Defined as a breed of small scent hound with an intelligent, determined, gentle temperament. This breed is the 5th most popular breed worldwide and in the top 20 of the most popular breeds in the Redlands.
But did you know the word ‘Beagle’ is also used as a verb!
Being scent hounds, they are also known for being stubborn and require very patient and creative training techniques. They are also very food motivated and they really enjoy using their noses.
Elsa is a 5 year old Beagle and started her training at RDOC in Obedience classes as we all do. She excelled through the classes and her owner, Vicki was teaching her lots of tricks which she also learnt very quickly. Learning these tricks would keep her inquisitive mind busy……………… you would think! But Elsa had other ideas.
She has learnt to move chairs so that she can climb onto the bench to steal food.
She has burrowed into the mattress of Vicki’s bed.
Opened the pantry and eaten coffee sachets.
Elsa can easily get into a container with dry dog food. If it has a clip on lid, she simply unclips it. If it has a screw top lid, still no problem, Elsa has learnt to unscrew a lid using her dexterous paws and mouth.
She has been to the vet numerous times for eating chocolates which she stole from high up on cupboards and from handbags.
And most recently, she has learnt to climb ladders!!
Elsa started in Agility classes a few years ago and is now successfully competing in Masters and Open level.
However, in the early stages, Karen D, our agility instructor, was not going to be out-beagled by this beagle. Elsa was showing her stubborn streak and would not jump. Karen was very patient and would not give up. She set up barriers, which ended up stretching to metres wide but Elsa would still go around rather than take the simple option. Her owner wanted to melt into the ground in embarrassment….but Karen would not be outdone It took a bit of time, but eventually, Elsa went over the jump. and she has never tried to out stubborn Karen again! Vicki has taken Elsa to other agility training clubs and was basically told, she’s a beagle, can’t train a beagle for agility.
Vicki with a lot of help from the agility team has proved them wrong.
However, Elsa is still a Beagle and every now and then she does go full Beagle. Vicki never knows what dog she will have on the day
Elsa doesn’t like running in the heat, or in the rain, or if there are prickles, or during her nap time, which is most of the day time. Conditions have to be perfect and when it does suit her she runs brilliantly.
Some Recent Elsa moments:
- At an Agility Trial, Vicki felt Elsa was not quite herself as her belly looked full although Vicki had not given her anything to eat. But Elsa must have eaten something that did not agree with her. She did feel a lot better after she relieved herself, but unfortunately, it happened on the Agility course!
- An Agility trial at Durack running in the rain –Elsa ran to the shelter to keep dry.
- Elsa loves the contact equipment and will run full speed if she knows the A frame and Dog Walk are on the course, but will then lose interest and slow down once these are done.
- Elsa will sometimes stop mid-course to follow a scent trail. Once she has detected an interesting odour nothing else exists in her brain.
- At another trial at Oxley Elsa ran really well and gained her Excellent Jumping Title…..but broke out of her crate while Vicki was walking the next course. She ate all the chicken treats from Vicki’s bag, as well as Vicki’s leftover hot chips and the aioli that came with it! Then went to the next-door camp looking for more food. So when she went to run her agility course she could hardly move, she did the weave poles then dropped on her side and didn’t want to get up. This was after a lady had said “I can’t believe you have a beagle doing agility, can I film it for my sister?” Elsa’s jumping was great, but Vicki later heard the lady on the phone to her sister saying, ‘yep, she is definitely a Beagle, you won’t believe what she has just done!”
- Then there was the time Elsa turned on the cooker as she grabbed Vicki’s bag from the counter while home alone and almost burnt the house down. This one was quite serious, so luckily not too much damage and Elsa & the house were ok, but there was a badly burnt bag and a house full of smoke.
Thanks so much for sharing these stories with us Vicki.