By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer
Beagles being hard to train, people ask me if I ever off leash my beagles. The answer is yes, I do but not all the time. I can off leash Jonah at any place, any time but Harvey is still under training.
I worked for almost 2 years till I could comfortably off-leash Jonah. His nose was the problem. He would pick a scent and would run towards it till he was not on site any more. So, I started tracking with him. This was my form of tracking. I called it natural tracking. I would let him track whatever he wanted in the woods and come back to me in few minutes. I wanted him to do what he was breed for but also be safe and comeback to me and not get lost in the woods.
The secret to this form of off-leash tracking was our relationship. I had built a strong bond – 2 years of on-leash training- with him so separation for him was a negative experience. So the tracking which was natural and instinctively would get him away from me and the bond would bring him back to me.
Many times he would start tracking all of a sudden and he would be gone howling all the way to the point that I would not hear his howl anymore. There would be silence and people would say he is gone but I knew that this was when he was tracking back to me. I know now that he would never get lost. He can track back to me or even to our home.
I am working on Harvey now, different dog, same bread.
Most beagle owners contact me and ask me how I can off leash my beagles? The answer is by training any dog you can do anything you want it to do. Here is a clip of Jonah and Harvey on an off-leash hike in a hot day in the park.
I have to look more to find a clip of Jonah tracking. I will post it as soon as I find it.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.jonahsark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saro-boghozian.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]