Are Beagles Easy to Train? Expert Insights and Tips

How to train a beagle

In this blog post, we will discuss whether beagles are easy to train or are their reputation as stubborn and wilful hounds true. We’ll discuss how to train beagles and perhaps bust some myths around the training of these adorable hounds.

We will cover how beagles respond to training and why it can be so difficult to teach them commands and provide dog owners with beagle training tips for house training, potty training, obedience training, and much more. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Beagle Breed Can Help Training

Beagles are one of America’s most loved dog breeds.

Beagles are intelligent scent hounds bred over centuries as hunting dogs to hunt rabbits, rodents, and other small animals.

Beagles are intelligent dogs, and existing beagle dog owners will know they are energetic dogs, make good house pets, and overall are utterly delightful dogs that love food, so beware of your beagle getting fat!

Beagles are extremely food-driven and food-obsessed. They are also known for their ability to sniff out certain types of food items from long distances away due to their strong sense of smell to follow a scent trail.

That ability aids beagles in tracking down prey in the wild, but it also makes them more likely to rely on their instincts rather than listen to basic commands from their dog owner.

These traits can make a beagle easily distracted, which can make teaching a beagle basic commands frustrating but not impossible!

Beagle breed
A typical beagle

Why are beagles hard to train?

Beagles’ strong sense of smell can make training more difficult because they become easily distracted by smells in their environment.

In addition, training a beagle requires patience and time. Beagles have been bred for centuries as hunting hounds with strong instincts that must be overcome during training to make them more obedient pets.

A key factor in training is the trainer’s consistency; if you are inconsistent when training then this will confuse the dog and it may not learn commands quickly because of this confusion.

Beagles also need praise after they perform well completing an exercise or task so that they know what behavior was expected of them in future situations – this can help break down their natural instinctual responses which would hinder training progress!

Remember, setbacks are highly likely, so don’t be discouraged, remain patient and stick to a plan.

Understanding the character traits of your beagle will help beagle owners understand how to train their dogs more effectively.

What are the typical character traits of beagles?

Beagles were developed to be exceptional hare hunters, the key character traits which enabled them to be good hunters are;

  1. Following smells obsessively
  2. Independence 
  3. Lots of stamina and energy
  4. Food driven

We see those very traits in Beagles today, and this explains why Beagles can be more challenging to train than other dog breeds. 

Their sense of smell is a huge distraction for them when you are trying to get their attention or call out a basic command. Sometimes there’s just something that smells more interesting than what you have to offer. 

When they used to hunt, they had the freedom to go wherever they wanted. The main objective was to locate the hare that they could smell.

Their masters just followed them. Again, coupled with their nosey nature, asking a Beagle to return to you when out on a walk can prove challenging. 

As they would be out on a hunt for a whole day typically, Beagles needed to have a lot of stamina and energy to be able to last for the day and of course, keep up with the hare.

The boundless energy, when not managed through regular walks, can distract them when you are attempting to train them. They are just too fizzy and will not listen to you.

A pack of hunting beagles
A pack of hunting dogs

Can I leverage any of these traits to help train my beagle?

The sense of smell and their obsession with food can be used to your advantage in training a beagle.

Beagles are food-driven, they will do almost anything for food. With this in mind, you can use food as a reward when they complete an exercise or task you have asked of them.

You may need to experiment with different types of foods to find what really gets their attention and makes them want to work for it – some beagles love treats while others may prefer their regular food.

Do you need a dog trainer for beagle training?

Dog or puppy training can be a difficult task.

Beagles are intelligent and their sense of smell makes them excellent trackers, but these two strengths also make training challenging at times.

As we explore the training process, it is important to remember that there are many different approaches to teaching obedience in dogs.

Some methods work better with particular breeds than others so you should always experiment with techniques until you find one that clicks!

It’s been shown that canines trained by professional trainers are more successful than those trained by their owners. However, the type of training you do will depend on the situation; the best option for you will vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences and what each individual hound needs.

You may prefer to train your beagle yourself, or take them to training classes, the choice is yours!

Understand how your beagle learns.

Dogs can learn by watching you (known as modeling), through repetition (classical conditioning), or through association with something else positive or negative.

To effectively teach your hound, you need to understand how they learn. Beagles are one of the breeds that learn strongest by experience, so training should be a series of experiences and rewards rather than direct commands until your beagle obeys.

