Activities For Smooth Fox Beagles

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Introduction

Your Smooth Fox Beagle is an energetic hybrid mix of the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Beagle.  Both of these parent breeds, developed for tracking and chasing small animals from their dens or bolt holes, contribute tracking skills, resulting in an active little hound. The Smooth Fox Beagle is a spunky little dog who is a sight and scent hunter, making their prey drive incredibly high, making it vital that you keep them on leash whenever outdoors.  Because they are also supreme escape artists, you should not get into the habit of leaving them unsupervised when outdoors, even in a fenced in yard. Having said this, it is incumbent upon you to keep your darling little doggie properly exercised to avoid those annoying habits that develop when they become bored.  The activities suggested in this guide will enable you to have fun while providing the essential exercise needed by your pet.

Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
PVC pipe
rope
toy
Treats
colored rolls of tape
Activity description
This game works well to expend large amounts of pent-up energy in your Smooth Fox Beagle.  The learning curve for the game is very short, for this hybrid's natural skills of tracking and chasing are perfect for this game.  A flirt pole is a tool that you can purchase ready-made at your local pet store for a moderate cost, or if you’re a DIY kind of person, you can buy the materials and construct it yourself.  The materials needed to make it at home are not expensive to purchase if you don’t already have them on hand, and you’ll likely already have the doggie treats and the toy for your pet.  The activity is one performed inside or out, in any weather or climate, and can be done at your convenience, day or night, with the required skills basic ones for both parent breeds.  This is a great way to teach your dog some simple commands like, sit, stay, let go, take it or drop it.  Be sure to determine your rules for the enterprise and keep your pup on focus with those rules.
Step
1
Purchase the pole
The flirt pole is one which is available for ready-made purchase or as a do-it-yourself project. The components aren’t expensive, and it takes only a little time to assemble it. The length of the pole and rope are determined by the size of your dog, shorter lengths required for small and medium-sized canines, and longer lengths needed for the bigger breeds of dogs. The necessary space to utilize the pole will also be dependent upon the lengths of the pole and rope, making it adjustable to meet your area limits and restrictions.
Step
2
Collect the components
After purchasing the components, if you have chosen the DIY approach, the next step is the assembly of the pole. Assemble the pole by threading the rope through the pipe, knotting it at each end to prevent it from slipping in and out of the tube. Attach the toy at one end of the rope. The pipe can be optionally decorated by using colored tape and wrapping it around the pipe, creating a unique personal design.
Step
3
Pivot the pole
Once your pole constructed, sit down and determine the rules of your game, to include commands like making your pooch sit until released to pursue the toy, and the authority to “drop it” when told to do so. Be sure to allow periods of rest and calmness. Swing or twirl the pole and entice your pup, commanding them to chase the toy, keeping the toy just ahead of them as they run circles around you. Let your Smooth Fox Beagle catch the toy every few rounds to keep them interested in the game. Reward profusely to encourage them to keep playing. Keep your game duration to 30 to 60 minutes to avoid overtiring your dog. And, remember that a pooped pooch is one who is less likely to get into trouble!
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K9 Nose Work

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 20 min
Items needed
Doggie snacks
leash
empty cardboard boxes
Water
Activity description

The breeds which make up your Smooth Fox Beagle have great noses!  Their natural tracking skills are some of the best in the canine cosmos, and it is these skills which you will hone and rely upon as you teach this game to your darling doggie.  The necessary components are few and pretty cheap - any size empty cardboard boxes, yummy dog treats, a 6 ft leash, and drinking water. The game, played in any sized space, can be inside the house, or out in the backyard, and in any weather or climate, daytime or nighttime, as many times a day as you like.  Because your pup is already genetically equipped for this activity, the learning curve of the game is short and the teaching easy.  Start by merely hiding the treats in the boxes and leaving the lids or flaps open. As your precious pooch gets the hang of the game, you can get more complicated by closing the flaps or covers, placing the boxes above the floor or nesting them inside each other, step up the game by introducing other scents or odors for tracking, perhaps moving the game from inside to outside. 

