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Puppy Training

Are Beagles Hard To Train? No.

 

It's not easy, but it's well worth the effort!

People often tell me that they've read online that beagles are hard to train. I think that is hogwash, probably consisting of rumors started by non-beagle people and people that have tried and failed because of attempting to train with poor methods and poor consistency. Check out this video of a very young beagle puppy:

 
The above video (on Youtube) and links are external, and we can't control the content. If someone adds a video that is linked to after this initial video, and if you think it's inappropriate, please let us know and we'll remove this clip's link.

Some of our beagle puppies are now Search and Rescue dogs. Beagles are also used as drug-sniffing dogs, especially in airports because they are non-aggressive and smaller than other drug-dog breeds.

We also know of a beagle that warns its owner of impending seizures. So, training a beagle is not only "do-able," but they can perform high-importance jobs!

Training is very important for all puppies, and that includes more than just potty training. Showing your puppy that you are the leader of your pack is urgent to prevent your puppy from wandering away and getting lost or stolen. Solid training can help prevent damage to your home. Training makes your puppy happier...yes, happier! All intelligent animals want to feel as though they fit in. Training gives puppies a sense of accomplishment and comfort in knowing where they fit in to the family "pack."

Some thoughts to consider from the beginning:

  1. Crate training is extremely helpful for house/potty training, and is not cruel. Dogs are "den" animals, and like sleeping in a place where all sides are covered except one. Our farm dog, Rose, makes a den in our hay barn where she can curl up and just look out of a small opening. Summer, winter...temps don't matter. Puppies inside the house usually find the little "den" under the computer desk and sleep there. Dogs LIKE dens. Your job is to make sure YOU approach crate training correctly.

  2. Potty training takes time. Puppies up to 4 months old need to potty (especially urinate) frequently. When they urinate, they don't fully void their bladders most of the time. This makes them need to potty more often than adult dogs, too. And, it is a reason that you'll notice your puppy potty outside when you take him out, and then within minutes of returning into the house, pottying again! Stick with it, check out a variety of methods by searching the Internet, and even consider buying a book about house training (amazon.com has several available).

    95% of our puppies are voluntarily going outside to potty 100% of the time before they leave us at 8 weeks. But they aren't potty trained. Instead, they are a combination of crate trained and doggie-door trained. If you installed a doggie door in your house that went into a safely-fenced area, and attached an indoor pen or crate to the wall there, you could probably potty train your puppy very quickly! When the puppy is in his/her crate, he/she could go right outside to potty. When not in the crate (leave the crate door open so he/she can get through to the doggie door), you'll still have to watch closely to train the puppy that the whole HOUSE is your crate. However, the puppy may very quickly learn to rush back through the crate and out the door.

    Problem:
    most people don't want to cut a hole in their door or house to install an energy-leaking doggie door. Therefore, solid potty training methods become necessary!

If you know of another great link to add to the ones below that would help puppy owners, please let us know so we can add it here. Because potty training and general obedience training benefit each other, the links below cover more than just house training.

Training Links

Potty Training (Housetraining)

The potty training is the toughest thing for me, also. So much of it is "timing," so we start by taking the puppy outside as soon as he/she wakes up from a nap, and also within 20 minutes of eating if he hasn't shown signs of wanting to go after eating.

We can usually tell if a puppy has to (I guess I have to say this word...unavoidable, LOL!) poop. ;-) When they need to go, their bottom/anus will be puffing out a little bit. If it isn't puffing out, "usually," they aren't close enough to needing to potty to be able to get them to go at this age. You'll quickly learn to recognize that physical sign, and also his signs of looking for a place to go.

We like to take them to the door, set them on the floor, and either tap their paw on the door or ring a bell (hanging from a string or a bell that is suctioned to the floor) before proceeding outside. This teaches them that they need to "give a sign" at the door to signify that they need to go outside. If we pick them up and carry outside, without stopping and asking them to make a sign, it may take longer to get them to give you a sign.

When I'm outside with a puppy that I want to go potty, I stand completely still (unless that doesn't work after a week or two, and then I might try slow walking). Sometimes, the puppies will come to me and want me to pick them up, but I ignore them. If I walk around, they seem more interested in moving with me and not looking for a place to go. I also stand in the same place every time, so they go potty in the same area every time. Each time they go outside, they can smell their previous potties there, which I think also helps them prepare to go. When we play outside, I go to a different place (away from the potty area) to play for both cleanliness reasons and also to keep play and potty separate. Many people/trainers even suggest taking soiled paper towels (pee) and stools from indoor accidents outside and placing them at the potty location in the yard.

With that said, I also have to acknowledge that young puppies often go outside, don't go potty, and then return to the house and potty within a few minutes. Or, they will pee outside a little, go back to the house, and within a couple minutes will pee more (this often happens if we praise them before they are finished pottying, which interrupts them so they still have more urine to expel...it's best to not praise them or move until they are totally finished). It is normal, because sometimes they really don't have to go to the bathroom when we take them out. As they learn the potty training process, they learn to "try" when they go outside, but it's too early for that still.

Pottying in the crate isn't unusual at first, as puppies can't "hold it" for very long. But, having a too-large crate does give the puppy the idea that he can use part of the crate for a bathroom, and part for sleeping. So, blocking off part of the crate so it is just large enough for the bed may be a good idea until the puppy is potty trained. If a puppy continually pees in the crate, a drastic measure might need to be taken: leave the wet towel in the crate and don't use a bed. Quickly, the puppy will discover that you are no longer refreshing the bed, and he will try to hold it to avoid having to live in his potty.

General Training

Crate Training

Biting/Dominance

Chewing

Training (and Grooming) for Shows

 

  

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Cedar Ridge Beagles
c/o Toni Perdew
crbeagles@gmail.com
(the best method to reach me is via e-mail)
Bedford, Iowa
Click here for additional contact information.

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