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Dog Training/Leaving The Beagle....


I have an almost 5 year old Beagle I got when he was one, from a no kill shelter, and have no idea his back story. Suffice to say from the time I got him till now, I've tried everything, and as consistently as possible, all the right things to train him how to stay alone.
The crate is a nightmare. He chewed through the first one, and now has a Kong crate which also have rungs he's chewed off.
He does like the crate otherwise, and goes in on his own, to play or with a bone.
He's trainable in all other areas.
I finally got a trainer and the only suggestions she offered were extra toys with food when I leave; for him to not eat out of the bowl but only when I leave and the toys are out.
Please assume that everything all dog behaviorists and trainers have offered have been tried here, so to repeat everything would be moot.
Sometimes, on a rare occasion, he'll be with a Kong in his crate when I come back.
I've gotten up to 50 minutes with no problem other than almost constant barking sans him having eaten one medium Kong. He will also pee by the door.
He's on Prozac and we just added some Trazadone.
The level of anxiety is to the point where I can certainly not come and go freely.
If I "just" go to the garbage, sometimes he'll bark constantly, sometimes he's fine.
I'm consistent.
I think.
I also think that leaving these toys can be a trigger so I have eased him into them and also intermittently given them to him while I'm home, and in another room.
I don't want him to think he's only getting them if I leave.
He barks mostly the whole time, and still pees by the door.
Any suggestions?
He is neutered.

Thanks for your email, Marla. I work with a lot of separation anxiety cases and the key to success is the ability for the dog to "reboot" - meaning he's not left alone at all until you've done a set of exercises and prep work for that to happen. This usually means a couple of weeks of having backup in the form of dog sitters, relatives, friends, neighbors who can help. If you have a dog day care nearby, you could also use that.

The reboot includes dedicated work on your part during those initial weeks to get him comfortable being apart from you in the house BEFORE you even walk to the garage. There's too much to describe via this mode of communication and it's information that my clients pay for, so I can't detail it here.

You would also have to invest in monitoring equipment (a webcam or other means of monitoring the dog live) so that you always return before the dog has a full blown panic attack. This comes into use after the initial couple weeks of work.

Separation anxiety is a huge challenge. My best reference is this book - Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs by Malena DeMartini-Price: I base my program on the recommendations found here. It's geared toward dog trainers, but there's no reason an owner couldn't follow through with the program on their own.

Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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