4 Easy Steps to Train Your Beagle to be an Outstanding Rabbit Hunter!!

So you want your beagle pup to be something more than just a pet, a spectacular example of the breed—achieving feats that it was originally bred for! Knowing his natural inclination for hunting, you want to cultivate that trait to make him an outstanding hunter! After all, your beagle must share your enthusiasm for hunts! What’s more, you can show off his superior hunting skills at the next hunt with your partners. You can’t wait to get started, but just gusto won’t get you a winner! Try out the following training tips instead!

When should you start training your pup to hunt?

Beagles are naturally independent and possess superior hunting skills. You should start tapping into his instinct for a hunt even as early as 6 to 8 months. By this time, your beagle has almost complete control over his body and will be ready for training. But his attention span is limited to 10-15 mins, so make the most of it!  Make sure he gets proper exercise before you start off with the actual training.

How To Train Your Beagle To Prey on Rabbits:    

Your beagle will be only as good as his trainer. So you need to go about the training meticulously and with discipline. Here’s making your task easy…

  • Exposure – Your beagle pup needs to get used to the external world, and he will get better as he explores the outside world. So its best you take your beagle to the nearby woods and let him get used to the terrain and the different smells and sounds. But keep these trips short because your beagle is still young. At the first signs of distress, bring him back into the protection of his home.

  • Tracking – Make your pup look for you by simply stepping away from his line of vision. This will inculcate the habit of tracking in your beagle at an early age. As he gets more skillful, make it harder for him to find you. This way you can extend his horizons as well. You could also scatter pieces of meat, and snacks around your backyard. Train your beagle to sniff these and track them by their smell.

  • Exposure To Rabbits – When your beagle is able to track you in record time, move on to rabbits. Get a tame rabbit and introduce him to your beagle in an enclosed space.  Allow him to sniff and see the rabbit, to help him associate with the smell. Move on to training your beagle to sniff out the rabbit without seeing it. You can switch to rabbit scent or a cottontail to train your beagle to sniff its prey. This enhances your beagle’s sniffing skills and saves the rabbit from untoward harm. Slowly get your dog to track a live rabbit by giving your rabbit a head start of a few minutes. Allow your beagle to hone his skills and chase after him. Once your beagle can track the rabbit, it’s time to move on to wild rabbits.

  • Wild Rabbits – When it comes to running wild rabbits, you should ideally have a captured wild rabbit. If rabbit hunting is legal in your neighborhood, trap one. Introduce your beagle to its smell and help him make the connection between the smell and the wild rabbit. If not, take your beagle to a rabbit infested track early in the morning or at dusk. This is when they are most active. Once your beagle spots one, he will go after it in a flash. A sight and smell chase will follow with your beagle emerging victorious. If you have a trapped rabbit, let it go, and your beagle will give chase.

Is it necessary that your beagle must be a purebred to be a good hunter?

No, not really. It’s all in the genes really. If your beagle comes from a line of good hunters, his purebred status won’t matter. A purebred beagle is not necessarily a good hunter. Beagles are naturally good hunters, just train them right and you will have a good rabbit hunter.

Now that you know how to train your beagle to hunt rabbits, pack your kit and go join a hunt. Happy Hunting!!

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