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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading my other thread someone was surprised i walk my beagle off the lead. he doesn't come off till we are in the field where i know very well but he does behave, he likes to walk infront but a whistle usually makes him wait. Infact the only time he's ventured off was when something really scared him. I only walk him off the lead when it seems very secure aswell but like I said, he really is good. So how do you all walk your beagles?
 

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Harness and leash - ONLY!!!!!

I'm sorry, but with all the training in the world, the most disciplined beagle WILL NOT listen to you calling him when he's on a scent trail. I honestly (and scientifically) believe that their genes overpower anything else!
 

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Harness and leash - ONLY here too!

I have a female that runs just for fun and my little male Beagle follows her. Now my lab/beagle mix is just fine off lead, but only when it is just him.
 

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Beagles are not 100% safe off leash. A sudden scent of some creature and your normally well behaved beagle will be off, and could end up being injured or worse. We use harneses on ours as collars can be slipped.Certainly let him off in an enclosed area or in your garden.
 

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Maggie is never off leash outside our yard. I know she would not come back if something caught her attention.
 

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I agree, I never ever let any of our beagles off a leash or lead.
They run, and you can't keep up...no matter what kind of a marathoner you are. Even at the vet's office they had Casie on a lead when they let him out of his crate, just in case they had to step on it to stop him from going some place he wasn't to be.

If you want to lose the dog, no leash, if you want to keep him, be the boss, and hold on tight. That's what the beagle people in my dog group tell me.

Cathy J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I honestly feel safe with mine on the walk we go on. I understand everyones reservations though as I was very nervous at first letting him off. I spoke to a breader near me and he said its best to let them off at an early age, and obviously in a safe enviornment (thats if you actually want to let them off). There is no better sight in the world seeing my little man free running in all the long grass. each to their own though
 

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I could never imagine walking Bodie off his leash. When we first brought him home we'd play with him on the front lawn with no leash. But after a few weeks you could sense he could bolt at any time. So we started using the leash everywhere but inside and in the backyard. The only times he gets to run free is at the dog parks.
 

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Hi Aiden. Was it me who told you to walk them off lead?

There does seem to be a big difference in the way the US beagles behave off lead. There is no dog in the world that is 100% reliable off lead. It all depends in how they are trained. Ours are taught from as soon as they are allowed out that off lead is best and are trained off lead from that age. They are still very insecure and stick to the handler and other dogs like glue. They then grow up with this safe mentality that the owner and pack is the place to be. You need to teach good recall as well, we use the normal commands such as back, come and close. We also have the failsafe command that we use if all else is failing to get through. Then the command we use is 'biscuits' it always brings them back in quick time.
 

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Yep, harness and lead. Now, in our pasture at home, we will run the dogs. Smitty and I separate and call the dogs to us for a treat. But, if something has been thru there and Murphy scents it, we don't run them. I know she will be off with no thought of me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally Posted By: barking madHi Aiden. Was it me who told you to walk them off lead?

There does seem to be a big difference in the way the US beagles behave off lead. There is no dog in the world that is 100% reliable off lead. It all depends in how they are trained. Ours are taught from as soon as they are allowed out that off lead is best and are trained off lead from that age. They are still very insecure and stick to the handler and other dogs like glue. They then grow up with this safe mentality that the owner and pack is the place to be. You need to teach good recall as well, we use the normal commands such as back, come and close. We also have the failsafe command that we use if all else is failing to get through. Then the command we use is 'biscuits' it always brings them back in quick time.
if you live in littlethorpe and drink at the plough it was you mate :)
 

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No off leash here either. Not a chance I'm willing to take. I don't think Jersey would go too far. The few times that she has gotten out of the apartment she always came right back to us. One of the positive's of her separation anxiety I guess. But that is a different situation than if something out there had caught her interest.
 

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As much as I believe that beagles without the right training are not reliable off leash, I also believe it is with a lot of work possible to train most dogs with 100% reliability.

Look at police and protection dogs - they need to have 100% reliability without fail. I have seen 100% reliability in a dog and I do think that it is possible to achieve it.

Beagles are hard because they are scent hounds and their instincts are so strong. However, scenting is part of prey drive and I am doing a drive training program at the moment with the goal to get 100% reliability for obedience trialling. Its not easy, but I do think its doable, because you are using the dogs instinct to your benefit, and you are training them in the same 'drive' that makes them want to scent.

Having said that - I never recommend letting beagles off leash under normal circumstances and expect reliable recall, I am doing it under the guide of a trainer and we are a long way off leash walks now. We do off leash work at obedience club, but that is a controlled situation.
 

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I have always walked my dogs off lead. As Barking Mad said, training the recall should be done from the first day you get your puppy home in the house. As soon as they are allowed out they can be let off the lead so as to utilise their willingness to stay close. Young puppies are insecure and will not run away until they have grown in confidence but by that time you will have trained them the recall. There is no reason why a Beagle should be any worse at recall than any other breed if trained correctly.

BUT and this is a big but...an older rescue Beagle that hasn't had the correct training since puppyhood should NEVER be let off the lead.

I can't let Sherry off. She is about 10-11 years old and had no training at all prior to me getting her 18 months ago. She doesn't come back when I call her at all. Rosa who I trained the recall from 9 weeks of age is excellent and 99% trustworthy off lead. No dog of any breed in my opinion is 100% reliable. They are animals after all and with that comes unpredictability.
 

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Originally Posted By: JenniferI have always walked my dogs off lead. As Barking Mad said, training the recall should be done from the first day you get your puppy home in the house. As soon as they are allowed out they can be let off the lead so as to utilise their willingness to stay close. Young puppies are insecure and will not run away until they have grown in confidence but by that time you will have trained them the recall. There is no reason why a Beagle should be any worse at recall than any other breed if trained correctly.

BUT and this is a big but...an older rescue Beagle that hasn't had the correct training since puppyhood should NEVER be let off the lead.

I can't let Sherry off. She is about 10-11 years old and had no training at all prior to me getting her 18 months ago. She doesn't come back when I call her at all. Rosa who I trained the recall from 9 weeks of age is excellent and 99% trustworthy off lead. No dog of any breed in my opinion is 100% reliable. They are animals after all and with that comes unpredictability.
I think beagles are definitely *harder* to train in reliable recall than more bidabble breeds like labs, goldie, border collies etc.

At obedience club my beagle has 100% recall, without fail. She is very reliable in that environment. However, the problem I faced when I thought about trialling one day was what if we went to a new trialling ground to compete that we've never been to before? How would I train 100% reliable recall for environments that we haven't trained in previously? What if her urge to scent in a new environment took over and reliability went out the window?

That's why we've started drive training and Daisy is loving it! I've never seen her more focused, she is getting the same satisfaction she gets from scenting when we are training and I think if we stick to it she will do quite well (well, that's the plan, LOL).

I think you can still get reliability from a rescue dog - if they have the drive you can develop it. Of course, in your situation, an older rescue dog would be hard because their drive will have decreased with age, and they may have other issues you need to work through. However, I have a six year old dog here and I've only just started drive training with him (he is a Siberian Husky so another breed known for unreliable recalls) and so far so good
Although I've had him from a pup, he was attacked as a younger dog and developed dog aggression from this incident - so we have that to manage and work through (but that's getting OT)
 
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