Pet Training Series: How to Train a Beagle Puppy

Skylar Dial
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Designated Areas for food, water, and bathroom

Beagles’ natural hunting instincts have a tendency to get them into things they shouldn’t be in, but just like the wild, if you’ve got a specific area for each and every one of your dogs to do their business, you’ll keep things much cleaner.

I recommend using a portable folding gate if you’re not able to block off a specific area. Many local pet stores sell these and sometimes they even come under a dollar. You can get them even cheaper if you buy the non-locking ones meant for young children.

You can also use them to block off a room, even a bathroom.

Make sure the gates are always secured and your dog can’t get out.

Teach Your Dog Simple Word-Based Commands

If you want to teach your dog a simple word-based command, I recommend starting with "come", "sit", "down", "stay", and "heel".

These are some of the most basic and useful obedience commands, and they are the foundation for more complicated commands like "sit/stay" or "down/stay".

Note: "Come" = Praise + Food

To teach your beagle puppy to come to you when invited, begin by holding out your palm and arm for the puppy to sniff.

When the puppy sniffs your hand, then use your free hand to deliver a couple of treats.

Start small. For example, if you only have one or two treats, that's okay. The goal is to first teach your beagle puppy that good things happen when he comes when you call him, so treat him generously when he gets there.

Repeat this several times, dropping a treat for your beagle puppy each time.

Next, hold out your palm with your other "ready" hand near your belly button.

When the puppy glances at your hand, use your other hand to deliver a few more treats.

Repeat this a few times.

Go back to holding your hand out.

When the puppy approaches or sniffs your hand, reach up and pet his head.

Then give him a few more treats.

Some tricks of the trade:

Here’s a tip that will get you started rearing a well-behaved beagle pup: Use a spray bottle to make a connection between bad behavior and the act of getting sprayed.

Whenever the pup does something bad, spray his bottom with water. When he starts making the connection between the bad behavior and the spray bottle, reduce the frequency and make him wait for longer realizations.

This will teach him to stop misbehaving when you’re around, but it may take some time before he learns to modify his behavior for the long time.

Make Sure Your Dog is Getting Enough Exercise

Dogs are very social animals, especially puppies. They tend to thrive on attention, play, and exercise.

You already know how much joy your puppy can bring you and your family. Try to evenly distribute his or her interactions within the family. When you’re feeling extra tired or harried, it’s easy to neglect the important things, like playtime and affection. When your schedule is already jammed, it can be tempting to forgo training sessions, family hikes, or romps in the park with your puppy.

But it’s essential to provide your pup with daily exercise. So make sure that you make time for several play sessions and at least one family walk.

Keeping your dog busy and active is good for his mental health, too. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise, tend to develop bad habits, like chewing the furniture or barking uncontrollably.

Also, both dogs and puppies should have a little bit of free time each day. It’s interesting how well rested and relaxed a dog feels after it’s had a chance to play with a throw toy, chase a ball, or even go for a romp in the park.

Establish a Feeding Schedule

Before you think about training your Beagle, you need to establish a feeding schedule. Whether you choose to feed dry kibble, canned food or a mixture of both, each method is prepared and served differently. A schedule helps the dog know whether food will be available and when and it makes it easier to train your pet to a specific time.

For those Beagles with a voracious appetite, you may even want to separate it into two meals. The Beagle is a bit of a glutton and will gobble up everything if he gets the chance. Over feeding can lead to digestive problems and obesity, both of which can shorten a dog’s life. You should start out with three meals a day and then, if needed, gradually decrease the amount to two daily meals.

One of the issues you’re likely to face when establishing a feeding schedule is trying to convince your dog that it needs to eat at the same time every day. This is particularly problematic if your Beagle has begun to freelance at night. In that case, you may want to consider feeding your dog twice a day instead of one large meal.

Breeders and trainers recommend the Dogmatic Raw Food Diet (RRFD).

Introduce Crate Training

Crate training is one of the most important parts of housebreaking and training your Beagle puppy. It is also the most unpleasant and time consuming part of the process. Crate training basically calls for putting your puppy in a cage when it’s time to rest, sleep, or be left alone. And being left alone with nothing to do can be pretty stressful for a puppy. However, the crate is so vital to the process that leaving your puppy alone is the right thing to do, despite the unhappiness.

The most important step in crate training is getting your puppy used to being in a cage. This can be achieved by using positive reinforcement and tempting your puppy into the cage. You can do this by putting your puppy’s favorite toy and/or a treat inside.

Start Housebreaking

One of the most challenging parts of dog ownership is house breaking. Not only does it take a long time, but it can also be frustrating. Beagles are a particularly hard dog breed to house break because while they are boundlessly friendly and ideal companions for children, they also tend to be quite stubborn. Beagles are intelligent and inquisitive and will find more ways than one to get into your trash, eat from your trash can and dig in your garden if given the chance.

Beagles are notorious for getting into the trash. One of the most important steps in housebreaking a beagle is to start early on. Do not wait until your beagle is mature to start house training. Since they are genetically inclined to explore and get into trash, start training as soon as they are old enough to understand.

Consistency is Key

If you have a beagle puppy, it’s important to keep training sessions short. With some of the smaller breeds, puppies can learn habits more quickly. However, with beagles, the training is based more on what not to do.

Bred to track deer, possums, and rabbits during the night, they have keen senses which they use to track and flush the animals out of hiding. Even with adequate exercise, beagles can be very active indoors. Because of their size, there are benefits to training them to use a potty rather than going outdoors.

Beagles are highly intelligent and can be quite vocal. Training is the best way to get your beagle doing the things that you want it to do. The biggest challenge with this breed is that it has energy that needs to be channeled into the right directions.