Creating a great hunting dog is crucial to success as a small game hunter. The best choice here is often a beagle. These dogs are incredible for hunting and can be trained quickly and efficiently.
Why Beagles Are The Best Hunting Dogs
Beagles are often considered the best hunting dogs for a variety of reasons. First of all, they were literally bred to be hunters, so their natural instinct is to chase and corner rabbits and other small animals. They are particularly skilled at driving prey towards hunters and smelling prey out when they are lost in difficult situations.
The beagle is also, like many hounds, inclined to "bray" when they spot their prey. Unlike other dogs, who may just run after the prey without a sound, this alerts the hunter and lets them know their hound is on the trail. All of these benefits make the beagle a wonderful dog to train as a hunter.
Beagles Are Easy To Train For Hunting
Beagles are naturally inclined to chase prey such as rabbits, and making them successful hunting dogs requires tapping into that instinct while controlling how they behave. It is important to introduce them to a play rabbit at a young age and to play with them using this toy. They will get the idea to chase it quickly and should be rewarded when they succeed.
However, a good beagle is likely to need a real rabbit to chase in a controlled and sealed environment (such as a backyard) in order to get the idea of what to do. Training them to fight against their natural instincts (by heeling or waiting while you track the rabbit) is important here and requires a lot of positive reinforcement and a little help.
Some Help May Be Needed
Most beagles are fairly easy to train, but some help may be needed. There are several different tools and hunting supplies you can consider here. The first is a clicker: this create a sharp noise that irritates the dog and is useful as a deterrent when they aren't paying attention or need to be corrected. More extreme measures include electronic collars (which release a beeping noise) and shock collars (which use safe electrical shocks).
These collars have theirs ups and downs, so if you are uncomfortable literally sending electricity through your dog, a clicker may be more appropriate. Use them when they try to attack the practice rabbit or if they don't listen to your commands. Always reward them with a nice treat when they do succeed, however. You should never scream or yell: this experience should be as enjoyable as possible.
By following these guidelines, it is possible to create an incredible hunting beagle that will help increase your success. Make sure to talk to any professionals about appropriate training or hunting supplies to ensure everything is handled properly. Check out companies like Lion Country Supply to learn more.