Beagle Potty Training Techniques: The Simple Guide
You knew the topic was going to come up eventually: Beagle potty training techniques.
Let’s be honest: there is nothing cuter than a boundlessly loving beagle — except for that stinky, steamy pile of mess they just left on your gleaming hardwood floor.
Luckily; with a bit of knowledge, consistency, patience, and a few nose plugs; you’ll be on your way to cracking the potty-training code.
Training Methods To Success
Universally, owners of newly-introduced beagles to their homes, use one of these effective house-breaking methods:
- Crate training
- Paper training
- Umbilical-cord training.
They can be effective if you stick solely with one method, or even if you hybridize any of them; whichever best suits your lifestyle.
Crate Training A Beagle
One of the more popular methods to potty train a beagle, crate training works on two instinctive principles from the wolf ancestry:
- The safety afforded by a den-like structure
- The necessity to keep it clean
It may sound kind of funny; housekeeping for a den, right? Especially, when your best friend’s man-cave hasn’t seen a vacuum in months.
But the logical reason behind wolves keeping their den clean, is to further protect their young from any potential predators.
This issue becomes less necessary, as once the pups are old enough, they are taught to eliminate outside of their dens.
A beagle’s mind works on the same wavelength. The crate is their safe place and it must be kept tidy.
Since they should embody these instinctive traits, you’d better believe it puts you at an advantage in potentially training them faster.
Nearly any animal, including beagles, have no desire to mess where they sleep, because that would put them at potential risk. Therefore, while crated, your beagle learns to control their bathroom habits until they are taken out to an appropriate spot.
Pros of Crate Training
- It gives you some needed time to unwind. You need not watch your dog constantly while they’re in their crate. Keeping your beagle in the crate has an additional great benefit of keeping them out of too much trouble.
- Exploits their inherent instincts to your favor, to accelerate their learned ability to become house-broken.
- Minimizes indoor accidents. Since there isn’t anything inside that has been eliminated on, there is a significantly lowered probability of it starting in the first place.
Cons of Crate Training
- If your beagle is ill or has a medical condition, you have to be mindful that it may make it incredibly difficult or downright impossible for them to be able to control their bathroom habits, while in the crate.
- Your beagle may associate isolation with the crate if you keep him or her confined for long periods of time. Reinforce positive factors such as comfort, treats, and play with their crate — not isolation.
Who Should Use Crate Training?
This is ideal for if you need to ensure some extra time for yourself, but yet you’ll be around plenty to let them out, if necessary.
Paper Training A Beagle
Another more popular method to potty train your beagle is paper training.
Paper training allows full control over where your beagle puppy goes to the bathroom. This technique reinforces eliminating on paper or puppy pads. I think the grass pads like the Petmaker’s Artificial Grass Bathroom Mat (on Amazon) are fantastic.
Start by placing your beagle puppy in a confined area of your home, ideally with a no carpeting for easier cleanup. If space is at a premium, puppy playpens are a viable option.
Once your beagle understands the concept, you start removing the paper, starting with the material closest to their bed. Then you put a small piece of somewhat soiled paper where you wish for them to continue to eliminate. The principle behind this is that a beagle puppy will wish to eliminate where they smell they’ve done so previously.
Want your pup to go to the bathroom outside? Easy peasy. Slowly transition the paper toward the door, eventually with some being placed outside.
If you catch your puppy heading over to the paper indoors, open the door and allow them to go on the paper outside. Eventually, phase out the inside paper, until they have learned to go to the door to use the outdoor paper.
Pros of Paper Training
- This technique is easily teachable.
- Allows your beagle to utilize the bathroom at all times, which is quite beneficial if you have a busier lifestyle.
- It’s a great option for people who live in apartments/high-rise buildings. In addition, it removes the element of weather or temperature related issues outside.
Cons of Paper Training
- You’re allowing them to go to the bathroom inside. That might not be the most pleasant smell, if not removed quickly.
- Since you’re at first training your beagle to go to the bathroom inside, and then potentially transitioning them outside; it could essentially double the training time.
