Struggling with beagle, need some practical advice!(16 Posts)
Beagle is 19 months old. I take her training every week, she is really good when we are out. I can let her off, she will come back, I am mindful of who is about as she will jump up people, but I manage that ok.
It's at home we are struggling with her. She is always trying to escape from the garden, have just replaced fencing and because I was working in dinning room today which overlooks garden I let her go free in garden. Just managed to grab her rear end as her head disappeared under the fence! Massive escape hole dig in minutes!
So back to chaining her up in garden. I give her bones, pigs ears, raw hide to chew but she is bored within 10 minutes and will then bark until I bring her back in.
Inside house is as bad, she steals stuff all the time. You think you have cleared everything away but she finds something to steal.
In the evening we go into front room to watch tv and I have to take her in on a lead as she will not settle, jumps over furniture and climbs over us, and is generally a pain in the butt.
If dc's are on settee and she jumps up on them, if they try to get her off them, she snaps the air right by them, but does not do it if dh or I get her off. She has not Hurt them, but I am worried that this is a warning.
She gets 3 walks a day, 2 off lead in park having a good run and sniff, and a shorter road walk mid evening. Either I or dh are at home during day.
I just don't know what to do to keep her occupied. If you try and play fetch or tuggy she just takes toys and goes of to destroy
Feeling down that her quality of life is not as good as it could be
She has to be crated if left for even a minute. She has to be crated if food is around as she will take it off your plate whilst your eating.
Any one any ideas or suggestions that can improves things for us?
Why is she left outside long enough to get bored? Let her do her business, then bring her in.
If you really must leave her out for any length of time, give her something do do with that nose (you bought a Beagle. They're a nose on legs. That's what they're bred for) and scatter kibble around for her to find and eat. Use her daily ration so she doesn't get porky.
All the other issues are sortable with training and/or management. Your trainer at class can explain how.
She sounds as if she's getting enough physical exercise but what about mental? I'd suggest you read up on clicker training and get her brain working which will tire her out FAR more than you could ever imagine. The clicker will also help with the other problems you mention - it's a brilliant way of training.
One of the best ways to entertain a dog is through training. I don't know what training method you use in your classes but I find clicker works really well as it stimulates their minds. You can teach all sorts of fun things like roll over, wave, sit/stay, nose/paw targets, etc. which are useful not only as activities in themselves but also as interesting goals for the dog to learn. The learning process will keep her entertained.
Another activity to consider is agility. It's very active and takes a lot of energy out of them. It's fairly easy and cheap to set up some agility obstacles at home to entertain her as well.
You don't say how long the walks are, but in general if a dog has so much energy after three walks they are probably not long enough. Also try and vary where you go for walks as this makes life more stimulating for the dog. Unfortunately it may not be possible to work/watch TV and expect a young dog to settle, you will have to try and play with her.
Calamity Kate - I do need to put her out into the garden because I can not let her roam free in kitchen unless I am there, I have to do jobs in the house. Main job in kitchen is obviously food prep, and eating and she can't be trusted around food, so even when I am in there if food is around she either has to be in crate or garden.
I do scatter chicken and kibble in garden, I always scatter her kibble in garden for every meal. I do frozen kongs for her, kibble in plastic bottles for her to kill, bones, chews etc. But I can only give her so much food!
I have a cavie who is same age who follows me around the house and will lie at my feet, I just wish Beagle could be loose in kitchen and diner without being supervised every minute. I have to crate her to go shower DD and put her to bed. Have to crate her whilst cooking and eating, have to crate her to go to loo! She really can not be left for 1 minute.
I am dedicated to my dogs and am an experienced owner, I knew a Beagle would be hard work and do put so much work in to her. Currently practising for gold award. So this is not something I take lightly.
But I am depressed at the thought that this will last forever. DH works shifts so I am only adult at home most of the time, I can't leave DC's with her alone whilst I do jobs because she is too much for them let alone the fact I can't trust her if they tell her off.
I will look into clicker training as I love doing obedience training with her, she is very quick on the uptake. Out of the house she is brilliant and I am very proud of her because of that because Beagles are notorious for not being able to be let off.
Just wish I could resolve issues in house, DH has had enough, when he comes home from a 12 hour shift last thing he needs is mad beagle.
Well, it sounds as if you're doing everything right!
Definitely look into clicker training - if she's as bright as you say, she'll pick it up in no time and once you understand the principle, there's pretty much NOTHING you can't teach them to do. It's fun (for trainer and dog) and actually rather addictive I find; when you realise how quickly they can learn you start finding more and more things to teach them. Both my dogs ADORE it; even my rather sedate 11 year old girl goes bananas with excitement when the clicker comes out. In fact they both go all giddy and it's like they're going "Me! Me! Choose meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"
Best of all, as I said, 15 minutes working on a trick/behaviour with a clicker KNACKERS them. Because they have to think, in a way that the more traditional "push their bum down to make them sit" methods don't.
Jayne, I don't have any great advice for you, just wanted to add some empathy/ sympathy!! I have 2 beagles (now 11 and 16) and I genuinely believe they are different to other dogs. (I'm a vet, so I get to meet lots and lots of breeds!) People don't believe you when you try to explain how hard work they are. One of mine never had any recall, although the other one wasn't too bad. I had one guy at the park harangue me every day about how I must be a "bad owner" as Beagle1 was on the lead, and told me repeatedly how if he had my dog it would be trained in a week I put up withit politely for a while, then I am afraid I told him to go boil his head
I have had clients come to talk to me about getting a beagle. they never believe what I tell them about beagles until they have one. Some are more biddable than others, but clicker training was a dead loss for mine- they were always more interested in a remote scent, sometimes I don't think they even remember I am there. I've seen behaviourists (mainly out of curiosity, as I have long resigned myself to the beagle nature!) to no avail.