“Experiences teach us about probability,” says Dr. Stanley Coren, professor emeritus at UBC who’s studied canine intelligence for over three decades, “and dogs will have an association between events.”

The best way to train is through positive reinforcement training which means rewarding good behavior with treats or praise instead of punishing bad behavior like yelling or shaking them in anger.

With this type of training, you can change their behaviors without fear or intimidation – it also makes training sessions more enjoyable for both adults and puppies!

beagle training
A beagle sitting down on command in exchange for a tasty treat

Consistency is key when training a beagle

A training routine should be the same every day to teach your beagle that certain behaviors are expected.

These sessions will need to be repeated consistently until your dog understands what is expected of them and can follow commands without hesitation – this may take anywhere from weeks to months depending on how smart they are!

The best time for training is during their waking hours when they’re most alert, so do not try this at night or in the morning before breakfast (especially if you feed your pet after training).

You’ll want consistency throughout all aspects of life; put treats by doors where he’s supposed to sit/stay rather than giving them as rewards only in training because this promotes good behavior across different situations.

If you don’t give him treats for sitting in the morning, he’ll never want to do it again!

Reward-based training

The key is to find something that they really want and then use it as a reward for when they do something you have asked of them.

In addition, their sense of smell can be used to help them focus on you during training.

Beagles are often distracted by smells around them, so if you can find a way to get their attention by using a scent that they are interested in, you may be able to keep their focus on you for longer periods of time.

This could involve using a particular essential oil that they are attracted to or even just their regular dog food.

If you can get their attention with a scent, you may be able to train them more effectively.

Are Beagles hard to train?
Our two beagles waiting for a treat after a successful recall on the beach

Leash training a beagle

Our first beagle puppy, Bracken, wasn’t great on the leash, she pulled constantly and it was really quite tiring walking her.

I tried all sorts of things; different harnesses, head collars, and even a gentle leader, but nothing worked for very long.

I then decided to try something new; I started using a treat pouch and carrying around some of her favorite treats with me when we went on walks.

I used the treats to reward her for walking nicely on a loose leash by my side.

It took a bit of time and patience, but eventually, she started to understand that if she wanted the treats, she had to walk nicely.

Now, she walks beautifully on a leash and I don’t even need the treat pouch

Leash training tips for your beagle

It’s important to train your beagle on a leash or harness early!

Dogs that are trained from an early age tend not to pull hard or chew the training device.

Leash training your beagle is all about keeping calm and gentle.

In order to train a beagle using a leash, it’s important not to yank or pull hard on the lead as this will only scare and make training more difficult for both you and your dog.

Instead, take some time to walk calmly with him before ever attempting any other type of command such as sitting or stopping in the future.

9 Tips To Stop Your Beagle Pulling When On a Leash

  1. Avoid training your dog when they are tired or over-hyper
  2. Start by having him wear his harness and leash attached to you.
  3. Always practice in the safety of your backyard or an enclosed park area.
  4. Keep training sessions short (around ten minutes)
  5. Don’t yank on the leash, but instead walk calmly and constantly praise them for good behavior.
  6. Walk-in a straight line to reduce confusion while training
  7. Only let your dog off the leash in an open space once you are confident she has good recall, if in doubt undertake recall training. And never do this near highways or roads, to avoid causing any road accidents or harm to your Beagle.
  8. Use for training, we use specific dog training treats bought from a pet store, which has minimal chemicals or preservatives in them.
  9. Treats that are made from whole foods are great; fish skins are a great example. You can also make your own dog treats as a cheaper alternative.

Getting started on beagle puppy training – Training beagle puppies

Training a beagle is easier when they’re puppies because training becomes more difficult as time goes on.

You’ll need to start training your dog from the first day you bring your beagle puppy home. Puppy training should be fun and rewarding for both the beagle puppy and beagle owners alike.

Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs, and are intelligent dogs that respond well to mental stimulation so think about fun activities like playing fetch or high-value food rewards during training sessions.

Like other dogs, beagles will respond well to using toys, treats, praise, and playtime when developing obedience skills.

When he’s older, it may take much longer to train a senior beagle if the particular dog has not had consistent training – but don’t give up hope; even older beagles can be trained.

As long as you stay patient, dedicated, and persistent with his training, there are many success stories out there waiting for him too!

Potty training a beagle puppy

Beagle puppy potty training or house training can be easy with the right tools and patience.

