I'd like my beagle to stop pulling on the lead...Help!

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LaniM
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:09 am

I'd like my beagle to stop pulling on the lead...Help!

Post by LaniM » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:21 am

I have two beagles (1 male & 1 female) that are 2 years old. My husband and I walk one each but they both pull on the lead something wicked. I can appreciate they have energy they need to expend but even 30 minutes into the walk they still pull although it isn't as hard. I would like to walk them without being dragged myself or constantly pulling them back. I would like to be able to walk them by myself on the double-ended lead but with a combined weight of 30 kgs pulling I simply can't hold them. At the moment we walk them on the extendable leads because their pulling seems to be worse with a shorter lead. I realise though this practice is hardly fixing the problem and its my own fault for not sorting this out earlier!

I have attempted to use food to encourage them to walk by my side. This works inside our section - although they seem to be focused entirely on the food in my hand and not on my commands. They keep jumping up to my hand and in front of me rather than staying at heel.

Food does not work outside on a walk - they don't care about food then because there are too many smells that need their immediate attention. I've tried a clicker - at home they get bored after 30 seconds and start lagging behind (even when I have my excited/encouraging voice on!). Outside on a walk its same problem as with the food above. I had great success in obedience and agility when I had a golden retriever but my beagles don't care if they please me. I knew that beagles were stubborn and seemingly "difficult" to train with a "what's in it for me" attitude but I wasn't quite prepared for how stubborn! I don't know what to do from here.

I'd apprecaite any advice on how to get my dogs to stop pulling on the lead!
Thanks

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:08 am

ooh I have a beagle too! Have a read of the 'loose lead walking' thread that is stickied at the top of this forum. My girl is a stubborn little mule sometimes too but I've found that doing something she enjoys and really tires her out works well. She gets a short on-lead walk in the morning just to get her out and empty her bladder then I will play with her and so some clicker training for a bit. She gets a longer off-lead walk around lunchtime and before dinner too - do you let yours off-lead? I find this burns off much more energy and along the way I will call her back to me and ask her to sit then treat and off she goes again - or down, shake etc so she knows that coming back doesn't always mean 'lead on go home'. I do take her to obedience classes and agility too she is doing really well and loves the agility - again it tires her out too and she is much better behaved when she doesn't have all this excess energy to get rid of. Anyway I will stop harping on about my own dog! In the exercise forum there is another thread on exercising the mind, this is good too it can also tire a dog out to work mentally, clicker training etc makes them concentrate

LaniM
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:09 am

Post by LaniM » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:04 am

To do the loose lead walking would I have to have a basic heel command mastered?

We have a holiday home a few hours away - its a new area with not many houses and beside a lake. We can let our beagles off the lead there as it is fenced off from the main road and they chase rabbits, run free and are much more settled dogs. I can see it is their happiest time of their lives!

Unfortunately we now live in a small town - there isn't any obedience/agility classes but there is a dog exercise area. It is not fenced though and is beside a main road. We have NO recall on our beagles at all and they have no road sense (not to mention my male can get agressive with other dogs but that is another topic all together!). My concern is they will get hurt - or disappear into the neighbouring farmer's paddock and start worrying the sheep. They have escaped from home before and were caught doing this. Fortunately for us the farmer didn't exercise his right to shoot my little babies and called the council instead!

I know I have to tire them out to do any training with them but is it counter-productive if I take them for a walk (and have them pull like they always do) and then come home and try and teach them not to?

danabanana
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:21 am
Location: NE England

Post by danabanana » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:28 am

heel walking and loose lead walking are different - you should be able to teach them not to pull but not be in a perfect heel position all the time. if you have a park or something you can let them have a bit of a run on a long line? I have a 30ft long line I use on the beach - she doesn't run off but she does pester the fishermen so I still have some control, maybe you could get them a long line to run around a bit on but they won't get to the road that way?

Whereabouts are you, maybe someone on here can recommend a class in the area?

Owdb1tch
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Post by Owdb1tch » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:47 am

When you do your training and off-lead work, remember beagles are bred to hunt by scent in a pack.

So never have both off the lead together - they'll vanish on scent.

Also - take heart - huntsmen have whole packs of beagles (30+) under good control, so it CAN be done :D you have to start small and each small victory or training session builds up into the end result.
Find the cause, find the cure.




A dog is never 'bad' or 'naughty'. It is simply behaving like a dog.

LaniM
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:09 am

Post by LaniM » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:57 am

An extra long line to tire them out is a great idea and not one I had thought of! Seems silly that I didn't think of that earlier! Thanks danabanana!! :D Its just going to be a slightly different approach to what I was used to. I live in Gore, New Zealand

Owdb1tch you are so right - if huntsmen can have 30 beagles under control surely I can get two!

Maxy24
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Location: MA, USA

Post by Maxy24 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:54 pm

If they learn that pulling gets them nowhere they will usually stop. so as soon as the dog pulls stop dead in your tracks and don't move pull or speak to the dog, pay no attention to him. If he lets the leash go slack then start walking again, repeat over and over. Another way to do it is to turn in the complete opposite direction when the dog pulls so they don't get to go the way they wanted and they will pay more attention to you since you tend to erratically change direction. You may look strange to your neighbors for a while and walk will take a really long time but it will be worth it in the end!

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:27 am

It is too late to take action once your dog is pulling, you should take action before that so they don't learn to pull. There is a post at the top of this section on how to get a dog to walk on a loose lead.

When I am teaching this I turn as soon as the dog's head goes in front of my hip, not only is my dog learning to walk on a loose lead, my dog is also very close to my heel.
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