When it comes to training, Beagles are often labeled as the hardest to teach. In comparison to most breeds recognized by major kennel clubs, he also ranks the lowest in the popularly published book, “The Intelligence of Dogs”. Despite this reputation, Beagles are never dull-witted!
If proper training is done to a Beagle, coaching him about the house rules and other important life skills aren’t as overwhelming as some would claim it to be. Beagles only need the right teacher who will be able to trigger his sense of obedience and lock away his stubbornness.
Do you have a Beagle puppy or are you planning to get one soon? This article will surely give you the best insights when it comes to educating your pet. Just keep reading!
4 Reasons Why Beagles Are Hard to Train
The difficulty to train a Beagle can be traced back to how he was originally bred before. It was during the 16th century when this dog was developed to hunt hares and rabbits. Usually, their human companions in hunting let them do their job without micromanaging their every action.
In other words, Beagles like to do things their way. They aren’t used to getting orders, that’s why training your pup is a challenge these days.
Let’s dissect other more factors that make Beagles hard-headed pooches:
- He is a scent hound. Beagles can pick up scents very easily no matter how faint they could be. They have 45 times more scent receptors than humans, therefore, bringing them outside would most likely make them vulnerable to the outside smells. Putting him on a leash while you do your daily walk with him prevents him from wandering off.
However, if he’s free to go wherever he wants to, your commands such as making him sit and stay will fall on deaf ears once an attractive odor tickles his sensitive nose. The unknown scent is worth following more than his owner’s instructions!
- Beagles have tons of energy. Do you know what happens when your dog has pent-up energy? Right, he’s more likely to be hyperactive. Beagles have infinite amounts of high-spiritedness making it harder for owners to train them. Try asking him to place his paw on your hand and you’ll end up witnessing a medium-sized dog jumping around and barking excessively.
Dealing with this merry canine can be exhausting, but training him when his energy gets low will play to your advantage. Many Beagle owners are now aware that a tired Beagle is more trainable than the one who just regained his vigor.
- The Beagle breed is food-driven. Training without treats sounds boring for most Beagles. Unless there’s a delicious sight in the background during the session, your dog is most likely going to ignore your instructions. This simply means that this doggy loves the idea of receiving rewards as they can be fulfilling.
However, although this is an effective strategy, an overused treat-rewarding technique could spoil your Beagle and might no longer accept any other forms of reinforcement such as praise and affection.
- Beagles are independent. Labeled as free-spirited, Beagles extremely dislike being told what to do. Once they have assessed and decided that something is not worth their time, they’ll focus on other priorities. This is because, in the past, since Beagles are bred to chase after small prey, they have already locked on to a certain scent.
In all honesty, Beagles are walking paradoxes- they can be focused and they can instantly deflect. Overall, it boils down to what the Beagle finds the most interesting. If you want to successfully train him, make sure he’s going to be more curious about the training than the other distractions he could find inside your house.
When Is the Right Time to Train My Beagle?
A Beagle pup who has reached 8 weeks of age can certainly be trained right away. It is important to let him understand house rules right away so training will be something he’d assume as an important part of his life.
Beagle puppies are considered to be clean slates waiting to be taught which behavior is right and wrong. Everything that you do, the way you react to things, as well as the way you are going to treat him will affect his overall temperament in the long run.
Every beagle owner should know that the way you raise your puppy is an indirect kind of training. The puppy is very observant and can easily pick up and retain habits you’d fail to eradicate. Once a routine is established, it is going to be quite burdensome to correct this.
5 Things to Do so Your Beagle Becomes Trainable
Generally, all dogs are trainable and this includes the willful Beagle dog. It is imperative, however, to hit right off the bat the target which is to make the rules clear for your pet. If this is not given into consideration, a Beagle’s trainability won’t be activated.
Here’s what you can do to motivate him:
- Have a strong bond with him first.
- Prepare food rewards and treats.
- Tire him before training starts.
- Make an established rule that you are the pack leader.
- Provide an appropriate place for training.
6 Basic Commands to Start With Your Beagle
It’s always essential for your Beagle to learn various basic training so he’d grow up as a dog with manners. Since there is a lot of essential training he’d have to undergo, starting with the easiest is better than jumping right to the complex ones right away.
Beagle puppies have a short attention span and would easily get bored or distracted. Training that does not interest him can make him frustrated thus making him stubborn. Let’s check out the fundamental exercises your Beagle can start with!
