Beagle puppies are full of life and energy, but sometimes they can be riddled with stress and anxiety. Knowing why your beagle puppy has stress and anxiety is essential to help them overcome it and grow into confident adult dogs that are well suited to a life with their handlers, especially when they are used for sport. Having a dog with stress and anxiety can be a challenging task, one that many choose not to take on, resulting in puppies who suffer by going to a shelter because they are "unmanageable." But this doesn't have to be the case. Read on to learn of the reasons behind beagle puppies' stress and anxiety so they can be healed.
What is a Beagle?
Let's first look at the basis of the breed itself. This step in the dog-choosing process is essential because it helps potential owners determine if the breed fits their lifestyle. A beagle is a relatively small dog, weighing anywhere from under 20 pounds for those under 13 inches to 20-30 pounds for those between 13-15 inches.
Beagles, which are part of the hound group, are one of the more popular choices among dog owners. They are bred for hunting as well as being a loyal companion. They can be described as happy dogs that love to explore and play. The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that they are great with children and other dogs due to their loving nature.
One important trait that the AKC discusses, which will come up again later when discussing their stress and anxiety, is their high need for mental stimulation and high energy levels. If these needs aren't met, issues may arise. They sound like amazing dogs for anyone looking for a pup to add to their pack at home or for hunting. Although they are amazing dogs, they can still run into their fair share of problems, especially if these problems are not caught early on.
Signs of Anxiety and Stress in Beagle Puppies
Beagle puppies are known to be vocal. One of the ways that they show their stress and anxiety is to let you know, and loudly. They tend to whine and bark a lot, even when you are there with them. Training is as simple as doing the same thing over and over again and associating it with something good. A perfect example of this is when you're leaving the house. Generally, you will have the same routine regularly: grab your keys, put your shoes on, etc. This is, essentially, training them to know you are leaving the house. Because beagle puppies are incredibly smart, they will learn your routine. If you haven't worked with them on getting comfortable being left alone, they will start to act anxious and stressed when they notice you starting your routine. Your dogs' barking and whining alerts you to their stress level. The beagle puppy's high-pitched crying indicates anxiety when you're leaving the house.
Another signal that your beagle puppy is stressed is when they pace around with their tail tucked. They're worried that you won't return home, and they can't fathom being alone. Again, this is because of their pack mentality, which is even more of a reason to consider having more than one pup. Beagle puppies can also become destructive or attempt to escape. If they can't see you in the yard, for example, they may try and dig out, which is their way of showing their anxiety about being left alone.
Lack of New Experiences
When you have beagle puppies, you want to give them as many new experiences as possible. Pups tend to fear new things, and without the proper socialization and experimentation, even the most curious of dogs can show signs of stress in a new situation. Car rides are a big one to get puppies used to. For example, if the only time your puppy is in the car is to get their shots, they're going to associate the car with that constant negative experience. Instead of always taking him to the vet, drive him to pet-friendly stores, to a new trail (where he can also use his nose for mental stimulation), or even just for a drive to build their understanding that the car doesn't always equate with a negative experience.
Consider that a car is also a great socialization tool because of how much they can learn and experience. A car ride introduces new sounds, smells, and movements that the dog may have never felt before. Getting out and about will help them experience and gain confidence around multiple situations without feeling anxious or stressed.
Common Reasons for Fear and Anxiety
Fireworks and thunder are two things that nearly every dog owner knows causes anxiety in their dogs. What happens with beagle puppies, like other dogs, is that they may try and run or escape from the sound because of how they're feeling. Instead of letting your puppy run, try and comfort them; close the windows, put on some music, and help them to feel calm, just as you would a child.
Beagle Puppies are Known for Separation Anxiety
If you have beagle puppies, you might want to consider having more than one (but it's not necessary if you can give them what they need). Beagles, having come from Great Britain more than 200 years ago, were created to hunt in packs and follow scents. Because of what they have been bred for, beagle puppies prefer to be with other dogs in the home or with their humans. When not in the presence of others, they may engage in destructive behaviors and experience higher amounts of anxiety.
Beagle puppies can be prone to many fears. However, when you get them young, you might be able to discern where those fears stem from. One of the most common stressors for them is being left alone. One of the signs they might show is constantly barking when you leave the room or house and causing all sorts of destruction.
