Are you worried that your little beagle puppy will chase cars and might end up being hurt? Then read on for strategies to train your beagle not to chase cars that you can start implementing today.
Beagles, in general, have a very strong instinct to hunt and chase. Something moves and that instinct is awaken. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your beagle might find chasing cars (or bicycles, skaters, passersby, cats, etc.) very appealing.
To make matter worse, we play with our dogs and we encourage chasing. When we throw a ball, that is exactly what we are doing. And that can contribute to the confusion.
The principle here is RESPONSIBILITY. You are responsible for your beagle’s safety as well as for the safety of other people. Lots of beagles get hurt because of this chasing habit and lots of drivers have accidents trying to avoid running over dogs chasing other cars.
Therefore, we are going to start with an essential rule: “Beagle on leash until properly trained”.
Keep your beagle on the leash until you have trained them not to chase. (In the case of beagles, in particular, you might want to keep your beagle always on a leash when they are outside. (Remember that they can be easily distracted and led by any “interesting smells” to places not that safe plus they might be difficult to recall).
The second essential rule is: “Beagles need proper leash training”. Start your beagle leash training in a safe environment without distractions where your beagle has the opportunity to succeed. Train the desired behavior repeatedly until your beagle understands what it is expected from him before taking your beagle out.
The desired behavior that we want to reinforce is “stay by my side when you are on the leash” or “there is no better place to be when we go out for a walk than by my side”. You want to treat and reward your beagle for staying by your side.
Once you and your beagle have mastered leash training and you are ready to go for a walk, you are going to start teaching your beagle to look at you whenever cars pass by.
Here is what to do:
You hear cars coming; you call your beagle’s attention and offer a treat as a reward for looking at you. You want to create the association of moving traffic and looking at you in your beagle’s brain.
If your beagle is too distracted to look at you, put your hand with the treat in front of their nose and make them turn their head around to look at you and get the treat.
Bonus Tips to Train Your Beagle Not To Chase
- Provide your beagle with plenty of exercise as well as mental stimulation. This helps immensely with your training.
- Teach your beagle when chasing is acceptable and when it is not (cats and other pets, cars, skaters, etc.).
- If your beagle chases you, don’t make the mistake of reinforcing this behavior. Don’t run away when you notice that your beagle wants to play and chase you. Turn away and ignore your dog for a while. Once your beagle calms down, you can give them attention and praise.
- It is important that you remain consistent about chasing to avoid that your beagle chases other people who visit your home. Remember that your dog cannot make the distinction between playing with you and playing in the same fashion with other people.
- Another very effective strategy is to teach your beagle to sit as soon as you notice that the chasing is about to start. Reward your beagle for sitting with treats and praise. You will be reinforcing the desired behavior and discouraging the chasing.
In this post we have dealt with prevention, i.e. how to train your beagle not to chase. If your beagle has a chasing problem, you will need the help or an expert behaviorist or dog trainer.