How to Leash Train a Beagle Puppy

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

Leash training your Beagle puppy is important for several reasons. You want to teach your new puppy manners, you want him to learn to follow your lead, and you want to make sure he doesn't pull on your arm when he becomes a bigger Beagle dog. Sure, it doesn't seem like a problem now. Your Beagle puppy is cute and small, and you can easily lead him where you want him to go. However, if he grows up straining on the leash and not paying attention to you, you might have a hard time changing these habits.

Good leash work is the foundation for a good relationship with your new dog. It's one of the first opportunities you have to really establish yourself as the leader of the pack and work on manners. By leash training your Beagle puppy now, you are saving yourself lots of worry, headache, and hassle later on. This training will take a little bit of time and patience on your part, but at the end, you'll have a happy puppy who knows what he needs to do on a walk and can be walked by any member of your family.

Defining Tasks

While it's beneficial to train all puppies to walk on a leash, it's especially important to leash train your beagle puppy. Beagles are especially sensitive to smells, and if they pick up on something interesting outside, their instinct is to follow it no matter what. If your Beagle isn't on a leash he could get lost, run into traffic, or get into trouble.

Luckily, Beagles are often very food motivated. You can use tasty treats to make leash walking rewarding and exciting for your puppy. Remember that all puppies have short attention spans, so only work with them in short sessions, no longer than 15 minutes. It's easy to go overboard, especially when they are doing well. You want to end the session before they get frustrated and reward them with fun playtime. 

Getting Started

It's never too early to begin leash training your Beagle puppy, just make sure you adjust your expectations for his young age. Progress slowly and make it part of your daily play. To get started you'll only need a few items.

  • A collar or harness
  • A short leash
  • Tasty puppy treats
  • Lots of patience

There is more than one method to leash train your Beagle puppy, so make sure you choose the right one for you. Read through the three methods below and then start training. After a few months, you'll have the foundation for a great relationship with your dog.

The Fun Introduction Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Bring in the collar and leash
Start by getting him used to wearing a collar and leash. Put the collar on first and start to play with him. Take it off after 15 minutes and then continue playing. Soon he won't even notice when he has it on. Do the same thing with the leash.
Step
2
Call him to you
With his collar and leash on, call him to you as you are playing. Walk backward a few paces, and when he reaches you, give him a treat. Keep playing this game and treating him when he comes.
Step
3
Walk beside him
Now that he's coming to you, start walking a few steps and encourage him to follow. Give him a treat when he comes along.
Step
4
Pick up the leash
Add on to the game by picking up the leash as you take those few steps. Immediately drop the leash and treat him.
Step
5
Walk a little farther
Increase the number of steps you take holding the leash. Drop the leash and give him a treat before he stops. If he stops, don't give him a treat and try again.
Step
6
Begin to walk around the house
Slowly begin to walk around the house for longer periods of time. Start with 30 seconds, then move to a minute. Keep treating and praising and making it part of the game. Be patient, this will take a long time.
Step
7
Take it outside
Once your leash game is getting strong, try taking the game outside. This works best if you have a fenced yard so you can drop the leash without worrying about him running off.
Step
8
Go on a walk
Once he is playing the game and walking with you around the yard, you can take him on his first real leash walk.
Recommend training method?

The Good Association Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Introduce the collar
Start by putting on his collar or harness just before you feed him. He'll begin to associate the collar with something all Beagles love: food!
Step
2
Bring in the leash
Now that he's excited about the collar or harness, start to clip on his leash at mealtime to get him used to it.
Step
3
Pick up the leash
Let him wear the collar and leash before mealtime and during play time. Practice picking up the leash and holding it for a few seconds. Don't pull or try to walk. Drop it and give him a treat.
Step
4
Try to walk
Now it's time to take your first leashed steps. Encourage him to walk a few steps with you. Stop and give him treats and praise when he does. Keep practicing this.
Step
5
Take longer walks
Slowly increase the time you spend walking on the leash around the house. Keep treating him for good behavior and stop after a few minutes so he stays excited.
Step
6
Step out for the first walk
Once he's happily walking next to you in the house for several minutes at a time, take him outside for his first walk. Keep the walk time short and stop to keep treating him and praising him as he goes.
Recommend training method?

