Beagles/Bella...my beagle cross
QUESTION: Hello dear
Yesterday I adopted a soon to be two year old beagle cross, from a family. Reason that they were getting rid of her, per se, was because the woman is very pregnant, for the third time
Bella and I hit it off right away
She has been my constant companion, a friend to cuddle with..spoil
I only got her yesterday, and I return to work on Monday. I am worried about separation anxiety issues.
She will be alone for six hours. There is another dog in the house as well as several cats.
They all pretty much go about their own schedules/agendas..Lol
I worry about her barking, and angering the neighbours.
I bought a ''walk right'' harness for her today, and through all twelve walks today, we are bushed!, I seem to be making some progress.
She is so strong
It terrifies me that she will have separation anxiety issues. The thought of returning her to her original owner because of excessive barking greatly upsets me. Is there a way that I can ease her into the transition of me not always being at home?
I went out for a brief time today. I was gone for about 20 minutes and when I came home, she went crazy!
My husband was sleeping at the time and said that she didn't bark
She has been the dog that I have been looking for since I made the decision to have my 16 y/o Airdale/lab euthanized.
Even after one day, she has been my constant
As I type, she is lying at the other end of the couch, with a blanket on her, with her head resting on my pillow
She has been to puppy school, has all of her up to date shots, is spayed and has been well looked after
I don't want to let her down.
She knows her commands, but ignores me when we are out,and she is pulling.
She constantly wants to be outside, hence all of our walks, but I can't walk her 12 times a day all the time!
Perhaps she wants to go out so often to check out her new surroundings
I know that this is all going to take time, adjustments for all of us, particularly her.
Through our communication, I have come to understand that her and I need one other and that we were brought together for a reason...
Off topic, but what really warmed me to her, besides her fantastic joy of living, was that she has some spots, I call them her freckles, on her side, one is in the shape of a heart.
Bless you and your devotion to our four legged family members.
ANSWER: Hi there, so happy to hear about you adopting Bella, you sound madly in love with her already and she is one lucky girl! I think that it would be good at this age to enroll her in classes again for a refresher as an adult and iwth a new owner, it will help to establish you as the Alpha and bond you too in a more balanced way. Also it will help with the pulling and ignoring commands. Keep doing the going out for short periods of time but increase the time more and more so that on Monday it doesnt come as a big shock to her. Will you be keeping her in one certain area of the house? hope so because you don't know how she will react yet when left alone. Make sure to dog proof everything and keep her in one room if possible with lots of toys and water. Make leaving a very nonchalant event, no fawning over her or being all gushy. Just tell her "Be a good girl" as you turn your back on her and go out the door. If you make a deal out of it she will learn to want that and that is the start of sep. anxiety....When you come home learn to ignore the crazy stuff and try to get her to sit. Once again put your back to her, as in walking away, so you don't encourage the ill mannered crazy behavior.
Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me again :)
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello again!
I found your advice to be very helpful.
I did find a lovely place nearby that trains as well as provide doggy day care!
I feel that socialization would be important for her as well as an obedience trainer. I am also reading heavily on the topic. I never realized that I had so many books on the subject, as you can tell, it has been awhile
I contacted the lady that I got her from, and she is going to send me all related vet information for Bella,I need this before I can proceed with anything.
As well, the owner did tell me that Bella is not a barker and never barks when left alone, she only bays when she sees squirrels or rabbits..I can attest to that..!!
I have left the house for longer intervals as you suggested..only to have her freaking out, crying, and jumping up on me, upon my return. I am doing as you suggest, it seems that she gets more persistent the more that I ignore her..but, when I turn my back on her, she calms down to the point where I tell her to sit and she does!
What amazing advice! Thank you!
It is so hard to believe how attached she has become to me!
I have also gotten her a Kong, which she loves. I fill that with treats, tinned meat,and liverworst..ugh..I have been giving that to her when I leave.
I put it on the third step going upstairs, and quietly leave, she gets so distracted with her Kong that she doesn't realize that I/we, my husband and I, are leaving
She has had free reign of the house since we got her. The most damage that she has done was to get a bit of dirt on the floor from a potted floor plant from her waging tail waiting for us to return, looking out the window. To limit her to one room when I am at work Mon, would seem, cruel to me, and that is my fault
I feel that I am making progress with Bella, with your help!
I do have a question, finally!
What is your opinion of the ''illusion" collar?
I am having some problems with her pulling, but we did manage to have a pleasurable walk tonight using her harness and collar, and treats as cues, she even made eye contact with me!..but I do not want to use treats as cues all of the time
I keep her close to me, in the residential area then when we get to the field, she has free reign, still attached to the lead, of course, but I let her go where she wants to at this point, to sniff and do what she was bred to do, hunt..she is so thrilled to be out in the field!!!
As we get closer to home, I shorten the lead
Am I doing this right, or am I merely confusing my baby?
