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March 2006

Training your Beagle

What comes first training or the dog?  The answer is training!  Why?  Training starts with you learning to communicate and define the rules to the dog.  You need to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior.  Each member of the family needs to be involved.  For smaller children, you may need to use a prop like a stuffed dog to demonstrate proper handling of the dog by the children.

The key to a successful life with a beagle or any dog is to not allow bad behavior from the first moment. If you don’t want your dog to jump on you, then research proper techniques for managing jumping.    Be prepared and ready for the problem so you can properly discourage or redirect the dog.

Beagles respond best to positive reinforcement techniques.  What does this mean?  You find all the reasons and situations for praising your beagle.  When he is chewing on the table leg, you distract him to get his attention.  Ask him to sit and then give him the treat.  Play for a short period, and then give him a chew toy for some alone/quiet time.  A treat can be food, playtime with a favorite toy, pat on the head, or a ride in the car, depends on what is exciting and fun to your dog.

Decide on the words you will use to represent behaviors, like sit, come, down.  The cue words need to be consistent throughout the family.  You should make a list of the words and what action the word should elicit.

Select the initial training area and make a list of other areas that you will want your dog to listen and follow commands, like the back yard, in the car, etc.

Make a plan for incorporating training into your daily schedule. ½ hour to 1 hour is all that is needed and the time should be spread out through the day in 5-10 minutes slots.  Your dog has a short attention span and can get bored and become overly distracted.  This will cause frustration and no one will learn a thing!

Now you are ready to bring a dog into the picture!!

Thanks to Judy Weber for our featured article of the month.

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To place Beagles in need into loving, permanent homes and to provide educational resources to help prevent future displaced Beagles.

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