Step
1
Tuck away the treats
Before you begin hiding those yummy treats, be sure to place your dog out of sight of the game area so that they can’t see where you’re secreting them. Place the boxes randomly around the chosen game “arena,” placing the snacks in some (not all) of the boxes. Keep extra treats handy so that you can bait more boxes while your pup searches.
Step
2
Collect your canine
Bring your pet into the game “arena” and offer them a sniff of the yummy (and smelly) treat in your hand but don’t allow them to eat it. This reward is for finding, not sniffing. Encourage the dog to seek out the other treats, permitting them to munch away on their “finds,” as these self-rewards are a delightful incentive for them to continue the game. Praise for your tracker is an excellent idea as they seek their tasty treasures as long as it doesn’t become distracting - you want them to focus on the game. Give periodic rest periods, and since tracking is a thirsty job, enticing them to rehydrate while they rest.
Step
3
Rest, refresh, repeat
Be sure to allow adequate periods of rest between sessions of the game. Usually, 3 to 5 rounds are sufficient for a training period, each turn lasting about one to two minutes, making the training period about 15 minutes in duration. Generally, it will take about six training periods before your four-legged family member is ready for more challenge in the form of box placement, box closure, and the introduction of new scents to test their tracking skills.
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You Chase Me

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 30 min
Items needed
treats
Water
Activity description

Most of our frisky friends give willing chase at the drop of a paw.  This activity can be done with any dog, of any age or health condition, day or night, as often as desired.  Since the game involves pursuit, the space requirements must, of course, allow for such maneuvering.  If sufficient open areas are available inside your home, engagement in this undertaking is easily done inside, especially when the weather outside is frigid, wet and otherwise uninviting.  The adventure can involve multiple human or canine players, providing meaningful bonding opportunities as well as a bit of energy expenditure for all.  Your pawed playmate results from parent breeds who were developed to track and pursue small game from their dens, bolt holes and various other hiding places, making them genetically predisposed to the “you chase me,” rules of the game.  And, getting them involved in the enterprise won’t be difficult at all, usually a firm but gentle pushing down on the head enough to entice them to play.  And the cost - can you say “free” or “cheap?”

Step
1
Tap the tracker
Getting your pup involved should be easy - just gently but firmly push down on their head, a signal for action readily understood between canines. Your pet shows their willingness to play by executing the “play bow” - easily recognized when you precious pooch lowers their front legs to the floor with their chest nearly touching the floor while their rear end remains high, tail wagging with vocalizations. If you don’t see this response, it may require some encouragement (and a doggie treat or two) to get them involved. Once they assume the play bow position, proceed to step 2.
Step
2
Face your foe
This step requires a little agility on your part. Get on your knees and lower your face to the level of that of your dog. Fix your gaze, get eye to eye with your pup, creeping very slowly toward them. They will allow you to get close almost enough to touch them; then they will bolt away, expecting you to give chase. Permit the pursuit to continue several rounds of the room or backyard, rewarding them as needed to keep them interested and convey your satisfaction with their cooperation.
Step
3
Redirect the race
Pursue your quarry several rounds of the predetermined “course” before stopping to fake out your furry friend. Stop and choose something to look at, your dog, being the curious canine that they are, will cease running and will come to you to investigate the item of interest. When they get almost close enough to touch you, it’s your turn to bolt, running in the opposite direction with your darling doggie in hot pursuit. Be sure to allow some rest periods which provide time to relax and refresh with drinking water. Also, be careful not to let your canine companion to become overheated or overtired as you frolic and play.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch the Toy

This game is one of the most natural and most loved that you can play with your four-legged family member. Choose an open space. Use one of their favorite toys, get their attention with it, then toss it away from them. Encourage them to give chase and retrieve the toy, and bring it back to you. Be sure to reward them when they do as requested, especially when they give it back to you.

Brisk Daily Walks

Your Smooth Fox Beagle has a great deal of energy to spend on a daily basis.  Brisk walks several times a day, of about an hour duration, will help achieve this goal.

Conclusion

The activities provided today are natural, fun, easy and inexpensive to perform.  They invite opportunities to strengthen the bond between man and best friend, as well as open the door to canine exercise management which is so vital for good health and happy homes, protecting everyone from the destructive behaviors so prevalent among bored dogs.  We at Wag! want to help you achieve the goal of a healthy, happy and peaceful pooped pooch that everyone will love and appreciate!