Activities For Beagles

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Introduction

The Beagle is a medium-sized pup that is a magnificent hunter. He is often described as easygoing and loyal. He is also known to be entertaining when the mood strikes him. Some even consider the Beagle a "merry" dog. They are generally quite lovable, and their sweet faces are marked by large brown eyes accompanied by long, hanging ears (much like a Basset Hound). Certainly, since the Beagle was developed to be a hunting hound, they are naturally inquisitive and, although their looks might be deceiving, they are highly energetic. The Beagle is often used to flush out a variety of quarry - deer, rabbit and squirrel to name a few.

Round Robin Recall

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
small treats
Activity description
Make this scent game a family affair! Often, dogs will have terrible recall skills. This game sharpens the recall of your Beagle. You will  need to incorporate several assistants - they can be family, friends, or neighbors. Anyone who loves your pup will do!  The object of this game to teach your Beagle to learn their name. Equip your assistants with a treat. All they will need to do is take turns saying the name of your dog, then give the dog the treat once the dog comes to them. You may want to play this game initially outdoors in a fenced-in area before moving indoors.
Step
1
Gear up with treats
Grab three or four friends (or family members) and give them a few treats. Instruct them to go to various areas within the fenced-in area.
Step
2
Calling all Beagles
Begin by enthusiastically calling your pup's name. When they come to you, reward them with a tasty treat. Next, a friend - preferably one not near you - should begin calling the dog until they respond to the caller. Reward the successful pup with a treat. Repeat until each person has been able to get the dog to successfully come to him or her.
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Scent Trail

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
essential oils such as lavender, anise, or valerian
favorite toy
tiny shreds of paper
Activity description
Before beginning this activity, ONLY use the recommended oils listed in the items above. Some essential oils can be dangerous to dogs, particularly tea tree oil. The Beagle is a scent hound, and the opportunity to scent out different smells will provide great mental stimulation for your pup. This activity is great for the indoors, and you can complete this fun game with your pup any time of the day. Your dog will need to already be familiar with playing fetch. You will need to incorporate a favorite toy, and you may need to spend several days playing fetch in order to get your dog excited about finding the favorite toy. 

Even though some preparation and training will need to be dedicated to teaching your Beagle this game, Scent Trail will tap into those innate scent hound habits of the Beagle. 

Step
1
Teach the game
Choose a favorite toy of your Beagle's (a ball often works best). Drop a few of the safe essential oils on to the ball and allow them to sink into the material. Play a few rounds of fetch with the ball. When you finish, reward your dog with a treat.
Step
2
Hide the ball
Be sure that your dog is not around when you do so, then hide the ball. Take a sheet of paper, place drops of the same scent of oil that sheet of paper. Tear the sheet into small pieces and place them, like a trail of bread crumbs, going from a starting point to where you've hidden the ball. Bring your dog to the start of the trail and say, "Find your ball." Praise them when they successfully follow the trail.
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Pick the Hand

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
small squares of cheese
small, bite-sized treats
Activity description
The Beagle is a scent hound, and games that require them to find items based on scenting will not only tap into that hunter's instinct born into the Beagle, but play such as this will help the Beagle to behave better overall. The Beagle is a great family dog, but those instincts are still strong within them. When teaching your Beagle how to play scent games, you might want to start with something known for a strong scent (this is why small, bite-sized squares of cheese are  recommended at least for training purposes). Once your dog has caught on, you can switch to treats. Regardless, they will enjoy both the mental stimulation and the sweet reward at the end of the game!
Step
1
Practice makes perfect
In this step, you'll want to show your Beagle what you expect them to do. Use a square of cheese (note: some dogs might respond better to a piece of lunch meat). Show the item to your dog. Allow the dog to "find" the item, and say, "Go find it." Repeat until you feel the dog understands your expectations.
Step
2
Practice makes perfect, part 2
Now it is time to move on to using a treat rather than the cheese or piece of meat. Show the treat to your pup. Close your hand and say, "Find it." Present your fists to the pup, and allow them to choose a hand. When they choose the correct hand, open it, allow them to eat the cheese, and say, "Go find it!" Repeat until you feel the Beagle knows what you want him to do.
Step
3
Add a friend
Once your dog has mastered finding the treat in one of your hands, then incorporate another pair of hands into the game. If you have children, they can play along at this point. The idea is to mix up who is holding the treat so that your dog must find the treat using their nose.
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More Fun Ideas...

Kibble Hunt Game

This is a variation of the Scent Trail game, only you will hide kibble in a variety of places and encourage your pup to find the food. The food is the reward, but be sure to give your pup much praise when they find the food.

Hide and Seek

This is a variation of the Round Robin Recall game. You will need at least one assistant. While your assistant distracts the Beagle, you hide where the dog cannot see you. Then, call their name. When your dog comes to you, offer them a treat as a reward.

Conclusion

The Beagle is a happy-go-lucky, lovable and fun dog. They are hunters at heart, and this needs to be kept in mind when choosing activities for them. Tapping into their innate need to hunt down prey with scent will not only give them physical activity, but it will also keep them mentally sharp.