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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't want to hijack the other thread, so here is 'our' part:

Daisythedevildog:

Quote:I will never get another beagle. I went from having two sweet, obedient and wonderful dogs to a dog who is stubborn, unaffectionate, escapes at any opportunity, has destroyed my blinds, and listens only when she feels like it.

Daisy was a rescue, and I am certain she was abused. She has come a long way with that, and completely trusts me now. However, she is a stubborn thing, and DOES NOT listen. She won't come in when I call her, many times I have to go out and pick her up and carry her in. If she escapes, forget it. She has the highest prey drive ever, and runs the neighborhood screaming at the top of her lungs. I have to chase her and hope that I can break the spell and finally get her to stop running so I can get her. This can take hours. I can't just let her run, because she is so loud that I know she is disturbing the neighbors.

If she sees a rabbit outside, she goes ballistic. This is how she destroyed my blinds -- jumping up while barking wildly/screaming at the rabbit and tearing the blinds up in the process. The neighbors can hear her 2 houses down, and the windows are not open. I absolutely cannot break her of this hunting drive, or even slightly curb it. She has killed 4 full grown rabbits in the back yard, (she is very small - 11 and 20#, so I found that amazing.) She was eating one of them who was not dead yet. She can climb and/or jump a 4' chain link fence, so I had to add a 3' extension. She still tries to climb it.

When I first got her she peed on my bed a few times. She tore up 3 dog beds and some shoes. She jumped up on the barstools and ate or knocked things off the counter. I stopped taking her to the dog park recently, because she found a spot on the fence where she can get out. (Luckily I caught her before she made it - the park borders a freeway.) The place where she can get out is a tree that has grown through the chain link fence over the years, and she can climb it due to the shape of the trunk.

I tried to give her back within 2 months of getting her, but the rescue was full and would not take her. I had her on the 'net for awhile, but no takers.

As mentioned, she has come a long way in the almost two years that I've had her, but I'm still sorry that I chose a beagle. The good things I can say about her is that she is undeniably cute, and I know she loves me because I have given her a good home and treat her gently and with love, unlike her previous owners. She can be very funny, and has a blast playing with other dogs. It is still very hard for me to have a dog that doesn't listen unless she feels like it, is not very affectionate, and can never ever ever ever be let off her leash. While I am not actively looking, I would rehome her if the right situation arose. I would not want her to be abused or neglected again.

I realize that she has issues, and that not all beagles are like her, but I do know that most beagles are not good listeners unless it suits them, and 99.9% of beagles can never be trusted off leash. I did not do my homework thoroughly enough. One of my neighbors has a beagle that is so cute and sweet. That's what got me interested. The descriptions of beagles on the 'net mention stubbornness and not safe off leash, but I guess it just didn't sink in how bad certain ones can actually be.
Smeagle:
Quote:DaisytheDevilDog, have you considered consulting a behaviourist?

Reading your post it does sound like the beagle isn't a breed that is best suited to you, but by the same token, a lot of the problems you described i.e. her high prey drive, destructive nature, refusal to listen to you etc are things that can be managed through training.

I am training Daisy (great name huh :p ) to compete for her obedience title, so I know what a pain their drive can be (she doesn't have the nick name 'the evil beagle' for nothing!) so I am doing a drive based training program that teaches you how to harness their drive and use it in a productive way. Now I love her level of drive and will always in the future chose a dog with a high prey or food drive - so there is light at the end of the tunnel!

I'm sorry you've been having such a frustrating experience, from your post it sounds like Daisy has a few behaviour problems that I personally wouldn't right off as just being part of the breed and therefore impossible to fix - a good trainer will be able to show you how to manage her behaviour and make your household a lot more harmonious.
I want to make it clear that I do love her, and take very good care of her. I do not yell at her or hit her, and use positive reinforcement. (treats and/or telling her how good she is, scratching her favorite spots, etc.) The worst I do is say Oh NO, in a firm/disappointed voice. She knows immediately something is not acceptable. (although she'll do it again...) She has come <span style="font-weight: bold">such</span> a long way since I got her, but you are right, a beagle is not the right breed for me. On the listening thing, she is not 100% horrible with that, but the times that she doesn't want to come in, she simply won't. Or at the dog park, when she is headed to the fence and I call her back, she just keeps on going. She'll sometimes stop and look at me, but then it's like yeah, whatever, and off she goes.

Exhibit 1:

Daisy's Listening Skills

I solved the destroying blinds issue by keeping them open, as in pulled up almost all the way. Not great, since people can see in my house 24/7, but I live on a very private street, so it's not too bad. She grew out of destroying things, I posted that as a warning to the OP. I can't seem to keep her off the dining room table though. She likes to be up there so she can look out different windows. She KNOWS she is not supposed to be up there, but she does it anyway. The only way I think I could keep her off is to put the chairs on the table, like you would when you mop the floor, but my house looks beagley enough without <span style="font-weight: bold">that</span> decorating element.


