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3177 Views 22 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Smeagle
Winston has never had any training classes. Not for lack of trying. There is only one 'group' here that has training classes. When I called to put him some puppy classes, they wouldn't take him until he was 6 months old. So fine, I asked if we could sign up now for the first class in January. Sure, they let me give all the info on the phone and then they said they'd call when they have a class.
I was a bit reluctant about them anyway, because she did condemn me because I have a beagle and a beagle can't learn anything (HAH!)
So I learn tonight that classes have been running since last week. So I called them and they said, oh, we had so many inquiries that we couldn't take them all so we cut out the certain breeds because it would have been a waste of our time
So tomorrow I bite the bullet and consider paying twice as much for private lessons from Petsmart. That's probably the only way I can take them there because we are over an hour away so 8 weeks of classes is kind of risky with road conditions this time of year and I have to make sure someone can come with me because Winston is still a bit skittish in the van. But on the other hand it's probably worth it rather than going with the not-so-educated canine association.
So glad I have beagle world to vent!
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Don't worry about it - in fact I would consider yourself lucky. They must be awful and very inexperienced trainers to write a dog off just because of it's breed!

At my obedience club, our club president has two champion titled obedience and agility beagles
Beagles are highly trainable, the trainers in the class you approached obviously have had no success training anything other than typical obedience breeds (if that!)
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Originally Posted By: Winston's MomThanks so much for all your support! I know Winston can learn well. He knew sit at 8 weeks and does that very very well. He also picked up fetch and catch and he's working hard on 'stay'. I am really having a hard time with 'drop it', 'leave it', 'lie down' and 'come' We sometimes call him 'ADD dog' because he easily gets distracted when he knows there is a treat in your pocket.
I would start by using shorter commands - instead of drop it I use give, and instead of lie down I say down. It sounds a bit pedantic, but dogs catch on to commands a lot faster if they are short and a single syllable.

What problems are you having with the commands? Recall (coming when called) is something that takes a lot of practice and you need to start by teaching him the 'come' command in a very low distraction setting.

I also only ever use very high value treats for training - instead of dried treats like liver I use smelly, wet treats like sausage or chicken. I only ever give the dogs these special treats at training time so they are especially high value.
Originally Posted By: Winston's Mom

I use a dried treat bought at a pet food store. That's the problem. The more desirable the treat, the harder it is to get him to focus. His nose leads him right to the pocket they are in.
The other problem is to actually get him to do a command. Like lie down, one of my books say to have him follow the treat (riiiight) or to physically place him in position, (like that's gonna happen).
Softer treats are good in training because it is easier for the dog to eat them, as opposed to dried treats which takes the dog longer to crunch.

The fact that he is really excitable is good - it means he is in food drive and has a lot of potential to work with. Getting his focus in training is something that you need to try to do in short increments. Hold the treats in your hand and have nothing in your pocket. If all the treats are in your hand, he is going to follow that instead - making it easier to lure him into position.

With sit, move the treats above his head till his bum hits the floor. With down, once he is in the sit position, use your hand with a treat in it to lure him - start at his nose and slowly bring your hand down to the floor. As soon as he hits the floor give him the treat and lots of praise
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Originally Posted By: Winston's MomSmeagle-you're so smart. I tried using 'give' instead of drop it yesterday. I actually never had any treats on me. We were just playing before I had to go back to work, so all he got was praise. He seemed a little more alert to 'give' than drop it. I will definatley try shortening the commands.

One BIG problem that I have is if he sees the treat in my hand, like if I want him to follow it, he will actually jump up and grab it out of my hand, (nearly taking some fingers with it). Unfortuneately, I am not as quick as he is.
How do I discipline that??
Good work on getting him to be a bit more responsive!!

I would hold the treat in the palm of your hand and close your fist over it. If he jumps up and tries to grab it, hold your hand with the treat in it over your head so he can't get it - don't try bringing it back down to him again until he is more settled or sitting. Every time he jumps up or grabs at your hand, put it out of his reach instantly - soon he will learn that he gets no where by trying to grab things from you.

You might want to look at implementing a food drive program like this one, as it teaches him that food is a resource that you control:

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