Untrained Beagle-I bought a full-blooded beagle hound. He was supposed to be trained for rabbits and birds, but he will not take a rabbit trail and does not seem to know much about birds, either. He seems to be willing to hunt, but he doesn’t understand trailing. He goes with his head in the air most of the time. He is four years old. What could I do to get him to hunt rabbits? Is he too old to be trained to hunt them?
The beagle house is a natural rabbit dog, but is devoid of bird hunting instinct and, therefore, could not well be expected to take much notice of birds. If so desired, a beagle can be trained to retrieve birds just as any other breed of dogs can be so trained, but to hunt and point them as a setter or pointer naturally would, is altogether out of the question. The mode of hunting-head held high or low-is an individual characteristic of ever dog and cannot be changed at will of the handler. Presumably your dog has had but very limited opportunities on rabbits and to give the necessary opportunity is what is needed to make him take to trailing. If taken out in company of one or more dogs to hunt rabbits, yours will take observations of the acts of the other dogs and soon fall in line by taking hold himself and henceforth hunt rabbits eagerly in business-like manner. He is not too old to be initiated at age of four years.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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