The Beagle has that look on their faces that makes it appear as if they are constantly smiling, and they love to be out having fun with you! It is a small dog with never-ending energy, and to keep a Beagle happy and healthy you need to think of a few activities that will satisfy their needs.
Walks are great and a daily walk goes a long way, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Beagles also need to run, and they need to use their brains, so here are a few ideas for what you can do with your Beagle, and for activities a breed is likely to enjoy.
Playing fetch is a very basic game, and many overlook the many benefits of it! It will get your Beagle moving, which is great for keeping him or her in shape and burning off energy, and it will leave your fur friend feeling happy and exhausted by the time the game ends.
You can play fetch in your own backyard or take your pooch to a large field or a dog park, and it is a great way for you to have fun together and to connect.
If you want to step it up a little, consider getting a tennis ball launcher! A tennis ball launcher – either a manually operated launcher or one that launches the ball mechanically – will have the ball flying a lot further than you could probably toss it, and your Beagle will love the challenge! Fetch is also great when you don’t have a lot of time, as it usually only requires a few minutes of play before your pup is panting and ready for some rest.
Tug of War
If it is one trait most Beagles have – it’s the stubbornness. Beagles can be incredibly stubborn, and they don’t give up easily, which makes Tug of War a great game! It requires some effort on your part, as someone needs to hold on to the other end, but it will have your pooch ecstatic with joy for getting a chance to play their favorite game together with their favorite person (you).
To play Tug of War, you need quality dog toys that won’t break half-way through the game. Pick a durable rope toy over a stuffed animal, as these are likely to last longer, or opt for a virtually indestructible toy (but remember that these, too, can break).
Beagles were bred to hunt, and they have the instinct to hunt small prey like hare and rabbits. This makes them ideal candidates for participating in Lure Coursing – a canine sport that revolves around having dogs chase after artificial prey. It is a fun sport where a plastic bag is attached to a cord, which is then pulled around a pre-determined course for dogs to chase.
The movements of the plastic bag mimic the irrational movement of a frightened rabbit or other small prey, and while dogs of any breed can participate just for fun, the Beagle is a scent hound, and one of the breeds that can participate in official Lure Coursing competitions.
The best way to get started is by reaching out to your local kennel club, to see if they offer Lure Coursing and if not then you might have to travel to participate or consider buying your own training equipment.
As you may know, the Beagle is often used at airports and national borders to sniff for contraband, and this is a skill you can use also to entertain your pet Beagle. There is something known as Canine Nose Work, where a dog searches for specific scents hidden away in small scent vessels.
This takes some practice – both for you and your dog – but it can be incredibly rewarding when done right. The dog learns to follow a scent and to search for its source, and are then rewarded with treats, verbal praise or some playtime with a favorite toy. The best way to get started is by taking a Nose Work class held by a professional dog trainer.
Perhaps you feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of learning a new activity like Lure Coursing or Nose Work, and if so – there is something simpler you can try that doesn’t require much preparation or training.
Let your Beagle hunt for his or her kibble! Take their Beagle dog food with you outside, and the first time you play, start by tossing a handful out on the lawn. Hold the Beagle back while you do this and let go when you are done. Your Beagle will sniff the ground until they find all the kibble bits, and it will make feeding time a lot more fun and rewarding.
Something you can also try is to have your Beagle sit and stay in another room, or have someone else hold the dog back, while you go and hide kibble in another room. Start out easy by hiding only a couple of bits in simple places and let your dog into the room to search for them.
You might have to give some direction in the beginning until your Beagle gets the hang of the game, and with time, you can start hiding food in more difficult places. Use a command like ‘Search’ to let your dog know when it is okay to start the hunt.
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