Charlie Brown is not the only person to have ever had trouble with a beagle. The breed, while unquestionably adorable, is known for being stubborn and resolutely determined to have its own way. This can make training a beagle a real challenge. That isn't to say it can't be done, only that you need an extra bit of patience to take your beagle from headstrong pup to obedient pet.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Training treats (small, bite-sized bits of jerky or dog biscuits)
Teach the puppy to come to you. Beagles are social by nature. As pack animals, they do not like to be alone. When your puppy wakes from her nap, call her by name and say, "Come!" or "Here!" When she arrives, give a treat and lots of verbal praise. Repeat this throughout the day.
Train the dog to sit. No matter what your dog's intended role in your household, he should be taught the "Sit!" command. To do this, look your puppy in the eye and say, "Sit!" in a firm tone; then place the dog in the sitting position. Offer him a treat and verbal praise. Repeat this procedure four times. Do this every day, at least twice a day. Within two weeks your puppy will understand and obey the "Sit!" command.
Teach the puppy to stay. Once the puppy has learnt to sit, "Stay!" is a natural extension of the training. When she is in the sitting position, say, "Stay!" and slowly move back a step. Silently count to three, then call the puppy to you and reward her. Every day move a bit farther away.
Train the puppy to respond to the command "Down!" This is an important command, as beagles have a tendency to want to jump up---particularly onto people they don't know. To teach the dog "Down!" give the verbal command and place him in position, lying on the floor. Repeat the command "Down!" and reward him with lots of praise and a training treat. This can also be used with "Stay!" and is a comfortable position for the dog, if she is required to "Stay!" for an extended length of time.
Limit your training session to five minutes at a time to begin with, no more than three times a day. As the puppy grows older, sessions can be lengthened. If the puppy's attention is wandering, or if she is completely ignoring a command during a training session, stop for a few minutes and switch to a command she enjoys and performs well. Then return to the new command.
Set a training schedule and stick to it. Beagles have a fairly decent internal clock and respond well to established routines. Follow training with interactive play time so the puppy will be more inclined to look forward to daily training sessions. Hunters by nature, beagles enjoy retrieving games or searching for hidden toys.
Punish bad behaviour by saying, "No!" and then ignoring your puppy for a little while. The lack of interest will let her know you are displeased with something she has done. It is important to understand that punishment is only effective if the puppy is caught in the act. Even a few minutes after the deed has been done, the pup won't understand why she's in trouble.
Tips and warnings
- In the beginning, work on a single command at a time. Once your beagle puppy has mastered a skill, add another, but remember to reinforce his prior learning as well.
- If you're worried about giving your puppy too many treats, use a favourite toy as a reward. Keep the toy put away when you're not using it for training. If your beagle knows she can have it anytime she wants it, the toy will lose its effectiveness as a reward.
- Never physically punish your puppy. All he will learn from this is to be afraid of you. Your puppy should view you as the leader of his pack and the source of all the good things in his world.
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