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Thread: beagle training

  1. #1
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default beagle training

    i just picked up a little beagle pup....anybody on here have any tips or anything on training a beagle...getting her to track.....or does anyone have a pack that i can let her follow around....i have never trained any kind of dog before....i live in the valley and would like to get her chasing bunnies early....any info helps...thanks
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  2. #2

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    Well, I'm no expert at beagles. I thought for sure someone other than a bird dog guy would respond.
    First off. With any good hunting dog you need to have a solid foundation of obedience. All the basics of sit, stay, come when called, walking on and off leash and proper socialization with other people, dogs and situations. Remember you are in charge. So if there is a behavior you don't want. Correct your dog for it so that behavior doesn't become a habit.
    Ok. Intro to trailing. With a young pup I would see if I could find a buddy with a fresh shot rabbit. If not use a cloth of some sort scented with rabbit scent. Should be able to find at sporting good stores. The rabbit is best. I would drag it along some light cover to make a scent trail. Drag it slowly to ensure a good trail and in light enough cover that your learning pup won't have to struggle to make it over. Use a length of rope to ensure safety and to walk with your pup encouraging him/her. At the end of the trail let your pup find the rabbit. But only if the pup significantly trailed it well. You want to reward your dog for using its nose to trail not to wind it in the air or reward for visually finding it. Keep your trail line short about 50 ft to start then increase gradually. Don't teach in to much wind. Very calm or no wind is best. It's harder to trail in the wind. Also I know rabbits run in a circle so your trail should have an arc to it. Rabbits don't run straight lines so don't teach your pup to trail in straight lines. Your trail should have an arc.
    Just thinking out loud here again. But eventually I would see if I could find a domestic rabbit for him to trail once he gets older. Do the same trailing method but put a leash on the rabbit and walk it in your arc. At the end leave it there. Put your pup on a long line and let your pup trail it. At the end once the rabbit is found the rabbit may or may not run. Use the long line to prevent your dog from killing the rabbit if your pup catches it. You don't want that.
    I'll search around and see what else I can find.
    After all I'm just a bird dog guy.

  3. #3
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Well I am not a beagle expert but I have been around a few. I even have one of them little holy terrors right now!

    If your pup has the hunt in her, she should start on her own with plenty of woods exposure. Woods containing rabbits that is. All three beagles that I and freinds have had all started out on their own.

    Some of the lower 48 people start them out in training pens, wich are little 1 or 2 acre enclosures with a rabit or two in them. But dont know of anything like that out here.

    Once your pup can run fairly well let me know. Ill invite you on a hunt and see what she does.

    Beagles can have a habbit of getting fat and lazy. Dont let your pup get that way. Ive tried helping other beagles out that were not physically fit. Needles to say, they didnt pick up on it cause they couldnt keep up with the pack.

    Oh and if you cant score your own rabbit, let me know, Ill get you one. I think it help keeping a whole one in the freezer and dragging it around for the pups

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    I have worked with many beagles, they hunt or they don't. I have only seen one that did not and he was treated like a house dog his first year.
    Take your pup out to run in the woods and if you come across a rabbit get his/her nose on the trail. Instinct will handle the rest.
    Like the bird dog guy above said, work on obedience training. I have only ever seen one beagle that would come, sit, and heel on command. I got her from a pro dog trainer. I think that since most beagles hunt on instinct and not training they receive little if any obedience training. Spend some time on this and you will have a great dog.

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    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default how old is your pup rimfire?

    mine is about 13 weeks now.....i've been doing the obedience thing and have a few rabbit skins in the freezer to drag for her.....i got them a couple of weeks ago planning to start right away ,but then got really sick and am now just getting mobile enough to keep up with her out in the woods...so i'll get her following some drags....kinda bummed i missed this last chance snow for tracking rabbits....maybe i'll get another shot...finding fresh tracks helps getting her on the scent...
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  6. #6
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    My beagle is 4 years old now I think. Dont worry about the fresh snow thing. I know of a couple of spots that have rabbits. I'll probably let my dog rest this coming weekend but maybe Ill take him out next weekend. We've been tearing it up pretty hard and he has some pads that need to heal up. But Id take you out to a spot with your pup where I know a little population of rabbits is sure to be.

    Just keep taking her out exposing her to the woods, she will pick up on it if it is in her. the drags help alot.

