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Adopted a 4 y/o Beagle mix...separation anxiety

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    Adopted a 4 y/o Beagle mix...separation anxiety

    So I adopted the cutest overweight beagle mix on Saturday! He is just a total love and not sure why his previous peeps gave him up. We are his 3rd or 4th family according to the shelter, as he keeps getting returned. We think he is a beagle/black tan hound mix. Anyway, new home with a fresh start.

    It’s been a little over 2 years since my chocolate lab passed and been awhile since I dealt with doggie issues. Help please.

    He has a bit of separation anxiety which I expected, He has only been in our home for two days after being left. I left the room to use the bathroom and he tracked my to the bathroom in a panic. He sleeps in his crate with door open and door closed so far quietly and when he wants quiet time. At night he sleeps in a dog bed beside our bed.

    Currently he gets lots of outside time including scent time in a big field away from neighbors for an hour in the morning and evening, so he can bay and do his scent hound thing. During the day we walk him every couple hours for a brisk 20 minute walk. No running till he looses some weight. He’s around 35ish lbs now and should be around 22-25 lbs. He is 90% on a leash, the first day was awful, but now I have a good heel and consistent response to sit, leave it, find it..

    He didn’t eat the first day, but started eating and playing with his toy that rolls and drops kibble yesterday. He’s had no accidents in the house and sleeps all night like a dead person. He’s great with the kids and loves belly scratches, just a chill little guy as long as his people are around.

    I want to nip this separation anxiety in the bud and not even let him get used to or mindset of howling in his crate so any supplements, treat ideas, tricks, training methods that have been helpful...... please share. Help me keep my new snuggle bug a good citizen.

    Attached Files
    "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten

    OP, it sounds like you are already doing pretty much all of the right things (good on ya for adopting this fellow!) so what would be helpful would be a separation anxiety "protocol"; I am a broken record in recommending Patricia McConnell's great books - and she has one on SA called I'll Be Home Soon (Amazon, 7 or 8$)

    If you follow the specific recommendations you should see a lot of progress in a few weeks.

    Best of luck!
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


      I'm not sure I think he has separation anxiety at all. He's only been in your house for 2 days, of course he is still on high alert about being "left" but I would not try to fix this yet. I don't think I would deliberately try to change his behavior for at least a week; preferably two weeks. You might find that he settles in just fine and does not look for you.

      It sounds like he has a lot of attributes that will help - the fact that he uses a crate already is a big help. I feed my dogs in their crates and also crate them if I leave the house. To train them for that, they always eat in their crates so they are associated with happy things....and I also give them bully slices etc., in their crates although you probably don't want to feed those (yet) if he's overweight.

      Maybe place a second crate in a busier area where you can feed him...and shut the door on the crate while he is eating. At this point I would probably not leave the area while he is eating, so he doesn't associate that crate with anything negative. But eventually I would work up to leaving his sight for a short period of time, then extending it little by little. And the crate can be another 'safe place' that he can be when you are not around.


        He needs time. For the first month after adopting from a shelter I expect nothing from the dog. I get them into a routine (feeding time, potty breaks, crate at nighttime or when I'd leave, etc.) and stick to it. I don't take them anywhere or do much with them. I give them time to settle in with no expectations.

        i'm on #2 & #3 right now. My first rescue was a disaster the first month as was my second (both were in shelters over three months - both were basically big, black, out of control, and unadoptable). My third was a little easier. Everyone would have said separation anxiety too but no - they needed a routine and to know they finally had a home. With all three it was like a lightbulb went off after about a month or so. They knew they were safe and any "separation anxiety" went away. All three turned into awesome dogs.

        Give him time, get him into a quiet routine, don't expect anything from him for now. He'll come around.
        "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


          Congratulations on taking the little guy.

          Sounds like generalized "ANXIETY" right now. Others have givn you great advice about routine and instilling confidence
          in the little guy. Talk to him whenever you're around, nice calm talk.

          Also something that helped my high high anxiety rescue was a Thunder Shirt. It really worked for Thunderstorms so
          I believe it would work for this. My dog liked it cause she felt snuggled and safe. And she was a basket case the first
          month or two. Then the anxiety slowly went away.

          Also while dieting and getting into shape, it wouldn't hurt to give a good multi vit/mineral supplement. Just like in humans,
          anxiety causes an unnatural depletion of certain vit/min and hormones.

          Thank you for taking on a little throwaway critter. They so desperately need our help.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


            I don't have any advice, but he's freakin' adorable!

            Hounds have no equal when it comes to mastering the "poor me" pathetic expression, which is probably why he's overweight....


              What a cute chonker! I'm a sucker for hounds!

              I agree with the others - sounds like he just needs some time to adjust. I always refer to the 3 days, 3 week, 3 month rule. Does he follow you everywhere? Give him another week and then maybe start introducing short sessions of alone time and build them up. Make sure your not giving him constant attention or attention when he whines.


