Beagle training question
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Posted on Tuesday Apr 30, 2013 at 8:12 PM  
I am not a dog trainer or the son of a dog trainer, but have 1 male beagle that is 7 mo. old and a 1/2 female beagle of the same age. Not sure what will become of the 1/2 (may end up better), but my question has to do with training and working on their trailing skills.
I figured a rabbit hide is the way to go, but in the event that you don't have a cotton tail hide, could a guy train with a domestic rabbit hide?
Posted on Wednesday May 1, 2013 at 10:03 AM  
I am no "expert" at all.... But... years ago I got into rabbit hunting pretty big... I went to several trials etc. You can "buy" "tame" cottontails from people who raise them, but honestly, your best bet is to find a road kill, and rip off the hide. Do like the old timers and drag it around, through woods,creeks, etc. (Where the Red Fern Grows ring a bell??) He'll catch on pretty quick, and will definetaly be ready to go come fall. The hardest thing to teach a beagle is to break off the trail, and come to you when he is called... Good luck!
Posted on Friday May 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM  
If you know of someone who runs beagles, go with them and let your dogs run with their's. They follow there nose by instinct, and they'll catch on to their target by following the other experienced dogs. If you dont have that available, just take them to the woods where there's rabbits and see what happens. They're pretty much naturals at trailing, and if they flush a rabbit they're gonna chase it. The rabbit will run a wide circle by it's own instinct, and your dog should trail it by his. Biggest problem would be getting them off of a running deer, but that's been a more of an individual dog problem for me, not all of them would run deer. my problem was getting their spoiled butts away from me and into the brush! they're great companion dogs. i really miss mine,maybe someday i'll get another.
Posted on Wednesday May 8, 2013 at 11:19 PM  
I'm not a beagle trainer but have hunted several. I have trained big game hounds ( bear, bobcat, mt lion, and coon) most of my life. There's a lot that goes into training a trailing dog. The first part is teaching them to trail. For most it will come naturally but for some it takes a little work. The second step is training them to trail what and only what you want them to trail. Once this is accomplished you'll have a great time with your dogs.

A few pointers that I've picked up along the way......

Do not get frustrated! It's challenging and you have a puppy. Remember it takes time.

Never ever under any circumstances train or hunt two puppies together.

All dogs have different personalities. Remember that and you'll be a lot more successful when trying to correct your dog

Only train as long as the pup is interested. For some this may be an hour and for some it may be 10 minutes. Puppies are like small children, they will retain one positive thing better then 15 different things,

Always end a training session on a positive note.

If you'd like to chat about training techniques feel free to give me a call any time. I'm no master houndsman but I have trained several pups from start to finish and I may be able to save you some time.

Posted on Monday May 20, 2013 at 10:46 PM  
Domestic rabbits do not give off the same smell as wild rabbit. I have actually tried this with a carnival rabbit my sister won that we raised in a pen. The beagles treated it with as much indifference as our cats.

Your best bet is to find a fresh road kill and drag it around your yard and see what your pup will do. With some dogs, a natural instinct will kick in, with others it takes some training.

Your best bet is to put your pup with other beagles that are running and see what they will do. This will probably take more than one trip, but it's really teh best way to find out if you have a rabbit dog.

I've got seven beagles right now and I've trained all but one of them using other dogs that we're chasing bunnies. With some it kicked-in in the pre-one year stage, with others it took up to 2yrs. As mentioned, it just takes a lot of patience and a place with a lot of bunnies!

If your interested, I've got the pack and the place's around here to train beagles. We could alway's toss your pups in the mix and see what they do!

Oh yea and shock collars, if used properly, will make a mediocure dog into a really good hound!!

Posted on Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM  
Interesting how things work out. For several days my son has been harassing a local yard rabbit. After a sighting yesterday he went out to no avail, but noticed our cat was carrying something. It turned out to be a young rabbit still alive, but slightly damaged. Maybe I need to hunt with the cat? First he let the rabbit go in the back yard and the chase was on until it made the fence. A little while later he saw the rabbit in the neighbors yard. It was not moving and really suffering from the cat experience. Son dispatched the rabbit. He teased the pups a while with it and drug it around the front yard some, and then just like Where the Red Fern Grows, but not as funny, he drug it around the house around the back yard and hid it. The chase was on! Interestingly, Sadie our mix (1/2 beagle, 1/4 probably pit, and 1/4 who knows) was more focused and on the trail tighter than Si, true to his name was a bit erratic, but along for the ride. Sadie found the rabbit and promptly snatched it and ran under the shed. Remnants are all that remain.
Thanks for the offer and guidance.
Posted on Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM  
Well...I'd say that's pretty good start!

I've got a 1/2 beagle/bassett that took over a year for her to realize what the other beagles we're doing in the field. It finally clicked here last winter and now she's one of my best hounds!

Fun part is the training, after that it's just work...

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