    Ill see what my buddy is doing, maybe if he cant make it Ill bring out his little female. Shes starting out to be a good little rabbit dog.

  7. #7
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default finally feeling better

    wholey crap that was a bad cold...i gave it to a few people who ended up with pneumonia...but i made out ok...now....anyway.....finally got to get outside and get my beagle out and after some drags.....wholey crap... she's on some kind of drugs or something...how do i get her to slow down....actually did pretty good though i took the drags maybe 75 to 80 feet in an arc....i had her staked out...some times she could see me some times she couldn't...only once though did she not "track" it down...she went around and winded it....just getting started though, just starting in the woods next to the house...next time i'm gonna take her away from the house...since she uses those woods to go to the bathroom.....any advice anyone can give me is great...especially for slowing her down...should i keep her on a leash and walk her to it, until she slows down?? or just let her run all the time....its fun watching her work....or work on working..
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Member Mudcatak's Avatar
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    Default hey sharks.....

    i have been reading your post and i have a question has it been tough for you to train your beagle? i have a highbrid dog that is both Lab and beagle go figure lol
    but any way he is a well mannered pup so far and well when he gets thru obediance training he will be a great pup we plan on using him for dockdog sports and agility comps.

  9. #9
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default not really

    its only tough cuz i can't get out all the time to train her and for 3 very important weeks of her puppy stages i was so sick it was all i could do to take her outside to go to the bathroom....she is really nuts about rabbits though...i just need to get her out and after some
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    We have two beagles and unfortunately live in an area where rabbit hunting is not an option. I do have some observations on training them. akflyfisher is right about obedience training. Beagles are not like labs that have a natural desire to please their master, rather they want to do their own thing. They can be trained to obey, but it takes time. Beagles, like other hounds are pack oriented dogs and we found that our first beagle became happier and more trainable after we got a second one.

    One concern with beagles is that they like to run off. This tendency has decreased in our dogs as they get older, but it's still there especially when they get after a fox. We walk them with e-collars and that has made a big difference. Lets the dogs have more freedom and we can recall them easily enough. As to hunting, my experience is that they will do this naturally. Ours chase the heck out of foxes and it is fun to hear them open up. One of them is starting to get the hang of ptarmigan hunting and is good at chasing down wounded birds that run. With rabbits you would want them to hunt close enough so that you could get a shot before the rabbit got out of range.

    Quote Originally Posted by akflyfisher View Post
    I have worked with many beagles, they hunt or they don't. I have only seen one that did not and he was treated like a house dog his first year.
    Take your pup out to run in the woods and if you come across a rabbit get his/her nose on the trail. Instinct will handle the rest.
    Like the bird dog guy above said, work on obedience training. I have only ever seen one beagle that would come, sit, and heel on command. I got her from a pro dog trainer. I think that since most beagles hunt on instinct and not training they receive little if any obedience training. Spend some time on this and you will have a great dog.

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    I would like to get my 4 year old out hunting. I poped a squirel the day I left for caribou and she got ahold of the sent. I drug it around and put it someplace, she caught the sent fast and was all over it. She has tracked wounded cats too. She has only once seen a rabbit, while we were at Jims creek and didn't have much trouble tracking that either, but she was on a leash and I wasn't hunting.

    I am afraid of loosing her, and when she gets on a sent she doesn't listen (typical beagle behavior). She will be 5 this year and is a true desert dog comming up from Vegas. She hates the cold and snow so...

    But it would be great to get with someone who knows a bit and could help train her. I have thought of breeding her but she is a sub 15" (16 lbs) and I can't find a stud the same size.

  12. #12

    Default Bunny behavior

    I used to hunt bunnies with Beagles in GA, MO,IA, IL, WI, MI Al, NH, VT and ME. 95%+ (closed to 100%) of the time Bunnies when jumped by a beagle will do a circle and come back to where they were first jumped of course you always get a bunny from time to time that didn't read the "Rule Book"

  13. #13
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    Default Rabbits?