So I do feel your pain. they are NOT easy dogs. Wish I had more advice, but it sounds like you are doing everything right, and she is just being a typical beagle, sorry!
Thank you everyone for posting, I do appreciate it!
My beagle is seriously food motivated and that's what I use to train her.
But she loves nothing better than following a scent! Which is fine it's what she was breed to do and she is very good at it.
I think calamity had a point about mental stimulation, I am going to teach her some tricks during the day, as I know she gets enough physical excerise. Something we will both enjoy.
Joolyjoolyjoo, thank you for posting, being a beagle owner and a vet, your comments have reassured me that I am doing nothing wrong, it's just that she is a beagle!
I have put a fair few people off by Beagles over the last 12 months and will continue to do so. People see her in the park and comment on how well behaved she is, I put them right about how it is at home. !
I'll just keep plodding on and home that life gets a little easier as she gets older.
Jayne, I try to put people off them too! the problem is they are such gorgeous happy friendly little dogs that people refuse to believe us! Wish I had a pound, however,for every time someone has come up to me and said "Oh- we used to have a beagle but we had to get rid of it. It kept <insert running away/ chewing the house/ raiding the bins>"
You're right when you say that scent is a huge thing for beaglies. Yes, they are very food orientated too, but when they get a scent, you could be standing there waving a pound of sausages and still they'd be off!
It is hard, but eventually you just get used to living your life around beagles. Sadly, ours are now pretty much confined to the tiled hall/ porch and their outside run in the front garden, as oldboy is completely incontinent and senile, and if brought into the living room etc he gets distressed and paces and paces (while witchydog is meanwhile off raiding the bins/ trashing the sky box/ breaking into the food cupboard/ stealing the childrens toys) Sigh. I feel bad about it, but they now spend most of their time here sleeping. They come to work with me (but have to go in a kennel, unlike other staff dogs I have known- they were allowed to roam the kennel room one day and they ate all the wee packets of trial food in the puppy packs!) and they get walked every day (although oldboy is starting to struggle a bit ) but they really don't always make good house dogs, unfortunately.
I love them to bits, but I think I will go for a nice low maintenance cross-breed next time round!
Jooly, my beagle would have thought she was in heaven in your kennel room at work!
It's odd, when we are out and she is off lead scent drives her obviously so I use high value treats to get her to come back when I whistle, like chicken, which she does all good. Yet when she is on lead and we are training she is so driven by the chicken, she will not work for it, just tries to steal it off me, so I have to use lower value treats like kibble for training!
She does spend much more time in her crate than my CKCS does, but I think I am going to have stop beating myself up over it and accept that's how it has to be. She sleeps happily in there are good run in park, and I get her out when she wakes up, and have to have her on a lead and just get on with whatever I have to do in kitchen with lead attached to my leg sometimes!
She gets 2 50 min off lead runs and 1 20 min road walk every day, so will just have to do some more trick training to keep her mind active.
Met a lady in park this afternoon with a GSD, who played with Beagle butt for ages, she was nice and tired after that! Chatting to lady, she said her daughter in law had a beagle and her mum had four! And one of them was really difficult as was a rescue and had rough background. Can you imagine 4!!!!!!!! One's enough for me, and I will never have another beagle!
have decided to book her in day care couple of times a month to give us a break and her some fun! May be that will tire her out the next day!
Will start another thread asking what other tricks I can teach her!
Well the obvious thing to teach her would be tracking.... good trick and handy if you drop your gloves or keys on a walk.
My mum has a beagle, from a rescue centre. Apparently he had been returned a few times before she took him. I know why! I've never known anything like it! Very very funny dog but the fencing she's had to put in is unbelievable! Joolyjoolyjoo, I will pass on what you've said as my mum has never had an untrainable dog before, but I think this one has her beaten!
MY DS HAS TWO BEAGLES AND THEY COULD HAVE WRITTEN YOUR POST. tHE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THEY CANT BE TAKEN OFF THE LEAD AS THEY WOULD RUN OFF. (Sorry about the caps) They are lovely friendly dogs but what a nightmare. They both occasionally work abroad so the dogs go into kennels for anything up to a month. They go to the same kennels each time and love it. While there they get "trained" and now after 4 years and 3 years they have quietened down.
God help me! 3 to 4 years!
I sincerely hope we survive that long!
Next Monday is first day in doggy day care, and I think she will have an absolute ball! Bring on blissful rest the following day!
We have a 6 month old beagle and I feel your pain!
She's adorable and I'm completely in love with her but she is hard work. I train her to do lots of silly pointless things - high-five, play dead, turn around - because it's fun, she's smart and it does occupy her mind. She gets 2 good walks a day and is pretty good off the lead unless she gets on the scent of something of course. It's in the house where it's hard. She's a complete thief, jumps up, goes up the stairs although not allowed and inspite of ever-larger barricades and generally can't be trusted out of my site for 30 seconds.
She has a crate and goes in there at night and when we go out but she is not often left as I work from home.
I too am an experienced dog owner and beagles really are something else!
Well at least I now know it's normal for a beagle to behave as she does. Makes me feel a little better because at least I know I am doing everything I can, and that her behaviours are normal for her breed.
Appreciate the sympathy from fellow beagle owners.!
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