I am at a loss about the prey drive. It's so hard wired that I can't imagine ever being able to break her of it, behaviorist or not. Even if I could train her not to go after rabbits, wouldn't that be just SO supremely frustrating to her that she'd become somewhat neurotic? Or as they say living a life of quiet desperation... I know that sounds crazy, but to me, if a dog has been bred for hundreds of years to do a specific thing, and then is not allowed to, it seems that it would be rather torturous for the dog.

I am curious about your drive based training program. I'm assuming it doesn't involve putting rabbits in your yard for her to chase ~
 

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I just wanted to let you know as someone following the other thread that I don't think ANYONE here thinks you are bad to Daisy! We have followed your trials and tribulations with her! She does sound like she is on the more challenging end of the spectrum - even for beagles!!!

It's tough, sometimes with rescues especially, to know what kind of personality, baggage, etc. you are going to get! I think Smeagle, et al, offer suggestions in hope of helping Daisy become the dog you want her to be!

You have probably heard me mention my friend who trains Field Trial Labs. You know how he got into that? He had a Lab that was a complete nightmare!! And I do mean complete nightmare!!! He tried Field Trial training as a last resort and not only did it work for the dog, he found something HE loved as well! Before that lab, he had only ever owned German Shepherds. Since, he has never owned anything but labs. That first lab has long since passed, but his love for training and the breed is still in full force! It doesn't always work out that way, but you know everyone here will keep trying to help you come up with what might make it that way for you and Daisy!!

Besides, we all know that if anyone here says they haven't wanted to oust their beagle at least a time or two, they are flat out lying!!!!
 

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I have notice with Abby that rabbits seem to be the trigger for her. We are questioning her ability to stay inside the invisible fence if we decide to start training her with it.

When our lab first came to us he had some real issues staying inside the invisible fence. He'd see something in the distance and we knew he was going to shoot through the fence.

I invested in a radio collar with a hand held remote for him. When he'd run off I just needed to give it a quick jolt, I'd hear him yelp in the distance and he'd come trotting home. After a couple months he no longer ran through the invisible fence and we didn't have to use it again. Some folks don't care for them, but for our circumstance it worked well-much better than letting him run as far as the highway and get hit. It might be something to consider for Daisy-just enough of a correction to get her attention when needed.
 

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The prey drive issue is of interest to me, too. Li'l Girl doesn't have a strong prey drive, but Traveler, our Rhodesian mix has such a strong one that it's scary to us.
He'll take on anything, regardless of size. A couple of years ago it was a raccoon, and that was a heck of a fight. Traveler prevailed, but had a lot of bites and abrasions to show for it.

Since we have seen a bear on our property, we pray that one doesn't come along when Traveler's out in the large fenced area. If he tackled a bear, we fear the outcome would be tragic for him because he wouldn't give up.
 

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DaisytheDevilDog, like others have said, I don't think you are a bad dog owner or cruel
I think you are just really frustrated and don't know where to go from here.

The biggest problem people run into when they have high drive dogs is that they try and train them out of having that high drive - which is impossible, IMO, because it is so ingrained in the dog.

I started looking for other training options when we joined obedience club - even though Daisy (eventually) graduated to the class before the trialling class, I just knew that I would never really be able to compete with her urge to scent. She might do well in a trial at our club, but if we to some where new to compete, I doubted that I would be able to get her in the ring successfully.

So now we do 'drive' based training, which is training the dog IN drive - it is about harnessing that level of focus and 'madness' you see in Daisy when she spots a rabbit. I am training Daisy in food drive, but you can also train in prey drive which involves teaching the dog to get drive satisfaction from you and a special toy. It takes a lot of work and it is quite involved, but it is the best option (IMO) for dogs that have a high and at time uncontrollable drive.

I have only started the program we're doing, so a lot of it has been 'developing' Daisy's drive into something usable. I've only just start reintroducing commands.

This is a video I actually did yesterday, to send to my trainer for some feedback, we look a bit silly but as you can see it's quite physical and it involves getting the dog excited and putting them into drive (I use food but many people train in prey drive and use a toy) and giving them a command while in that drive they have to comply with. This is only the start of the program and it gets a lot more advanced from this


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG9vsrrUrhQ

I've seen dogs who have completed drive training programs win obedience trials, I have seen dogs who have been trained in drive start chasing a rabbit and then drop instantly to the ground the moment the trainer commands them to do so, mid chase. So it's possible to train high drive dogs, in fact some trainers prefer it, because it gives them a lot to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Buffy, thanks. I don't post here a lot, and was making sure that I didn't give the impression that I dislike Daisy's beagley ways enough that I'm not a good dog mom to her. She's really living in the lap of luxury, especially compared to her past. She was picked up wandering around an empty fairgrounds, and I'm certain she was abused by her former owners. At then end of this post is a pic of her when I first got her - she only weighed 16#.

Now she weighs 20 or so pounds, sleeps in my bed, is fed yummy food and treats, and gets lots of tummy skritches and ear rubs.

