Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning
At about 3 months you could try letting her sight chase and maybe catch tame rabbits. Don't let her have the rabbit to the point of her getting bored, and praise her when she chases and catches. By four months you can see if you can find any wild rabbits sitting out in open areas. It will be hard at that time of the year. But by the end of April you should be able to find wild rabbits more easily. Watch the pup and see if it pick anything up in it mouth and will carry it, if it does try to call the pup to you and give it a treat while taling the object from it. If this happens then see if it will do it again, if your lucky and it does then see if it will carry a rabbit, or rabbit foot or any part of the rabbit back. Most beagles aren't retreavers. Right now I have 3 that will retreave, 2 pups from this year and one pup from last year. The pup from last year liked to carry stuff around but would never bring anything to me, but afer seeing a pup carry a three rabbits it too started retreaveing,so its possible for them to learn from others. Now I have to work on teaching them to honor the first one who picks it up, funny to see two dogs trying to carry back the same rabbit, but some times they get to tugging ang puling and I have to be right there making sure one lets go. I haven't all three togetgher yet just two. Some bloodlines seem more likely to be retreavers also. Next think about a shock collar,as you may need it for correction. I also like to start discouriging them from interest in deer and fox , soon after they are chasing the rabbit. I also let them hear gunshots at about eight weeks or younger stating with a twenty-two, you must be careful as to not scare them, by watching their reaction to a shot you will have to judge as to how to proceed with this. Like most young animals many do not have as much fear when young. I try to fire ashot while the pup is walking with me and not real close. I have had others tell me that this is a good way to make a dog gunshy ,but it has not been the case for me. Give the pup as much attention as you have time for, and just keep putting rabbits in front of it. Some also use an old dog that is slow and as faught free as possible. Theres no real timetable and some take longer than others. By training her by herself she will not pick up any other dogs bad habbits and she won't have to compete with the other dog. Then when you have her trained and working well you have to buy another and train that so she has a partner as beagles vare addictive. Good luck with the pup.