Beagles are wonderful companions, loyal friends and amazing pets. However you still need to remember that deep down they are still dogs that need proper training. Just like you would teach a child how to behave properly, you have to train your Beagle to follow your house rules if you want to own a predictable and obedient dog.
What age to start training
Beagles are constantly learning so you can’t really say “I will start training my Beagle today!” because the fact of the matter is that you’ve been training him all along without even realizing it. Your puppy is constantly observing you and other people around him for hints on how he should behave.
Of course that just applies to behavior and obedience training. If you’re talking about actual trick training, then things are a little different. Here is an outline of what age your puppy should start learning new tricks and commands. Please note that these are just estimates and not exact rules:
- 4-6 Months – Your puppy should be able to recognize his name by now. You can even start teaching him simple commands (like come and sit). They are still very curious about their world and their curiosity will often get them into trouble. So don’t be too upset when your puppy messes something up. Use it as an opportunity to guide him to what he should be doing instead. At this age socializing your puppy and getting him used to people and new experiences is very important.
- 8-10 Months – Your puppy should be confident (or at least feel comfortable) around people and other animals by now. At this age you can start training your Beagle new slightly harder tricks (like down and fetch). He will still be a curious pup, but not as much as before. His need to bite and chew on everything new should greatly reduce by now.
- 1 year and older – Now your Beagle is practically an adult and he should behave as one. If he is still misbehaving do not worry, you can still fix his behavior. No dog is too old to learn basic obedience. Just remember that whenever you’re training your Beagle, break up complicated commands into smaller and easier to learn steps and always use positive reinforcement to encourage him to keep learning.
What You Will Need
Despite what some of the TV commercials might tell you about dog training, you don’t really need any special equipment to successfully teach your Beagle new tricks or obedience rules. If you use the right approach and time things right, the Beagle will actually feel excited about learning.
The only thing you need for training is some sort of way to reward the dog to show him that he is on the right path and doing things right. So always carry a couple of delicious treats that you know your dog will love.
An alternative to treats is a clicker. Clickers are small little boxes that you can keep on your keychain and carry with you wherever you go. When you press on them they make a clicking noise, hence the name. You can teach your Beagle to associate that click with the feeling of a reward. It’s often used by professional dog trainers because it’s more convenient than giving out treats every time their dog follows a command.
Clickers are not really necessary, but if you plan to do a lot of trick training, they can come in useful.
Obedience Training and Disobedient Behavior
Whether your Beagle has only recently started to show minor signs of disobedience or he has been misbehaving for a long time, don’t worry because you can correct this type of behavior with proper training.
The best way to do this is not through punishing, hitting, or yelling at your dog. Instead it’s correcting his behavior and teaching him what he should be doing instead. Sometimes the dog doesn’t even realize he is doing something “wrong” and yelling at him for it won’t teach him anything.
More Training Tips
Here are couple of tips which you can include in your training that will help you improve your Beagle’s behavior.
- Keep your training sessions short – If you make your Beagle repeat the same task over and over for a long time, he will quickly grow bored of it. You will have a hard time getting your dog’s attention and he won’t be able to learn much.
- Eliminate as many distractions as you can – Beagles are extremely curious dogs, do try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. This is especially true for puppies that can’t sit still for even a second.
- Use rewards wisely – Get your Beagle to work for his treats. If you just hand them out for nothing, he won’t think of them as anything special. Treats should be used as motivational tools that encourage your dog to listen.
- Don’t get frustrated – Beagles are great at sensing emotion. So when you start stressing out over a command that your dog is having a hard time understanding, he will be able to sense your frustration. This will put him in a stressful mood as well and he will have a hard time following directions and remembering anything you try to teach him. So try to keep things and fun exciting during training.
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