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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Work on commands 1st.The hunting will come on its own.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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You are getting some excellent advice! CDB thanks. Brian you are well on your way to a retrieving beagle it sounds like. The only difference I have with any advice given is the gun fire training. I never fire anything until it is a hunting situation and the hound is getting a taste of fur after the shot.

Your biggest task at this point will be obedience training, at 4 months or so I would start field training, you will know if she's ready the first couple of times out. If not don't worry. Enjoy your new partner and keep in mind she is going to be young for only a short time, you will have plenty of time to get her to the point she is a solid gundog by next year at this time.
 

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One thing you want to do if it is your only dog is to make sure that you run it with other dogs from time to time. My first dog took quite a while to get to pack with other dogs because she was so used to running alone. It's no fun when they won't pack up.
Also, make sure you have a shock collar. You are going to probably have to break the dog off deer at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At what age would you guys recommend to start with a shock collar? Any specific models better than others for the money?

Do any of you use a whistle instead of yelling for the dog?

I see some guys put bells on their dogs. Is that worthwhile?

Thanks again.
 

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We have two dogs.

I'll post a vid later tonight of what one of our dogs does w a rabbit after its shot.

Shock collars are a subject of a lot of debate here it seems. Obviously use it responsibly. I have had great experience with them, cuts typical training time down as well if used properly. I won't run without them, not because of deer, moreso because of railroad tracks and roads.

Sport dog, and tri-tronics (now garmin owned I think) are the two top mfg I believe.

I run a bell sometimes, depending on circumstances.
I had a bell on the pup, a long range cowbell, but came to the conclusion he couldn't hear me over the bell, haven't tried jingle bells on him yet.

I don't use a whistle, I use my voice.
I have seen them used, and they worked, just not my thing.

I'll post up more later, this takes forever on phone.

Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fairview. Thanks for the info.
 

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i think the shock collar is optional myself. you can train the dog to not run trash, but it does take time. you will be spending alot of time with dog when it is young, and to me that is the key. you will be able to teach it alot in the next few months, that will pay off big time down the road. i run a tracking collar on mine mainly because i hunt out of state alot. nice to know where the dog is all the time without having to call her in.
 

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I'm in Lake City, and drive thru Fairview daily into Erie.
Nice to know someone is close to me w/ a beagle, always looking for people to run dogs with.


Cris, on here as Caxtell, has a starting pen in Greenville,PA.
Maybe msg him in a few months to set something up, a controlled environment, and guaranteed rabbits is worth the drive.

Here is a video from Saturday of a shot, wounded rabbit (he is still alive), and the dog (Trigger), this was a solo hunt. You can see he will stay with it until collected (ignoring me telling him to "bring it here"), then he gets praised and he hits the brush again.
I don't clean rabbits in the field, the dog gets right back to work, and i like to be prepared, so they just get put in the gamebag.
Besides, I need them whole for photo ops later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ2uP0nMzTo&feature=youtu.be

When running both dogs, one will pick up the downed rabbit and deliver it to me when told to, if I'm lucky. Trained to do it, no; they know fetch though. I'm sure they just take it so the other one cant have it, just like the tennis ball in the yard. But it has worked to my benefit thusfar.

Trigger will flush pheasant as well, he gets "squirrelly", and barks differently. It's not a controlled exercise by any means, when he starts it on the edge of a field... I start hoofing it to get in front of him. Not intentional, and I don't take him out for pheasant specifically, just a moment of opportunity to bag a bird.

Our pup (Gunner) is probably around 6mo now and I am just starting to feel confident in him. He still has a lot of puppy in him though. He will open up on scent, but I don't trust him until Trigger verifies it for me.


IS your pup a grade dog, or AKC, ect.?
IF AKC there is Erie County Beagle Club, on 215 just above 90 in east springfield, across from closed gas station. I can give you a contact # if you would like.
I was going to join, but their membership has too many stipulations for me at this point in time (dues, + help with annual trial, + workparties every Sunday morning, + trap rabbits, ect).

Collars are indeed optional, but the peace of mind is worth it. Trash I'm not concerned with, as I can call the dogs off any scent with voice commands.
Knowing I can recall the dogs immediately when a train is coming and they are too close for comfort - happened Saturday- is worth the couple hundred.

I havent had the dogs get far enough away where I have needed a tracking collar, but the new all-in-one ALPHA unit is on my list of toys to buy.

I'm by no means as experienced as some others on here, and all of the above is just my experiences and opinions.
 

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give me a holler in the spring and you can train/run at my house. it isn't fenced, but it is yard on 3 sides and water on the fourth. pretty easy to control what is going on. i don't hunt right here so there are usually alot of rabbits in the yards to get started on. my dog won't pack worth a darn, but she will "put up" with a pup or young dog. on a side note: the greatest thing about the tracking collar for me is the exact location of the dog in thick cover and i can look at the handheld in a big or thick area and see all the area that the dog and i didn't get in.
 

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blackpowder - we gonna hook up for a hunt this late season?
 

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Brine said:
blackpowder - we gonna hook up for a hunt this late season?
yep, we need some snow. i'am tired of trying to see something running 30 mph thru the goldenrod! this is way off subject but: i have had the same hunting coat for 20 plus years and just switched to a new one. makes you feel like you have no idea want is going on. fits different, pockets are different, stupid i know but........... i guess i'am just old and set in my ways!
 
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