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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the reasons I joined this forum was to find help in how to better train our 13 week old Beagle. Bodie has been a quick learn in a lot of the basic training areas (i.e. sit, stay, come, leave it, drop it, down, off, etc.) Now granted he's far from consistent, but he obeys a majority of the time.

The one area we struggle is in walks. Because of Beagle's sensitive noses and strong desire to follow them we have yet to really make any progress. We are using a 4' leather lead and collar. We have tried standing our ground when he starts to pull. We've tried redirection (going in the opposite direction). We've tried treats while walking. We've tried giving him designated potty/sniffing locations in the neighborhood. And heaven forbid he sees his Beagle pal Patches down the street. He locks in on her and won't budge. None of these seem to work.

I have wondered if using a muzzle to keep his head off the ground would work. I've read numerous posting on here from folks using harnesses with a variety of results. I'd like to hear more from those who have trained Beagle puppies and the techniques they have used. At this point I'm willing to try anything.

Also, perhaps I need to be educated and adjust my expectations. I would like to have a dog that we could take on walks without all these constant stops. Am I being unrealistic with a Beagle. Can he be a good walking dog? Where do I go from here???
 

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Oh Boy - I tried to answer your question in the introduction area but now I see the what you want. Yes, you can train Bodie to polite walk but he won't have fun doing it unless you polite walk to the dog park or fenced play area where he can then be all he can beagle. Beagles were bred to be independent thinking sniffing hunters and bred to be very doggie socialable so following his nose and visiting Patches easily trump your requests, human directions a herding dog and you think are commands. You have really got to think like a beagle. Beagles really do want to please the pack and you are Bodie's pack so praise, a joyful voice, lot's of encouragment will help. They are not stubborn even though I suspect everyone who has one thinks they are, they just won't comply when they reason nothing to be gained from compling even if they may get punished or scolded for not compling. It is easy to think them stubborn but if you think like a beagle, a reason to comply is rrequired motivation. My Bagel responds well for a belly rub, praise and will do most anything for a $1.00 double cheese hamburger hold-the-bun from McDonalds. I must admit I let bagel lead most of the time, turning him when I want to go somewhere else, waiting for him to sniff, enjoying our wlaks at his pace. Hopefully, others can help.

To polite walk or heal, the Bagel and I went to obedience school. I suggest you cut a slice of cold cut into several pieces (6 cuts each way gets 49 pieces out of square slice of ham), keep one in your left hand (the one holding the middle of the lead) and then slip a little piece to Bodie every time he sits when you stop walking, he'll learn real quick to heal properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bob, thanks for the info. Over the last few days we've been trying what you suggested. I think by allowing him more freedom to pull ahead instead of trying to reel him in has helped. When he does lock-in on something, I tend to just let him be with maybe a gentle tug to get him going again. I've tried getting him going by sounding excited and all he does is cock his head and look at me with those big brown eyes. My wife has better success using treats at those times. I'm still going to try bringing a toy to see if that helps too.

We've been enrolled in a 8 week puppy class through Petsmart that's been helpful. He's definitely the teacher's pet too.
 

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Hi Brien - I was wondering how Bodie got his name? I rescued my Bagel coming on 11 years ago and we've been a team ever since. He thinks he is taking me for walks but he knows keeping me interested means longer walks and the smells are just as good on that mine dump I want to investigate or behind that old shack I'm eying so he usually complies to my suggestions with a little encouragement. I will say we tend to go new interesting places and when he does roust a chipmunk or ground squirrel or lizard I do share his enthusiasm. I only let him dig a hole I have observed the furry critter scoot down as I don’t want him digging up Mr. Rattlesnake. He has found enough of them in bushes as we have been walking as it is. I just pull him back and we and the snake go our separate directions. Do you take Bodie into the wilds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We got Bodie from a breeder in Placerville, CA. He's been breeding field Beagles for 50 years. He has had countless champion Beagles from field trails. In fact, he took us into his trophy room and we were absolutely amazed at the trophies, ribbons and pictures everywhere. He had boxes and boxes of ribbons. I've never seen anything like it.

Anyway, being up in the gold country he names all his Beagles after historical figures from the gold rush era. As soon as we left Holly and I started talking about names. We didn't make it 2 miles before the name Bodie popped into my head. Bodie used to be a gold mining town outside of Bishop. It's now one of the last remaining ghosts towns in these parts. We loved the name and being able to maintain some of the gold heritage made it perfect.

Since Bodie is only 14 weeks now we are keeping his walks to our cul-de-sac. Once his shots are all done we'll start the long walks we all so desire.
 

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I was wondering if there was a connection to Bodie, California and the famous Badman from Bodie. I am somewhat of an amateur historian of the history and pre-history Great Basin and know much of that area around Bodie, Mono Lake, Aurora, Benton. When Bodie gets a bit older, you should to take him on an adventure, he'd love the sage and the pine and smelling the varmints and modern day critters.
 

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If he's from strong field lines his scenting instinct must be very strong!

I walk my beagle, who just turned two years old the other day, with minimal fuss. It took us a while to get here but it was well worth the effort in the end. I used a martingale collar fitted nice and snuggly to just behind her ears, and when pulled I would give her a quick correction (pull the lead length ways, not up). You don't need to check hard or try to hurt him, but 'pop' the lead quickly. The dog actually begins to associate the sound of the chain (I use a martingale that has a chain as well as the nylon collar) with doing the wrong thing. I would also change direction if she was pulling too hard, and she would have to rush to catch up to me. This proves to her that I was controlling the walks, and she wouldn't get anywhere by pulling. It helps if you can try this method of changing direction each time he pulls/walks in front of you in a big park of field where you have lots of space. I also bring some high value treats i.e. chicken or sausage or cheese, and I reward her as soon as she does the right thing.

Walking on a flat (i.e. normal) collar will not help IMO. I use martingales because they are more comfortable for the dogs than check chains and they can't slip out of them. They can also be adjusted to sit higher up on the dogs neck rather than keep slipping down. I have never personally found a harness useful because a dog's strength comes from its chest and it has always given mine more ability to pull - but that's just me


I am a bit different in opinion to some here in that I will use positive and negative reinforcement, my beagle is very stubborn and very strong in character and giving her a correction or letting her know she has done the wrong thing works well with her. She is certainly not a soft dog LOL!
 

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I know diesel is not a good walker and i have been trying for a year now... he is getting better... now he only pulls me at the begining of the walk when he is the most excited and after that he does a little better.

i started with a 4 ft leash and that seams to work better because he does not get a running start to be able to pull me around... it gives me more control over him.

but i also use a longer lead if i want him to be able to sniff around with out me pulling on him.
 
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