Hello, thanks for visiting. Let's take a look at how to help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety.
Whether you work or just need to leave the house to run errands or take the kids to school, there will be times when you have to leave your Beagle at home on his own.
A Beagle suffering from separation anxiety may bay, howl or bark uncontrollably, destroy property, and pee or defecate around the house. In severe cases, your dog may to great lengths to try to escape even injuring himself in the process.
A Beagle with true separation anxiety is not just a dog that follows you around or becomes unhappy when you go out but then goes about his own business. This is a dog that is unable to gain control or have the self-confidence to play on his own. Waiting for his owner to return home can be absolutely torturous.
Your dog's unruly behavior is not to spite you, and any punishment is likely to be ineffective, uncalled for, and will only make your problem worse. He's panicked about his own survival without you, there to protect him.
It’s no fun for him, either; dogs live in the moment, and the periods that you are gone are long and frightening.
A dog suffering from SD is unlikely to overcome the behavior without your help.It's your responsibility to seek solutions to help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety rather than just “getting rid of” the dog.
If you help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety.. successfully helping him overcome his fears, you won't only protect your property from harm, you will improve the quality of your dog’s life and perhaps save him having to be put down.
Since you won't be with your Beagle while he's experiencing this distress, you may hear about some of the issues from your neighbors or realize what's been going on as you approach your front door.
Setting up a video cam and recording your dog's behavior when you're away will give a more accurate picture.
Separation anxiety could be the reason for your dogs excessive barking and howling, or the behavior could be the result of street sounds, strangers passing on the street, other dogs barking, or the sound of passing vehicles.
Your dog may become frustrated when you start preparing to leave. Whining usually occurs as you are getting ready to leave the house and the dog realizes he is going to be left alone. Some dogs even try to prevent their guardians from leaving.
This is the number one symptom. A Beagle puppy may bark to the point of exhaustion. This kind of baying or howling will be persistent and is triggered by being left alone.
Obsessive pacing may last for hours. Some beagles move around in circular patterns, while others simply choose a path and walk back and forth.
Destructive chewing, digging, and general destruction. A Beagle puppy or dog may chew everything and anything within reach in order to relieve the stress.
These dogs often chew on the door frame, or window sills, dig at doorways or destroy household property when left alone by their owners. This behavior may result in cut or scraped paws, broken teeth or damaged nails.
A Beagle in emotional distress may frantically try to escape from an area where he's confined. This can include trying to jump over walls, dig under fences, or squeeze under gates.
Some dogs pee or defecate when left alone. If your dog does this when you're home then the behavior probably is not because the dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
Your Beagle may begin to pant, pace, and whine when he notices you're applying makeup, putting on your shoes and a jacket, or picking up a briefcase or the car keys.
You can change up your departure signals so that the dog does not have time to get stressed before your departure. Put your keys in your pocket when you take him out for his walk. Leave your coat near the front door and put it in as you're walking out the door.
One approach to “pre-departure anxiety” is to teach your dog that when you pick up your keys or put on your jacket, it doesn’t always mean that you’re leaving.
Defuse your departure routine by also doing them when you're not leaving. Pick up the car keys sit down and relax on the couch watching television.
Putting on your jacket and leaving followed by an immediate return, gets your dog to see the trigger in a different light – the jacket doesn’t always mean that you are going to leave for a long period of time.
It's way easier for your anxious dog to cope with your leaving if there's not too much fuss. Make leaving and arriving back routine and unexciting. No big hug and kissing farewells.
When saying goodbye, simply pat your dog on the head, say goodbye and leave.If he gets excited and jumps all over you when you come back, ignore him. Turn your back on him and walk off. Do not pet your dog until he's calmed down.
It may help to distract your dog by asking him to do a few simple things he’s already learned, like SIT, DOWN, or SHAKE.
Helpful tip: If you give your dog too much affection, it may make him even more stressed, especially if he’s a rescue. Let your dog come to you when he’s good and ready.
Take your dog on a brisk walk before you leave the house. End your exercise sessions 20 minutes before you leave, so he has time to settle down.
A good strategy to help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety is to start to building short absences into your training routine.
Begin by leaving the room for a few minutes, and then slowly increase the time you’re out of your dog’s sight.
Make sure that your dog is completely relaxed after each short separation before you leave again. If you leave while your dog is still excited about your return, he will be less able to tolerate the next separation, and this could make your problem worse rather than help solve it.
Deciding when to increase the time your dog is alone can be difficult, and many pet owners make the error of exposing their dogs to periods alone that are too long. This provokes anxiety and makes the problem worse.
To avoid this mistake, watch for signs of stress in your dog.These signs will include panting, trembling, yawning, pacing and overzealous greeting.
If you find your dog is stressed back up and shorten the length of your departures to a point where your dog can relax again.
Then begin again at that level and progress a bit more slowly.
You want to spend enough time to build up to 40-minute absences because most of your dog’s anxious behavior will happen within the first 40 minutes of your leaving.
When your Beagle can stand 40 minutes away from you, you can increase absences by larger periods until your dog can be alone for 90 minutes without getting stressed out. After that, he will probably handle four to eight hours.
This training can be completed successfully in three weeks if you conduct training sessions over the weekends and twice a day through the week.
A Beagle struggling from separation anxiety often don't do well if they are left with the whole house to themselves. Too much space to roam around in will increases his feelings of isolation.
I don't advocate crating your dog! For most dogs, the crate causes added stress and anxiety. Try confining your dog to the kitchen or living room behind a baby gate.
Some Beagles do better if they can see out the windows because they don't feel as confined.
Leaving Comfort Items and Background Music on for Your Dog
Some behavior specialists believe leaving lights and a television or radio on during your owner’s absence will help make the transition easier. Trust me, if your dog really suffers from separation anxiety and isn’t just bored, the extra noise won’t help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety.
It' not fair to ask a puppy or adolescent dog to stay at home on his own for 4 to 8 hours; he needs to be able to get outside to relieve himself during the day.
Your dog can learn to be alone for part of the day, but if you need to be away for longer than 6-8 hours, take him with you to work if that's possible.
Ask a relative or a neighbor to let the dog out during the day or hire a dog walker to walk him and play with him. (Daycare option are for slightly older dogs.)
Consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to be sure you’re on the right path - and to help you explore the possibilities of using anti-anxiety medications.
Medication can be very helpful, especially in severe cases of separation disorder. Sometimes a dog may be so stressed out that it becomes impossible to help a beagle overcome separation anxiety without the help of medication. Reconcile works well for some dogs, and Clomicalm works better for others.
Dogs suffering from SD usually need a combination of medication and behavior modification.
Food dispenser toys or chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone.
For dogs suffering from separation anxiety, you need to focus on getting your dog to associate being alone with good things. To encourage this kind of association, every time you leave the house, offer your dog a treat dispenser toy that will take him at least half an hour to finish.
Try giving your dog a food dispenser toy stuffed with something really tasty, spray cheese, peanut butter, or cottage cheese. Unfortunately, that this approach will only work for milder cases of separation anxiety because a highly anxious dog usually won’t eat when their owners aren’t home.
I'm often asked if getting a second dog will help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety? Not really! I have seen cases where the addition of a second dog was a total disaster where both dogs fed off of each other’s anxiety. There's no way to know in advance what will happen if another dog is added to the mix.
Have you ever had to help a Beagle overcome separation anxiety? If you would care to share your journey please use the comment box below this post.