How to Train a Beagle Puppy to Not Bark

Hard
1-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Maybe the Hound of the Baskervilles was part Beagle. 

Your pup could certainly give Sherlock Holmes' famous hound a run for his money, as you had no idea so much noise could come out of such a small puppy. The trouble is, what at first was quite a cute problem (a tiny puppy having a ridiculously loud bark) has now gone beyond a joke. 

You've shouted at the puppy to be silent, but he stares right back, wags his tail... and then you swear barks even more loudly. Out of desperation, you gave him a chew. This did the trick all right, only now you're beginning to suspect that he starts barking in order to have you silence him with a treat. 

How can such a small, cute puppy run such rings around you.... and boy are your ears ringing to the sound of his barks. 

Defining Tasks

Beagles love the sound of their own voice, so a wise owner discourages a puppy from developing a barking habit. However, this isn't about shouting at the pup to be quiet, as he may well think you are trying to join in. Instead, it helps to understand why a puppy might bark (boredom, fear, or to warn you of a threat) and use strategies to remove the need to bark. 

In addition, you can train the dog to be quiet, and then reward the silence. This way, being silent is a positive decision on the part of the Beagle pup, but one that he understands earns a reward. This takes not barking from being a passive activity, into the action of not-barking--which is then rewarded. 

Getting Started

Training a dog not to bark can be a big task. However, with time and patience, you can teach your Beagle pup that silence is golden. The basics that you need to achieve the aim include: 

  • Tasty training treats
  • A pouch or bag to keep the treats handy
  • Window frosting or a cafe-type half-curtain

The Understand Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
When a puppy barks he is communicating. It might be he's saying there's a threat at the door or that he's excited, or even that he's bored. Whatever the reason he starts barking, it's important to react in a way that doesn't accidentally encourage the woofs rather than stop them. By realizing how dogs communicate you can avoid making mistakes that make matters worse, not better.
Step
2
Ignore the barking
If the worst comes to the worst, and you don't know what to do when the dog barks--then do nothing. While this isn't satisfactory in all circumstances, it is the one action that is unlikely to make matters worse. The golden rule here is that puppies (and dogs) love attention. If he barks and you shout at him to be quiet, you are accidentally rewarding the barking and he may think you shouting is an attempt at barking along. With this logic, if the pup does an experimental bark or two, and nothing at all happens, he may just give it up as not worth the effort as a way of gaining attention.
Step
3
Leave the room
If puppy barks and then runs to you, while barking, then walk away and leave the room. Some pups regard barking as a group activity, and if their audience goes away, then they will fall silent.
Step
4
Acknowledge the barking
Hey, hold on, didn't you just say to ignore the barking? Yes, but this is subtly different. If someone comes to the door and the dog barks, then he's trying to communicate that he's protecting you. In this example, let him know that he's done his job and you are aware of the situation. Let him bark two or three times, then say in an upbeat voice, "Thank you, Rover. Good bark. I'll take it from here." By acknowledging his alert you allow him to stand down.
Step
5
Reward the quiet
Take things a step further. Puppy barks at the door, you say "Thank you, I'll take it from here," and as soon as the dog falls silent you give him a reward. Hence, he learns being stood down is a neat way to get a treat, and it will encourage him to be quiet in future.
Recommend training method?

The Deal with Triggers Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
Does the puppy bark at the mailman? Or does he bark at people walking by in the street? These are known as triggers, and by knowing what's most likely to start the puppy barking, you can reduce the impact of the trigger factors so that barking becomes less of an ingrained habit as he grows up.
Step
2
The door bell
Does the puppy bark when someone comes to the door? The puppy may get excited when he hears the door bell and starts barking. Try giving the pup an alternative task to do, such as going to his bed or giving him a favorite toy. While he's concentrating on the action, he's less likely to bark. You can try tossing a treat onto his bed, and encourage him to follow. Say "Go to bed", and then praise him when he runs after the treat (or toy).
Step
3
Block the view
Seeing people in the street is a common reason to bark. This is particularly habit forming as it is self-rewarding in that the dog barks and the person walks away; job done, in the dog's mind. You need to prevent the dog seeing the people in the first instance. This can mean preventing access to a sofa back or window ledge that the pup uses as a viewing platform. Or obscure the view through the lower half of the window using a cafe-style curtain or a frosted-glass stickyback plastic.
Step
4
White noise
A puppy, especially a Beagle puppy, has very sensitive hearing. He may find some of the noises he hears scary and this can trigger him to bark. Provide a gentle background sound, such as leaving a radio on playing quiet classical music. This can help to mask intruding noise and settle the pup.
Step
5
Provide a distraction
The puppy can't chew and bark at the same time. Being a beagle he's strongly food motivated, so use this to reduce barking. When guests are anticipated and therefore he's liable to bark, ahead of their arrival give him a puzzle feeder with peanut butter inside or else a highly prized chew toy. With his mouth occupied with the treat, he won't want to bark.
Recommend training method?

