Beagles as Hunting Dogs
The Beagle dog breed has a long history that involves a lot of hunting, fetching and tracking. The original purpose for the breed was hunting for smaller pray that other hounds would have a hard time with. So it’s no wonder that to this day hunters are happy to welcome these cute little dogs on their hunting trips.
Beagles are the ideal hunting dog to take with you if you’re planning to catch some of the smaller prey – think rabbits, squirrels, foxes, etc. Their strong sense of small, good hearing, agility and speed gives them the advantage that they need. And the smaller bodies allow them to get under shrubs and bushes that larger dogs wouldn’t fit in.
Beagles for Hunting
The Beagle dog breed is most widely known for their small size and their sharp sense of smell. In the hound category, these dogs are classified as scent hounds since they are mostly used for tracking. Their large wet nose will spot the trail of the prey and their large droopy ears will help them stay on the scent.
Although these dogs are born with instincts to track scents and howl if they find something to warn their owners, they still need quite a bit of training to be proper hunting dogs. So don’t expect your Beagle to be the perfect hunting companion on his first try just because his ancestors were.
Preparing For the Hunt
What you will have to do is properly train and prepare the Beagle for hunting. Start off with basic obedience training to get him used to learning and following commands. Get him to learn simple tricks first before you jump to harder ones. This will also help build trust and confidence in you as the leader and owner.
Once he has a better understanding of the basics, you can start focusing on commands that you will be using while out hunting. While doing this it’s also a good idea to prepare him for the physical aspect of the hunt. Spend more time with the Beagle outdoors to let him run, explore, swim and follow scents. All of these skills will be very useful out in the field.
Once your Beagle has everything he needs to know learned, don’t think that you’re done. Continue on practicing to sharpen his skills and to make sure he doesn’t forget anything you have taught him.
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