogs are known for their stubborn nature, but they are easy to train with consistency and proper motivation.

Potty Training Beagles

Beagles are notorious for difficult potty training, but potty training methods are standard, no matter what the breed. It's just important to be completely consistent so your beagle understands exactly what you are asking.

Keep a journal of when your dog needs to go. By feeding him at the same time each day, you should be able to make an accurate schedule. Anticipate when he needs to go and lead him outside on leash.

Stand still in your yard. Don't let him get distracted with sniffing. Just wait. Once he goes, allow him to explore and sniff as a reward. Once you are sure he has done all he needs, he can be in the house until the next break. If he doesn't go, take him in a few minutes, take him back inside and put him in his crate. Try again 15 to 30 minutes later.

Never leave your beagle unsupervised until he is potty trained. If you see him start to sniff, distract him and lead him outside. The best way to potty train is to prevent accidents altogether.

Reliable Recall

Beagles are easily distracted by their noses and may wander off without paying attention. Thus, it's important that your beagle comes when you call him every time. To teach this, begin in a non-distracting environment with really good treats.

Toss a treat away from your dog while he's on a 6-foot leash. Once he retrieves it, say his name and run backward. When he's running toward you, say "come." When he gets to you, give big rewards and pets. Practice until he is perfect in the house and yard and then try it on a walk.

Build up distractions until your beagle will come running from anything. If he doesn't pay attention, don't say the word. Continue to run backward, encouraging your beagle to follow. He should learn that every time he hears this word, he must listen. But don't punish. This should be all positive.

Once your dog can recall off any distraction on the 6-foot leash, start practicing with a 30-foot leash. Start in a low distraction environment again and build back up to the level you achieved while on the short leash.

Loose Leash Walking

Sniffing is a beagle's favorite pastime, so you may notice that he never once looks at you on walks. You need to fix that by teaching a focus command. While in the house, say your dog's name 15 to 20 times per day. If he looks at you, he gets a treat. Practice until your dog comes running when he hears his name.

Then, start practicing on the walk. He should be able to look away from any distraction, but move slowly. If he doesn't look, try a less distracting environment.

In addition to focus, expect your dog to keep the leash loose, even while sniffing. If the leash gets tight, stop. When your dog finally turns to look at you, praise and begin walking again. If he never looks up, walk away from the distraction until he offers you a loose leash. Thus, he only gets to enjoy his walk when the leash is loose.

Beagles can be stubborn, so it's important to follow through with your commands. If you say something, don't repeat it; wait for your dog to do it. This may require leashes or body blocking to prevent your dog from escaping, but it's important to be more stubborn than your beagle during training.