Beagles have a tendency to emit a high-pitched howl whenever they feel strong emotions like the thrill of the hunt or loneliness for its master. To prevent it from rattling your ears, you need to teach your beagle not to howl.
Here are the steps to teaching your beagle not to howl.
- Reprimand him when he begins howling. Repeat saying, "NO!" with a firm voice while staring directly at him. Direct eye contact establishes your dominance over him in the pack hierarchy, making him likelier to obey you. You may also choose another single-word command, like “Quiet!”, but make sure to use this word consistently. When he stops howling, reward him with a treat and lavish praise.
- Surprise him with a loud noise to startle him out of howling. An alarm or clapping near his face will surprise him and make him stop howling. Continue exposing him to this unpleasant but harmless treatment until he stops howling. If the beagle persists, use louder and louder forms of distraction to startle him. Take note, however, that he may learn to only howl in your absence.
- Remove as many reasons for his howling as you can. Get rid of unwanted pests within your house if they are causing aggravation in your dog, or provide a companion for him to prevent him from getting lonely. If the causes are beyond your control, list them down and track the dates, times and conditions when they occur. When you anticipate these causes again, distract the dog with activities that will take his mind off howling, such as playing or grooming.
- Be consistent in your training. Make sure you thwart all his howling without your vicinity. Reacting irregularly will confuse as to what you want and will be able to connect your training efforts to his noise. You should also enlist the members of your household to reprimand him when he howls in their presence.
- Consider neutering the beagle. An un-neutered eagle will be more likely to howl as compared to neutered or female beagles. Take him to the vet before he develops the habit so that you won’t have the problem of him continuing it after neutering.
- Consider using an anti-bark collar. An anti-bark collar is a collar attached with a device that deals a small amount of punishment whenever a dog barks, such as a slight shock or ultrasonic noise attuned to dog hearing. This device works equally well for howling and does not hurt the dog, only annoy him. You may purchase the collar at major pet stores all over the country or online.
- Consider owning another breed of dog. While some beagles never develop the habit or howling, others will never be cured of it. A more quiet breed of dog may be more suited to your delicate ears or sensitive neighborhood.
Start anti-howling treatment as soon as you detect him developing this habit. The earlier he grows out of it, the less difficult it is to train him.