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Thread: Beagles

  1. #1

    Default Beagles

    Just curious to see what some of you veteran beagle owners/breeders feel is the best way to train a beagle how to chase rabbits and bark on a scent. I have hunted with labs and I know how to train to fetch, but trying to teach a beagle how to sniff and bark is something entirely new to me. My ten month old pup is doing fairly well I think. But, I would like to know how to do things the right way the first time around if you catch my drift. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    My issue with our beagle was to get her to stop chasing rabbits and barking/volcalizing when I didn't want her to......We've lost her for a couple days on several occasions....I'm pretty sure their drive to do their thing will take over when they get on a trail....but I don't know squat about training pups the correct way so take my comment lightly.... my only regret was not doing much in the training department with her, mainly getting her to come back to me lol...she is now just a nice house dog...
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  3. #3
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default dog will hunt

    hunt it as much as you can where you know there are hare....get it on scent....point out fresh tracks in snow.....if the dog wants to hunt it will get it.....my beagle is silent until she hits fresh fresh scent.....which kind of sucks....she has to wear her bells.....i wish i would have done more training on come too...like coming to a whistle....my throat gets hoarse by the end of the weekend yelling for her to come.....she does ok though....i try to hunt thick stuff so she doesn't get far and the hare run tight.....every once in a while you get a runner that goes in a straight line for canada....skin your hare and make a drag out of it....i wrap a fresh hide around a small gatorade bottle with a rope tied to it....then i drag it in a large circle through the woods..and then hide it....then let the dog go..once the dog finds it give it lots of praise.....or when it comes back or does anything good really.....treats help too beagles love treats.....another way is to get a rabbit from the pet store/friend/craigslist....put a pole in the ground so about 3-4ft is sticking up then fashion a rope into a collar for a the rabbit...make it so the other end swivels on the pole....give the bunny about 10-15 feet of rope...or more if you dog is quick and you have alot o space...add beagle....and run..you could also stand holding the rope and spin...but if you dont' want to get dizzy i suggest the stake...not sure if this is legal in this state....animal cruelty or whatever....i don't think its cruel if you get the dog off the rabbit if it catches it....but some one might....it sure is a hoot to watch.....also.... don't let the beagle tear up the bunnies you shoot....let it get a few sniffs maybe a couple of nips and then make it find another one....usually i make daisy get a good nose full of the first one i shoot...then after that she really doesn't care that i killed another one she might sniff it and wag her tail but she is off quick for a new chase...but i usually let her chew on the feet i cut off....and also throw them for her to find......this helps for "winding" them later.....the main thing is just get out there and hunt......let your dog get some bunny in its nose....find a good spot....hunt it alot.....you have to learn just as much as the dog....if your not in the right spot you might not get a shot.....hares up here will hold tight, run like heck...make short circles big circles....let the dog run past then bolt......id even bet they climb trees.....much different than hunting cottontails back in michigan....who basically just do a nice circle back to their hole cover...once your dog gets on scent....listen....which way is it going....away? towards? turning? straight? if the answer is away...give it a minute if starts to arc but i it continues to be straight...run and get your dog while you can still hear it....or get ready to a: track it down if there is snow b: spend the night looking/yelling for it c:leave a kennel and food behind or durchase a new dog....if the it starts to arc or turn....ask yourself....big arc or little arc.....if its big...try to get out ahead if its little stay where your at or try to get to where the dog first picked up the scent or atleast be able to get a shot off in that direction....it always hard to tell how far the animal may be in front of the dog....might be minutes might be inches......you will get some standing shots as well....but most will be running....if i am hunting with the dog i always take the shotgun...that way i am more likely to get one and have a positive trip for the dog....she gets cranky when i dont' shoot stuff
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  4. #4
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default run with the old dogs

    I never trained a beagle myself, but my grandpa had several when I was younger. His method was to put the young dog with the older dogs and they figured it out all on their own. I have a few friends that do the same thing. It seems to work for them. The key is to find someone with an experienced dog.

