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

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
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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Effective
0 Votes
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

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
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
Buzzo
Beagle
2 Years
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Question
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Buzzo
Beagle
2 Years

My beagle barks to anyone and everyone around. He barks at the owners also. we are not able to understand him. please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sanam, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Hatch
Beagle
4 Years
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Question
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Hatch
Beagle
4 Years

We adopted our Beagle mix a year ago, and have tried intensive (she stayed onsite), 10-day "Sit Means Sit" training, and have tried a high-frequency training collar and the same company's Auto Bark Controller. No matter what we do, we have two huge issues.

We live in an apartment, and she will go into screeching howling mode - it's not a howl, but a very scary (to other dogs and people) screeching bark - she's never been aggressive, but reacts this way when seeing other dogs while on leash. She's fine off-leash at the dog park with other dogs and barely howls.

The other issue is we cannot leave home. She was previously crate-trained, and the crate/destructive behavior isn't an issue - she will sit in it during the day on her own, sleep there, etc. - but the second we leave it's full-on howling - the high frequency auto controller only seems to make it worse.

We've tried everything for the past year and have made no progress on these fronts - all other commands and training - sit, come, etc. - have passed with flying colors, but we cannot get control of the barking.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Meredith, It sounds like pup is probably getting overly aroused since she is not aggressive at the dog park. I would actually avoid the dog park for a while since that could be feeding into the arousal. Once pup can be quiet enough around other dogs to do so, I would pursue structured activities that facilitate calm interactions around other dogs, like groups that dog walk or hike together, obedience clubs or classes, or setting your own heeling walks or training practice sessions with friends with dogs. You want to work on building a calm association and impulse control around other dogs once pup can be quiet enough to do so. For the howling right now, I would start by teaching pup the Quiet command. That will not be enough on its own, but it's important pup understand your communication clearly before you can interrupt the howling and reward the quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark I would also work on building her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Vocalizing can be a self-rewarding behavior due to the chemicals released in the brain when pup gets that aroused. It can also be due to boredom or anxiety. In case it's anxiety related, also change your routine surrounding leaving for a while so that she does not anticipate alone time and build up her anxiety before you leave - which would be hard for her to deescalate from, and be sure to give her something to do in the crate during the day in case of boredom (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); doing these things by themselves is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time on its own for some dogs with more severe separation anxiety, and for more severe cases may not work on its own - which it sounds like your case could be. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. Building her independence and structure in her life will still be an important part of this protocol too. In your case, I would use low level remote collar stimulation from a high quality electric training collar. The interruptions can be done using things like unscented air spray collars or vibration (also an included option in many stimulation based collars you could try first when purchasing a stimulation collar). I am not a huge fan of the noise interrupters for barking - they work well for some dogs, but as you saw, not all dogs since high frequencies may causes some dogs to react by barking or howling to begin with. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. If you don't find success training this on your own or with a trainer in your area, Jeff also offers Skype training consultations, and be specializes in the hard behavioral cases. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator or Garmin Delta Sport or Dogtra for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator and Garmin should also have a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell - punisher lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work than stimulation e-collars though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on her. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear her but she will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on her while she is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on her, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if she responds to the collar at all (if you use a collar like mini educator, most pup's can't even feel the first few levels out of the 100 levels - you are trying to find the level where she begins to feel it without going too high for her). Look for subtle signs such as turning her head, moving her ears, biting her fur, moving away from where she was, or changing her expression. If she does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when she is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing her reaction at that level until she indicates a little bit that she can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM A modern, high quality collar will have so many levels that each level should be really subtle and she will likely respond to a low level stimulation. It's uncomfortable but not the harsh shock many people associate with such collars if done right. Once you have found the right stimulation level for her and have it correctly fitted on her, have her wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days if you can (take it off at night to sleep though). Next, set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate. Put her into the crate while she is wearing the collar and leave. Spy on her from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her barking or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate her collar again. If her fur is long, make sure the metal contact points are both touching her skin, and be sure to order longer contact points - many come with a short and long set). If she does not decrease her crying at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. She may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator, or two more levels on another collar with less levels right now though because she has not learned what she is supposed to be doing yet. For example, if her level is 16 out of 100 levels on the Mini Educator, don't go past level 19 right now. The level you end up using on her on the mini educator collar will probably be low to medium, within the first fifty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for her before proceeding at a higher level. If she continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog, sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting her from outside when she barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when she stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, when she is quiet, go back inside and sprinkle more treats. This time stay inside. Do not speak to her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When she is being calm, then you can let her out of the crate. When you let her out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want her to be calm when she comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore her when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it even if she didn't pay any attention to it in the past, and that will help her to enjoy the crate more. First, she may need her anxious state of mind interrupted so that she is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give her a food stuffed Kong in the crate for her to relieve her boredom instead of barking, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. You may find you need to practice this while you are home and can give the Quiet command while she is howling at something, so that when you interrupt pup can make a more direct connection with their disobedience to that command, so that they learn to associate the correction with their continued howling. Once pup has made that connection, then the transition to the crate without you visible should be easier for pup to make. When pup's initial behavior has been interrupted, and pup is able to be somewhat quiet when they see another dog from a distance, continue the training to help actually desensitize pup to other dogs. When pup gets quiet after being told Quiet or even if they are corrected then stay quiet for a few seconds, reward. Look for opportunities to reward pup for focus on you and ignoring other dogs while quiet, even without the initial command or pup howling. Ultimately you want to catch being quiet and calm on their own without having to interrupt first so that that quiet behavior around other dogs becomes a habit. Once pup is quiet enough around other dogs for more interactions, then start looking for opportunities to practice calm socialization around dogs during walks and training classes, so that pup's external behavior isn't just changed but also pup's emotional and mental state around other dogs. If you ultimately change pup's mental and emotional state also, pup is likely to continue good quiet habits around other dogs long term, instead of reverting to old habits once you aren't enforcing the training as often. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ace
Beagle
2 Years
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Question
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Ace
Beagle
2 Years