Potty Training. The moment you bring your Beagle at home, he has to be taught right away the proper place to pee and to poop. This prevents your carpets and other areas in the house from getting soiled.
Crate Training. The Beagle breed isn’t the type of dog you can leave on his own for long periods of time. Introducing him to his crate and associating his place with security and comfort can fend off separation anxiety. This can take months of practice, but the results will be worthwhile!
Basic Obedience Training. Beagles are, at times, uncooperative. When their noses get attracted to a particular smell, their other senses are shut. Teaching him how to team up with you will improve your relationship. Let him know the meaning of “sit”, “stay”, and “no” and whatever verbal cues your Beagle would need to be aware of.
Mouthing. Mouthing is a display of affection for most dogs. Although this happens when the Beagle puppy is in the mood to play, if the habit continues until he’s older, it can be a little dangerous. Every time your pup attempts to do this to you, try redirecting him to a toy.
Socialization. Bringing him to doggy daycare or parks would expose him to different people and animals. Of course, this should be done only when he’s got all his shots already. When your dog gets used to seeing new faces each day, his barking levels will go low significantly.
Formal Dog Training. If you like your Beagle to compete in dog shows, it’s just reasonable to get him to undertake advanced training. Teaching him how to hunt could be ideal too if you love going out in the woods! You can refer to this article on how to train him to hunt.
How Long Would It Take to Fully Train My Beagle?
Every Beagle dog is unique. Some would take at least a few months to complete a basic training session while others could learn fast and would only undergo one week of learning a certain set of rules. However, although Beagles could learn things in a span of time, it is still vital to train them for life.
This is because the Beagles have a strong urge to be independent. This is a trait you’re going to have to battle for as long as you have them. That could mean, reinforcing their knowledge, skills, and the rules you’ve set every week. Remember this, a trained Beagle is better than an untaught one.
7 Tips to Make Beagle Training Easier
Playing into your Beagle’s behavior can make life easier for anyone. Truth be told, training him is not that different when training other dog breeds. However, there are pro-Beagle tips for you here. You’ll be amazed at how impactful these can be!
- Use food during training. Beagles are food-centered dogs. If you want them to start giving you their attention, you better have the treats ready. Just be careful about giving them rewards as they can gain weight very easily. Try to incorporate praises and pets too.
- Start from simple to complex training. Beagles need starters. It is practical to give them non-overwhelming practices so they wouldn’t feel intimidated by the tasks. If they develop fear toward training, they will be more hard-headed.
- Train your Beagle on the leash. This easily distracted dog has to be on the leash at the start of the training. Otherwise, he would sprint far away from you. A leash on his neck will keep things under control and redirecting him to training would be easy.
- Keep each session short. The length of the training would depend on your dog’s age. Averagely, every drill shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes. The moment your Beagle shows disinterest, it’s time to stop.
- Since Beagles are hunting hounds, give them simulation activities. Beagles love doing what they are bred for. Making them play games such as looking for hidden toys can keep them physically and mentally driven.
- Associate good behavior with rewards. Keeping a close look at every detail whilst being with your dog is necessary. For every good behavior he shows, reward him. He’ll eventually relate his good actions to positive results, therefore, eliminating the other ones that are not rewarded.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat! Complacency should have no space in the room when it comes to training. Even if your Beagle dog perfects the skill, going through it over and over again is imperative. After all, Beagles are forgetful dogs.
Commonly Asked Questions
Is a Female Beagle More Obedient?
Yes, female beagles are easier to train. This is because while male pups can learn things in a jiffy, the female Beagles are more focused and eager to please their owners. They mature faster than their counterparts as well and this plays a vital role in training. If the trainability factor is a huge deciding factor for you, getting the female Beagle is recommended.
Are Beagles Intelligent?
Beagles are smart dogs! Their stubbornness doesn’t define their intelligence level at all. In fact, these dogs are so canny that they tend to think independently. They were only developed to decide on their own due to their hunting background. This activity would be hard to accomplish if Beagles have to hunt with commands given every single minute!
Even though Beagle training can be a bit complex for a lot of people, it can’t be denied that the outcome is rewarding. This dog breed is bright, only that they use the unsuitable type of intelligence during skill-learning. However, with the right determination, patience, and consistency, you sure are going to see the fruits of your hard work.