                I think of a dog new to a household like I think about people going to a job interview or to their first days at a new job:

                there is alot of natural anxiety as you have no idea what to expect, how to act, what peoples' expectations of you are, if they are a nice boss of a screamer,....
                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                  OP, yes - agree with the others that he will need more time!, but he has obviously strongly latched on to you (first port in the storm), and what S1969 said about making the crate a VERY pleasant place to be so he associates it with reward/ food and not with "punishment/jail" and the worst!! separation from you, his "safe place" - especially if and when you have to leave him. Yes, feed him in there.

                  Good that he is already relaxed in there!

                  Many dogs are on their best behavior during the honeymoon period, but they can also become a bit obsessively attached to the ONE person who first interacted most with them. Nipping this in the bud will be helpful - as well as establishing rules and training commands now so that he learns to self-regulate. Training is calming for the brain, and will help him develop a sense of security since he will know exactly what to do and how to get the things he wants - including attention from you (a huge "prize" and resource that he can earn), so start making him work for everything and being consistent with your rules and expectations.

                  Of course the downside to this ^^^ is that it will bond him even more strongly to you
                  "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                  "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


                    Original Poster

                    Figured I owed an update since we are past the honeymoon period. Now we are in the "what did I get myself into" period.

                    He's quite a handful, but thank heavens he is cute and still potty trained. We are his 4th home in 4 years though.

                    He is still a total snuggle bug and sweet as pie. I'm currently on his shit list for putting in meds to treat his ear infection. Oh well, at least he will feel better soon.

                    He obsessively likes to sniff (tracking) and bark on a leash, like looses his mind and becomes a nightmare. His brain disappears and he becomes hyper focused on that one task. Its almost like when my autistic kid focuses on his favorite thing. Today was probably the worst day we have ever had on a leash. Two steps forward and one big step back. Its going to take time to figure out this and how to redirect this behavior.

                    He is not super food motivated at all or toys. I've tried chicken, steak, salami, peanut butter, lamb, freeze dried liver, and a plethora of other treat options. He eats them all inside but none are motivating enough outside to catch his attention. He is not a consistent kibble eater, my husband picked out Fromm Gold with help from our local dog store and a 33 lb bag at that. We are going to buy a couple small bags of different options..recommendations welcome. He has already been to the vet and pulled blood work, checked teeth, and general physical. Blood work results come back Monday, we did a full panel.

                    And he is a compulsive barker. Like really bad..he barks more than my dads hounds, seriously. We take him on multiple walks a day averaging 3-4 miles on weekdays and 5 to 6ish miles on the weekend and that helps, but he sits at the window and will bark at nothing, so I keep him on a leash by my side while I'm working or need him to just chill. People are his security blanket it seems. He has a clear bedtime at 9 PM and is awake around 8 AM.

                    We haven't left him alone yet other than he being in the house and we are in the garage. And he is staying in his crate quietly for 30ish minutes while I vacuum or clean up somewhere and can't watch him. Vet gave us a light tranquilizer to help him in his crate on Tuesday, since its my kids graduation and its his first time alone. Plus one to give him when we go back in a couple weeks for a 2nd dose of lyme and xrays of his lungs.. He has a wheeze I want investigated.

                    But thankfully he loves my kids and is a bright light in our day, he definitely keeps the kids busy with his antics. So once everything opens up, we can have a trainer come and see his issues in person, we tried a virtual session and that was a waste. As on a leash in the house...he's great.

                    "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten


                      I think all new dogs come with a "what did I get myself into" phase. Hopefully you can stick it out and come out with a better dog on the other side. At least you've got his good points to help you see the potential. I got one at six months old, with the typical energy of a totally untrained six month old. She turned out to be the best dog I'll probably ever have. I have another one I got at 1 year old with a host of issues. Eight years later, she still has some of those issues, but is a sweet dog and generally a pleasure to have around the house. Now I'm a week into having a brand new puppy, and that has its challenges as well. I'd by lying if I said I haven't thought "what did I get myself into" at least once this past week.

                      My 9 year old barks way more than I'd like, and I have thought about a bark collar for her. However, one of her issues is being scared of being hit or stepped on, or any action she finds threatening (even after 8 years of being treated well). I would think that a bark collar could not be used on a dog like her. Maybe it's a possibility for your beagle. I've never actually used one.


                        I have a rescue dog Mojo, who took more than one year to get settled. First, we had a problem with eating, then destructive behavior when left alone and compulsive barking. He seemed fine when someone is home. Little by little he seemed comfortable with his new home. He had a lot of chewing toys available, staffed Kongs, but I think the time did the job. Every rescue has his story and can be a handful. Once he becomes confident being in his home and guardians he will be fine.


                          Like Sonic, I've had my new dog, Ruby a month shy of a year now, and man has she made leaps and bounds forward interns of learning and remembering "tricks".
                          Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014