Our beagle (1.7 years old) is a barker and barks at almost everything. Squirrels, Birds, Airplanes, other barking dogs and paper blowing in the wind. He's stays outside during the day to get sun, run and play. He has a toy bucket of toys to play with and chew on. We play catch with him and take him on walks. He comes inside a few times during the day and sleeps inside at night. The problem is on 4/22/21 we found about a 30 inch 2x4 in our back yard and the day before I saw a smaller piece of wood in our backyard.I didn't think anything of the smaller piece of wood because Ace chews on everything (rosebush limbs included)and I assumed he chewed a piece of fence off. The 2x4 was a sign that someone is not happy with his barking and either tried to hit him or scare him! We have an alley and that's where it was thrown from. As soon as we heard him really barking around 7:30-8:00 in the morning we went out to check on him and saw no one except the 2x4. We kept him in for awhile and watched him when he went out. We've used the mist collar on him and it did work for awhile. He either got used to it or it quit working. I really don't want to use a shock collar on him. What is your advice for his barking at every little thing so we can keep him safe and people from trying to harm him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denise, Addressing this type of barking requires a multi-faceted approach. First, pup needs to be desensitized to the things he commonly barks at. Check out the desensitizing method from the article I have linked below. Desensitizing method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark In addition to being desensitized to what pup is barking at, pup needs to be rewarded whenever they don't bark at a trigger they normally would bark at, to help condition a quiet response. This also means that pup can't be outside right now while they are in the process of being trained, unless you are out there to interrupt the barking, and reward the quietness; otherwise the training won't be effective. Finally, once pup is trained, the training will need to be maintained. That will mean either periodically having periods where you repeat the above and not let pup outside without you for a while when you start to notice pup regressing. This re-training shouldn't be as hard or take as long as the initial training though, but it likely will need repeating every so often. Or you will need a tool that will encourage the quietness without you there. These tools are generally either an automatic treat dispensing device (for boredom barking, this may not be effective for alert barking), a spray collar (Like water or unscented air - I don't recommend citronella because the smell lingers making it confusing for the dog - the correction needs to end as soon as the barking stops), or a stimulation or vibration based bark collar. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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

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

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, For barking when you are home, check out the Quiet method and Desensitize method from the article below, and the video series linked below on desensitizing pup to things they tend to bark at. Quiet method and Desensitize method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a For barking when you aren't home, work on desensitizing pup to what they bark at when you are home foremost, but I would also consider either crating pup away from the windows and door (if pup is barking at something you can avoid by removing visuals when you aren't there, using an automatic treat dispensing device like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor is the barking is boredom based, or a high quality bark collar. Bark collars need to be used in combination with training when you are home, with rewards too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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