Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Beagle Dog to Find Things

Training

|

2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train Your Beagle Dog to Find Things
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-8 Weeks
Work training category iconWork

Introduction

Beagles are known as "the nose on four legs," and it's for a very good reason. These hound dogs have incredible noses, and can easily follow a scent for hours. They are expert trackers, and many Beagles are employed in airports and border patrol to seek out contraband food and substances. These cute little hounds also have a reputation for following their noses into trouble, and they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy. Training your beagle dog to find things you hide is a great way to stimulate your pet, keep him out of trouble, and enjoy a fun bonding experience. It doesn't matter what you ask him to find, he'll enjoy every minute he's searching for the prize, and you'll have fun planning his search and cheering him on.

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Defining Tasks

Teaching your Beagle dog to find things for you is not only fun, but it can be useful if you tend to misplace things. Beagles have a high scent drive, and as hound dogs, they love to follow their noses. By creating a regular game of finding objects or scents, you'll not only be keeping your buddy happy, but he could also help you out in a pinch. This trick will come faster to younger dogs, but older dogs can learn to find things too, with a little more patience and practice.

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Getting Started

Your Beagle already has a strong drive to search, so asking him to find a specific toy or item will come more naturally than other dog breeds. Because this is a more advanced task for your Beagle to learn, try using his favorite toys, scents, and treats to help him along. Here are a few things you'll need to prepare.

  • Special treats that will get him excited. Try bits of hot dog or cheese.
  • His favorite toy. Use one he knows the name of or really loves.
  • A strong scent. You can use essential oils that have a strong odor.
  • A ball.
  • A piece of paper ripped into scraps.
  • A box or bunch of boxes.
  • Kibble or a bit of dog food.
  • Another person to help you with the training.

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The Find It Method

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1

Pick the right rooms

You're going to want to use two rooms in your house to start. One room will be for your dog to wait in, and the other will be where you hide the toy.

2

Show your dog his toy

Use your beagle's favorite toy. Sit him in one room away from the doorway and show him his toy. Put it under his nose and let him smell it.

3

Hide the toy

Have a helper keep your dog in the room while you walk to the next room. Hide the toy out in the open in an easy place for him to find it.

4

Release the hound

Go back to the room with your dog and say "find it" in an excited voice and point to the next room. If he has some trouble, you can point him in the right direction.

5

Reward him

When he finds the toy, give him the savory treat and lots of praise.

6

Up the difficulty

Repeat the same steps again, but continue to hide the toy in harder-to-find places such as under a chair or in a basket. Give him a nice reward each time he finds the object.

7

Try new objects

Once your Beagle is quick to find his favorite toy, try hiding new objects. Make sure to show him the object and let him sniff it first.

The Scent Training Method

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Introduce the scent

Start by putting a few drops of essential oil on a tennis ball. Lavender, anise, or valerian are recommended scents. Play fetch with the ball.

2

Create a scented trail

The next day, hide the ball in a room away from your Beagle. Put a drop of the same essential oil on five to 10 scraps of paper and create a trail about 20 ft long leading to the ball.

3

Follow the trail

Bring your dog in the room and say "find it." He should start following the scented scraps of paper. If he needs a little help, you can direct him to the first paper.

4

Take away the clues

After a few days of following the paper trail, start to lesson the number of clues and put them farther apart. Eventually your dog shouldn't need the paper clues to find the scented ball.

5

Take it outside

Once your dog has mastered finding the scented ball in your house, you can take him outside and give it a try. Remember to start with easy places because there will be many more scents for him to smell outside.

The Box Game Method

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Pick your training space

Find two adjoining rooms in your house. One where you can introduce your dog to the object, and another where you can hide it without him seeing.

2

Introduce the box

Have a helper hold your Beagle while you show him a small box. Put a piece of kibble or dog food in the box and let him see and smell it.

3

Hide the box

While your helper holds your dog, hide the box in the next room. The first time, make sure it's barely hidden.

4

Tell him to 'find it'

Return to the room and release your dog. Tell him to "find it" and point to the other room. When he finds the box and gets his kibble snack, tell him "good boy" and reward him with affection.

5

Up the difficulty

Each time you practice, show him the box and put the kibble in it, then hide it in a more creative place.

6

Introduce more boxes

Once he's easily finding the box with the treat, set up a variety of boxes in the other room. Show him the box you want with the kibble in it and hide it in with the other boxes. Ask him to find it, and reward him when he finds the right box.

By Katie Smith

Published: 01/11/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Scout

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Beagle Pit

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2 Years

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I would like to give our beagle something to do to keep him from getting into trouble. I think giving him a job will help him since he doesn't like loud noises. He does like to find his toy or bone.

April 21, 2021

Scout's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, A good place to start is to show pup a large treat and allow them to sniff it. Next, hide that treat somewhere easy and tell pup to "Go Find!". Let pup see you hide it at first. As pup learns "Go Find!" you can then slowly start to hide the treat in a harder location out of sight, to encourage them to use their nose. Give hints if they seem really discouraged or confused. Once pup can find treats, you can hide things like a dog food stuffed chew toy, specific toy, multiple treats, a person they know by name - like a family member, ect...When they have learned the names of things, how to go find using their nose, and have practiced enough to understand the game, you can also recruit them to help you find things you would like to find also - like practicing Go Find with the remote control or your slippers, then having pup actually find it on a day you really loose it, rewarding with a separate treat you give when they do find it, since you don't want them chewing on the remote. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 21, 2021


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