Beagle Resources

Cure Dog Skin Problems
Easy ways to stop your dog's itching problem

Review: The Beagle Manual
A must-have for Beagle Puppy Owners!

Pee Away!
Prevent your beagle from peeing around the house

Monday, September 29, 2008

Beagle Training - Teach your beagle puppy to Roll Over!

Beagle training is fun when you have the right training methods, AND an attentive beagle. One of the most interesting tricks I’ve used courtesy of the 101 Dog Tricks book by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy is to train Clifford.

Don’t force your dog!

If you are serious about training your beagle, using the right methods is an absolute must. The reality is that, dogs think differently from humans, and we cannot assume that we can teach them like children. For instance, if you want to teach your dog to roll over, it wouldn’t be right to roll your dog over physically and hope that he will get the message!

How to train your beagle

The right way to teach your dog to roll over is to first have your dog in a Down position in front of you, and position a treat right above his head. Slowly move the treat to the left (or right, if you want your dog to roll right), so that your dog will move his head in the direction of the treat. This way, your dog has now choice but to roll over. Once he has rolled to his side, make sure he’s in the Down position again before rewarding him.

Use hand signals too

Once your beagle learns this trick, you may want to get your dog to respond to hand signals too. Make a circular motion with the index finger whenever you say “Roll over!” Also, always remember to reward your beagle dog IMMEDIATELY after he or she does it right. Otherwise, he may not know that you are rewarding him for a trick done right.

Continuous encouragement

If your beagle does not get the trick after a few tries, keep his spirits up by commanding him to do a trick he already knows, and rewarding him for it. This way, he’ll stay focus when he knows that his efforts will be rewarded.

Have patience

Don’t give up if your beagle puppy does not get it immediately. It takes lots of time and patience to get one trick right. Just see how enthusiastic Clifford is when he rolls over!

Now, training your beagle to Play Dead is level 2 of roll over. . .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beagle Training – How to do it?

If there is one thing in common amongst beagle owners, it would probably be their perception that beagles can’t be trained. Beagle dogs and puppies are extremely active, and getting them just to pay attention would hardly be an easy feat. In fact, even dog trainers I know have remarked that Beagles would only hardly make it to Intermediate and Advanced level of trainings.

Well, my one-year old beagle dog Clifford seems to have the ability to pay attention. He now rolls over, begs, shakes my hand, sits, stays, comes, heals, jumps through hoops and fetches. Right now, I’m trying to teach him how to play dead.

So, what is the secret to successful beagle training?

1. Know what makes your beagle pay attention

Fortunately, my beagle dog loves to eat. And he would do ANYTHING for food. Simple, plain old Science Plan dog food is good enough to reward Clifford. He doesn’t need premium meat slices or over-the-counter treats to get him started.

The trick is to find out what your beagle CRAVES for. If your dog loves cheese, then use cheese as training rewards– in small amounts, of course. Most dogs love the smell of cooked sausages, so you can heat some up each time you want to train you beagle. Remember to feed your dog small pieces so as not to overfeed.

It’s best that your treats are soft and easy to swallow. This way, you won’t have to wait too long for your beagle dog to finish his food before you move on to the next trick.

2. Reward your beagle immediately

Always reward your beagle IMMEDIATELY after he or she does what you say. Dogs live for the moment and delayed rewards may mean that you are rewarding for something else. Let me illustrate.

You say the command “Sit” and your beagle responds immediately. But since you don’t have a treat in your hand, you fumble in your pocket for the reward. However, your dog gets up again within a few seconds. Giving the beagle the reward AFTER he or she has gotten up will mean that you are rewarding the dog for sitting up.

To avoid this, always have the reward in your hand and give your beagle the treat at once after your dog has responded correctly.

3. Be generous with your treats or rewards

Reward your beagle dog for everything he or she does right. Don’t be tightfisted with your treats. You’ll end up only disappointing your beagle.

4. Get your dog to look at YOU

A beagle that does not look at you in the eye will be distracted and will not respond. This does not mean that your dog is disobedient, or can’t be trained. Your beagle has to focus before it can be trained.

Call your beagle by his or her name and make sure you get attention. Show your dog the treats you have – make some noise with the bag holding the treats if you can. Use a special word like “Training” or “Play time” to signal the start of a training session.

