Starting a Beagle from the very beginning - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

Next Sunday, my wife and I are picking up an eight week old female. She comes from hunting stock and the breeder expects her to be a medium speed dog.

I have hunted with beagles and even owned one sometime back, but they were always trained dogs when I ran them. So I have a read a ton, but that has bred a bunch of questions in itself.

Yesterday, my partner and I obtained a rabbit and hen pheasant, which I froze whole (hen pheasant minus the breast ).

I would like her to bay on pheasants as well as rabbits. I have hunted with a few dogs who would flush pheasant well.

While I have seen several beagles retrieve, I understand that is not the norm. I would love for her to retrieve or at least stay at downed game to allow me to find it easier. Are there things I can do to train this at an early age?

What are some other things that we can do early on to make her the best she can be?

Thanks for your help.
Brian

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 07:11 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

Work on commands 1st.The hunting will come on its own.

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 08:48 PM
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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.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

If you know someone or can find a place where they have a training pen you can put her in there for a little bit, usually gets them started. Seems to do the trick for my uncle. I had his 6 month old pup out yesterday and it circled a rabbit three times before we got it and that was only his second time out.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 09:46 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

bpottorff advice is good. I always started my pups on wild rabbits. Would just let the pup run, hopefully it or myself would jump a rabbit. I would then put the pup on the trail and let nature take over. The more rabbits you can get in front of it the better.
Never tried to train any of mine for retrieving, they're hounds, a trailing breed.
A good beagle will trail a pheasant just like a rabbit, but usually with a different yelp. As you get to know the dog you will learn the difference.
The one thing I would change is the gunfire training. I started all of mine off with a cap gun then progressed to blank 22's. I would do this when ever I would feed them, Fire the gun one time then set the bowel down. I would make no fuss or sign no matter what the dog did. Some times they will not bat an eye, but if they jump, still just set the bowel down and leave. In a short time they will recognize the sound with food, and as long as nothing bad happened with the sounds they will soon have no fear of it. Works in breaking with some gun shy dogs also.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 09:50 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

One thing you need to remember if you're going to run the pup with a older dog. Yes it should speed up the training process, but if the older dog has any bad habits, the pup may pick them up also.

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The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 09:56 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

In all probability one of the best beagle men on this site is Andy Purnell, if you email him I'm sure he would probably give you some advice.

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The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 10:10 PM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

When my father used to run beagles (which is a long time ago) he would take the pup out and find a rabbit sitting tight. He would then pick the pup up and drop him on top of the rabbit. The game was on from that point on. Discipline came later and it was about the same as any other dog. HERE and WHOA. That's about it for our beagles when I was young and they could run rabbit and anything else in the woods.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 01:29 AM
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

is the dog going to be an inside or outside dog? if its going to be inside, then this a great time of year to get it. it gives you all winter to work on commands in the house. the one i have now i got at this time and it was the best thing for me. by the time spring breaks, it time to train for rabbits, the hard part is done.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a Beagle from the very beginning

Wow. Lots of good information.

She will be an inside dog. We have 2 kids 7 and 4, which is why I wanted a slower dog.

I have seen retrieving beagles on videos so it intrigued me. I can live without retrieving. My main goal is reducing lost animals. What do your beagles do when they get to the dead rabbit at the end of the chase?

Thanks again guys!

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