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Barking

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jess1, Dec 29, 2019.


  1. Jess1

    Jess1 PetForums Newbie

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    New to the forum but I’ve read a few posts and I’m looking for some advice.
    We rehomed a 9 year old beagle about 6 months ago. He was in the shelter due to his last owners passing away. He was in the shelter for around 2 months. He is a very well behaved dog. He listens to commands, is house trained and great with the kids. However we are having problems when we leave. It seems he was suffering with separation anxiety. He was scratching at the doors, knocking things over and barking a lot. We seem to have tackled the scratching and destruction however the barking is still a problem. I’ve tried leaving him behind a gate in the kitchen with us still being in the house and he barks then so when we are out of the house apparently he barks non stop. Our neighbours have complained three times and it’s really starting to cause problems. He never ever barks when we are in the house, loud noises, people coming in, getting excited, nothing makes him bark when we are here. I’ve tried leaving a radio on, putting some of our clothes in his bed, leaving him in different rooms of the house, he has access to his bed and bowls at all times and we don’t usually leave him for long periods of time but nothing seems to be stopping the barking.
    Does anyone have any tips or suggestions.

    thanks in advance
     
  2. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum. And well done on taking on this relatively old chap. I’ve not owned a Beagle but I do think they’re lovely dogs.
    It’s not clear to me how you've stopped the scratching and knocking things over. However,...
    Beagles are very pack-oriented dogs so they can be more prone to separation anxiety than some other breeds. But, that’s not to say the problem cannot be overcome. The need is to train him to get used to you coming and going. What have you done to date, if anything? (No implicit criticisms here , so if the answer is “nothing” beyond what you listed, that’s fine!). What do you do before you leave? What do you do when you return? It is important to try and avoid any routine. If the last thing you do is put on your shoes and pick up your car keys, he will recognise the signs and begin to get stressed. So, avoid setting any routine. Get him used to you putting your shoes on and staying, picking your car keys up and then sitting down at the kitchen table (for example.) If he copes with all that, try leaving him alone for a short period - say, 30 seconds. Just walk out and close the door - you can just leave him in another room and see how he is. If he seems ok, try leaving the house, again for a short period. When you leave and return, make NO fuss whatsoever. Just go - walk straight out. Don’t even make eye contact. Start with a short period and slowly extend it. If thirty seconds seems OK, try one minute, then 2, then 3, then 5, 10, etc. If he starts barking go back to the time he seemed happy with and reinforce that some more, then try a longer period again. Leave the radio on (classical music is said to be best as it is more soothing). When you get up to about ten minutes, you could try leaving him with a Kong stuffed with treats. If you can vary the door you leave through and the door you return by, that can help to break the routine again. When you return do NOT tell him off, no matter what has returned and - as I say - make no fuss. Ignore him for the first couple of minutes (that goes for all family members, of course). The idea is to say, “look, I come and go. Don’t worry about it because I can look after myself and I will always come back.” Make it seem like the most natural thing. I would not leave him with access to the whole house, just keep him in one room - wherever he is most comfortable, but also -ideally - as far from your neighbours as possible!
    This will take time, clearly, and you cannot rush it. At nine years old, it may be very ingrained, I suspect, and you may have to consider getting a behaviourist involved - someone who can look both at what you’re doing and how the dog is reacting.
    I hope that helps.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Jess1

    Jess1 PetForums Newbie

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    That’s so helpful thank you. We try to avoid treats as he is very very overweight due to his last owners being so poorly they didn’t ever walk him. We don’t have a routine when leaving, with two small children we’re lucky we make it out in one piece. We have tried leaving him in the kitchen and sitting in another room where he can see us and then slowly moved away and then increased the time so maybe it’s worth going back to that. Thanks so much for your reply there’s lots there to think about

     
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