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You know, interesting enough, my family friends bought a program called The Perfect Dog. The trainer is adamant against training with treats. He says that LOADS of positive praise is really all the dog needs, and it's better because the dog will not learn to expect treats in order to behave...or something like that...

What is your take on that, Smeagle?
 

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Ummm....does it work? For labs, it DOES work, apparently. I don't know about beagles, though. We don't give our puppies tons of treats.

As for crate training - dogs are naturally inclined to like dens. If you put the dogs in a crate, they may protest it at first, but they'll get over it after a while. They will, if done right, come to love their crates. Our beagles are now learning the get in your crate command. Unless they're not tired yet, they do pretty well with it. We don't even have to give them treats. I just wait until they get super tired and practically want to go to their crates. After a long day of playing outside and going for a walk, they are POOPED and go into their crate before I get the chance to take off their harnesses.

Smeagle - thanks for responding to my question. I told my friend about dogs being motivated by food, and she said that the idea is that they learn that praise is good enough. Again, she's using the training method on her lab, not her beagle mix.
 

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Okay.....here's my take on how Evan and I have managed to train our two beagles (of the same age and litter) everything you seem to have difficulty with.

First of all, I don't know what your mother's friend did, but I would think that if the beagle spent most of its time in the den, the family may not have given it enough incentive to be outside of it. Our two stay in their crates when we aren't home because we don't want them terrorizing the place. When we're home, they are out and about. We leave the crates open so they can go in and out as they please, but the outside world has so much more going for it. Beagles LOVE attention, so as long as you give your puppy attention, my guess is that he'll stay out and want to play with you. Lately, Quinn and Grayson have been allowed to fall asleep outside their crates. They don't ever go in unless they are really tired after a long day of playing and a walk.

If I ever take my puppies out to potty, I have them on their leashes. This is where the crate comes in handy the most. You know, you don't HAVE to keep using the crate after the puppy is potty trained. The idea is to keep him from peeing inside and get him to go a short period of time after going outside. We take our dogs out on leashes and go outside for just a few minutes (usually no longer than ten) and tell them to go potty. If they don't, we used to take them back into the house and put them in their crates. If they did, they got to play. A dog doesn't want to soil his living space, so keeping him confined and then taking him out every hour or so will teach him to hold it until he goes outside. Now, the puppies hang out by the door when they have to go. We take them outside on their leashes. If they have to go, they go. If they don't, after five minutes, we take them back inside. We never had to use puppy pads or diapers. Sure, they make mistakes every now and again, but they're pretty well trained at four months old.

As for the sitting when you put on his leash, it sounds like he may not be totally willing to comply with the sit command if he knows he doesn't have to. I will not put the leash on my puppy until he or she sits. I stand over the puppy and say sit. They don't always listen on the first try, but you really have to do it EVERY TIME, and you have to make sure everyone who lives with you does the same thing. We make our puppies sit to have their leashes put on and taken off. I also won't unhook their leashes until they are sitting down. Even if they are in the middle of playing, they must sit in order to be freed of their leashes. If you have to push his bottom on the floor because he won't listen, so be it. He'll get it.

Above all else, BE CONSISTENT IF YOU WANT ANY RESULTS!
 
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