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We need help. We have a 3 year old Beagle. He is definately always challenging us for authority but we have noticed some changefor the better recently since we have been really working with him on behavior and he is getting older. While stealing and chewing are still problems, our main issues are barking and running away. While he is never let off leash except in a fenced in yard and dispite our neuroses about him getting loose, it has happened by accident. We live on a wooded area and when he gets out, he does not even hear anyone calling him and he just runs from place to place and after 2-3 hours we have been able to catch him. People say he will find his way home but there are roads near and we worry about his safety and if he will find his way home. As I mentioned, us calling or saying "sit" or "listen to me" or "stay", commands that he obeyed in the home or when on a leash are not useful as it is as if he does not even see or hear you, he is so busy being a beagle. We are looking for a method to train him as if he were hunting so that we can per se "call him off the hunt".
Also, we have a new neighbor 4 houses away who sleeps during the day and has complained about the barking even though we take him in immediately and do not let him out early on weekends and holidays. They are not satisfied with that and it has made life very miserable for both our family and the dog as he is not getting his energy out even though he walks 2 miles a day. We have tried the citronella collar and ultrasonic devices (do not even phase him) and spraying him with water every time he barks. Nothing has helped. We prefer not to use a shock collar.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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About running away and not responding when you are calling him, I personally don't think there is any other solution to that other than making sure he doesn't break loose. You can't "over write" their insticts. Beagles are scent hounds and they will run and sniff everything, and once they are in that mode, they just zone out. They don't hear and won't respond!

About the barking, there are different things that you can do, but the most important one is to find out why he is barking. There has to be a reason, even if you don't seem to realise it. Some people do use the shock collars to treat excessive barking, and I have used it on my dog in the past, after I tried it on myself (as per recommended by one of the forum members). It's not bad at all, kind of like static shock. I would definitely try and find why he is barking and even consult a dog behaviorist first, and then go from there.
 

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Abby has gotten out, usually because of our five year old...accidents happen sometimes no matter how hard we try to prevent them.

That being said, we've used the smell of [cooking] bacon (her absolute favorite food) and Rebecca, Béla (and once our neighbors) to help "catch" her.

Oh, she's also microchipped, just in case.
 

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About barking....it's a dog thing, dogs do it, you're not going to be able to prevent barking 100% and you shouldn't have to.

Imagine someone shocking you or spraying you with water everytime you tried to talk...barking is your beag's way of communicating to his pack, and you are his pack. A "pack" is very important to a beagle.

If anything, I would suggest some training classes, though there are a few members on here that have well trained beagles that ignore commands when their nose turns on.

May also want to consider talking to some hunters that run beagles to get their take on training to "call off."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your suggestions. He does bark at every squirrel (and they seem to thumb their noses at him) and every tree and anything that moves outdoors. We understand about the instinct, just are worried the police will be visiting us and the way the law is written in our town it is very open worded, in a way against the dog, even if he is in the house. (Yes, they complained about him barking inside with the doors and windows shut too.)
When he runs if he gets out, he makes a beeline for a yard that is not fenced in and goes right into the woods. As you know they are fast little dogs and even when we have something he likes to eat, he does not even respond as he is so busy and can go from one spot to another quite far away in seconds. My husband has said maybe if we dressed up like a squirrel, he would come back......
 

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Haha!! Just don't go too far in the woods dressed as oversized squirrels!!
My Shiloh used to get out quite often when she was a puppy--it's amazing how fast they can slip out. And yes, once they get out, and I imagine especially with all those scents for a beagley nose to follow in the woods, they suddenly become very hard of hearing. One thing we did was keep a leash on her 24/7. Sometimes we were actually able to catch her leash before she made it through the door! Wasn't the best solution, but it worked for us. But I think probably the best suggestion would be to enroll him in obedience classes, if you can. You still may not be able to get have good recall with him all the time, but it should help. I didn't take Shiloh to obedience classes, but I wish I had. And maybe the classes would help with the barking. What do you do when he barks? I've read several places that if you go to the window to see what he's barking at (often Mr. Invisible, in Shiloh's case :eyes: ) and assure him that everything's okay, there's nothing to bark at, it helps calm him down. And it does help. (Maybe your beagle boy needs assurance that the mean intruder squirrel is not going to attack his pack.) One of the things that has always driven Shiloh crazy barking is the mailman and paper carrier. After they go off the porch, I let Shiloh out (it's screened in) and hold the paper or mail down for her to sniff, and assure her that it's okay, it's just the mail/paper. It stops her barking then, till the next day. Of course, when the morning paper comes at 5 a.m., then I've found a firm, "No! Stop barking!" works almost as well!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif . As far as your neighbor calling the police on you, it seems to me that as long as you are being responsible, and bringing him inside when he starts barking, your neighbor shouldn't be able to get you in trouble. And when your beag is inside, with the windows closed... well sounds like your neighbor is being a bit unfair!
 

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I agree with Genie about going to the window! I do that with Abby and she seems to lose interest and quiets down.

It's like she's just trying to tell me "LOOK! What's that??? LOOK!"
 

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Hmm don't know what to suggest about the barking. Our neighbours complained about Snoopy too...but luckily there is some other dogs behind that bark even more than him ( so they usually whinge more about the other dogs barking and say he's not as bad as them LOL). We are lucky and he's responded well to a citronella collar. I only put it on him when I go out and at night-time. That way he can still have access to outside via the doggy door.
I think your neighbour is being a bit over the top if they are 4 houses away and your dog is locked inside! Maybe put some earplugs in their mail box /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

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I know you said you prefer not to use a shock collar but that is the only thing we have found to control the barking. I do have to say though that it doesn't take more than a few shocks before the dog learns and then if they forget that they have the collar on we use the alternate choice of beeping it instead of shock. Oh by the way...ours is remote control and can only work if we push the button to shock or beep. Once they hear the beep they remember they have the collar on and we usually do not have to shock them anyway. I personally would strongly recommend it as long as you are who shocks and not the collar automatically shocking the dog each time they make a sound.
 
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