aggressive beagle help?

Posted by Blue61
Mar 3, 2010
I just adopted a 5yr. old beagle who is overweight.He is very aggressive w/ food and toys which I will be working on that w/ him.My biggest concern right now is that if he puts his front paws on the kitchen counter or dining room table (which have no food on them by the way) I can not get him to get down with out him bareing his teeth and growling.I have to admit he has me scared to try and correct him.He is fine w/ other dogs and quite friendly w/ people.I just do not know how to start the training process with him. I have only had him a week but he seems to be adjusting fine otherwise.Any suggestions on this would be appreciated.
Posted by DogsInShanghai
Mar 3, 2010
Hi Blue61,

try training him, the "leave it" command, by letting him figure out that he can get it faster if he is not wanting it.

it works like that: put a treat into your hand, your dog will try and get it, as soon as he looks away, backs away from it or just stops trying to get it, give it to him, he will understand latest in 3-5mins that he has to back away to get the treat. then add the word "away" or "leave it", whatever you want, and the second he looks away, say "leave it". then you have to start opening your hand and close it if he goes for it, then move the treat to the floor, then further away, then longer....... if you are afraid he might bite you, put the treat on the floor, ware shoes and step on the treat. he will get it quite soon, if you say "leave it" and he sits or backs off, then he will get the treat faster. in order to train it well, you need to be creative about the situations, on the counter for example put it out of his distance (but make sure he definetly cannot reach it) as soon as you tell him "leave it" and he backs off even if he just looks away at the beginning) give him a treat.

Important is that you immediatly start putting the alpha principles in place with your dog, because he seems to be dominant.
also start obidience training 2 times a day, doesnt have to be long (sit stay, down, sit before you cross the streat, before he goes out ....)

good practice: call him, let him sit, stroke him, (treat him if you feel like) say finishing command, like ok and send him away.
dont stroke or give him food if he hasnt performed something you wanted , like sit, for him even better, down, since it is the most submissive gesture for a dog.

I am not a dogtrainer, this is just advise what i have read and tried, especially the "i dont pet you, unless you behave, you cant do anything, unless you behave" to get the dominance out of my dog.

hope it helps, good luck!
Posted by Blue61
Mar 3, 2010
Thank you Dogs in Shanghai for your valueable insight. My biggest problem is that me and my wife are worried about him biting us when we try to have him get down. having a treat in our hand or under our foot seems a bit risky at this time. Has I stated there is absoultely nothing on the counters or table, it is completely empty we just don't want our new dining set scratched. Plus this is totally unacceptable behavoir. I am looking for ideas on how to get him down without giving him a chance to bite. Thanks in advance to anyone who has suggestions.
Posted by kjd
Mar 3, 2010

While you are in the house and can supervise him, I'd have your beagle wear a rope attached to his collar -- the rope should not have projections on it that might catch on something, as the loop in a lead would. Then, when the dog puts his paws on the counter or table, I'd give a sharp jerk TO THE SIDE, telling him "Off!" in a growly-type voice. Once his front feet hit the floor, give him a "good boy" and toss a small treat near him.

The rope gives you distance, so you won't fear being bitten. It also gives you leverage to get him moving off the table. Don't jerk backwards, as you might hurt his spine. Don't get angry, just praise him once he has four on the floor. The only down-side I see to this is his claws may scratch the table.

BTW, if you use DogInShangai's method of teaching "leave it" or "off," please note he DID warn you to wear shoes. If your beagle bites while you have your foot over a treat, it is your shoes that will get the teeth, not you.

Let us know how it goes,
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 3, 2010
Hi Blue61,

Thank you for adopting the Beagle but can I ask you where you adopted the dog from? If it is an organization, they should have provided some behavioral consultation, or they shouldn't have adopted out a dog with food aggression.

Unless you are rather familiar with this kind of problem or are very determined to correct his behavior, I would suggest you return the dog before he bites you or your wife, or anybody else.

If you are determined to keep the dog and willing to work with his issue, I would suggest you wear a heavy glove to protect your hand and start hand-feeding him. While you are afraid of the dog, he is afraid of you too.

I think the first thing you woud need to do is to obtain his trust. Show him that YOU are the one who gives him food and shelter, as well as loving care. Through my experience of fostering dogs, they can amazingly sense your commitment. When I don't like the dog very much (because of, for example, not potty trained and wet the carpet all the time, etc.) and see him as a pain he can sense my unwillingness for taking care of him. On the other hand, when I commit myself to accept him as he is and become willing to work on the issue with him, he start trusting me and become more cooperative. Once he trusts you, you can just tell him "Uh uh" when he is about to put his paws on the table. He will respect your commands better. Right now, I am afraid he doesn't know who you are and why he has to listen to you.

Also, while you are worried about the new dining set, he has no idea if it's brand new or old. Because he is so overweight I assume his previous owner have fed him table foods all the time. To him putting his paws on the table or counter was something that he was allowed to do at his previous home. You can limit the area where he can be until he gets used to you and your wife and your home too.

It will take a while but obtaining his trust will be the key to fix his problems and to make him a happy and healthy, and trustworthy dog in the end.

Please keep in mind that returning him to the organization is always an option. He might need more experienced owner, who knows how to handle those dogs without getting hurt.