When was the last time you felt guilty and sad after leaving your dog alone at home? If you have a beagle as your pet, chances are this happens more often than you’d like to remember. Beagle separation anxiety is a sad and challenging reality that most beagle parents have to face.
Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds across the planet. With their long floppy ears and adorable sparkling eyes, beagles can quickly hypnotize you with their charm. But whether you have a tiny pup or an adult dog at home, beagles are extremely prone to separation anxiety.
Your pooch might start whining as soon as your alarm clock rings in the morning. Or they might frantically pace up and down the hallway when they find you getting ready for work. Worse still, they might resort to relentless barking and even self-harm when left alone at home.
Various factors, including genetics, make beagle separation anxiety a prevalent yet serious problem for dog parents. The good news is that there are various ways to change this behavior in your canine companion. From creating a safe space at home to using positive reinforcement techniques – helping your beagle cope with separation anxiety isn’t rocket science.
In this blog, we will take a look at the common symptoms of beagle separation anxiety and ways to deal with it. But let us first take a closer look at the concept of canine separation anxiety.
- What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
- Why Do Beagles Get Separation Anxiety?
- Signs of Separation Anxiety in Beagles
- How to Help Beagles with Separation Anxiety?
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
Simply put, canine separation anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder in dogs that is triggered when they are left alone. Typically, it happens when a dog is deprived of the company of their favorite human or guardian. Whether you go to your workplace or school, chances are you have noticed various signs of separation anxiety in your dog at some point in time.
If your pooch starts whimpering, drooling, or pacing the moment they realize you are about to leave home, they are likely experiencing separation anxiety. Likewise, dogs with separation anxiety tend to exhibit destructive and aggressive behavior whenever they are left alone. Other common signs of canine separation anxiety include urinating or defecating in the house.
The cause of separation anxiety often stems from your pooch’s fear of being abandoned. Or it could be an outcome of not training them at the right age to become self-reliant. Alternatively, separation anxiety is often exacerbated by major changes in a dog’s life, such as:
- Change of ownership
- Shifting to another home
- Death of a human family member
- Being on their own for the first time
- Disruption in their daily routine
Apart from damaging your dog’s physical and mental health, as well as your home, canine separation anxiety can also take a toll on you. You might find it extremely painful to leave your furry friend at home before going to the office. Also, it can interfere with routine activities, such as running errands and going out with your friends.
While separation anxiety is fairly prevalent in dogs, it is even more common in beagles. But what is it that makes beagles more predisposed to this anxiety disorder? Let’s find out.
Why Do Beagles Get Separation Anxiety?
Beagles are known to be one of the most intelligent and energetic dog breeds in the world. It isn’t surprising considering that these dogs were specifically bred for hunting wild game. This, in turn, makes it their natural instinct to be a part of a pack.
When you bring a beagle home, they gradually start considering you and your family members to be a part of their pack. They want to spend most of their time surrounded by their favorite humans. This, in turn, exasperates their feelings of abandonment and isolation whenever you leave them alone at home, even if it is for just a few hours.
Moreover, beagles tend to get bored fairly easily because of their elevated energy levels. This, in turn, can send them into a frenzy of chewing, pacing, and barking when they are left on their own. This is why beagle separation anxiety is one of the leading causes of concern among people who bring home these floppy-eared furry companions.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t make sense for you to be at home round-the-clock just because you have a pet beagle. Instead, you have to use the right training techniques to minimize aggressive and anxious behavior in your pooch. But first, you need to keep an eye out for the common symptoms of beagle separation anxiety.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Beagles
Image via Beagle Training
The first step of dealing with separation anxiety in beagles is to determine whether your canine companion is exhibiting any telling signs and symptoms. Identifying the signs at the right time will, in turn, help you implement suitable preventive measures. Let’s take a look at the typical signs of beagle separation anxiety.
In most cases, your pooch will start whining and whimpering the moment they realize you are planning to go out. This could even be triggered by slight hints, such as the sound of your alarm clock or the jingling of your car keys. Alternatively, your beagle might start whining when you dress up to go out.
Pacing up and down is another common symptom of beagle separation anxiety. Typically, your pooch will start showing this symptom whenever they get any subtle hint that you are going to leave the house. This could be accompanied by restlessness and panting. If your usually calm and peaceful dog starts showing these symptoms, it indicates that they are experiencing separation anxiety.
Your canine companion may not bark in your presence. However, once they are left alone, they might break into a frantic fit of loud barking, growling, or howling. The best way to identify this symptom is to ask your neighbors or landlord whether they have heard your beagle incessantly bark in your absence.