5. Don’t disappoint your beagle

It usually takes several beagle training sessions spanning days or even weeks before your beagle can get one command right. Before that happens, your beagle may learn in parts, or can’t quite get it right completely.

Dogs DO get disappointed if they try hard at something, but don’t get rewarded for it. Therefore, to keep your beagle interested, alternate new tricks with old ones. This way, your beagle will still be encouraged to complete the entire training session.

6. Finally, have lots of patience!

We have to understand that beagles are not humans, do not have the IQ of humans, and therefore need more time to learn. Don’t expect your beagle dog to learn something new each lesson. Lessons need to be repeated before your beagle gets it right!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Choosing Beagle Puppies

Beagle puppies are everywhere! They are cute, cuddly, adorable and extremely energetic. In fact, their presence overwhelms you, and you are spoilt for choice. Bubbling with excitement, friendliness and an innate motivation to play, you’ll probably wish you can take them ALL home!

But let’s get back to reality – you can only have ONE and it’s hard to choose! How can you pick the right one? What’s more, you just have too little time at the breeder’s home to get to actually know each beagle puppy personally.

The truth is though, while Beagle puppies are all self-centered, active, lovable, adorable, stubborn and cheeky, their individual personalities differ.

After breeding 6 beagle puppies, I’ve discovered that while all the traits above are present, each puppy has a different personality! It’s amazing that they sometimes can be much like humans!

Based on my experience, here's what is important when choosing beagle puppies:

1. Ask yourself, what do you want a Beagle puppy for?

More than just being a pet, you need to ask yourself why you want a Beagle in the first place. There are hundreds of breeds you can choose from, but why a Beagle?

Many people make the mistake of getting a Beagle simply because they are cute. More importantly however, people need to know and understand Beagle behavior before deciding on this breed. My previous post, Should you get Beagle Puppies?, explains this with greater detail.

2. Buying a beagle as a pet vs. buying a beagle for showing or training

At the end of the day, your criteria in buying a Beagle puppy as a house pet would differ from getting one for dog shows, or to be trained as a working dog. Obviously, for the latter 2 reasons, you would need a more attentive Beagle.

Adhering to breed standards would be important if you intend to show your dog. This may also mean that you need to get a slightly older Beagle puppy, so that you can evaluate the dog’s physical build, color and markings more accurately.

3. Check the puppy’s Pedigree line

Always ask to view a puppy’s pedigree line to determine the lineage of a beagle puppy. Does he come from a line of champions? Has there been any in-breeding? (Although, most kennel clubs will not register a puppy if there has been any signs of this). This is more important if you are getting a Beagle puppy as a show dog, or to be trained.

4. Ask for more time to play with them

It’s best if you can spend some time to play with each of them. It doesn’t matter if a particular puppy doesn’t take to you immediately. Get to know each beagle puppy individually, and see how each of them interacts with one another.

It’s much like choosing a friend – you will pick the one that you can most identify with, and which you would like to spend time with. This comes naturally for most people, and soon they’ll find one that suits them best.

5. Ask the breeder about each puppy’s personality

If you are getting your puppy from a home breeder, chances are that the breeder would be the person most familiar with the puppies. Ask him on his or her opinion on how a particular puppy is like.

Ask questions like: What are the puppy’s distinct characteristics? Does the puppy eat well? Does the puppy pay attention to the breeder? How does the puppy interact with its siblings?

This way, you’ll discover more than what you’ve learnt in that short time you had with the beagle puppies. In fact, a responsible breeder should also reveal some of a particular puppy’s shortcomings, or less desirable habits, so the new owner will know what to expect once he or she brings the beagle puppy home.

What not to do when choosing Beagle puppies?

  • Do not buy a Beagle puppy just because it is cute.
  • Do not buy a Beagle puppy as a present.
  • Do not buy a Beagle puppy if you intend to leave it alone at home for long periods.
  • Do not buy a Beagle puppy just because it’s of a certain gender. In terms of behavior, there are hardly any differences between male and female beagle puppies.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Should you get beagle puppies?

It’s a fact – beagle puppies are extremely adorable, cute and friendly. They’ll melt your heart instantly with those warm and innocent eyes. Their cheery demeanor, outgoing personalities and cuddliness, will have you sold the first time you set your eyes on them.

