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Beagles can be very stubborn at times. This often makes people think that they are stupid. That is so far from the truth...they are very smart. They just don't like to do things unless there is some benefit to them. I can get Jersey to do virtually anything by dangling a nice meaty treat in front of her. Once you get through that though, it's great. You've got a loving, loyal dog to keep you company for a long, long time. Oh, and that "laughing" look...I know it so well. I definitely think it is there way of saying HA HA, I've got your (book, shoe, box of tissues, magazine, etc...)
 

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Cheerio’s comments are spot on! As Wellington’s provider noticed with Wellington, he responds well to treats (bribes) while the retriever responds well to praise. Beagles can come to appreciate praise as well but the key is reward and love wiuth both of those breeds. Rough handling training like you might do with a guard dog dog does not work. Stern words and negative feedback do not work. That is where patience and IMHO the maturity and wisdom of the trainer must manifest to have success in training a beagle.

The key is that beagles were bred to be independent thinkers. The evaluate all their options, do not blindly respond to a command. You say come, the beagle mind evaluates, if there is not a fresh scent, and hunting opportunity, something else to interest the beagle, the beagle will come.. Herd dogs, like border collies, look to their master for direction. The beagle has no master, he has his fellow pack members of which you should be the alpha member but he expects cooperation within the pack and if he gets a fresh scent, it is the packs duty to support him. Many in the dog training world thrill at the blind obedience of the Border Collie and they rate the black and white flashes as the “smartest dog.” These same “experts” are intimidated by the independent thinking beagle and rather that work as the alpha in the beagle’s cooperative pack, dismiss the beagle as un-trainable and less intelligent. This is balderdash, beagles are easy to train if you recognize them as a beagle and again IMHO way to smart for many so-called experts.

Bassets are more laid back than Beagles, Blue Ticks are bigger, foxhounds, bloodhounds, etc. are unique to their specific breed but “scenthounds” in general are unlike the rest of the canine world. You either love scenthounds and the traits that make them unique or just find fault with those traits. There is no on/off switch with a scenthound and especially a beagle. You are part of their pack 24/7 and those that appreciate these merry little hounds will never understand how anyone could not be enamored by their beagles traits and those that don’t will never understand the joy a human owned by a beagle derives from the special relationship.
 
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