Beagles make excellent pets and exceptional hunting companions. They are good natured and very loving, especially with children. Beagles are medium sized, but very strong and can hold their own when it comes to playing or pulling someone where they want to go when out for a walk.
The characteristics they exhibit that make them great for hunting can also make them a frustrating choice for individuals who choose them for pets. Beagles can be extremely hyperactive. It's part of their nature and what makes them good hunting dogs. With patience and common sense, the few negative characteristics they have can be easily overcome.
Walking on a Leash
Teaching beagles to walk properly when leashed is important for their safety as well as that of their owner. For beagles who are family pets and kept inside the home, walking several times a day is a must. Beagles that are allowed to run freely in an enclosed backyard can get the exercise they need if they are left out on a regular basis. If they do not have the space to run, walking every few hours is important to reduce their hyperactivity and keep them in good physical shape.
Potty training is a challenge for puppies, but when handled properly can be accomplished rather quickly. Because of their nature and love of the outdoors, many professionals recommend crating a beagle puppy during the potty training process. The puppy learns that the crate is a safe place and will return to it often once it learns that is where it is supposed to be at night or when it is in "trouble". During the potty training process, frequent and regularly timed breaks are needed to teach them that going to the bathroom outside is the expected behavior. While the puppy is not confined to the crate all the time, they will quickly pick up on potty training habits if they are crated at night or various times during the day.
Proper Use of Obedience Training Recall or "Come" Command
The bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one when fostered correctly. Hunting dogs must learn to trust their master, over and above their natural instincts. When out hunting or spending a day in the woods, a dog will often be given free reign to go and do as he pleases, especially if he has been trained to ferret out ducks or other prey. In a park setting or at home, the beagle must trust the owner enough to come when called. Beagles are extremely vulnerable to distraction. While this may help them in hunting, it can be extremely dangerous when they are near busy streets or other areas where there is an abundance of people and heavy traffic. Using the "come" or recall command frequently as a puppy will ingrain it into their thinking to trust their owner and do as told. Teaching this early and practicing it often can save a dog's life if he or she gets loose or runs away during an outing.
Beagles learn easily with adequate praise and a loving hand. Take the time to teach it well and you will have a trusting and obedient lifelong companion.
Sources: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-beagle-training-tips.htm, http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/beagle-puppy-training.html
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10 Awesome Beagle Rescue Groups in the U.S.(onegreenplanet.org)