ANSWER: Hi Lisa, sounds like you have been making steady good progress. So glad to hear about the training, that will make a HUGE difference in the pulling as she willbe taught not to pull and to stay at your left side. You are absolutely right about the socialization and it will be fun for her! You are such an excellent dog mommy :)
I know it is hard with the jumping and her being all frantic but you must stick with it and keep turning your back until she is calm enough to be put in a sit, if you only do it intermittently you will be reinforcing the behavior still, it must happen EVERY time. Eventually she will learn that this behavior gets her ignored which is the opposite of what she is wanting.
Your walk sounds perfect, keep her reigned in while you do a brisk walk in the residential area and then when you get to the field letting her out, if you feel confident enough you could even attach a long rope to her to give her more freedom but never, never, never leave a beagle off leash. The brain in their nose is way bigger than the one in their head!
As far as the Illusion, I personally have not used it. I tried a Halti and a Gentle Lead with my beagle, it didnt help any with him, the regular slip chain worked the best or a harness. I have a pitbull also and she pulls and recently went to Petco and they sold me a brand new harness that is specifically made for pullers, the way it is designed is that when you pull it the dog gets pulled towards you. The coupling is under their head which is why it works so well, I have had huge success with it! It is called Premier Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harnesses for Dogs. Go to www.petco.com and put that name in the search area.
Lastly, from that pic you sent I am thinking she is a bit overwt. Can you tell me how much she weighs and how tall she is? What are you feeding her and how often?
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello again!
First off, thank you for the kind words about being "an excellent dog mommy", I have gotten some negative reviews about getting her, but the positive reinforcements that I get from people, far outweighs the negative,and that is what I concentrate on.
Today was the day that I have been dreading, leaving her alone..I left my husband with detailed instructions, Lol, before I left..and it was painful to leave
I had her Kong stuffed and put in a place where she knew where it was, but couldn't get to it..I left with not much fanfare, and didn't even look at her, she was in my thoughts the full six hours
I came home, rather nervously, and yes, she freaked out, crying, barking a bit, jumping on me. I didn't look at her, but turned my back to her and told her to ''sit'' about ten times. It was a very busy time.
I wanted to quiet her as quickly as possible as to not annoy the neighbours, who also have dogs that bark, but, it was 10:30pm at night. just sat and the floor and ignored her, and she just sniffed me.
I took her out, and she was AWESOME!
Came when I called her, looked me in the eyes, and I taught her a new word ''come''
However, upon returning home and taking the older, much smaller dog out, I could hear her whinning as we approached the house, and yes, she went ballistic when I entered the door, I was firm, and she did sit, because I ignored her.
Now she is ignoring me, she's chewing on her Kong, which is what I hope she did when she was alone
No messes in the house, nothing in disarray.
I left me robe on the couch, and I can tell that she was sleeping on it.
When we go to the field I extend her flexi about four feet, to let her hunt, and to smell every blade of grass.
I heard that the Halti and GL do not work well for beagles, I was suggested the Walk Right harness, which is similar to the one that you use. I have been attaching the ring from her collar to the top ring of the Walk Right harness, and day by day, I see improvement!
It is a glorious feeling
I am not sure of her weight, as I have only had her for a week, her prior owners gave me some of her dog food when I brought her home, grocery store garbage..the bag was nearly empty, and the lady that I got her from said that they meant to get more , but didn't..how sad to think that she was an afterthought
In any event, we feed our dogs Nutrience Original..
I feed her once every three days, at the moment, about one and a half cups..
She seems to pick at her food, I am sure that this is part of her ''settling in'', stage, per se.
After I get Bella's vet information sent to me by her previous owners, I am scheduling a wellness exam
I appreciate your incite, for you have helped me a lot.
I will keep you posted
Sounds like you are making good progress but you must be firm and consistent. I can tell that you want to baby her in a way and I have to tell you that it is not good for her, she needs a firm and consistent Alpha (you) who requires that she work for everything and she follows your directions. This will make her a much happier balanced dog. So she seems to have a bit of sep. anxiety already so these things I am telling you are even more important.
Is your husband home while you are gone, can't tell from what you said? If so is he interacting with her?
Also just wanted to check, you said "I feed her once every three days, at the moment, about one and a half cups.." I HOPE THAT IS INCORRECT!! every three days??? not sure if that is a typo but sure hope so. Best feeding schedule is twice a day, that way she always has something in her stomach and wont feel hungry. But anything more than that is too much. It is imperative that you weigh her. I use my bathroom scale, weigh myself, then hold them and weigh us together, then subtract to get their weight. I don't know Nutrience Original but I looked it up on the internet and it appears to be a good food. But do not go by what the bag says, they ALWAYS inflate the amount to be fed.... I would go down a bit from what they say. Also hopefully you know NO HUMAN FOOD whatsoever! Absolutely not good for her and she doesnt need it. if you want her to live a long life you must keep her lean. Beagles tend to be overwt, (well mostly because people over feed them and give them human food)and it will significantly shorten their life.
So keep in touch and keep up the good work!