Beagles are active, happy dogs that make good family pets. Although, some may seem more hyperactive than others, there are ways to help them calm down. It's important to remember that beagles are natural hunters and can have a tendency to wander when they catch a scent. The dog needs to know who is in charge and learn this by gentle direction and good training. Whether you choose to train your dog by yourself or hire a certified trainer to work with you, patience and practice will be needed to successfully calm down a hyper beagle.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Visit your veterinarian to make sure your beagle is healthy and there is no under lying cause of its hyperactivity. Although this is usually a behavioural issue, there could be an unseen health problem that you would want to rule out first.
Exercise the beagle daily. A tired dog is a calm dog. Take your dog for walks, throw a ball for him to fetch or play tug of war. Regular exercise gives the dog a place to burn off excess energy. Since beagles are natural hunters a game of find-the-toy can give the dog exercise and allow it to use its hunting instincts. Place a favourite toy on the ground and tell your dog to, "find the toy". As your dog learns to find its toy move the object further away. Place it under a chair or in another room and give the dog the "find" command. Soon your beagle will learn to hunt for its toy. Since beagles are natural hunters, they will pick up the rules of this game quickly.
Distract the dog when it gets excited. As you see the dog exhibiting hyper behaviour try distracting it with a kong. Kongs are rubber toys that you can stuff with the dog's favourite treat -- peanut butter, cheese, or whatever special treat your beagle prefers. The time takes for the dog to work the treats out of the kong, can give it time to relax. Save the kong to use when your beagle is hyper.
Keep the beagle's environment calm. If there is a lot going on in the home, kids racing through the rooms, high noise levels or other animals barking, the dog will pick up on those vibrations and hyperactivity can result. Remind the kids not to race or yell around the dog. If the dog is barking or otherwise displaying hyper behaviour correct it with a sharp, "No." Then speak in soothing tones to reassure the dog that all is well.
Neuter or spay your dog. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered are calmer. This will not change the personality of the dog, but may help with some behaviour issues. Also, with millions of unwanted dogs being euthanized each year due to over crowded shelters, spaying and neutering helps reduce overpopulation.
Environment & Exercise
Tips and warnings
- Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog and help it to remain calm. Praise your beagle when it is calm with soothing words and a gentle petting.
- Never yell or strike your dog. Screaming or hitting your dog will only heighten his anxiety.
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