The Do's and Don'ts Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Don't: Shout at the puppy
Shouting can be misinterpreted as barking by the puppy. He may think you want to join in and this makes him more excited--and more likely to bark than before.
Step
2
Don't: Accidentally reward barking
Be careful about giving a barking puppy treats, as he will think the barking is being rewarded. For example, when visitors arrive, don't give the pup a chew stick while he's barking in order to make him quiet. He will then think if he barks he gets a chew stick.
Step
3
Do: Get the dog to earn a reward
So you know a chew stick will quiet the dog so that your visitors hold a conversation. Instead of giving the chew to a barking pup, have him earn it by following a command such as "Sit" or "Look". This way you are reward the action 'sit' rather than the barking.
Step
4
Don't: Use inappropriate training aids
Congratulations! You have a Beagle pup. To a certain extent, barking goes with the territory. If you wanted a completely silent dog then a Beagle is a poor choice. Do not use harsh training aids such as shock collars in order to intimidate your pup into silence. He's only being a Beagle.
Step
5
Do: Enlist the help of friends
Ask friends to help you train the pup not to bark. Have them call and enter the house, but only greet the puppy when he's quiet (and not barking.) Make sure they blank any barking, but make a big fuss of the puppy when he's quiet... and it's quite OK to give him treats when he's silent.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Lucky
Beagle
2 Months
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Question
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Lucky
Beagle
2 Months

How do I get my puppy to not bark and howl at night?

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

Hello, is Lucky in a crate at night for sleep? When he barks and howls, is it in the middle of the night? Chances are he needs a potty break. Dogs this young cannot hold it all night. Take him out for a pee, no talking, no playing - just a pee and back to bed. Is he located far from you? He's pretty young and may be anxious. You can try a few things. Have room darkening curtains and white noise (like a fan pointed away from him) as a way to help him sleep. Tire him out before bed with lots of play time and fresh air. Even if he's tired, keep him up just a little bit longer! During the day, provide him with mentally stimulating toys that will give his brain a workout so that he sleeps better at night. Interactive toys are best, and a feeder toy can be fun. Feed him half of his meal in his bowl and the other half in the feeder. Just make sure that the feeder toy is not frustrating for him as he learns to use it. Help him along at first if needed. Make sure you take him out right before bed time. If Lucky still howls, you can crate him in your room. Once he gets a little older and sleeps more soundly, you can start to inch his crate out the door a little bit each night. Just an inch or two, until the crate is back where you want it to be. I hope these tips help and good luck!

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Question
Waylon
Beagle
2 Years
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Question
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Waylon
Beagle
2 Years

How can I train him to not bark at every little noise he hears. He barks at anyone pulling into the driveway, coming up the stairs and especially knocking at the door and coming into the house. As soon as the guest comes in and sees theyre not a threat he stops. Also in the car he will see a person walk by the car and goes crazy. He is not fixed so I worry hes just being protective and there's nothing we can do about it. With a new baby coming I dont want him to constantly startle him and wake him up. He is the sweetest dog to us and our kids but we need a little insight on the bark training. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brookelyn, Check out the video linked below and follow the "Quiet" method and the desensitization method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Also, check out the videos linked below to see an example of desensitizing (which means making them less sensitive to something) a dog to guests and noises. Guest and the door desensitization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA&t=16s General noise desensitization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp_l9C1yT1g Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Leo
Beagle
4 Months
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Question
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Leo
Beagle
4 Months

My dog barks and barks when left alone. He is also very destructive. We do well at ignoring him, but he still barks and barks at night or when he's alone. We even gave him a puzzle toy to distract him but he continues barking. What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carmela, Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Practice this only during the day when you are home. Ignore the barking at night and between the quiet spells during the day that you reward. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate A lot of barking is normal during the first two weeks. If the barking continues despite practicing the Surprise method during the day, and past 2 weeks, then you will need to use corrections. Again, if its been less than two weeks, persistence is key. If pup barks past two weeks into crate training, continue practicing the Surprise method linked above, but also teach pup the Quiet command. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once pup knows the Quiet method, go outside or in another room - where you can still hear pup but they can't see you. If pup gets Quiet - return and sprinkle the treats through the crate then leave again. If pup continues barking, command Quiet and wait a couple of seconds - if pup gets Quiet and stays quiet - great! Reward. If pup continues barking or stops but starts right back - return to pup and spray a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer toward pup's side through the crate wires (do NOT spray in the face). This small puff of air should surprise pup and stop the barking for a few seconds. Leave again after the correction and see if pup stays quiet for a couple of minutes - if he does, return and reward. If he starts barking again, repeat quiet, then correct with the pet convincer if he keeps barking. Repeat the treats during times of quiet and the corrections whenever he keeps barking. Don't use citronella for this - its far too harsh and lingers for a long time - making it confusing for training. Only use unscented air. If the Pet Convincer comes with citronella, you should be able to purchase unscented normal air canisters to use with it instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Waylon
Beagle
2 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Waylon
Beagle
2 Months

I am looking for any tips regarding basic training for a Beagle puppy. This will be my first puppy ownership (My family dog was also a Beagle but my parents did all the training). I currently work full time and i am fearful about leaving him home alone(in a crate/ kennel or not) from 8 am until about 4 or 5 p.m. We walk him as must as possible, but Any advice is good, general helpful tips for new puppy owners would be helpful. Thank you

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

Hello, is there anyone that can come home mid-day to let Wayon out? That is a long time for him to go without peeing. If not, I suggest starting him on a grass pad (see the Exercise Pen Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy) and this is an excellent article on setting up the pen area: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. It is a much better idea than leaving him in a crate all day. He'll feel better about being alone. You can transition him to peeing outside when he is older and has a bladder that can last. Make sure he has interactive toys and even a feeder toy to keep him occupied. Some people will leave the radio on for sound, too. Once you get home, yes, take him for a nice long walk and give him plenty of play time. As soon as Waylon is old enough (your vet can give you the okay as far as vaccines go) take him to puppy training and beyond. Beagles love to learn and need to be mentally active, too. Have fun and all the best!

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