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Pointers For Training Beagle Pups

 

Through the years I suppose I've read just about everything in print pertaining to training beagle pups; and there's a lot of good material out there. In this article I want to briefly share five basic principles that will help prepare your pup for his first rabbit encounter.

Start Training Sessions Early

What do I mean by early? When your beagle pup is about four months old introduce him to the scent of a wild rabbit. This can be done in two ways. Kill a rabbit and tie it to a drag cord. Or, purchase a small bottle of rabbit scent from your favorite hound and hunting supply. If rabbit scent is used, apply a small amount to a training drag (an old wash cloth and a small cord about four feet in length makes a good drag) and lay a short trail. This should be done out of sight of your pup. Then put your pup on the ground at the start of the trail. It won't be long before he picks up the scent. Each session make the trail a little longer. Spend at least fifteen minutes with him every day for the next four weeks using this method. This has proven to be very effective in my training program.

Outdoor Adventure

When your pup is about five months old take him to the woods on an adventure. If you see a rabbit cross your path take him to the crossing and see what happens. I can assure you those four weeks of drag training will pay off. Instantly he will recognize the scent of that wild rabbit. But don't expect a lot out of him; remember he's still a puppy. Primarily the adventure is to introduce him to the outdoors. If a rabbit is seen that's a bonus. You may even want to shoot a gun a few times in his presence to prevent gun shyness later on.

Command His Attention

At all times command the attention of your pup, but not in a harsh manner. Screaming or scolding him will do more harm than good. In a gentle but firm voice, command him to walk in front of you through the woods. A rabbit hunter should expect his hound to be in front. I will admit this takes patients, but it works. As he grows older and adds hunting skills to his natural ability, he will respect your authority and yield to your voice commands.

Reward Your Pup

Right from the start reward your pup for his efforts. Softly rub his head and say good boy a few times. He can sense love in your voice and actions. A good rabbit dog is a dog that is loved by his owner and handler.

Take Him Hunting With A Seasoned Rabbit Dog Just as a child picks up traits (good and bad) from grownups, so will your pup pick up traits from the beagle he's with in the field. It is vital that you take him hunting with a good rabbit dog. A lot of fine pups have been ruined by an old cold nose back trailing beagle. I start mine with a seasoned hound at about five or six months old. As the rabbit dog trails before the jump, your pup will be observant and to a degree will even take part in trailing. If he is distracted by insects and surroundings, don't get discouraged this is natural. I can assure you he will grow out of it. After the seasoned hound jumps the rabbit and is giving mouth, excitement will build in your pup. Watch him closely, especially his ears and tail. At first he will go in and out of the race a few times, but with each hunt he'll stay in the race longer and start giving lots of mouth. Soon you'll have a finished hound on your hands.

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).