The first step is to get a potty pad or create an outdoor bathroom space for your dog using puppy pads.

If you’re using indoor puppy pads, place them in an area of your home that’s easily accessible to your puppy, and make sure to take him to the potty pad often.

Beagle puppies usually need to go to the bathroom every few hours, so it’s important to take them out frequently, especially after he eats or drink.

When he goes potty in the designated area, be sure to praise him and give him a treat as a reward.

If you’re using an outdoor potty space, take him to the same area each time and praise him for going in the right spot.

Eventually, he’ll learn that this is where he’s supposed to go potty and will start doing it on his own.

The key to successful potty training is consistency and patience, so don’t get discouraged if there are accidents along the way.

beagle puppy training pads
A beagle puppy learning to pee on a training potty pads

Teaching basic commands and boundaries to your beagle

Teaching your dog some basic commands will pay off in the long run.

A dog responds better to training when it is fun and interactive so think about playtime, toy time, or even a treat that will act as your reward for training.

If beagle training sounds like a daunting task, I would recommend training them in stages.

For example, start with teaching basic commands and boundaries such as ‘no’ or off the couch first before you try training them on any other tricks they may need later down the line. Or break it into two sessions each day; morning training around breakfast time for an hour then evening training after dinner so that your dog gets adequate rest between their lessons too!

Teaching beagles how to stay calm during storms is also important – this can help prevent anxiety and stress from becoming overwhelming when confronted by strong noises of thunderstorms or fireworks etcetera.

A dog barks for many reasons, including excitement, separation anxiety, and boredom. Exercise alleviates many of those concerns, and rewards for acceptable behavior help drive home the point.

If a dog barks excessively during a storm, this can become tiresome for owners quickly so it is best to nip the problem in the bud early on through training!

One way to do this is by using a ‘thunder shirt’ which is a type of garment that has been designed to help dogs feel more secure during storms.

The thunder shirt applies a gentle, constant pressure around the dog’s torso which has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Calming your beagle during car rides is another activity that can be trained!

This is important because it can help prevent car sickness as well as keep your dog calm if they get anxious during car journeys.

One way to do this is to get your beagle used to the car by taking them on short rides around the block first, then gradually increasing the length of the journey as they get more comfortable.

You can also try feeding them in the car or giving them a chew toy to keep them occupied during the ride.

The most important thing is to remain patient and keep the car rides positive experiences for your beagle so that they don’t associate them with anxiety or fear.

Training sessions and beagle training tips

Before you start training, you need to ensure you have your Beagle’s full attention. This can be done by having a treat in your hand. Facing her, show the treat in your hand, but don’t let her grab it. remember beagles respond well to food-based rewards.

When she’s looking at you, give the command you want her to learn, then immediately give her the treat.

Repeat this process until she responds consistently to the command.

You can then start phasing out the treats by giving them randomly, or substituting them with praise or other rewards such

Sitting position – sit command

  1. Make sure your Beagle is stood up. Hold the treat near her nose.
  2. Move your hand with the treat in it, over her head, but still close to her nose. She will raise her head to follow, and she will achieve the sitting position. The moment this happens, praise and reward your Beagle with a treat.
  3. Repeat this another few times.
  4. In a new training session, later that same day or the following day, repeat the above steps.
  5. You will notice your Beagle will sit for longer; at this point, you can add the word ‘sit’ as she goes to sit. Timing is key. If you say the word ‘sit’ too early, she will associate that word with the wrong action.
  6. Repeat the training a few more times, with the ‘sit’ command thrown in. And hey presto you will have a Beagle that can sit on cue.
How to Stop a Beagle From Pulling on a leash

Lie Down

  1. Get your Beagle to sit in front of you. Hold out a treat in your hand, but don’t let them take it. They just need to know it’s there.
  2. Lower the treat in your hand to the floor, and hold it close enough to your Beagle so that their nose is lowering down between their front paws.
  3. They may try to stand up, don’t reward them, but keep repeating until their elbows touch the floor. When that happens, praise them and reward them with a treat.
  4. Keep repeating the above steps in several short regular sessions. When they seem to be dropping to their elbows add in the command ‘down’. Again timing is critical so that they associate the right action with the command.

