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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My name is Julie and I am new to this lovely Beagle World. We recently adopted an 8 week-old beagle from a couple who "just didn't have the time." They purchased her at 6 1/2 weeks from a backyard breeder.

We've had her for about five days now. Housebreaking is going well; she still has accidents (a fault on our part), but as long as we get her outside every two hours or so she does her business immediately then runs off to play. She hasn't had an accident in her crate yet either! *crosses fingers*

But I digress. We are having a few behavioral issues that regular training methods don't seem to be solving.

#1 She had absolutely no bite inhibition when she came to us. I'm not sure if this is because she was taken away from her litter too early, because she's a beagle, or if it would have happened anyway. She's a fiesty little girl, a little on the willful side, not normally aggressive, but a very rough and tumble play type.

We researched the methods of training and started with the least invasive. At first we just made the puppy screech, but this would excite her, so we stopped playing with her altogether after screeching (we don't play rough with her in any way, the bites usually happen when she goes into insane mode and does laps around the house/yard and attacks our ankles/hands, whichever happens to be the most accessible).

This has mostly worked for regular times, but when she goes into insane mode (complete with growling that is ever so cute, but obviously not encouraged) all bets are off.

Our vet suggested we pinch the top of her snout into her mouth (forcing her to bite her own lips). This seemed a little cruel to me, but a vet is there for a reason. My fiance tried it and it seemed to work OK. I tried it, but it just made her very, very angry and she bit even harder and struggled and growled.

My other method is to tell her NO and hold her mouth shut until she calms down a bit, but this hasn't really worked.

Long story short, are we doing the correct thing? Is this something we just have to persevere through (continuing to use corrections), until she grows out of it? I have never raised a puppy indoors before; she's my first since moving out of my parent's house (who didn't allow indoor dogs).

#2 Crying at night
We are crate-training her. Her sleep space is in a crate in our bedroom. There is a dog bed, a blanket, a small frozen bone stuffed with few bites of dog food and peanut butter, and a couple of overnight-safe toys in the crate with her. When I put her in the crate, she plays with the toys...until I shut the door. Then she just sits, looking out at us and crying. At first she wouldn't stop, but eventually would calm down after a few minutes.

The first two night we got about an hour sleep. A friend recommended that we sleep with our heads as close to the cage as possible, so we did that. It calmed her down a bit and the third and fourth nights we got about six hours of sleep. She does really well with the initial sleeping segment, but after the first time we take her potty at 2 or 3 in the morning, she has a hard time going back to sleep.

Last night she was up almost the entire night. We tried playing the radio on a lower volume setting (which has worked before), singing to her, taking her out for a potty (once she stops crying for a few seconds), and seeing if she was thirsty. None of these things worked.

Again, are we implementing the correct methods for a beagle puppy and just have to persevere, or are we missing something? I know this must be separation anxiety somewhat, for as I type this, she is asleep in my arms, indicating she is as drained as we are. Again, I have never crate-trained a dog before, so any suggestions are welcome.

#3 Clicker Training
This isn't really an issue, I just have a few questions. I have been clicker training her, and she responds well to the treat, but doesn't seem to really *get* the clicker. Adult dogs I have clicker-trained understood what the click meant after one session. I'm assuming she just isn't mentally developed yet (shooooort attention span) to handle the bridge between the click and the treat. We work for about 10 minutes a day, so far on down, sit, and off. When should I expect her to be developed enough to start making the connection?

Sorry for the book, I just want to give as much information as possible in order to obtain accurate answers.

Thank you!

Julie
 

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Aww she is still little, Training takes time and things will get easier. Last year when I got my pup Tucker, he would cry once he was put in the kennel too, but we had to be tough and ignore his cries because if we came to him every time he cried it would teach him that it is ok to cry and we will come get him or be near him. Within a week or two it stopped and he was ok with going to the kennel and sleeping. Of course he didn't sleep a whole night we would have to wake up in the middle of the night to take him outside it wasn't until maybe 4 months old that he slept longer. The more consistent you are the better. So same sleep times same eating times, this is good because it will develop a routine. Good luck!!!
 

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I agree with Astroline, training (esp with beagles) takes time! For us the walking away from Baxter worked best to stop the biting but even that took a few months to sink in with him. As for the sleeping, we finally had to put Bax in another room and shut the doors between us. I was still able to hear if if he needed a potty break but it was easier to ignore the inital crying and the crying after going outside in the middle of the night. After about 3 months he slept all through the night without any problems. A few months later we moved him back in the room with us and it's been great ever since... now the only problem is his snoring! :)
 

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Two words that are invaluable with training beagles: PATIENCE, CONSISTENCY

It takes time and can take a lot more than you expect, depends on the beagle. I went through heck with Roscoe, he was quite the little devil when he was a pup but after about 1yr and a half he finally calmed down and it was almost like a switch was flipped, all the training just seem to sink in!

The mouthing should not be tolerated, it can become very bad when she is older. I do not believe in any aggressive or physical deterring of this behavior as beagles are very strong willed. Cole was a mouther when he was little and we would always gently push him away, give a firm NO and replace our body parts (fingers, etc..) with an acceptable chew toy. Nylabones and those cloth bones that you freeze worked great. Again, it takes A LOT of patience, this isn't going to work on the first shot.

The crate, do not give in!! Remember she is still very very young. If you give in now, it will be harder on you later on. We gave in with Roscoe, he was our first so we made a few rookie mistakes, ha ha. And now, it shows, he is a bit spoiled. You will lose some sleep and it might be hard for awhile but as long as she has done her business she will learn. Don't pay her any mind as hard as that may be.

I don't know much about the clicker training except that it sounds good. Again she is young so give it lots of time. This may not be a method that works for her but it is too early to tell.

Sounds like you are on the right track :)
 

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Re the biting, I always find redirecting them to a toy helps so you aren't just teaching them not what to do but are showing them what they can do.

With a pup that little I would be inclined to keep training sessions even shorter than ten minutes to start with and do at least three short sessions a day - she will pick up on the clicker, just keep it really basic and simple so do loads of click/treats and one basic command like sit that you c/t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for all the advice!

We ended up having to move her to the living room for the time being. For some very odd reason, she actually quiets down a lot faster than her being in eyesight of us. I guess puppies truly are out of sight, out of mind. We also tired her out for an extra long time last night, so she slept for quite a while.

We re-direct her as much as possible; she has a few extremely favorite toys, the rest are just "sometimes" toys, lol.

Last night we also had a small breakthrough with the clicker. She now automatically sits whenever she sees the clicker in my hand. LOL I guess she at least understands that treats will be forthcoming if she does a movement first.
 
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