In general, it can be expected that hound dogs will be more difficult to train in off-leash activities. Hound dogs have been bred to devote themselves completely to the task of sniffing out their quarry. Their droopy skin and long ears help to funnel smells into their exceptionally well-equipped sniffers.
Watching a hound dog on the scent, droopy brow furrowed in concentration, is a beautiful thing. The triumphant bay of discovery and of jubilant chase, also, are wonderful to behold--that is, if you are on the hunt behind a pack of beagles. If, on the other hand, you are trying to enjoy a walk through the park with your canine companion, and the quarry is a squirrel that your hound dog has now treed very loudly to the consternation of other park goers, you may be less thrilled.
How can you teach your scent and prey-driven hound dog to stay with you when walking off leash? Well, when it comes to beagles, you have something to your advantage. Most beagles absolutely love food. One of the challenges of beagle ownership is keeping off the pounds. Furthermore, those powerful noses beagles possess are equally capable of picking up the smell of a delectable treat that you have just procured from a treat bag, so using a food lure to bring your beagle back to you can be very successful.
The younger your beagle is, the easier it will be to teach her to stay with you off leash. All puppies instinctively want to be near their person, so if you start when your beagle is a puppy all tripping over her ears, and encourage staying close, your beagle will continue to develop and internalize this training as she grows. Even if you have a grown hound dog, however, you can teach your beagle to walk with you off-leash. Training, in this case, may require more persistence and food rewards, but you and your beagle can get there.
Throughout the training process, it is helpful to develop impulse control in your beagle in as many situations as possible, not just when you are walking with your beagle off-leash. Think of your beagle’s impulse control as a muscle that must be developed to be as strong as her powerful nose.
For all training techniques, it is important to know what best motivates your beagle. Just because beagles have a reputation for loving food, don’t assume that your particular beagle won’t be motivated best by toys. Introduce your dog to lots of goodies at various times and see what she consistently responds most enthusiastically to.
If you are using a leash to train your beagle, be sure it is clipped to a sturdy well fitted harness. You will want a leash that can go at least as far as you would want to let your dog wander off leash, and it is best if the leash has some elasticity so that your beagle will not pull sharply against you if she should try to run.
Have trained recall and other basic commands since we got her at 15 weeks old. But recently when out at our park she has learnt people leave rubbish in their gardens and as soon as she gets off the lead she bolts. Ordinarily her recall is good even with distractions such as dogs and people. But now if she gets a scent of food there is absolutely no recall at all, even with tasty treats . I don't mind keeping her on the lead but it's a shame she doesn't get to exercise the way she did off lead. Is there anything I can do?
Hello Joanna, Check out the article linked below and practice the Long leash method and the Premack Principle on a 30' leash in the area she tends to bolt off in. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I got my beagle from the pound. When she first came home she had nightmares. Whenever you wake her up she growls and bites at you.She also has food aggression and she gets very defensive. She has to sleep in her crate cause she can not handle to sleep on my bed or she will bite me.She also pulls allot on her leash and since she is only 281b I have to pick her up.The people at the pound told me that her owner before passed away and her children had children and since she has food aggression they don't want her to bite the children so they gave her up.I hope you can help me.Thanks for listening have a nice day/night!
Hello Clare, I suggest hiring a trainer who will come to your home and is very experienced with aggression. She needs to be desensitized to having people around her food. How you should do that will depend on what the aggression stems from. If it's a lack of trust, then you want to associate your approach with rewards so that her expectation of you taking the food changes to her expecting you to come over and give her good things. That will decrease any anxiety associated with being approached around food and help the aggression if it stems from an anxiety. If the issue is a lack of respect, then that needs to be addressed over all in her day to day life, including the food area but not just that area. One way to do that is to implement a lot more structure, rules and boundaries into her day and have her do a command before you give her anything she wants, such as food, a walk, pets, or a toy. You want to establish that you are in charge but do it without too much physical confrontation. Check out the article that I have linked below for more details on that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If respect is the issue, then I would also recommend hiring an experienced trainer to work with you in person because there are a lot of things that will need to be demonstrated, everything should be done carefully and careful attention paid to her response to the training, and she will need to be evaluated to see why the aggression is happening - is it respect or fear based? For the walking, check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Turns" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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