Take treats without aggression

  1. Start with a tasty dog treat in your hand but with a closed fist.
  2. Hold out your fist with the treat in it, to your Beagle. She will most likely mouth and paw your closed fist to get to the treat.
  3. Ignore this behavior and wait for her to use the soft part of her muzzle to have contact with your hand. When this happens, open your hand flat, and with praise, let her have the treat.
  4. Repeat this a few times, and when she softly approaches your closed fist, add the command ‘nicely.’ 
  5. After plenty of practice, when you give your Beagle a treat and call nicely, she will take it from your hand gently.

How to teach beagles what they can or cannot chew

Beagles are an intelligent and active breed of dog. Like other dogs, beagles require training to learn what is or isn’t allowed in the house, as well as training for sitting when told instead of jumping on guests.

Beagles can be trained through positive reinforcement techniques like food treats or praise.

These dogs love playing games so training with a ball helps them think more about their actions while they’re having fun running around and bouncing off things.

The following are some tips you may find helpful if your dog is chewing up shoes or household items while playing with them. If caught in the act of chewing something that should not be chewed on, offer an acceptable chew toy without any shame (i.e., no yelling at him).

If you find that your dog is still chewing up shoes or household items while playing with them, try training him to not chew these things by first removing any footwear from an area where they are allowed and placing them in another room.

training a beagle what they can and cannot to chew is importanttraining a beagle what they can and cannot to chew is important

The obedience training process will take time, so don’t get discouraged if your dog isn’t fully trained after only a few days or weeks.

One very important thing to remember when training is never to hit your dog with an object like a shoe just because he has been chewing up something- this can lead to aggression issues!

Instead of trying out negative reinforcement methods (like hitting), try positive reinforcement obedience training instead to get your dog’s attention: offer him his favorite food treat immediately or toy as long as he does what you want him to do at the moment. This reinforces good behavior by rewarding it while undermining negative typical beagle behaviors by withholding attention for those actions until you can redirect them to a better alternate option.

Designated areas for food, water, and bathroom

When training your pooch or beagle puppy it’s crucial to establish designated areas for food, water, and bathroom. You’ll need to create an environment that is conducive for training so these are the three things you should determine beforehand.

By having designated areas for these necessities, you are reinforcing training from the earliest stages.

If your dog is able to eat, drink or go outside for bathroom breaks when they want to, training can become difficult and frustrating.

Your dog will not be as likely to understand that he needs to wait until you tell him it’s time because these things are readily available at any given moment in time without restriction.

Establish a feeding schedule for your beagle puppy

One of the most important training steps you can take is to establish a feeding schedule.

Dogs are creatures of habit and they like knowing what’s coming next.

Establishing designated times to feed your dog will create an environment where he knows when it’s time for food, water, or bathroom breaks; making training much easier and less stressful for both you and your beagle puppy.

Introduce crate training

After establishing a feeding schedule, take the next step and introduce crate training.

Crate training is like giving him his own little den where he can relax. You will want to implement this method of training when you are unable to supervise your dog or if there’s going to be a disruption in their routine (such as guests coming over).

It helps them feel more comfortable and secure while they’re left alone for short periods of time which makes it easier for them to get through that initial adjustment period from being home alone while also reducing any anxiety-based behaviors such as barking or whining.

Crates come in all shapes and sizes, so you will want to do some research before purchasing one.

A good rule of thumb is that your pooch should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the crate with enough room for a mat or bedding material.

Want a great crate to start training with? Try this great value crate from Amazon.

A great value crate from Amazon

Do not leave training collars on their necks when they are crated because this can cause pressure points which may lead to injury over time! (Collars can also get caught on crates.)

You’re better off training them in another area where he’s free from any dangers such as ropes and cables.

Bracken and Baylee sleepingTwo of our beagles enjoying their crate, home sweet home!

Potty train your beagle

As soon as you bring your puppy home, it’s important to start training them about the proper way of going outside.

Beagles are very territorial by nature and they will want to discharge their scent in every corner imaginable so this is where training comes into play.

To teach your beagle not to pee indoors, pick an area near a door or one with high traffic for your dog to go when he needs to use the bathroom; don’t let him roam around freely throughout the entire house!

When he goes potty in these designated areas reward him with praise (or whatever treat motivates good behavior) and praise him when he comes back in.

In the early days, you will need to keep an eye out for any accidents on your floor and clean them up promptly.

If you suspect your puppy is about to toilet in your house, pick him and place him outside in the designated area.

This will help reduce the likelihood of accidents and train your puppy to go where you want him to!

Consistency is key during training a beagle puppy

Consistency is one thing that many people have trouble with when training their dogs, including beagles.