I really think she's a hopeless case, and I'm just going to have to put up with her until she gets old and lazy


pop_rivit - there is no way I would trust Daisy with an electric fence, however I do have a remote shock collar on order. I hate to do it, but I have to try SOMETHING that will work on her at the dog park. Just a little buzz (hopefully that's all it is!) to keep her away from the fence.

Sandy, that is scary about the bear! I sincerely hope that Traveler never meets up with him.
 

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Originally Posted By: DaisyTheDevilDogBuffy, thanks. I don't post here a lot, and was making sure that I didn't give the impression that I dislike Daisy's beagley ways enough that I'm not a good dog mom to her. She's really living in the lap of luxury, especially compared to her past. She was picked up wandering around an empty fairgrounds, and I'm certain she was abused by her former owners. At then end of this post is a pic of her when I first got her - she only weighed 16#.

Now she weighs 20 or so pounds, sleeps in my bed, is fed yummy food and treats, and gets lots of tummy skritches and ear rubs.
Just be careful that your leadership doesn't suffer if you feel you should go easy on her - dogs like Daisy (and my Daisy is quite similar in terms of drive and stubborness!) need firm leadership and boundaries. Make sure she knows you're boss
 

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Buffy got it right, we all would be lying if we said we didn't understand what you go through with Daisy
I never assumed you were mean to her either. I must say I wonder if it's the name Daisy
She sure is s cute girl.
 

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My Daisy also has the wonderful ability to complete ignore me. LOL Rocky does also, ESPECIALLY when there's another rabbit or dog near by.

As far as getting them in the house. For a while the hubby and I were using a dog whistle. We would blow the whistle and when they came in they would get a treat. It was working GREAT but we've just kind of slacked off. They could be mid-sniff but if they heard the whistle they would come running. Check out the video!

The Doggie Whistle
 

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This is why it's very important for people to research different breeds before deciding on one. You have to learn the dog's tendencies, traits and how that will fit into your lifestyle. Then you compound that problem by getting an older dog with little to no history on them. I can only imagine the idiosyncrasies and poor habits your dog has acquired over the years. But you can't apply those same things to the breed as a whole.

We did our due diligence before we got a Beagle. We narrowed it down to four breeds. The one significant trait we didn't know enough about was the beagling. If we would had more information about this trait we might not of got a beagle. But since we did we're learning to adjust and accept this inherent trait. All the other stuff can be handled through training.

In cases like yours where you have a dog with a lot of sever issues you might be better off sending him to a trainer. Although costly, that might be what's needed if you can correct the behavior yourself.
 

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Originally Posted By: Brien & Bodie
In cases like yours where you have a dog with a lot of sever issues you might be better off sending him to a trainer. Although costly, that might be what's needed if you can correct the behavior yourself.
Not sure if this is what you mean by the above or not BB, but I would strongly advise against sending a dog away for training.

Any trainer who has to train a dog out of sight of the owner to get results is one I would steer very clear from.

Any good trainer or behaviourist knows how to train a dog, but a great one will know the hardest part is training the owner, which cannot be done if the dog is sent away for training.

The OP would be much better off finding a reputable behaviourist to consult both her and Daisy
 

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I have always understood your trials with Daisy, we have had some of the same ourselves, though not nearly on your level. And we were lucky that most of Duke's bad traits are lessened, if not gone, at this time. But it can get frustrating.

I do think it is more on an individual dog basis, rather than breed. I think you get good and bad in all and some dogs are just more prone to being naughty than others. Ours labs were very good as pups, but my friend got one of their pups and he was a 90 pound maniac! They trained him and loved him and he was still so bad. Matter of fact, I called her after I first read Marley and me and told her somebody wrote a book about her Zeiben. LOL

All breeds have their more challenging members and Daisy's prior abuse probably contributed to her issues. I think trying to get her into drive training to channel that drive and energy would be a wonderful thing for both of you. Good luck!
 

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right now as I type one of my boys is out making a fool of himself singing at something or someone... I'll have to go out and call him inside soon.. anyway, I have two beagles with super high prey drives (it kicks in if I drag a stuffed animal around on a string).. I am successfully using the invisible electric fence with them.. They actually no longer ever get shocked etc.. I am usually anti-shock anything, but they were taking off after coyotes and that will NEVER end well.. anyway.. sometimes I will run around and drag the stuffed animal in the backyard and totally wear them boys out. We've had a few rabbit fatalities and I've had to de-worm them a couple of times due to that but it's the highlight of their month when they catch a rabbit. Can you take her for long walks on the leash? I bought some super extra long retractable leads for my boys, I take them out on them and they don't really even realize they are on the lead.. a huge part of this issue can be resolved through simply wearing her out every day and training her to the kennel when you are not at home..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for all of your replies. I will try some of the ideas suggested. Daisy is actually good on a leash - she wasn't when I got her, but now she walks like a little lady. I can't say the same for her non beagle sister Lola!
 
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