Aggressive behavior is fairly common in dogs with separation anxiety. In most beagles, this aggression manifests itself in the form of chewing. If your dog starts biting and chewing on anything in their sight, including furniture, shoes, clothes, etc., it is an indicator of separation anxiety. This is often accompanied by excessive drooling. Some dogs also tend to chew on their paws, thus causing injury and infection.
5. Escape Attempts
Your dog might make desperate attempts to get out of their room or the main door. This, in turn, can result in serious injuries. Thus, separation anxiety doesn’t just take a toll on your furry best friend’s mental health. It can also cause serious physical harm if your dog tries to jump out of a window or onto a piece of glass furniture in an attempt to escape from its surroundings.
How to Help Beagles with Separation Anxiety?
But there is plenty of light at the end of the beagle separation anxiety tunnel. You just have to use the right techniques to help your pooch cope with loneliness, fear, and boredom. The most effective technique is to design a secure and personalized space for your beagle.
The last thing you want is for your dog to roam around the entire house coming across one empty room after another. It can aggravate their feelings of loss and abandonment. That’s why it is a good idea to create a gated area for your dog. Fill it with their favorite toys and belonging to make the space look homely.
Next, make sure you provide them with plenty of drinking water and food. You can get a self-dispensing water bowl to prevent the liquid from spilling while your dog jumps and barks. Also, you should consider getting food-releasing toys, such as Kongs, to keep your pooch busy while you are away. The ideal food for such situations is a generous helping of peanut butter mixed with some dry kibble.
Additionally, you should use training by association to minimize the negative emotions your dog might feel while you are going out. For instance, if your dog gets anxious when your alarm rings every morning, try randomly ringing the alarm whenever you are spending time with them. Give them a treat and pat them on the back every time the alarm rings. This will help your pooch develop positive feelings towards the sound of the alarm and in turn, ease their separation anxiety. Many vets recommend using Valerian Root to calm your beagles.
Also, you should be careful about hugging and cuddling your dog. As a ground-rule, you should remain neutral before leaving home and right after coming back. Showering your dog with hugs and kisses during these times can further exasperate their separation anxiety. If you are going to be away for the entire day, you could consider asking a friend, neighbor, or family member to drop in and take your pooch out for some playtime.
It’s also a good idea to take your dog out for a short walk before you leave. It will help them burn some of the excess energy, thus preventing them from going on a chewing spree when you leave. You should consider developing a daily exercise routine for your dog as well. It can help control their aggression and let you spend more quality time with them.
Beagles are extremely energetic and intelligent and prefer to hang out in packs. This is precisely what triggers beagle separation anxiety when they are left alone. You can, however, use various effective techniques to manage their anxiety. Start by creating a dedicated and contained space for them. Also, use positive reinforcement and training by association to help them associate positive feelings with your leaving home.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we will explore some of the most common questions pet parents want to ask about beagle separation anxiety. Let’s get started.
At What Point Should You Start Preparing Your Dog for Separation Anxiety?
You can start training your dog to be on their own when they are between three and six months of age. The earlier you start, the easier the transition is going to be. Start by leaving your pooch alone for a few hours and gradually increase the duration.
Is Handling Separation Anxiety Different for a Puppy vs. Dog?
Both puppies and adult dogs experience separation anxiety. However, they exhibit widely varied symptoms. For instance, puppies might resort to whining and crying when left alone. On the other hand, fully grown dogs tend to be more aggressive and vocal. Therefore, the management of separation anxiety will depend on how old your dog is.
What Things Do Owners Do Most Often When They Are Trying to Help?
The biggest mistake the dog parents make is to smother their pooch with affection right before leaving and after coming back. Instead of calming your dog, it only intensifies their feeling of loneliness and abandonment and makes them more anxious.
Do Beagles Bark When Left Alone?
Yes. Beagles tend to bark vociferously when you leave them alone. This is because they are inherently used to being in packs and can’t deal with being on their own. Excessive barking could be a coping mechanism or their way of getting your attention.
How Often Should You Walk a Beagle?
It is a good idea to ensure that your beagle gets proper exercise every day. This is crucial because beagles are extremely energetic and might engage in excessive and destructive behavior to release pent-up energy. So, make sure you take them out for a walk once every day for about an hour.
Are Beagles Food Aggressive?
Despite their adorable faces, beagles tend to be extremely possessive about food. This is because their perception of food is something that is only available for a short while and, therefore, needs to be finished at the earliest. This behavior originates from the ingrained nature of being hunting dogs.