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Beagle Training :
Get past their nose!

Beagle training is possible! I'll explain how to train a beagle to sit, lay down and be let off the leash and come when you call.

Beagle enjoying the sunOur Beagle enjoying the sunshine

Beagles are smart dogs, and if you have a beagle, you will agree that they just 'have that nose' that gets in the way.  

At our house we have different breeds of dogs (herding dogs, lap dogs, sight hunter), and our beagle just needs a different kind of teaching. 

I'll explain the two methods we use, and we've had pretty good success.  She can even be let off the leash in unfenced areas and comes when we call her!

Most beagle training requires you to use your dogs nose as an incentive, but some training you don't need another method (ex. recall in a wooded area).  I'll explain:

Training a Beagle to Sit

Beagle SittingOur Beagle Sitting

Training a Beagle to sit can be done.  With our beagle, Abee (A Be-agle), I trained her to sit by holding a treat in front of her nose and gently press on her bum and saying the word sit.  She does lots of snuffling cause she's super keen on the treat.  Then, when she sits, I praised her and gave her the treat.  

After a few times, she starts to get the idea and sits more quickly by saying sit and with just a reminder by patting or touching her lower back.  

After a few more times, she was able to sit on her own.

Do this for 5 minutes once or twice a day, for several days until your beagle can sit!

Once your dog can sit, then you can start teaching your dog to lay down.

Beagle training: lay down

beagle laying downOur Beagle laying down

Now that your beagle can sit, to teach her to lay down is pretty easy.

I got my beagle to sit I started working on teaching her to lay down.  I would get her to sit, and then put my hand on her bum (to keep it down - no force), and then hold the treat down in front of her so that she has to reach (and must lay down to be able to reach).  Eventually your dog will lay down to get the treat.  Give her LOTS of praise (and of course the treat).  Beagle training can be quite entertaining because all they do snuffle and sniff for the treats.  But, once they know what you want 

Teaching a beagle to come

Beagle on leashOur Beagle on leash (she prefers being off leash)

To start teaching your beagle to come, you need to start in an area that is fenced (so they don't get away and get hit by a car).  Increase the area size as your dog gets better at coming.  

What you need to know is that beagles love food, smells and treats.  When you call your dog by their name and they come, give them lots of praise and a treat.  You essentially need to become a 'walking treat machine', that whenever you call them, they come and get a treat.  If you are consistent when they come and give them a treat they'll come.  

HOWEVER, if you let them off in an area that there are lots of smells, and other more interesting things (ex. rabbit holes, or smells of wild animals), then they will come when they want.  Sometimes this is not a good thing (ex. you have to go to work).

We have another VERY stubborn dog, who we purchased a correction collar for, so we thought, lets try this on Abee to see if she would come in a wild area (away from roads) with many intriguing smells. 

Beagle off leashOur Beagle off leash (enclosed park- so no collar)

Beagle training :  come when called in an unenclosed area:

If you want to be able to let your beagle off the leash in unfenced areas, this is possible and you can be very successful.

We tested it by using our other dogs correction collar (to see if it would work), and it works amazing.  She'll be getting her own soon.  

How did we teach her?

She already knew how to come and what we expected of her when she was called... (but in a fenced area)  

But, when taken to an area that is wild, with lots of exciting smells, we didn't trust that she would reliably come.  She'd rather smell (sound familiar??).  

After having success with our other dog with the correction collar, we tried it on Abee.  We let her off, and then when she was a bit further away and YAY she came, so we gave her a treat. 

The second time, she didn't come so quickly, the smells were WAY more exciting than the treat she'd get.  So, we gave a quick correction on the lowest level (1).  She came right away.  YAY!

Stubborn dog arrives!!

But, then she decided she didn't want to come, even with a quick low level correction, so we watched her from the bushes to see whether she was just sniffing.  We did a correction and then saw her resist (her face was saying - I'm stubborn and not going to go).  We tried again at low-level, just the same stubborn face.  Tried one more time, more stubborn face.  

So, we raised the level on the collar (to #3).  She came running right away!  

Ever since, she comes right away.  Sometimes she needs a reminder with the collar (we give her several times that we call so she can make the right decision), but she's so good now that sometimes we've had to leave the collar at home because it needed charging and she came without the collar on.

Cons?  Some might say that it's mean that she has a 'shock collar'.  Having personally felt the highest level (#7), it is a bit 'shocking' (similar to rubbing your feet on carpet and touching something metal), but after the initial 'shock', no pain, and we use them only when it is for something that could potentially be life threatening (ex. running after a scent & not coming). Sure, we could leave her on her leash her whole life, but what kind of life is that?  She gets SO much joy being free, sniffing wonderful smells, chasing small animals and playing with our other dogs off the leash.  I believe that she'd even agree that it's worth a few corrections.  

So, what collar would we recommend?

For our beagle training, we use the Sport Dog collar on all of our dogs.  It works, is waterproof, lasts (our one is on 2 years), and if there is a problem, they have 3 year warranties (and they stick to them - even replacing the collar or remote).  

Read more on our Sport dog collar that we use to train difficult  behaviours in stubborn dogs.

Buy the sport dog collar and read other reviews. (it's worth every penny).

Buy the SportDOG Correction collar or the SportDOG Correction collar For Stubborn Dogs (our beagle uses the lower levels, our other super dog uses the high levels)

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