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Dog walking question

4090 Views 22 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Lisa P
Will i ever be able to tak Timber off the leash?

She is 14 weeks no and still is pretty pully. She runs up to everybody an every other animal she meets, she eats pretty much anything in her path. She runs up ahead, sniffs, then drops behind. I can kinda recall her to come, but if she is busy sniffing, or with other people/dogs there is no chance. How do i get her to stay at my side?
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In a word NO - I don't know anyone with a beagle (and I have a lot of members in my beagle group) who can let their dogs off leash except, of course, in a securely fenced yard. I could leave my keeshond off-leash and she'd stay right with me. But beagles are scent hounds and will follow their noses if given the opportunity - if you want Timber to lead a long, healthy, happy life, and not wind up missing or as road kill, please don't even consider letting her off leash. We have a member here (who is also a member of Beagle Bay) who has a 5 year old beagle who has been through obedience training, advanced obedience training, and is a certified therapy dog, but he bolts every chance he gets - does that tell you anything?? There may be a few beagles someplace that you can trust to stay with you - but I don't know anyone who has one. I don't mean to sound negative, and I'm sure someone will let me know if I'm wrong, but I never let any of my dogs off-leash outside of their yard. Perhaps you'll be one of the lucky ones, but I always advise people who adopt my puppies NEVER to let them off leash unless they're safely confined in a fenced yard.
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I would never take Maggie off her leash outside of a fenced yard. However we have done quite a bit of obedience training and she will respond to a heel command while on a leash. When she was learning we practiced heel inside the house sometimes but I didn't use the leash because she got all excited thinking we were going somewhere. So even though it sounds silly she heels inside without a leash. Usually when we walk, I give her some time to explore and stop and sniff things and then I tell her to heel and we move at a quicker pace for the rest of the walk. When she has had some time to be a beagle first, she does very well for the rest of the time.
Sorry, but I have a very obedient beagle MIX and the sniffing instincts are still strong. Beagles were bred to run ahead and not take directions from the hunters for something like the last 300-400 years. Henry has a very good recall even in large fields if they're enclosed, but the minute he figures out there's no boundary, he's gone. Just the other day Henry bolted out the door while company was coming in, and I managed to stay calm and recall him. But I could see it was very difficult for him to stop in his tracks and come back.
They do make harnesses for easier walking. The harnesses make them heel and keep them from pulling - they can be a life saver when you truly need to walk (not sniff!).

I am with the others, I don't know of any beagles that can walk without a leash!
I'll give you my one word of advice. NO. Don't let them off the leash. Why? because beagles follow their noses and don't pay attention to traffic or other people or dogs. They can get themselves into big trouble, get lost, get away from you. Even if you've trained them to come on command, I wouldn't let her go...why, she may find a scent that is more important than your command and have an accident. When we want to give one of ours a little more berth, we lengthen the leash and then go to the park or trails for them to run a little freer than a short walking leash. But never with out one. Unless of course, you like the thought of running after her...

Good luck.
Cathy J
Hi Peter!! How 'bout some new pictures of Timber!

As far as you question, I have to say I'm in agreement with all of the above responses. I never take Maggie off leash, except at the fenced in dog park.
Originally Posted By: P3terWill i ever be able to take Timber off the leash? How do i get her to stay at my side?
Simple answer - Training Training Training. An un-trained Beagle should NEVER be let off leash.

The earlier you start training the better. It gets harder the longer you leave it. The earlier you teach the recall the easier it is because very young puppies naturally are inclined to stay close and want to come back to their owner as they don't, normally, have the confidence to go far.

I've raised 3 Beagle puppies and all 3 could be let off leash. Rosa is obediant and she doesn't run off and will come back every time I call her. This is down to very early training from the first day I got her at 9 weeks old. It can be done.

Sherry is a rescue and I never let her off leash as she is 10 years old and had no training at all prior to me getting her. Teaching an old dog to come back to you is very hard, teaching a puppy isn't, so do it NOW.