- Your beagle will always associate paper on the floor with going to the bathroom. I can’t say that I minded one time when my cell phone bill mysteriously drifted to the floor. Odd how that happens, right?
Who Should Use Paper Training?
- If you have a long workday. It allows your puppy to go to the bathroom without you intervening.
- Living in apartments/high-rise buildings, it’s not the easiest to take your puppy outside. Also beneficial for avoiding inclement weather.
This type of training is for the type A personality.
You will also need to have much time on your hands, in order to monitor them extensively to identify when he or she needs to go outside.
Pros of Constant-Supervision Training
- Freedom! — for your dog, that is. You’ll be there following their every move though.
- No need for house-training tools.
Cons of Constant-Supervision Training
- You’ll be at your beagle’s beck and call.
- This technique does take longer than the aforementioned crate training.
- Anytime you miss your puppy’s signals, you run the risk of this setting their training back, and having to clean up the subsequent mess.
Who Should Use Constant-Supervision Training?
If you are a stay-at-home/retired type, then this may work quite well for you.
Exceptionally tuned into your beagle’s needs/wants? This may be for you.
This type of training is a deviation of constant-supervision training.
Just like before, you’ll be observing your beagle at nearly every waking moment, but your canine companion will have a leash tethering them to you.
The leash’s sole purpose is to ensure that your pupster can’t sneak off to use the bathroom without you.
Pros of Umbilical-Cord Training
- Minimal tools needed: Just your beagle, your patience and a retractable leash.
- Since you’ll be together so frequently, they’ll get extensive socialization and exposure. This also aids in forming a strong between the two of you and helps to confirm you as the pack leader.
Cons of Umbilical-Cord Training
- Since your beagle would be familiar with being with you at all times, he may become confused if you’re not able to be with them for any reason.
- There’s a slight risk of failing to monitor your dog’s leash and potentially getting caught up in something. This could be potentially dangerous.
Who Should Use Umbilical-Cord Training?
This is ideal if you like the concept of constant-supervision training, but with the added security of the leash always being at the ready, umbilical-cord could be a viable option.
Just bear in mind: This means they’re going with you nearly everywhere. “Potty train my beagle” might as well be written on your resume.
General Guidelines For All Training Methods
Regardless of which training method you wish to implement, it is imperative to remember these few universal rules on how to potty train your beagle:
- Your pup may become spiteful during the training. Regardless of this fact, do not yield to their idiosyncrasies.
- Bathroom breaks should be coordinated in relation to your beagle’s age. If there are 8 weeks old, they should have a break every 2 hours. At 12 weeks, boost this number to three hours. Finally, at 16 weeks, most puppies can wait up to four hours between potty breaks.
- Do not, do not, do not scold your puppy; if they do have an accident. They will and do happen. It’s just part of the learning process.
- Establish a clear schedule. This will ease them into anticipating when they’ll be able to use the bathroom.
- Keep in mind the time of day. If your beagle just had a meal, play session or a long nap, they’ll be due for a break. In addition, first thing in the morning and right before bed.
- Be mindful of your beagle’s signals to being ready. Circling, sniffing, squatting or wandering aimlessly are strong indicators.
- Beagles will wish to frequent the same area that they’ve soiled previously. That’s all well and good if they’ve done it correctly outside, but not on your hardwood floors inside. If they do have an accident in the house (which is bound to happen), you must eliminate all traces of the odor to avoid a repeat offense.
- If they go to the bathroom in the right spot: Act. Praise them for a job well done. If they go elsewhere: Distract. Try to gather their attention, pick them up and try to lead them quickly to where you’d prefer they learn to use the restroom.
- Be sure to start saying “Potty”, when they begin to go to the bathroom outside. The word association will become learned and carry through into their adulthood. Eventually, you’ll be able to command “Go potty!”, and they’ll know to go to the door, ready to be let outside.
With a little bit of guidance and a whole lot of love, your beagle will rapidly become the pick of the litter.
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