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How to Keep Your Beagle from Running Off

Beagles are bred for hunting and once they catch a scent, they can be gone in an instant, following the trail. If your dog happens to get out of the house or slips his collar during a walk, it could easily become a dangerous situation – your dog might not be aware that he’s approaching a busy street or that other dogs might not be as friendly as he is. For your Beagle’s own good, learn how to keep your dog from running off.

Why Do Some Dogs Run Away?

The key to dealing with any undesirable dog behavior is identifying the cause – if you know why your dog does something, you can more easily address the root cause of the behavior. There are a number of reasons why dogs run away, many of them not specific to the Beagle breed in particular. However, there are two main reasons why any dog runs away – to get to something or to get away from something. If your Beagle catches a glimpse of a squirrel or picks up the scent of a wild animal, it could trigger his hunting and tracking instincts and it might be all you can do to keep him from running off full-tilt. It is also possible, however, that your Beagle might try to run off if something surprises or frightens him.

Tips for Preventing Your Dog from Running Off

Before learning what you should do to regain control of your Beagle when he runs off, take a moment to learn what NOT to do. Most importantly, don’t take off after him, yelling at the top of your voice. If you do, your dog might think that you are chasing him in some sort of game or he might be frightened – either way, he will only pick up the pace and keep going.

The first thing you want to do is remain calm – if you need to follow your dog, keep a moderate pace and don’t become frantic. If your dog keeps running, you might need to try a different tactic. One thing you can try is to stop where you are and sit or lie down – your dog will see this strange behavior and he might become curious enough to come back and see what’s going on. If your dog loves a good game of chase, running away in the opposite direction might entice him to switch gears and chase after you. Whatever works, make sure to give your dog praise and reward when he comes back to you so he continues to have a positive association with you.

Once you have regained control over your dog, you should think about doing some additional training sessions to reinforce his mastery of the “come” command. Do these sessions in a controlled area like your backyard for the first few times so your dog will be able to wander but he can’t get into too much trouble. Be consistent about praising and rewarding your dog when he gives you his attention as well as when he comes to your side. The more you work with your dog in various environments, the more conditioned his response will be and there will be less risk of him running off uncontrolled in the future.

Photo credit: Nicole Lienemann/Shutterstock

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).