Yes! Beagles do LOVE to hunt.
If you have a Beagle, you really need to give them an outlet to do.."their thing".
Putting their nose to the ground, following the scent and pouncing on their prey is fun-fun-fun!!
No rabbits? No problem.
Of course, when it comes to following their noses, instinct kicks in; Beagles need absolutely no training whatsoever.
You can set up scent games, where you create a scent trails for them to follow and at the end of the scent trail there is a prize/treat.
What I did was, I took her favorite dog treat, ground it to a powder and sprinkled it on the ground to form a straight line.
At the end of the line there was the whole treat.
Get creative, make it fun for you and your Beagle by making it more challenging.
Maybe; the line now zigzags, then goes around an object.
Watch your Beagle follow the invisible trail!
It's invisible to you, but not them.
Use a little less "powder" to make the scent-trail fainter then hide their prize under something they can flip over and get their prize/treat.
Where I live there are no rabbits either.
Luckily I live in front of the beach where my Beagle (Kiddo) gets her twice daily walks/runs.
Instead of rabbits, Kiddo AUTOMATICALLY took to chasing CRABS!
She LOVES to find their burrows (by scent); Kiddo then sticks her nose in them, and if she detects there is crab inside, she digs them out.
I encourage her by enthuthiastically saying: dig-dig-dig-dig-dig!!!
She can dig half way to China too! Very persistant when she catches a scent.
(Kiddo could work at an airport EASY!)
95%of the time, a panicked crab runs out and tries to make it to the sea!
Too late, she then pounces on it and barks until she looses interest, or the crab flees into the sea.
By now; she knows they bite, and has gotten her long ears pinched a few times too!
No matter..all part of the fun for her.
Interestingly, we have become a team.
Since I am taller, I have better view and can see the crab burrows easier.
I then point down and say: here-here-here-here!!
Kiddo comes running to inspect my finding.
If she detects a crab inside, she will dig away until she finds her prey!
She plays along with a great big Beagle-smile.
For more info, do a YouTube search for "Beagle scent training" videos, very usefull step by step videos from pros!
So be creative, make it fun for you and your Beagle and satisfy your Beagle's need to be...well..A Beagle!