Teaching Tricks, What Is Your Beagle Telling You?

Beagle Laying DownIn order to train your Beagle successfully, you must be able to tell him both clearly and consistently what it is that you want. The better you become at this, the faster and easier he will learn. Along with using using your voice and body language to communicate with him, use touch, facial expressions, and hand signals.

What Barking Means- When your Beagle barks, it is often times his response to frustration or confusion. This is his way of asking you to provide more clues as to what it is that you want. Don’t try the same thing repeatedly, rewind to the last step he understood. Once back at the last step he understood give him further pointers as to what you want next. Always be sure to keep your signals clear and precise.

Body Language- Always keep your body shape clear as dogs tune in to your silhouette. While working with your Beagle, in order to avoid any confusion, always use the hand on the side closest to him to signal or lure instead of crossing your arms. Often your dog won’t actually be reading the signal you think you are giving him, but will take his cue from something more subtle. How you move can also affect your dog, for instance, stepping into him will make him hesitant to come close to you again. A dog may also feel threatened if you lean over him, especially in small dogs and puppies, so try to kneel down instead. Always give your dog enough room to be able to perform the move you are asking for.

Hand Signals- Use large movements and gradually reduce them when teaching a trick. This will help make the signals clear and simpler for your Beagle to follow. Hand signals must be distinct if you want to use them to cue your dog for a trick.

Voice- In order to avoid confusing your dog, you must think carefully about the verbal commands you are going to use. Many words often sound alike, such as “Down” and “Bow”. The tone of your commands should also vary- a higher-pitched voice is usually better for upward moves, while lower tones can be given for downward moves.

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