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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With an 18 month old son and a husband who's job has him on call most of the time, group obedience classes aren't really possible for us. With two beagles in the house now, I can see that we MUST have some obedience training. We have someone local who does private, in-home training, but it is quite pricey. Because I feel like we have to do something, I am willing to do it, but need to focus on the absolute must haves of beagle obedience.

For those of you who have done the obedience classes, what do you find the most helpful of skills and what could you have done without learning? Are their particular skills that are easier with beagles? I don't want to be wasting precious minutes on skills that aren't really neccesary or difficult for most beagles to master. Any suggestions on how you would go about it are welcome! I have to take advantage of the lessons I can afford. Also, any idea of how many lessons I should consider a minimum? TIA!
 

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I got a trainer with my first dog. He taught both me and Dinar (Irish Setter/Weimaraner mix) everything: Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Heel...
When I got Chloe I just implemented everything I remembered from that plus some advice I got from friends and books/articles.
In home training is SO possible. I think the most important commands are: Sit, Down, Stay, Heel and Come.

I found much help in the following website: K9

There are also a lot of articles on the web. The most important thing is that you use whatever techniques that you feel comfortable with, as there are a LOT of different points of view on training.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chloe's MommyI think the most important commands are: Sit, Down, Stay, Heel and Come.
I totally agree and out of those the MOST important one is Come. With our beloved beagles tendency to wander a good recall is No.1 on the list. After that I would put Sit and Stay or Wait.

I bet you can find lots of resources on the web or the bookstore to help you with the basics. I know there are training videos out there too.
 

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Don't forget: Leave It! (don't even THINK about going for that dropped food item) and Drop It! (spit that out right now)

And don't forget to let your husband know what command means what, for consistency.

I'm sure your trainer will tell you this, but once the boys have mastered the basics, take them to the park or the pet store or some other pet and kid friendly place, and practice. Dogs are very literal, and they need to know that Sit means Sit no matter where it's said, not just in the kitchen.
 

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I agree strongly with the Leave It command, Maggie doesn't always drop it but she will Leave It. Sit or down and stay are great too. Once you get some basic techniques, you could probably get a good book and keep working on your own.
 

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Group obedience training is good for the dogs because it offers them socialisation in a controlled and safe environment. Being outside of the home in a highly distracting environment is great for training - a lot of people will find their dogs will be obedient in the home but not when they go out to places, its one of the main gripes of people just starting out at our obedience club! So if you want to do obedience training at home, you need to make sure you are taking the dogs out to different places with different levels of distraction and practicing there too because you want good behaviour to transfer to different environments.

We have been doing obedience club training for more than a year now. It is fantastic and Daisy is progressing through the various classes. The best advice I can give you is to go to a club that allows you to work at your own pace. Clubs that run say 6 week classes are not always going to work for different dogs, because different dogs learn at different speeds.

The question of how many lessons you will need is totally dependent on what level of obedience you want from your dogs (basic manners, trial level obedience etc). When will my dog be trained is a question people ask all the time but really training is for the life of your dogs /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

Basic commands we work at in obedience start at heel. This is not loose lead walking but obedience heel work. The dogs must learn that they need to sit in line with your left leg, and the cue to heel is giving when you step off with you LEFT leg. It's important to make sure you are stepping off with your left leg first as down the track when you teach the dog to stay, stepping off with your right leg is a cue for the dog to stay.

With beagles, I find teaching heel is effective if you use high value treats, like chicken or sausage. Show the dog you have a treat and hold it to your stomach, so they are looking up at you as you walk. The dog should remain in the 'heel' position, walking with you and looking at you.

When you stop walking, the dog should sit as soon as you stop in the heel position.

Here is a video I did of myself teaching Daisy some basic obedience at home, to give you an idea of how we work heel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM_O9HJzhV0

Other commands normally taught at dog school are down, stand, sit/stay, down/stay, and the recall exercise. I would suggest going to a few classes to get the hang of how to teach these commands as you will find it easier to teach at home once you have a bit of practical experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for all the help! Leave it is on the list of commands to learn!

Not to worry, Smeagle, we take our dogs practically everywhere with us, so they get lots of socialization and great situations to practice what we learn! It's just that I can't commit to a class at the same time on the same day every week. It will be a trainer that comes to the house to teach us and then we will practice it on our own. Thank you for the link to your video! I will be watching it after posting! Toby had a little training, but with the addition of Lucky we need more and, of course, Lucky needs training!

I appreciate hearing what was helpful to all of you. I know that not all trainers love to work with beagles, so I wanted to hear from other beagle owners what can be expected! Thanks so much!
 

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You're welcome T&L!

A trainer that doesn't want to work with beagles is a trainer who doesn't know what they are doing! Yes, beagles can be tricky, but they are scent hounds which means they need to be trained a bit differently to other breeds.

I have used a behaviourist for my beagle too, she was wonderful and really helpful. She was also a vet nurse so had lots of experience dealing with naughty beagles and knew what to expect /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 
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