The Solid As a Tree Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Desensitize your Beagle
Desensitize your Beagle to the collar or harness and leash. Put it on him while he eats or during playtime. Let him know it's fun.
Step
2
Practice walking next to you
When you're inside playing, encourage him to walk next to you on-leash and give him treats.
Step
3
Head out for a walk
Once your dog associates walking with you as a fun thing, take him out on a leash walk close to home.
Step
4
Stand like a tree
Inevitably he will pull and want to go in another direction. When he does, plant your feet and stand as still as a tree.
Step
5
Wait for him
Wait for your dog to stop and look back to you. When he does, treat him and keep moving forward.
Step
6
Keep practicing
Each time he pulls in another direction, root yourself to the ground like a tree and waits for him to look back and slacken the leash. Be patient and don't move until you get the desired behavior, then treat him and move on again.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
lilly
Beagle
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
lilly
Beagle
3 Months

we want to teach her patience and stay. she bites to much and eats all the leaves and mud around

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
91 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! I am going to send you information on nipping/biting, as well as how to teach a command called leave it. Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone or stop getting into. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Leave it Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Question
Sawyer
Beagle
4 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Sawyer
Beagle
4 Months

Hi, my 2 biggest challenges are leash training and listening to the command "NO"

While outside getting him to walk next to us basically is a tug of war or us having to basically drag him while he keeps trying to turn around or dart to the nearest grass to sniff.

He also only listens to NO maybe 1 out of 10 times.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
91 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. I am going to give you a two part answer. I am going to send you leash walking tips, as well as instructions on how to teach him leave it. Leave it is an excellent command to use in place of "no". No is general for everything and they quickly learn to ignore it. Leave it is great to use for anything you want him to stop paying attention to, or getting into. Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until she finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer her the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and she stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of her reach. Wait until she stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as she does, either say “yes” or click and then give her a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding her with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching her that asking her to leave some food doesn’t mean she won’t get anything, but that in fact she might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach her that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items she would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Now onto leash walking... If you are overpowered by your dog’s pulling and cannot start the teaching process for fear of being pulled over, then there are humane equipment solutions to help modify the pulling while you teach your dog to walk appropriately. A chest-led harness is a perfect training aid, as it takes pressure off a dog’s sensitive neck by distributing the pressure more evenly around the body. When the leash is attached to a ring located on the chest strap and your dog pulls, the harness will turn his body around rather than allowing him to go forward. I recommend this kind of harness for anyone who needs extra help, as safety has to come first. Leash pulling is often successful for the dog because the person inadvertently reinforces the pulling by allowing their dog to get to where he wants to go when he pulls. But you can change this picture by changing the consequence for your dog. When he pulls, immediately stop and stand completely still until the leash relaxes, either by your dog taking a step back or turning around to give you focus. When the leash is nicely relaxed, proceed on your walk. Repeat this as necessary. If you find this technique too slow you can try the reverse direction method. When your dog pulls, issue a 'Let’s Go' cue, turn away from him and walk off in the other direction, without jerking on the leash. You can avoid yanking by motivating your dog to follow you with an excited voice to get his attention. When he is following you and the leash is relaxed, turn back and continue on your way. It might take a few turns but your vocal cues and body language will make it clear that pulling will not be reinforced with forward movement, but walking calmly by your side or even slightly in front of you on a loose leash will allow your dog to get to where he wants to go. You can also reinforce your dog’s decision to walk close to you by giving him a motivating reward when he is by your side. Once your dog is listening to you more, you can vary the picture even more by becoming unpredictable yourself. This means your dog has to listen to you at all times because he never knows when you are going to turn or where you are going to go next. Instead of turning away from him when you give the let’s go cue, reverse direction by turning towards him. You can turn in a circle or do a figure of eight. Any of these variations will get your dog’s attention. Do not forget to praise him for complying, because the better you make him feel walking close to you, the more he will chose to do so.

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