Are Beagles Easy to Train?

The beagle has for a long time been a popular dog. It makes for a good companion, it’s a great family dog, and a fantastic hunter of small game too.

One question that many potential beagle owners may have when thinking about buying a beagle is how easy they are to train. You may have heard mixed views on this topic including the opinion that beagles are notoriously hard to train, as they can be stubborn and independent.

While this is true in many cases, beagles are certainly smart enough to be trained to follow various commands. The trick is getting past their stubbornness! Let’s learn some interesting facts about beagles as far as training is concerned.

Two young beagle puppies at play on a grassy lawn.
(image by Doug Zwick © 2019, licensed under CC NC 4.0)

Are Beagles Easy to Train?

The thing with beagles is that whether they are easy to train doesn’t have a simple answer. We could say that yes, beagles are very easy to train because they are relatively intelligent. They can learn commands easily, they can learn on their own, and they can even solve simple problems too.

You see, beagles were bred as hunting dogs, and to that end, they were bred to be very independent. They’re bred to think for themselves, particularly to assist a hunter when chasing or flushing out game animals. Due to this, they are relatively intelligent.

However, it’s this intelligence and independent nature that also makes them hard to train.

10-month-old twin beagle puppies (image by LanleyKerman © 2022, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)
(“Beagle Puppies” by LanleyKerman © 2022, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

Beagles often have a mind of their own, especially when they get a scent in those powerful little noses. Sometimes beagles get distracted by smells, if they see an animal, or if they have a toy, and sometimes they just don’t feel like giving you the time of day.

It can be hard to teach a dog commands when they don’t listen and are just worried about the next treat, toy, or squirrel. So, beagles are easy to train in terms of being able to learn many commands, but it’s keeping their attention for long enough to teach them those commands where the problem arises.

Tips to Make Beagle Training Easier

Seeing as the stubborn and independent nature of beagles can make training a challenge, let’s give you some tips to make this process just a little bit easier.

Routine and Repetition

Like us humans too, dogs are creatures of routine and repetition. Train your beagle at the same time every day and do so consistently. Your dog will get used to this routine, and its brain will start to expect these daily training sessions that always happen at the same time.

Routines get ingrained in us all, dogs and humans alike. It’s a lot easier to train your beagle if its brain is already in learning mode. On that note, simple repetition is the key with any dog breed. It may take hundreds of repetitions, but your beagle will learn eventually. Patience really is key here.

Airman 1st Class Tara Fadenrecht, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
(Airman 1st Class Tara Fadenrecht, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Work in a Familiar Space

Beagles are curious and inquisitive by nature, so the worst thing you could do is to try and train a beagle in a new area that they aren’t familiar with. Beagles will want to explore anything and everything new. Training them in a familiar space where there is nothing new to explore is your best bet at keeping their attention for any prolonged period of time.

Keep Distractions at Bay

Just like you don’t want anything new around when training a beagle, you also don’t want any distractions present. Unless they are being used as training aids, you shouldn’t have treats, toys, or other distractions nearby.

Using Treats to Your Advantage

Like most dogs, beagles are also quite food-driven. Making dog treats a cheap and delicious incentive you can use to your advantage when training your beagle. A beagle is always much happier and more willing to listen and learn when there’s a tasty reward involved.

The Bottom Line – Are Beagles Easy to Train?

If you have the patience to deal with a beagle’s stubbornness and independent attitude, then yes, beagles are a relatively easy, ideal breed to train. Beagles are plenty intelligent, and they like pleasing their owners too. It’s keeping their attention for a prolonged time that can be difficult, but food always helps!

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