I am new to this site, I have 2 beagles, Coco almost 2yrs and Pip 1.5yrs. I love my girls to bits, they do the best cuddles, are good fun and take me out for lovely walks Well, until recently that is. I've always had my girls off lead on our walks at the woods at the bottom of our road. Pip is fantastic, she'll go track something for couple of minutes and then comes back or if I call her she is straight back to me. However, my little firecracker Coco has got the flavour of deer hunting over the last couple of weeks. She is fine off lead otherwise, comes as soon as I call her and sticks by me, but if she gets a scent of a deer and gets to her 'on the hunt' mode, she'll just ignore me and will take off and not come back for at least half an hour and she does go really far too, out of hearing distance. Some of you are probably thinking, well she is a hunter what do you expect, but I am very stubborn and feel that if people can take them out for hunts and gain control of their dogs off lead on the chase, then I should be able to achieve the same Question is how? Anyone have any experience on this and could maybe give me some hints? Coco does respond to a whistle recall, she's always been a bit of a wonderer, she is a beagle after all, but never to this scale and she completely blanks my whistle whilst she is in her hunting mode. I was thinking of trying one of those collars that squirts them with citronella when they bark, as when she does get a scent, she does run around doing her 'hunting' bark, so it might snap her out of it, but I am not totally sold on that idea, but desperate measures and all that, I don't want her to get in trouble because she has gone off too far on her own. Anyone tried those collars? Any advise greatfully received
I let my Beagle off leash on hiking trails as well. He doesn't go far and if he does run ahead he stops and waits until I catch up. As for the citronella I found it worked for the first 2 weeks then Badger became immune to it. it would be worth a try though as all dogs are different!
Welcome Coco! I have three beagles and the oldest, Ben, I obedience trained for a year, working him 5X a week. He is my service dog, and a therapy dog. He was able to hike in the mountain wilderness in AZ and Colorado and stay with us on the trails. However, one time when we were out and he was right with us, he came upon a coiled rattling rattlesnake. We said "Wait!" and he did, we snapped the leash on him and never again let him off leash. We would be devastated if we lost him due to our own irresponsibility. Our area also has cougars, bears, coyotes, wolves and javelinas, so it is a risk for sure. Then we rescued two more beagles at ages 3 and 4. They could never be left off leash anywhere, especially the wilderness. The are great, but we now hike with all three on leashes. Once they get a taste of the hunt, I suspect it will be very hard to hold them back. We got Ben at 10 weeks and started his training as soon as we could.
I'd be interested to hear what hunters with beagles have to say. They probably start their pups with the older pack members.
Thank you for your replies Badgersmom and Greta I've let Coco off couple of times now since the last dissappearance, though I have restricted her freedom somewhat and not letting her off in the bushiest parts of the wood where Pip darts in and out of sight all the time. So far so good. I've been trying to think back what might have changed and also think from her point of view, how to go forward, and realised that all this probably started when we had to cut down on our agility and working trials classes due to various family commitments recently and Xmas. I've had Coco since she was 10 wks old and she was a little bit spoiled in all the attention she got and we did lot's of classes together, then Pip came along at 7 months of age and that was when Coco had just turned 1 and then in July we took on a 4-month-old dogue the bordeaux pup as well, so my complete focus on her has probably slipped a little bit. I am practising working trials scent work again and hoping to re-start the classes in a week's time and we are starting the new dog sport 'rally' next week too, so I will try to apply the practise for these classes during our walks and see how we get on with increasing her freedom again. She is very food orientated dog and would do anything for a bit of sausage, so any training sessions she is very focused normally That's my plan anyhows, let's hope it works, she loves her walks in the woods and would be a shame to make her walk on lead all the time. Mind you, if we had rattle snakes out there, I probably wouldn't be letting her off lead either, I probably wouldn't dare to go out there to be honest But the views you have must be incredible - would love to see some pics from your walks, must be amazing to hike in proper wilderness I come from Finland and am used to walking the forests there and love it, haven't found quite the same here in England yet.