It’s important for owners to remain consistent in order to create an environment where training can take place without much interruption or stress on either party involved.

How to handle barking and whining

Dogs bark and whine for different reasons.

If you’re training your puppy to stop barking or whining, it’s important to determine the cause of these behaviors before trying any training techniques.

It could be that he is just excited to see someone come home from work or has a lot of pent-up energy due to not being able to play outside that day.

If you find training beagle puppies on this behavior difficult, try creating an environment where they can have more stimulation such as inside with toys or a dog park at the end of the street.

Tips to help reduce your dog’s barking and whining;

  • Give him plenty of calming toys
  • Bring him out for walks and playtime
  • Offer him training treats when he’s quiet and calm
  • Dogs react to training in different ways, so it’s important to be creative and think of new ideas that will work for your puppy.
  • In the case of barking or whining, try putting them in a serene environment like inside with toys or out on their dog run.
  • Take plenty of walks with your beagle puppy as this reduces anxiety levels while giving them room to play and tire themselves out (a tired dog is less likely to bark).
  • Reward good behavior by rewarding obedience training with tasty treats- he’ll love you more than ever! And lastly but most importantly: offer plenty of cuddles during training sessions–he needs some extra TLC too after all his hard work!

Remember – never hit your dog with an object in an attempt to keep him quiet, this could lead to aggressive behavior and is not nice for any dog!

Make sure your pooch is getting enough exercise

While teaching your beagle puppy, make sure he is getting plenty of exercise!

Take him on long walks and play in the backyard with toys to keep his mind active.

This will help reduce anxiety levels while training as well as provide a healthy outlet for all that pent-up energy puppy’s can have when they are not able to go outside or get enough stimulation from playing outdoors.

Why socializing beagles with other dogs and people is crucial

Socializing your beagle is crucial for training and development.

In order to properly socialize a dog, it’s important to expose them early on in their training sessions with other animals such as dogs or cats that he might not have met before.

This helps build confidence in both the animal being introduced and reduces anxiety levels at the same time by training him how to behave appropriately around different types of people too!

One way you can start this process would be taking your dog out every day during training walks so they become used to all sorts of new stimuli including traffic noises while also learning how to pay attention when told instead of pulling towards potential distractions like squirrels along the roadside. This will ultimately reduce negative behavior such as barking or growling when in new situations.

Dont’s for disciplining your beagle

There are many training strategies out there that people use to discipline their dogs.

However, it’s important not to hit your beagle because this can lead to aggressive behavior or make training difficult for him in the future.

Never shout or scream at your beagle during training sessions.

Don’t punish or scold him for mistakes that he might have made such as breaking a training command in order to get the desired response from you instead of continuing to work on training until they finally do it correctly.

The best way to teach this is by using positive reinforcement, which usually include treats and verbal encouragement when they do something right!

This will also reduce anxiety levels because dogs tend not to want what’s bad for them like being yelled at or hit so teaching them how good things happen with obedience and patience will make training easier while making both parties happy too.

Plus, he needs some extra TLC too after all his hard work, training is tiring!

Remember never to use a whip or anything else you could hurt your puppy in an attempt to keep them quiet as they might bite back and create more problems than solutions when training sessions don’t go well (which happens!).

Do’s for disciplining your beagle

What training strategies work the best for training your beagle?

Positive reinforcement is the key to success when training and it can come in various forms.

Praise from humans is another thing that many dogs respond well to, especially if he’s doing something right like sitting down on command!

Treats are usually effective as well since they’re tasty rewards for good behavior (generally speaking!).

Lastly, some trainers recommend playing games such as fetch where your dog has fun while learning how to follow instructions which will ultimately make both of you happy!

Remember, start training early, and always use reward-based training when training new behaviors or verbal commands with their favorite toy or food rewards.


In summary, Beagles are fabulous dogs to own and have interesting behaviors which can make them challenging to train. But with commitment, patience, and some tasty, healthy dog treats, you can train your Beagle to do most things. If you don’t have the time to do this, there are many well-qualified dog trainers that can help.


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My Beagle Buddy is a dedicated resource crafted with love and expertise by Simon Wilson alongside his two cherished Beagles, Baylee and Bonnie. With over a decade of hands-on experience, Simon has delved deep into the world of Beagles, unraveling the joys, challenges, and intricacies of beagle ownership.

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