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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Beagle is obsessed with squirrels.

I know Beagles are bread to hunt AND with a fenced in yard, our yard is his domain and he is very territorial and OCD with the squirrels.

PLUS there are two big trees in our backyard.

He barks at a frenzy when he sees a squirrel in the yard.

When I let him out, MOST of the time the squirrel goes up a tree and our dog, after baying the scent, he will sit under the tree and bark.

When we bring him in, he goes back to the window and barks loudly!

This used to only happen every now and then but now the squirrels are coming daily and sometimes more than once a day.

If the trees weren’t there, when we let him out he would chase the squirrel out of the yard and he would bay the scent but come back in and it would be done.

However, we have a big carrot wood tree and an oak tree and do not want to cut them down.

Outside of a dog behaviorist, does anyone have any ideas???
 

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How old is your dog?
We have squirrels and lizards. My dog goes nuts over the lizards...
But.... my dog wears a bark collar (TURNED OFF) and never barks when she wears it.... take it off and its a different story. However it requires the inital reason she doesnt bark with it on... we've had it for 6 years. My dog trainer owned beagles and it came as her suggestion... honestly I thought I was losing my hearing with the constant barking...
I purchased it on Amazon...Dogtra ..small. I think its about $85....
Its Not the remote training type...
 

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You can try to re-direct his attention to you and a treat or favorite toy. I have a fenced yard and I often toss a handful of kibble in the grass for them to "hunt" for. Keeps them out of trouble and they get to use their sniffing instinct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How old is your dog?
We have squirrels and lizards. My dog goes nuts over the lizards...
But.... my dog wears a bark collar (TURNED OFF) and never barks when she wears it.... take it off and its a different story. However it requires the inital reason she doesnt bark with it on... we've had it for 6 years. My dog trainer owned beagles and it came as her suggestion... honestly I thought I was losing my hearing with the constant barking...
I purchased it on Amazon...Dogtra ..small. I think its about $85....
Its Not the remote training type...
He’s 5. I will have to check it out
 

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Sophie tries to climb trees after the squirrels.

Try bringing him in and having him lie on the floor (down command). Distract him with a food reward. The goal is to break the cycle. When you bring him in, do not let him go to the window. Bring him in on a leash so that you are in control of him at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, we’ve contracted Bark Busters because Dexter is suffering from territorial issue.

Squirrels used to come into our yard once a month until 6 months ago.

Now they are here all day long!

Any suggestions to get rid of them besides poison or BB gun? :faint:
 

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He's not being territorial with squirrels, it's prey drive/hunting instinct. ljas has some great ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He's not being territorial with squirrels, it's prey drive/hunting instinct. ljas has some great ideas.
How I KNOW it’s territorial is because on walks when he sees one, he chases, without barking. I run with him and allow him to go wherever he wants, but as soon as the squirrel disappears from sight, be it up a tree or between houses etc, he immediately turns away and goes back to the walk never barking, baying, or focusing on the scent.
 

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Yes that's still prey drive and not territoriality. Regardless though, it's causing you concern.

Let's put it this way, dogs do not defend territory from squirrels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry Neb, but I'll take the experts (Bark Busters) opinion, beside that, the research I've done says if your yard is fenced, your Beagle sees that as his domain and it can be more difficult with squirrel and rabbit issues.
 

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I'd get new experts lol...but okay.
 

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I'm sorry, that was unkind. But I know a number of dog trainers and am shocked that is Bark Busters explanation. I'm sure it will work out though :)
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with Bark Busters.

Beagles are interesting creatures - they have some very strong drives - food seeking, pack seeking, and prey seeking. Squirrels are not canines or even close to beagle sized, so will never elicit territorial behaviors. Smaller animals - such as squirrels (and even cats depending on how your dog is trained) do elicit hunting behavior. Not all beagles bay when following a scent - Sophie doesn't, and neither many others that I have met (again, training has a great deal to do with it). What you need to do is break their focus - going in, staying on leash, going into the down position, etc. Beagles are bred to hunt small game - rabbits and squirrels - not to fight them for territory. They are 'food, not friends' - or competitors. Territorial behaviors are aimed towards competitors - not dinner.
 

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you folks raise an interesting thought about barking/baying.

i'm on my 2nd pair of beagles, and they dont' bark or bay. they'll growl and chuff when racing around the yard playing tag, or when someone comes into the front yard while they're in the house. but otherwise, they're really quiet.
when i tell people i have beagles noise is their first question. if i am training this out of them, i have no idea how i am doing it. the only time mine bark is when other dogs rush the back fence.
 

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You're absolutely right, beagles are hunting dogs, so it's in their blood to hunt wild animals. I have two beagles: Raphael, who is already 7 years old, and Leia, who is only one and a half years old. They are both very docile and calm until a squirrel appears nearby. Everything was fine until one squirrel started to visit our backyard at any time it wanted. We have a small child, only a couple of months old, and the loud barking of dogs constantly woke her up. It was impossible to live like this, but I also felt sorry for my dogs, so we contacted professionals who are experts in trapping and removing wildlife for help. They've caught the squirrel and solved our problem in an instant. Now we can sleep in peace and my baby is no longer stressed.
 
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