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Old 05-07-2018, 08:53 AM
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Default Training a Beagle as a Bird Dog

I picked up my new puppy "Ranger" this weekend. He's only 8 weeks old but already he's starting to point to his toys before pouncing on them so I think there is promise. I would like to start him off right with the hopes he will be at least be a reasonable upland hunter when fall arrives. I know I need to work on the basics first like house training, sit stay commands ext but when do you think is a good age to get him training on bird wings and scent tracking? Ive read many different websites all with conflicting information on some points but a general consensus of 12-14 weeks. Many say to start him off by following a seasoned upland dog but right now I don't know anyone personally that hunts upland with their dogs. I would also like to get him finding ducks and geese but I assume he will be a little small to retrieve them. I know beagles are bread primarily as a rabbit breed but I needed something smaller and good with kids so a lab was out.
Does anyone have any good resources worth looking into? Tried and true techniques? Kind of hoping Pixel Shooter will post up because I had the privilege of hunting with his awesome dog and I hope mine can turn out even half as good as his.

Anyways a photo of my new hunting buddy ( provided he doesn't become lazy like his master)

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Old 05-07-2018, 10:00 AM
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I love Beagles, nice looking dog you have there. Good luck with the training.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:33 AM
coyoteman coyoteman is offline
 
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Default Beagle

Yes the beagle,a great dog, I ran packs in nfld for many years, mostly in persuit of the snowshoe hare.
The beagle is a natural born hunter, and training is a simple matter of takeing them were there is game.
The beagle is also a great dog for upland, and no doubt pheasants as well.
For pheasants, I would just keep on a lease they will track them until the flush.
They beagle will catch on quick, i have them hunt snipe,huns, grouse etc.
They can be trained to retrieve, They are not fond of water, never had one for water fowl.
The beagle is a tracking dog, thats what they do best, they love the kill, they will hunt what you hunt,
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:03 AM
tatonka2 tatonka2 is offline
 
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I think your biggest challenge will be keeping your dog in range when he gets on a track, scents game, etc. While a dog of any breed may point, the odds of a beagle pointing and holding a bird are slim. Pointing just isn't in their genes like it is with Setters, Pointers, etc. I'm assuming you will be using your Beagle as a flushing dog (like a Springer, Cocker, etc.)?

Beagles, of course, have been bred for many generations to primarily hunt rabbits. I grew up in Vermont where it seemed like everyone had a Beagle as hunting rabbits and hares is very popular there. Your Beagle will more than likely "give tongue" when he gets on the scent of a bird....he'll be singing a happy tune.....not really something a person wants when hunting birds.

I'd be working with him to keep him in range. Get a book or DVD on training flushing dogs and follow it.

You stated you got a beagle because of the smaller size. You already have the pup so this is a mute point, but there are smaller dogs that excel on upland birds that are also great with kids. An English Cocker from field lines would have been an excellent choice.. they run about 20 to 25 pounds... Brittneys and Springers are also about half the size of a lab and are great with kids... Something to keep in mind in the years to come when you add another dog to your family...
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:36 AM
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Default BoGlen Terrier

Well that's what they call my mutt, beagle and boston terrier cross. Ellie is one great hunting dog but mainly rabbits and the odd cat if it gets in the yard. She has flushed many a bird in her travels along the canals but never ever pointed one out for me, the problem we have is tracking once on the dang scent she never wants to give up.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatonka2 View Post
I think your biggest challenge will be keeping your dog in range when he gets on a track, scents game, etc. While a dog of any breed may point, the odds of a beagle pointing and holding a bird are slim. Pointing just isn't in their genes like it is with Setters, Pointers, etc. I'm assuming you will be using your Beagle as a flushing dog (like a Springer, Cocker, etc.)?

Beagles, of course, have been bred for many generations to primarily hunt rabbits. I grew up in Vermont where it seemed like everyone had a Beagle as hunting rabbits and hares is very popular there. Your Beagle will more than likely "give tongue" when he gets on the scent of a bird....he'll be singing a happy tune.....not really something a person wants when hunting birds.

I'd be working with him to keep him in range. Get a book or DVD on training flushing dogs and follow it.

You stated you got a beagle because of the smaller size. You already have the pup so this is a mute point, but there are smaller dogs that excel on upland birds that are also great with kids. An English Cocker from field lines would have been an excellent choice.. they run about 20 to 25 pounds... Brittneys and Springers are also about half the size of a lab and are great with kids... Something to keep in mind in the years to come when you add another dog to your family...
Getting a beagle for hunting wasn't the primary concern however it would be a great bonus if I can get him onto birds, upland and migratory would be even better but I'm thinking he wont be a great retriever from what I have read online. If he ends up being a flushing dog more than a pointer I would be ok with that. When I hunt upland its more about the hunt than the bag limit anyways. Im just hoping to get him to enjoy the same things I do.
I can see him running off after a scent trail but right now hes too shy to even take the lead on our walks, but that will come in time I'm betting.
To tell you the truth I would be happy if he could just learn his name and understand the house training for the time being.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:33 AM
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MK2750 MK2750 is offline
 
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If you were to watch some videos on hounds you would find they all have something in common. They are relentless in their pursuit of scent.

Like pointers, setters, flushers and retrievers, it is not something they are trained to do, they just do it. The handler refines the dog and works within his natural abilities.

Now when it comes to hounds, there is some refinement that can be made in what they are smelling for but once on scent it is their nature to pursue until they catch up with the prey.

With raccoon hounds for example, you listen to the dogs until you hear that they have treed the raccoon. You can't call them back or redirect them, they track until they tree, period.

Rabbit hounds work differently of course because rabbits don't climb trees. They do however develop a territory that they are very reluctant to leave. When the beagle jumps a rabbit or snowshoe it starts to bay and follow the scent. The rabbit soon realizes that the pursuer is quite slow and is really of little threat. The hunter waits where the rabbit was initially jumped. The rabbit wants to stay in it's home range so makes a circle back where if all goes well the hunter shoots it. The rabbit is left where it falls until the little hound shows up several minutes later.

This method of hunting is not going to translate well on to birds unless you have a little hound that is not in the least hound like.

I absolutely love hounds and in a perfect world I would have a pack of them. They are not the sharpest tools in the shed however. There is a reason why hound handlers in the movies always have the hounds on leash when pursuing the bad guys. Once on scent they are completely uncontrollable. They don't whoa up, walk to heal or sit down and call it a day. They drag the handler until they find what they are looking for.

There are many intelligent dogs that could be taught outside of their natural abilities to multi task like Border Collies and Sheppards. Having been around Beagles and Basset Hounds, I think you have chosen a very tough row to hoe.
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