Beagle Puppy Trainingby Glenda Taylor
Your beagle puppy descends from a long line of English hunting hounds, selected and bred for his outstanding sense of smell and congenial personality. As an adult, your beagle will reach a height of between 13 and 15 inches and will weigh approximately 20 lbs. Your beagle puppy will form a loyal bond with you and your family and he will be a fine companion animal, but his intrinsic sense of the hunt makes training challenging. Early socialization and obedience training will help you control your beagle's natural urge to chase anything that moves.
Begin leash training your beagle puppy as soon as possible. While some breeds adapt to a walking lead easily, the beagle is likely to be distracted by every strange smell on the sidewalk. Predominantly a scent hound, this breed may walk with its nose close to the pavement, prepared to track a tantalizing scent at any moment. Maintaining a brisk walking pace with a beagle puppy, without pulling him along, may prevent him from sniffing the ground constantly. To reduce distractions, carry a few tasty treats in your pocket and use them as rewards for walking without pulling. Alternately, hold the treat in a closed hand to prompt a reluctant puppy to begin walking.
Begin housebreaking your beagle puppy as soon as you bring him home by placing him outdoors in one spot in the yard frequently. Until he is 4 months old, your puppy may find it difficult to control his bladder for longer than an hour or two at a time. Because their sense of smell is acute, house training should include preventing "accidents" that leave behind an odor, signaling your beagle puppy to do his business in the same spot. Restricting this breed to a small area with washable flooring may help reduce this problem. If accidents do occur, move the feces or a urine-soaked paper towel to his outdoor potty spot. His sense of smell will reinforce what he is supposed to do.
When he is not distracted, your beagle puppy will strive to obey and please you. Consistency in training techniques and daily reinforcement is necessary to reduce your puppy's natural desire to go in a different direction. Use positive reinforcement and avoid scolding and punishing your beagle puppy for mistakes.
Beagle noise may be a factor when keeping a beagle outdoors in a yard or a kennel. Along with his ability to bark, your beagle may enjoy baying. Although this is natural for his breed, it can quickly annoy the neighbors. The use of a citronella collar that emits a small squirt of harmless citronella may discourage your beagle from barking or baying. Remove the collar when the puppy is indoors and on walks. Do not use a citronella collar near a noisy playground or loud street traffic that may inadvertently set off the collar, punishing your dog for no reason.
- Howell Book of Dogs -- The Definitive Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties, Liz Palika, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2007