What many people love about the Beagle is the fact that they are some of the friendliest and gentle dogs around. Like all dogs, however, Beagles do take time to train and you need to be methodical about your training methods in order to ensure good results.
Below you will receive an overview of some of the most common training problems Beagle owners encounter so you can avoid making the same mistakes yourself.
1. Waiting Too Long
When it comes to socialization and training for Beagle puppies, you can never start too early. You should not expect your 3-month-old Beagle puppy to retain a lot from your first few training sessions but as he gets older he will learn more quickly. The longer you wait to start socializing your Beagle puppy, the greater the risk that he grows up to be a maladjusted adult dog.
2. Not Using the Crate
Many people think that keeping a dog confined to a crate is cruel. If you do it correctly, however, your Beagle will come to view the crate as a safe place where he can retreat if he needs some time to himself or if he just wants to take a nap. The key is to get your puppy used to the crate by including it in games and by feeding him some of his meals in the crate. Once he is used to it, you can start using it for crate training.
3. Punishing Your Dog After the Fact
It is a common misconception that rubbing a dog’s nose in his “accident” will teach him not to do it again. In reality, unless the punishment immediately follows the crime, your puppy will not understand what he is being punished for and it could end up having a negative impact on your relationship.
4. Handling Noise Problems
Howling plays a key role in the Beagle’s hunting methods and many Beagles end up howling a lot at home as well. You should start training your Beagle early to respond to a “Hush” command so you can stop him from howling in the house.
5. Stubbornness or Independent Nature
Because the Beagle is a hunting breed, he may develop a tendency toward stubbornness or independence. In some cases, these tendencies may make it a little bit more difficult for you to train your Beagle. If you are firm and consistent with your training methods, however, and you use positive reinforcement, you will be successful eventually.
6. Chewing on Things
Many pet parents have a difficult time teaching their dogs not to chew on things like shoes and children’s toys. The key to curbing unwanted behaviors like chewing is not to try and eliminate them but to redirect them into a more appropriate outlet. When you find your Beagle chewing on something, say “No” in a firm tone then take the object away and immediately replace it with a chew toy. When your dog starts chewing on that, praise and reward him to reinforce the behavior.
Now that you know what to expect from Beagle training you will be better equipped when it comes time to train your own Beagle. Remember, dogs respond infinitely better to positive reinforcement than to punishment – never yell at your Beagle and certainly do not use physical force as a disciplinary tool.