How to Train Your Beagle Dog to Not Bark

Hard
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your Beagle is a character and no mistake, there's nothing half-hearted or mealy-mouthed about these furry individuals. One of the many things you love about your Beagle is how he embraces life and throws himself headlong into situations without a care in the world. 

Unfortunately, this can also mean he barks at the drop of a hat (literally) , which is made all the worse because he loves the sound of his own voice. Sometimes it sounds like you have a crazed hound trapped in the house, which doesn't endear you any to the neighbors. 

Defining Tasks

Being vocal is a big part of the Beagle character. While you don't want to crush his spirit, it is important that the dog's barking is kept under control so that he doesn't become an antisocial canine citizen. 

This can be done with a little savvy training and the help of food to reward silence.  

At the outset know you are waging an uphill battle against Mother Nature, but with consistent instruction, patience, and repitition you will succeed and silence will reign.

Getting Started

You are going to need a bucket load of patience in order to quiet down a Beagle! However, while this is a hard task it's not impossible. You can also help yourself by avoiding triggers to barking such as yelling at the dog to be quiet or giving him an unrestricted view of the street. 

Fortunately, you need very little equipment to teach a Beagle to stop barking. Most of the skill is in timing and motivation. Here's what you'll need: 

  • Pea-sized tasty treats
  • A treat pouch for easy access to those rewards
  • A cafe curtain or frost glass effect sticker
  • A collar and leash
  • A rolled up newspaper, a cardboard box, and sticky tape

The Prevent Boredom Barking Method

Effective
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Step
1
Understand the idea
Beagles are notorious barkers and howlers. They love the sound of their own voice and need very little excuse to launch into a Beagle song. A bored Beagle is doubly likely to 'sing' as a means of entertaining themselves (plus there's no distraction to stop them from barking) so preventing boredom is key to a quiet household.
Step
2
Pleasantly tired
An active Beagle is a happy Beagle (and a quiet one). Be sure to give your dog adequate exercise. Since the Beagle is a breed bred to run all day, you are going to need to have plenty of stamina...or else teach the dog to play fetch or catch so they do three times the distance you do. Take the dog out two or three times a day and exercise them to the point of being pleasantly tired.
Step
3
A chewing outlet
A Beagle isn't bothered whether they exercise their mouth by barking or chewing. The clever thing is to provide your eager Beagle with a lasting chew toy so that he can settle down in silence rather than barking. Never leave a dog unattended with rawhide or other chews as they pose a choking risk.
Step
4
Puzzle feeders
Provide vital mental stimulation by using puzzle feeders. Beagles are greedy dogs and will magic food out of a bowl in seconds. Extend their mealtimes by using puzzle feeders so the dog has to work out how to access his food. This alleviates boredom and makes for one less reason to need to bark
Step
5
Toys and puzzles
Other boredom busters include leaving the dog with toys and puzzles. Since Beagles are food -motivated, try tricks such as enclosing some biscuits inside a rolled up newspaper and taping it together. The dog will then expend happy energy chewing his way to the goodies. Another good idea is to put treats inside a sturdy cardboard box and tape it closed, so again the dog has to chew their way to the reward...and then settles down to a satisfied sleep afterward.
Recommend training method?

The Eliminate Cues Method

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Step
1
Understand the idea
Barking is like breathing to the Beagle... something they don't think about before doing. Certain triggers are almost guaranteed to launch your Beagley pal into a volley of barking, so be sure to take steps to remove those triggers and peace will reign.
Step
2
People passing the window
A Beagle will bark at people passing by. This is self-rewarding behavior as the dog perceives that his bark made the people pass on by. Short circuit this whole noisy charade by restricitng the dog's view of the window. This can mean placing furniture so that he can't sit on the window ledge, or using cafe-style half curtains or stick-on frosted glass to obscure the view.
Step
3
Don't leave the dog in the yard
Avoid leaving your Beagle unattended in the yard for hours on end. He will quickly become bored and people walking past give him the ideal outlet for energy as he barks at them.
Step
4
Don't shout at the dog to sttop
Tempting as it is, don't shout at the dog to be quiet. Bizarrely, this rewards the dog with attention (much like publicity, any attention is good attention in a dog's mind) and ramps up the excitement. In fact many dogs interpret this as you trying to bark along with them, which only makes them more likely to bark. Instead, ignore the barking or briefly acknowledge it with an "OK Buddy, thank you for telling me there's someone at the door."
Step
5
Give the dog an alternative action
Prepare for that barking by teaching the dog an action, such as fetching a toy or going to lie on a mat. Most dogs will quiet down when they have another activity to do.
Recommend training method?

