I know better than to expect a leash-free experience with my beagle....my goal is rather to increase the odds that if she does take off by either seeing something or smelling something, that she might hesitate long enough for me to find her and interrupt the process. My whole family has had hunting dogs and guard dogs my whole life--so I have a healthy respect for a dog's inherent drives. I gotta say that I never saw myself as a beagle owner...I prefer medium dogs...between 50- 80 lbs..but there is something just so endearing about this little hound....
Right now I am trying push training with the beagle simply because I am curious to see what impact it will have on her behavior. Although it has only been two days, it has seemed to increase rather than decrease the amount of tension she experiences, I figure I will try it once a day for a week before I pass any judgement, however. It is supposed to make her a more confident dog..I would be happy if it made her less skittish around strange adults and other large dogs. I try to spend time with my little dog on most days, my work schedule permitting, and devise games for us to play; plus, she is a great travel companion. If it isn't hot, I take her with me when I visit people and run errands around town.
Negative reinforcement is not really something I see as useful. The adage that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar (unless you are talking about fruit flies, I suppose) would better describe my approach. I wish to be seen as a benevolent dictator rather than a tyrant, in my dogs' eyes.
Anyway, have you ever heard of push training? what is your assessment of it? Also, I have a feeding question---I tried a high-end chow and it caused constipation---tried 3 more with the same result...finally went with a 3-4 star chow and the problem seemed to correct itself. Could the 5 star stuff been to rich for her? What did you feed your beagles? Also, did they have bad teeth? My beagle sure does. My Dobe/Lab dog had all of his teeth with a very little bit of tartar on them when he passed at age 18 1/2. The beagle lost one of her front canines to gum disease and I brush her teeth once a day with a special enzymatic toothpaste (chicken flavored, no less).