But wait! Before you take this merry little hound home, have you done your puppy justice of knowing more about the breed? Are you merely judging a book by its cover, without knowing the consequences?

Well, behind that sweet innocence is a fiercely active puppy. Hyperactive, as some would say, and potentially destructive too. Some beagle puppies can even be noisy, especially when left alone for extended periods of time. It’s true – beagle puppies CAN drive you up the wall.

beagle puppies

The history of the Beagle

Beagles were bred as hound dogs, helping hunters sniff out rabbit trails. Thus, this descendant of Foxhounds and Harriers, has one of the most excellent sense of smell in the canine world. The long pendant ears of the beagle work extremely well to prevent the dog from being distracted by noises. This allows the beagle to concentrate fully on the trail he’s after.

How does this affect the temperament of beagles today?

With their hunting background, Beagles are no doubt active dogs. They need space around the home to run about in. Therefore, if you are living in a flat, apartment or condominium, then this breed is not for you. Due to their size and activity level, they need a garden or at least a medium size home to move around in.

What about beagle obedience?

Their excellent sniffing ability tends to get the better of them. They stop paying attention to you when they are hot on a trail. If your beagle escapes from your compound, it probably won’t return home on its own. You’ll have a hard and painful time searching for him.

In addition, their short attention spans make them less easy to train as compared to other breeds. However, this does not mean that they can’t be trained. Owners need to be patient, and willing to spend their time on dog training.

Being firm and starting training lessons from an early age are also plus points. In addition, some Beagles seem to have the ability to pay attention more than others, so you’ve really got to know how to interact with your beagle puppy. In the end, a well-trained Beagle is an excellent dog to have!

Companionship and attention

Beagle puppies are pack animals. They tend to get lonely if left alone for too long. However, they are loyal to their masters, although they are less likely to be clingy (unlike toy dogs or lap dogs). Their self-absorbed nature means they don’t want to be left out in any activity you are getting into.

It’s always a good idea to get two beagle puppies, especially when you no one’s at home most of the day. It’ll be fun though when you see them at each other’s necks to get your attention! At times, this can get really physical!

Beagle pranks

Now, this is the part where MOST people aren’t aware of.

Beagle puppies can be very destructive, although they grow out of this when they are about 2 years old. If you let them, they can chew almost ANYTHING. Let me list you the things Clifford has chewed or ripped:

  • At least 10 pairs of shoes and slippers

  • Wall paint

  • Grass

  • The metal grille

  • Ripped out my car’s rubber bumper guard (about 5 feet long!)

  • Ripped out car horn wires located near radiator, twice

  • His favorite bone

  • The garden spade

  • My neighbor’s garden canvas

  • The dog basket

To control this, I would strongly recommend that beagle puppy owners get a cage for their puppy. Otherwise, your puppy will probably wreck everything around your home!

Now, do you still want to get a beagle puppy?

If you look at all the stuff your beagle puppy has bitten, and still forgive and love him or her after that, then Yes! You should get a beagle puppy.

It takes a sense of humor to live with beagle puppies. Their pranks can be both destructive and amusing at the same time. In fact, Beagles have this ability to get away from being punished with their guilty and sorry looks!

Finally, getting a beagle puppy as a pet is a long term commitment. It’s always a great idea to talk to beagle owners and to understand them better, before you make a decision.

Most importantly, NEVER buy a beagle puppy as a present for a friend or a child. It wouldn’t be fair to the beagle puppy if its new owner decides to give it away later.

Click this Beagle FAQ for more information on the beagle!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is it possible to train Beagle Puppies?

If you have had beagle puppies, you’d agree with me that you can have a stubborn, mischievous and thoroughly active puppy. In fact, if you have two of them, they can literally keep you busy the entire day. It’s normal if your beagle puppies are at odds with one another. Being self-absorbed, they can be jealous if they detect your slight preference for one over another.

Many beagle puppy owners wonder if there is even a “remote” possibility that their beagles CAN be trained. This hyperactive pooch seems to have a mind of its own, and being obedient is definitely not one of this breed’s virtues.