    I've written to a few rabbit hunters forums down south about rabbit hunting. We have a Great Dane/Greyhound that I think will chase and probably had some experience running loose in the woods last year. I've only trained Retrievers.
    I was told just as above, go out were the rabbits are and see what she does.
    I have her on an e-collar, her obedience is pretty good, recall excellent and we will try lure coursing this spring.
    My question is, are they supposed to bring back the rabbit alive? Do I need to take someone with me to kill it? I've dispached thousands of pigeons and ducks but this is different.
    Sorry to be such a girl. I have no problem butchering and eating them.
    Linda Henning
    www.Alaskadognews.com

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    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default hmmm

    im not too sure about the breed you have but i'm pretty sure my beagle will kill the darn bunnie if she catches it.....if they are still kicking just step on them with some pressure til they expire.....dane/greyhound mix would be cool to run.....i think that there is a sight hound club up here.....they do some coursing....
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Default First Lure coursing night.

    After obedience class we went to the first lure coursing night in Palmer. Daisy was not interested in the plastic bag on the pully and once the collar was off she ran over to the other dogs.
    Good news is she didn't bite anyone and didn't even hackle.
    I let her watch the other dogs and she started going a little nuts about them running so we'll try it again. I had her chasing a white plastic bag on the end of a long stick yesterday. Best to keep my hands out of the way.

    I heard of a spot out on Pt MacKenzie yesterday where there are a lot of rabbits running across the road. I have to check the regs and get my new license but we'll probably take her out there too.

    Linda Henning
    www.alaskadognews.com

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    I would guess take thick work gloves too? Rabbits have teeth. As with the Beagle owner worried about the dog running off I am worried too. Though Daisy has done really well with the e-collar. She learned faster than any Lab and has only had one big correction when she was running down the middle of the state road to see her friends at a sled dog kennel. I'm not sure she is "condtioned" fully and need some really tasty critters for her to go for. Im about 90% sure I can get her back, I want to be 100% sure. From what I read the dogs course the rabbits until the rabbit gets tired and hunkers down. I dont know how far that is in our terrain of brush, trees and hills. Its probably best that I get her out while the brush is still dead and low so I can see her. She can move so fast its frightning. I thought we could test her with the cat but he wont move when she's watching him. It really cracks me up to watch them together. Daisy stares at him just waiting for him to move and he looks the other way frozen in place.
    I know Beagles are worked with e-collars, but I never have worked with them. There are also electronic locator collars. I had a beagle owner in my obedience class that was really stuborn. Set up his Invisible Fence, paid no attention to my advice to get a chainlink kennel, and his Beagle was killed in the road. This little dogs drive was so high that she ran through the fence on high. I'm thinking that Beagles may be a little harder to train to come back when on a scent. I think he did the conditioning process but the dog learned to take the shock and keep running. Plus he left the dog alone in the yard assuming the Invisible fence would keep her in. She was a beautiful little beagle.

  17. #17
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default thats sad

    sometimes those those e fences work...sometimes not...my little beagle's name is Daisy.....i wanted to name her Aero crusher of bunnies....but i was veto'd by the girlfriend...she is pretty stubborn....where did you go for obedience classes?.....rabbits are open all year in 14b with no limit....lots of private property out pt mac way...i'd like to get out alot more often but....lost my drivers license for a while...so i've just been dragging skins around the yard and woods near the house
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Default Obedience in Wasilla

    Im taking my Daisy to Valley Canine Camp. It's a new place in Wasilla owned by Wayne Curtis (Iditarod musher) and his wife. They took the old log motel next to Lowes, gutted it and created a couple large training rooms for obedience and agility. They have bathing stations, doggy daycare. The prices are really good so far. The trainer we have is the trainer for the SPOT program.

    Cant find the card right now

    Linda Henning
    www.alaskadognews.com

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    Default beagle training

    I'm new to the forum and I have a 13 week old beagle. Unfortunately I can't seem to get fresh rabbit sent on my own. . I've taken her out hunting with me and she will follow a track for about 20 yards or so then she just stops and comes back to me. Today when we were out hunting she was on a track and I just kept moving and she lost me and started whining and then later in the day would not even trail out the 20 yards. I was hoping to find a beagling pen up here in hopes to put her in it and let her go on her own for a few hours, but it looks like there are none available in southern Alaska. Also when she is on a trail she is silent. Maybe she just needs to be around some other dogs so she can she what she is suppose to do. Once I get her trailing rabbits I plan on getting two more pups. if anyone wants to team up and run dogs together and what not please let me know.

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