  5. #5

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    I had a few beagles when I was younger. Perhaps I was just lucky but it seemed all my dogs were just born with that 'hound' mentality and always wanted to follow scent trails with their nose. Just taking them hunting often and getting them out as a younger dog with an experienced beagle seemed to be all they really needed. However, one technique I'd use was to live trap a cottontail and then turn it loose (often when the grass was dewy wet to hold the scent really well) and let the dog follow the trail shortly after.

  6. #6

    Default Good advice

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I did try dragging a hide off of a hare that I shot around the back yard. Actually I had my sons do it for me. They got alot more energy than me. But, the only problem was that my puppy kept taking off in the direction where she thought the boys went off too without actually smelling where it went. In other words she was sight hunting, not scent hunting. Another thing I tried was throwing a hare hide in her pen with her and letting her play with it. That was suggested to me from a guy I know who owns a pack of beagles. I don't know if it did any good or not, but it sure got messy. I also took her out with his beagle before and he claims that right now she is hunting better that some of his more experienced beagles and that I should just be patient. I know one thing I did that I don't know that I should have done is that I really drilled it into her to come on command and to heel. My friend tells me that you want a beagle to wander a little bit when you are hunting for hare. It is all pretty new to me, so I am wondering what's right and what's wrong.

  7. #7
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Beagles

    I used to raise and hunt Beagles down in La. Grew-up doing it and at one time owned a registered kennel and around 30 head.
    My experience has been like with most running dogs, they either have it or they don't. 90% of the training is field experienced. Since you want to hunt hard, hunt in front and drive with passion, you typically do not develop the same close relationship with running dogs that you would with retrievers. Buy design you want them to go away :-)


  8. #8
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    when you have your boys do the drag have them come back before you let the dog go
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  9. #9
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default I agree with Sharks

    Quote Originally Posted by sharksinthesalsa View Post
    when you have your boys do the drag have them come back before you let the dog go

    Put the scent down in a place where you can walk him to the scent without any distractions. Like a pointing dog and Beagle that has the hunting insitnct will try and follow the scent just like a pointer will naturally point.

    If you dog does that, even attempts too than try to find some experienced dogs to run it with. Man this brings back old memories, I loved raising and hunting these little dudes!
    Main thing with a Beagle is to watch it's tail, you can always teel if they are on to something by how they work their tail

  10. #10

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    When they were pups we always dragged a snowshoe hare foot on a string for them. No question it was their favorite toy, and when they finally sniffed the real thing, it was all over but the shouting. Niceties like cold trailing, we let their parents teach them.

    Hardest lesson is to teach them not to chase foxes and deer. Solved that with a shock collar. Put it on them, then go looking for critters. Let them start the chase and don't say a thing. Just shock the peewaddling out of them. If you don't do any yelling, they'll come running back to you for comfort after that nasty ole deer/fox shocked them like that. The most hard headed beagle we ever owned took only three treatments with the shock collar, and deer/fox were suddenly invisible.

    If you can't recover the dog at the end of a hunt, leave your coat where you parked your rig. If it's gonna be overnight, pop open a ziploc of dry food and leave that too. Most of the time they're curled up on the coat when you come back at dark. If it's an afternoon hunt, sometimes you have to wait till morning. But if you're ever going to see that dog again, you'll find it sleeping on your coat.

  11. #11
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default It works!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    If you can't recover the dog at the end of a hunt, leave your coat where you parked your rig. If it's gonna be overnight, pop open a ziploc of dry food and leave that too. Most of the time they're curled up on the coat when you come back at dark. If it's an afternoon hunt, sometimes you have to wait till morning. But if you're ever going to see that dog again, you'll find it sleeping on your coat.
    Now that brings back some old memories! :-)

  12. #12
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    sometimes i think my dog is just running on its front feet when it gets on a scent....its tail is goin like a helicopter so fast its gotta lift her rear end right off the ground
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    I just got a 5 month old beagle myself. I haven't started any scent training yet, but would like to start soon. I'm not experienced with the training, but have read some useful stuff online. I would love to take her out with a seasoned Beagle to teach her a thing or two.

  14. #14
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    hurry up mustang ...get that dog on some scent
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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