1. Use the right training techniques

Based on my personal experience, this is important. Dog owners with no knowledge of dog training, tend to teach dogs from a human perspective. Then, frustration kicks in when the puppy doesn’t seem to understand what its owner wants. Finally, the owner gives up with the belief that the beagle just doesn't have it in him to learn.

The truth is, dogs have different learning styles from humans. A dog learns when he does something voluntarily, with food or dog treats used as incentives. For instance, overturning your puppy with your hands in a bid to teach him “roll-over” doesn’t work. You will just frighten your poor friend.

However, the right way to teach roll-over is to first teach your puppy the “down” command. Then, hold a dog treat with your hand over your puppy’s head and slowly move the dog treat in the direction where you want him to roll over to. At the same time, say “roll-over” to familiarize your beagle with the command.

If you are serious about training your beagle puppy, check out these training resources, made ESPECIALLY for beagles!

Beagle Care & Training E-course Package

Beagle Dog Training

2. Use food as reward

Beagles in general have one thing in common – their love for food. Of course, if your beagle puppy doesn’t seem to adore food as much, you may try changing your food to another brand that is more appealing. Emily (of Jessie, as she is now named) seemed to have no liking for the food we fed her. However, her new owners have discovered her affinity for fish-based dog food. Getting your beagle puppy interested in its food is important in getting him or her trained.

3. Make it hard-to-get

The next step is to get your beagle puppy to pay attention. When in training, use toys or props that are only accessible during training time. This creates that “I want it even more now that I can’t have it” mentality in your beagle puppy. Thus, your beagle puppy is more likely to focus so that he or she is able to get that elusive toy in the end.

4. Start them young, if possible

Puppies have an affinity to please their masters. Use this to your advantage by starting training sessions as soon as they are paying attention to you. As I bred six beagle puppies, Clifford already learnt to sit at 5 weeks old.

5. Give praise and be firm

Try not to dote over your beagle puppy. Many beagle puppy owners do this, and end up with a disobedient dog that thinks of its owner as a peer. If you want to successfully train your beagle, you’ve got to show him or her that you are boss. You are the pack leader and your beagle puppy has to listen to you.

Nevertheless, praise your puppy when he has done right. Also, be generous with your treats, and give him a reward IMMEDIATELY for each trick done right. On the flip side, be firm (but not fierce) to correct him when he has made a mistake.

6. Be patient and have fun!

Beagle puppies are fun-loving canines. So, if you make training feel like a game, your puppy would be more than happy to join you. Be excited about your training session, and your beagle puppy will be too!

Also, it takes lots of patience to train beagle puppies. They don’t always get it right the first time, and it may take several sessions or even several days or weeks before your puppy will get it right. The good news is that it is always easier to train beagle puppies than dogs. Watch my beagle training videos here! Have fun!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Beagle Training Videos

Training Clifford the beagle has been interesting, easy and fun. Eager to learn, he sits and waits for my command and responds in anticipation of food. Watch these 2 videos and be inspired! It is possible to train a beagle to be obedient!

Watch as Clifford jumps through the hoop!

See how Clifford fetches the ball, rolls over, stay and come when I ask him to!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Claire's home stay in December 2007

Claire's owners put her up for boarding at our home for several days in December 2007. It was fun having her around! She made herself at home almost immediately, and loved the company of the other dogs.

Murfee was a little vary at first - she probably didn't understand why there was another puppy in the house! ("Oh no! Another puppy? Clifford is already driving me crazy!!!") Clifford was overly friendly, and just wanted to play the entire time. We tied him to the grill, and let Claire stay in his cage. But I think he didn't sleep the entire night (he has never slept anywhere else other than his beloved cage)

So, the next night, we placed both of them in the cage. Even though a little cramped, they enjoyed each other's company a great deal. Here's a picture of Clifford and Claire together again.

beagle puppiesWhen her owner came to pick her up, Claire was thrilled. She recognized the whistle her owner used to catch her attention almost immediately!

Clifford looked a little sad after Claire left. After all, she's the other other puppy he has known that WANTS to play with him. The other dogs just find him an utter nuisance, and avoid him whenever they can. I guess we will bring him to visit Fritz later, and see how his brother has grown!

More pictures of Claire during her stay:

Claire biting a shoe. Clifford does that too - A LOT!

Dog greetings - that's how they get to know one another :)