Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Beagle Dog to Fetch

Training

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2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train Your Beagle Dog to Fetch
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon3-14 Days
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

Beagles are everything you want from a dog. They’re intelligent, determined, excitable and even-tempered. They also have plenty of energy so you’re always kept on your toes. You and your family have nothing but love for your beagle. He’s now an essential member of the family and it wouldn’t be the same without him. Because he’s got a fair amount of energy to dispel you take him out for daily walks. However, while he loves chasing things, he’s not so good at the retrieving part. He’s not going to make an excellent hunting dog like this and he’s going to make walks somewhat frustrating.

Training him to fetch will alleviate these concerns. Beagles are a breed of hounds so they have the nose to track down prey. Fetch is one of the first steps in training him to be the hunting dog you would like him to be.

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Defining Tasks

Because Beagles are intelligent dogs, training them to fetch is relatively straightforward. The challenge is teaching him what you want him to do initially. Once he understands what you want he’ll quickly catch on. All you need to do is ensure you have the right incentive. Beagles have a strong sense of smell so appealing to that is always a smart move. You’ll have to use a combination of toys and food therefore to master this training. 

If he’s a puppy he should get the hang of it in a matter of days. He should be a fast learner who’s keen to please. If he’s older and not so keen on following orders anymore then you may need a week or two. If this training comes off, you’ll have the perfect way to exercise him. He’ll be left peacefully dozing in the evenings, instead of causing trouble.

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Getting Started

Before you can start training you’ll need to gather a few things. You need to get hold of some toys he’ll want to play fetch with. Beagles love tennis balls. Alternatively, a brightly colored frisbee should also do the trick.

Then get your hands on some mouth-watering treats, or break up his favorite food into small pieces. You can practice when you’re out on walks so you don’t need to set aside any extra time for training.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and you’re ready to get to work!

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The Lead By Example Method

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Throw the frisbee

The first thing to do is throw the frisbee or tennis ball for him. Don’t throw it too far to start with and make sure you’ve got his attention when you throw it. If he’s of the ‘sit and stare’ variety then you need to encourage him to chase it down.

2

Encouragement

Point at it and talk in animated voice. If that doesn’t encourage him to chase after it then you need to lead by example. That means running after it so he follows you. He’ll soon catch on and want to get it before you do.

3

Call him over

Once he runs after it and gets it you need to get him back to you. Call his name and pat your knees. Make sure you hold eye contact and talk in a playful voice. If he thinks it’s a big game he’s more likely to return to you.

4

Reward

Once he’s back at your feet, give him a tasty treat and lots of verbal praise. The greater the reward the more likely he will be to bring it back to you next time. So, don’t hold back!

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Practice

Now practice this every time you go for a walk. After a while you won’t have to show him how it’s done. It will quickly become habit to run after it and bring it back. When it does, you can gradually cut out the treats.

The Two Toys Method

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Play with two toys

Spend a few minutes each day at home playing with the frisbee and a tennis ball. You need to get him really excited by it so he’ll charge after them as soon as you get them out on walks. Playing tug of war and leaving them in his bed at night will do the trick.

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Throw one

When you’re on a walk, throw one of the toys and encourage him to chase after it. If he doesn’t naturally start running after it point at it and talk in animated voice. He’ll soon get excited and start chasing after it.

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Hold up the second toy

When he’s got the first toy in his mouth you need to lure him back over. To do this, hold up the second toy. As soon as he sees it he will charge straight over. He’ll probably naturally drop the first toy in anticipation of the second.

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Throw the second toy

When he does drop the first toy you can throw the second. Then you repeat exactly the same process you used to get him to bring back the first toy. It may be tiring to start with, constantly throwing them both, but he’ll quickly get into the routine of collecting one and then bringing it back.

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Practice

Keep doing this for a week or so. When he’s into the swing of things you can go down to just using one toy. By now it will be habit to run after it and then bring it back to you. If he doesn’t let go of the toy, go back a step for a few more days and then try again.

The Hold Back Method

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Go out for a walk

Go out as you normally would for a walk. Make sure you have him on a leash though, and that you’ve got a toy he’s excited about with you. You’re going to tempt him into chasing after it by holding him back.

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Throw the toy

Throw the frisbee or ball as you normally would. However, hold onto his collar when you do this. The simple fact he can’t chase after it will make him want to chase after it more.

3

Release

Once you feel him pull, wait for a second and then let him go. Just like humans, if he thinks he can’t do something he’ll only want to do it more. Point to the toy and encourage him to chase after it. Keep it as upbeat and playful as possible.

4

Food lure

Now hold out a tasty treat to lure him back over to you. Beagles have strong noses so the smell of his favorite treat should quickly bring him back to your feet. However, don’t give him the treat until he drops the toy. Be patient, it may take him a little while to catch on.

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Practice

Now you just need to get him into the routine of chasing and bringing back the toy. So, make sure you throw it several times on every walk. When he’s got the hang of it you can gradually cut out the treats.

By James Barra

Published: 12/13/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Stella

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Beagle

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17 Weeks

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New home just received her. Need help with potty training an treats

April 30, 2022

Stella's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Congratulations on your new dog. For potty training, I recommend the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For treats, I would use pup's own kibble, rationed out for the day into a baggie, and grabbing from that baggie as treats for training, stuffing kongs and interactive toys, then putting what's left in pup's bowl at the end of the day throughout the day. For times when you need extra exciting treats, like when in public socializing or working on Come, I find that most dogs love freeze dried meat and liver treats, such as stella and chewy. These are sometimes sold as kibble toppers in the dog food section if you don't see that type of treat in the treat isle at your local store. The freeze dried real meat tends to get most dogs excited, its often healthier than greasier options, and it breaks down easy in pup's mouth so pup doesn't gag on it as often as a hard treat when working on commands where pup is moving a lot, like Come and Heeling. You can find more information for using pup's kibble as treats in the free PDF e-book After You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at this link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

May 3, 2022


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