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You’ve barely had a minute to sit down and breathe since your Beagle puppy came into your life. He seems to have unlimited energy and spends his days charging around the house. This is perhaps unsurprising though, as Beagles are known to be excitable, determined, and intelligent. In fact, you love his energy, it even seems to be rubbing off on the whole family. However, when he gets a little too into playing around, he ends up biting. He also sometimes goes to bite new people and other pets. This could be a serious problem.
Training him not to bite is extremely important. Firstly, he could do you or someone else serious injury. If the problem persists, however, he could become increasingly aggressive and need to be put down. Training him not to bite as a puppy, therefore, is essential in shaping his future life.
Beagle puppies' teeth are developing, plus they get restless and bored. All of this can result in biting. So, training will consist of identifying the cause of the biting is and remedying it. Firstly though, you will need to introduce a number of steps to deter him from biting in the first place. Changes to his environment and routine may have to be made. You will also need to look at how you respond to his biting when it does happen.
Because he’s a puppy he should learn quickly. You may see results in just a week or two. However, if he’s stubborn and particularly aggressive, training may take up to six weeks. If you get this training right you will no longer have to worry about leaving him with small children. It could also prevent him getting into fights with other dogs, so it may save his life.
Before you start training, you will need to get your hands on a few bits. A deterrence collar and water spray bottle will be needed. A muzzle, too, will be required. For one of the methods, a favorite toy will be needed. You should also stock up on treats.
While you won’t need to set aside specific time for training each day, you will need to be around as much as possible.
Once you have all the above, just bring patience and a positive attitude, then work can begin!
The React Method
Whenever you see him bite or go to bite, quickly go over and give a firm ‘NO’ command. While you don’t want to terrify him, make sure he knows you mean business.
Water spray bottle
If the firm ‘NO’ does not work, you can try giving a quick spray of water near his face when he bites. This will soon get him associating biting with negative consequences.
You may also want to consider using a deterrence collar. You simply hit the button when he bites and an unpleasant spray of citronella will be emitted. This will make him think twice about biting next time.
It is important you remain relatively calm when he does bite. If you get angry then it may only get him more worked up and make it an even more stimulating experience for him. So, keep your cool at all times.
Until his biting is under control, you may want to fit your Beagle puppy in a muzzle. This is particularly important if you are out in public. This will prevent him causing any injury until the behavior has been tackled.
The Environment Method
Make sure he has a secure space he can escape to, such as a crate or bed. Beagle puppies can bite when they are overwhelmed or frustrated. This is particularly common when young children continue to pester and play with them. So, it is vital he has somewhere he can head to when he needs time alone.
Tug of war
He may be biting because he is teething. So, spend a few minutes each day playing tug of war with a toy. This will help direct his biting into something safe and productive.
He may still be a puppy, but he will still need a decent amount of exercise. His biting behavior may be out of restlessness. So, take him for a longer walk or spend a few minutes playing fetch with him each day. A tired Beagle is calm and gentle.
Try leaving him with food puzzles to get through. Not only will they keep him occupied for hours, but he will be using his mouth and relieving any teething temptation in a safe way.
Stay in front
It is important you position yourself between him and people or pets he doesn’t know. If you are in front, then it is your job to protect him and not the other way around. This should prevent any biting that is defensive behavior.
The Socialization Method
Take him to obedience classes from as early age as possible. The more people and pets he meets while he’s young, the more confident he will be. As a result, he won’t bite as a nervous, defensive measure.
Teach him basic commands, such as ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘stay’. This will all reinforce your position as pack leader. Plus, just as importantly, it will instill discipline so he is easier to control.
Try to encourage gentle play with people. Ensure strangers remain relatively quiet and stroke him. Getting him too worked up may result in biting. He needs to stay relatively subdued and relaxed when playing.
Encourage non-contact play
If he bites when you stroke him or play too close to him, then encourage non-contact games. Fetch, for example, will keep him entertained and allow you to spend quality time together, while preventing any biting.
If he does start biting when new people or pets are around, remove him from the environment. Calmly lead him out the room and give him a cooling off period of 30 seconds. When the time is up, let him back in. If he bites again, add another 30 seconds on to his 'time out' period. Continue doing this until he gets the message.
By James Barra
Published: 02/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021