The Teach 'Quiet' Method

Effective
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Step
1
Understand the idea
By teaching the dog to bark (!) you can teach the opposite command of 'quiet'. This enables you to put "not barking" on cue as a behavior that gets rewarded, which makes it attractive for the dog to offer.
Step
2
Teach the 'bark' command
First. put barking on command. Work out a way of triggering the dog to bark. Try using your fist behind your back, to knock on a door or wall. When the dog barks, praise him and say "Bark" in a happy, enthusiastic voice. Reward him with a small treat.
Step
3
Practice 'bark'
Keep practicing. After several repetitions, say "Bark" ahead of knocking on the door. If the dog obliges, give him lots of praise and a reward. Keep working on this until the dog is reliably barking on command.
Step
4
Now teach 'quiet'
Have the dog bark. While he's eating his reward, he's silent. Say the word "Quiet" and when he's finished chewing, gently hold his mouth closed, and repeat the word "Quiet". Then give him another treat. Repeat.
Step
5
Alternate 'bark' with 'quiet'
Keep working on both commands alternately. Eventually, "Quiet" will become so ingrained that you can use it to silence the dog when barking for other reasons.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Pippa Elliott

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

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Snoop
Beagle
3 Years
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Question
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Snoop
Beagle
3 Years

Excessive barking in early morning

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
821 Dog owners recommended

Hello Richard, There are a few options depending on why he is barking. If it has been more than 10 hours since he went potty, then he may be barking to go potty - in which case he needs to be taken out, then can be crated again if needed. If he is barking at something in particular, such as a neighbor that he always hears the same time every day, then I suggest desensitizing him to that noise or thing: Desensitization videos: Video 1: https://youtu.be/Jp_l9C1yT1g Video 2: https://youtu.be/X5BjvNScFPs Video 3: https://youtu.be/DxPrNnulp5s Some dogs will simply bark for fun or because they are bored - barking is a behavior that is self-rewarding. If he is doing that, then I suggest using a punisher to make the barking less fun for him, and making sure he has other things he can choose to do instead like chew on fun chew toys. You can either correct with a stimulation based bark collar, or use a Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of unscented pressurized air (Do NOT use citronella). The bark collar will correct him automatically. If you use the Pet Convincer, teach him the Quiet command using the Quiet method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once he understands what Quiet means, tell him Quiet in the morning. If he stays quiet, then return and give him a dog-food stuffed Kong to chew on. If he barks, then when he barks go to him, calmly tell him "Ah Ah" and spray a brief puff of air from the Pet Convincer at his side (NOT his face), then leave again. Repeat the corrections whenever he starts barking again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Cooper
Beagle Chin
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Cooper
Beagle Chin
8 Weeks

Currently, I do not have this challenge, but I’m nervous about leaving in regards to how loud the dog may become. I read various posts about training the dog not to bark with training treats, but was unsure how successful this would be.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
821 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jenna, Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Working on this proactively early on with crate training at times when you are home can help to prevent barking later. Also, giving pup a dog food chew toy to work on in the crate during longer stints can be great for preventing barking later - since pup gets into the habit of settling down to chew instead of starting to protest when you leave. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Another good resource is the free PDF E-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below. It offers a good general view of raising a puppy, and how things fit together. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jimmy
Beagle
2 Years
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Question
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Jimmy
Beagle
2 Years

My dog will run away and he won't come back for 20 30 minutes. That is fine, but he tends to be VERY aggressive towards dogs and humans. He even tries to bite sometimes. We can't give him exercise because if we give him a walk, he sees other dogs and humans and starts barking and sometimes escapes his collar. He barks for a long time after a dog even when the dog is almost out of view. Please help or we will have to give him to the animal shelter. We would hate that because my whole family loves him. Also, he stinks a lot. He will also pee inside if we bring him inside the house. He pees in his room if we don't bring him out every 2 hours. He pees too frequently. He is spayed/neutered Please help. Also, how much food should we give him? His normal diet is 1 patato, 2 boiled eggs, and a wheat flatbread.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
821 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anant, Assuming pup is staying mostly outside in a physical fence - like a wooden fence, that he is escaping out of through things like digging or fence climbing, I recommend installing an invisible fence two feet inside of your physical fence around the yard. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the physical fence so that he won't have opportunity to dig or climb it. The invisible in-ground electric fence should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it, or it will not be effective. There still needs to be a physical barrier so that pup can't just bolt through the electric fence quickly. For his diet I recommend speaking with your vet. Since you are feeding human food and not dog food, he may be lacking certain important nutrients, especially meat. Not knowing pup's size I cannot give specific recommendations. Check out the article linked below to gauge pup's weight and whether pup needs more of less calories. I am not a vet. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/64511-how-to-tell-if-dog-overweight Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dewey
Puggle
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Dewey
Puggle
9 Months

We actually have 2 Puggles. Brothers from same litter. And the barking is tough. I am at my wits end.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, two excited Puggles must be a challenge, yes! They are energetic for sure and will need tons of exercise, I would try and tire them out that way. They are also at the ideal age for obedience classes. The mental and physical stimulation that the classes provide may give them an outlet that will tame the barking when they get back home. Is it mostly inside the home that they bark? Is it in fun with each other or at noises outside? To tone down the outside interference, have white noise in the background like music and a fan. You can work on the Quiet Method as described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark. The other methods described may have value to you as well. Take your pups to obedience as mentioned to help them gain respect and get used to listening to instructions. They'll also learn skills like "stay" and "down" which are useful for taming their antics and barking. Start here to get you ready for classes: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-be-obedient. Good luck!

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Hope
Beagle
6 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Hope
Beagle
6 Years

His barking and howling. We have several complaints from neighbors.

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