Of course where you let your Beagle off the lead is very important. I'm lucky that I have acres of land behind my house that's a very long way from roads. If, Peter, the only place you have to let Timber off is near roads then don't do it. Even a well trained Beagle is unpredictable.
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Oh yes, Charlie pulls too. My trick is, snap the leash once and stop walking abruptly, and sayno pull. He'll seems to go gently afterwards, but keep forgetting when he picks up a scent again. arrrooo he goes
All hound dogs are like that I heard.
NO he is always on leash except in dog parkfenced.
Charlie's trainer said he can train him off leash eventually, but I doubted, besides I do not like him, too rough on Charlie. He uses descipline no treats style, military almost. Paid $$$$ in advance, ended up no show! I DO NOT like him. Becareful when choose a trainer, the one who comes to your house especially.
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Daisy is a horrible puller. She learned everything else that we did in training very well except for heeling. So, I have something similar to this http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753698
Mine is a different brand, but it's the same thing. It works absolute wonders. We can have a very nice walk and she doesn't pull at all.
I think it also depends on where your walking the dog. I let Zoey off her leash on a regular basis but were walking on farm lands away from roads that get heavy traffic. She was intended as a hunting companion so from the get go she was taught good off leash manners and she is remarkably good on call back. The method I used to train call back was the Where are you method. I goes like this: Since a dog hears its name so many times during the course of the day it gets bored with it and is only interested in coming back if you have something better than its sniffing at the moment. The Where are you? callback taps into the playful and curious nature of the dog. It starts as game with several people. You have one person hide while the dog is distracted and have that person call out Where are you or whatever call back word you choose. When the dog gets curious and seeks out that person and finds them its rewarded with a tasty treat. Have differant people hide thoughout the house and repeat the call back phrase or word but have them alternate between praise,treats and play sessions. This keeps the dog guessing as to what the person calling has for them. Since dogs are super curious by nature they seem compelled to find out what awaits them. I also made sure I alternated between differant types and flavors of treats to keep the guessing game going. If you decide for yourself that you are going to let Timber off the leash this might be a good thing to tryto help in calling her back.
BTW: I tryed describing the call back training in the best way i know but sometimes I type confusingly
So if anyone would like me to find the book I got it from and copy it to the thread or a PM just let me know
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I really have nothing to add.... Just make sure she is in a well confined area, before letting her off the leash! They will love you to the death and in theory will never want to leave your side, but NEVER TRUST A BEAGLE!!!!!!!
I agree with Daisysmom, except I use a different product:


It works wonders and seems to subdue dogs immediately as it simulates a dominant dog holding the muzzle and the endorphin releasing spot at the back of the skull. Whatever it is, Java walks like an angel in it and it saves my hand/arms from the constant pulling. Also, all the yanking can't be good for their little necks.
We live on a fairly busy street and behind an extremely busy one. I can never let Shiloh off leash anywhere but in our back yard when I'm right there with her, and her leash is fastened to her collar for grabbing if necessary. But even then, if I turn my back, to throw away some poop, say, she is likely wandering over into the neighboring yard! I know how you feel: I would love to have a dog who just trotted along by my side, coming back when calledif she wandered a few steps away. But more than that, I love having a dog who is safe and not following her nose somewhere she shouldn't be.
wow,joshua, that is a great game! if nothing else it will entertain the dog, but hopefully help him learn too.

I also have a beagle mix and he is usually very good with out a leash. USUALLY. I can take him outside to go potty without a leash on and im very comfortable. He will come to me when i call him.

EXCEPT - if there is another dog around he will take off FAST. The good thing about this is that other dogs are usually leashed to their owners or very obedient and thus Arty will only run to that dog and stop to play.

The bad thing(s)?
He runs like crazy without looking, meaning it can have dangerous results in traffic.
Some people get very scared to see another dog running towards their dog and will yell at you for not using a leash.
He will not listen to you when he runs away, and the more you chase him the happier he will get bc he thinks it is a game.

I do admit that I take him out without a leash more often than I should, but its a dangerous game and I really shouldnt.
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It's a very personal choice, for me it's about quality of life but there's always an element of risk involved. I walk (or cycle) with mine off the lead every day and she loves it, but we also practise recall every day, and I would never walk her off the lead near roads or in an unfamiliar area. It also makes a big difference if there are other dogs with us - as a member of a pack she's much more likely to go further away.

I'd start working with Timber now, (in an enclosed space) as someone else mentioned, it's important to keep her guessing a bit about why you're calling her back (praise, treats, game, back on the lead etc), and, although this sounds mean, you don't want her to feel too secure about what you are going to do / where you are going - so I often turn round and start walking in another direction or even hide behind a tree or something when I see that she's not paying attention. It means that she normally doesn't go off too far for fear of losing me which keeps her within whistling distance. Also, as Artimus said, be aware that if you run after Timber she'll think it's a great game!
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Nope, we keep Duke on leash whenever we walk. If nothing else, it eases my piece of mind. I would be paranoid having him off. Plus, his recall is not so good, so I could never even try to get away with it.

Those harnesses and collars look interesting. Though Duke isn't a horrible puller, there are times and especially right at the start of a walk, those seem like great alternatives.
yeah, there's no way i can trust myself to catch Java should he decide to bolt down the street. maybe if i'm lucky, i'll achieve the same level of trust and obedience as others on this board have.
No is pretty much the answer to taking a beagle off the leash. We are fortunate the one of our three will stay at my side always, but it is really unusual. Kota has never in his entire life with us left the yard unattended. I have seen him catch a scent and run to the end of it and screeches to a halt at the boundaries. (Not something that we tried to teach him either) Put him on a leash though, when he sniffs out a rabbit he will drag whoever is at the other end along until he finds the source! Our other two would be in another county in a flash if they were not contained.
I would still not trust him to be outside unattended tho...thought I would add that.
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