In winter weather Beanie and Biggles no longer have free access to the garden, so by way of compensation we’ve been spicing up their walks and giving them more play sessions. They’re loving it, but something we’ve been doing – possibly the “Beagle-Cross” or maybe the short off-lead recall sessions on the beach – has reawakened the mischievous gremlins within our Beagles. In the last few weeks we’ve lost a couple of pillows, a unusually high number of socks have developed unwanted ventilation holes, and some of our gloves have become fingerless.
Those photos might lead you to believe that Biggles is the naughtiest of the two, but that’s not the case; he’s just the least accomplished at scarpering from the scene of the crime before we arrive. Nope, Beanie’s the criminal mastermind! She’s smart enough to take advantage of moments of opportunity, then quickly leg it when she’s about to be discovered. For example, if we get distracted by the sound of Biggles rolling around in the corridor with a glove he’s just nicked, she’ll have her snout stuck in a cup or be pilfering stuff from my desk in a flash. Between them it sometimes feels like we’ve got a house full of Beagles instead of just two.
Three Beanies to two Biggleses. Yep, that ratio feels about right..
And yet, for all that, they can be remarkably well behaved when they want to – which is pretty much whenever there’s food at stake. Here’s a quick clip of the current breakfast time routine:
This short exercise is kind of a fusion of various training ideas. Obviously self-control is always a good thing for a Beagle, while hand-feeding is supposed to underline the position of the humies at the top of the pile (since they control the food). The “pushing” thing – making the dog push against a hand on the chest, comes from so-called “natural training” and is supposed to teach the dog to turn to their owner in times of excitement/stress. As a side-effect, this routine also seems to be making Beanie more accepting of cuddles and kisses, and as you can see Biggles’ tail does a fair job of sweeping the floor too.