You brought home this adorable beagle and you think to yourself “What can go wrong? Now is the beginning of a happy family life.” Beagles can grow up to be adorable, friendly family pets with the right training. The perfect family picture can actually turn out to be quite a nightmare if you overlook the following facts.
1. THE NOSE-BRAIN CONNECTION
As a beagle owner you should remember that beagles are scent hounds developed to track small game. As a side note, the white tip of their tails was designed for the hunters to see them in the fields. What does it mean to you? You cannot forget that a beagle’s brain is controlled by their nose.
Beagles might be difficult to recall once they pick an interesting scent. Make sure your garden has adequate fencing and always keep your Beagle on a leash to prevent it from escaping and being run over by a car. You need to train your Beagle to pay attention to you from a very young age.
2. BEAGLES ARE PACK ANIMALS
Beagles were originally bred to work independently from humans in dog packs. Beagles prefer to take directions from another very strong dog and not from people. You will need to learn to understand the pack mentality and how to become the alpha dog of your pack. This will provide your beagle with a sense of security since they know that the alpha leader of the pack is there to protect them and they gladly submit to their commands in exchange for that protection. If you fail to establish yourself as the alpha dog of your pack, you create anxiety in your beagle that feels the need to take that role and protect your family. This anxiety and uncertainty is the root of all future behavioral issues with your beagle. (To learn more about how to become the alpha leader and prevent behavioral problems remember to claim your complementary report if you haven’t already).
3. THEIR HIGHEST PRIORITY: THEIR FOOD
One of the most important facts to remember about beagles is that they love food and they eat almost anything, which is the reason why you should provide your Beagle with plenty of exercise to avoid them getting over weight. Food can work wonders as a reward or incentive during the initial phase of your training. Later on you will need to switch to praise as a reward instead of treats.
Any proper Beagle takes its food bowl with utmost seriousness. Teach your children to respect that and to leave your Beagle alone while they eat and not to approach it.
4. BEAGLES HATE BEING LEFT ALONE AT HOME
Beagles crave attention and love company. If left alone at home and they can suffer from separation anxiety. Since they tend to be friendly to other dogs and even to cats, providing a canine or feline companion might be the solution.
5. BEAGLES ARE DOGS AND NOT TOYS
Beagles can be trained to be friendly with children but they are not a toy and they are certainly not recommended for households with children under the age of five. If you have young children, make sure to supervise your Beagle at all times when they are together with your children. One of the main reasons for this recommendation is that beagles can be mouthy and they don’t make a distinction among things that they can grab with your mouth, so it could well end up being your baby’s hand. Fortunately, you can train your beagle not to do that… and hopefully the training will take place before any limbs are lost.
6. BEAGLES BAY AND BARK
Beagles can be very noisy dogs and a neighborhood popularity killer for your family. Learn how to train your beagle when to bark and use this “feature” of your beagle to your advantage: your dog can make a wonderful watch dog because they bark when faced with unfamiliar people or situations.
7. BEAGLES ARE EASILY BORED AND THIS MEANS ONLY TROUBLE
Beagles require quite a lot of exercise to keep them fit and to prevent them from getting bored. If you thought that due to their size a walk around the block would do it, think again. If you leave your Beagle in the backyard unsupervised, they will provide for their own entertainment by barking, digging, or trying to escape.
Beagles were bred for long chases and have a lot of energy, particularly as puppies. Remember that providing plenty of exercise will make the training process much easier and will also keep your beagle fit (they love to eat, remember?).
Games can be quite helpful since beagles can be destructive when they are bored or when they don’t get enough exercise.
BONUS TRAINING TIP: Suitable games for beagles are tracking games, of course, such as leaving a trail for your beagle and then releasing them to go retrieve the treat, hiding treats in different places or even a treasure hunt at meal times where the prize is their food bowl. There are toys where you can hide treats.