You can help ease these issues in puppyhood (which is when you start to see them crop up) by taking it slow and ensuring that you're raising a confident dog. Start by leaving your puppy for a few minutes at a time, and then reward them for being good when you come home and gradually increase your time away. You can also help by finding things that will keep your beagle puppies' minds busy while you're out.
Crate training is another idea that can significantly reduce the amount of stress and anxiety your beagle puppies have by giving them a safe space. If you prefer to have them in a larger space, you can dedicate a room for them. However, ensure that they are past the destructive puppy chewing phase and have been working with them so they aren't so anxious. Include in the room their favorite blanket, toys that they love, and a nice bed from Calming Dog, which helps to reduce their stress and anxiety and helps them sleep better.
Physical and Mental Stimulation is Important to Reduce Anxiety and Stress in Beagle Puppies
Having an intelligent breed that was meant to work can be rewarding. However, they need a lot of stimulation to keep themselves from getting bored. An adult beagle that has no medical conditions should get roughly 45-90 minutes of exercise per day. At a minimum, you want to give them 30 minutes of high-energy exercise and 30 minutes of walking. Plus, they need to have their minds stimulated as well.
Tired beagle puppies are less likely to show signs of anxiety and stress because all their needs are being met. They crave an active lifestyle. While having a yard is not necessary, it can be beneficial in managing their energy. Beagle puppies can grow into a dog that would be a great hiking partner, as hiking can also satisfy their need to use their noses; they are scent dogs and hiking is a perfect way for them to use their genetic skills and smell and experience new things. Working their mind is rewarding them for doing what they were meant to do and can help to ensure that they are calm and confident dogs.
Beagle puppies are eager to please and another way for them to expend energy is to get them into a sport like agility. You don't need anything fancy, and you can do it in your backyard. It will help build the bond between you and your beagle puppies by working on training and obedience while also burning energy by running and jumping.
In addition to building an agility course, you can also invest in some durable toys that will work both their physical and mental needs. Make sure that the toys you're getting are appropriate for your beagle puppies. Even something as simple as a frisbee or a ball will help keep them going and interested. There are other tools, such as a flirt pole, which are great for beagles with a high prey drive. If you are using one of these toys, you can help build your beagle puppy's confidence with rewards as well as keep them interested and on task.
A beagle puppy playtime can include running around freely and learning new commands. Puppies that have a routine and structure are less anxious and stressed because they know what to expect from their humans and what is expected of them as a pack member. Training, even in young dogs, helps build their mental muscles and works on their manners, which can assist in other activities, especially outside.
Catering to beagle puppies as a breed is an important concept to consider when reducing their stress and anxiety. As stated, mental stimulation is highly important for beagle puppies, so have them use their nose and incorporate it into training games. You can have them in down-stay positions and then hide treats throughout one room. Have the puppy find all of the treats (finding them is a reward itself) and then make a big deal with a high-value reward at the end of finding them all. Expand the rooms as they get better. This can help reduce their anxiety because they know what they are looking for and are confident that they please you as their owner. This is a great way to enhance their natural abilities.
There are plenty of other items that you can buy for mental stimulation and scent work for beagle puppies, but it doesn't have to be grand. Simple games can lead to great rewards, and a tired dog isn't so focused on what he is missing but is sleeping while you're out because his needs have been met. If they have been given the proper tools to work their minds and their bodies, it should be easier to reduce your beagle puppy's anxiety.
Knowing the Signs of Anxiety and Stress are Imperative, but Sometimes Awareness is Not Enough
Having beagle puppies can be rewarding. The puppy stage is a key period when it comes to raising a confident and social dog. Ensuring that they get enough stimulation and socialization early on leads to fewer things for them to fear. Preventing separation anxiety starts at a young age -- as soon as you get them. There should always be alone time for your beagle puppies and then a reward when you return. Every possible anxiety-laden situation can be rectified, normally, with classical conditioning.
Knowing the signs of anxiety and stress in your dog is important to control it. Beagle puppies might bark excessively, whine a lot, freeze in place, or start pacing. If you pay attention you can figure it out before it is overwhelming to them and help your beagle puppies to gain confidence in the situation instead of fear towards it. There are also a lot of natural ways to help them with their stress and anxiety, including the Calming Dog bed, which helps give them an amazing place to relax and reduce their stress. They also have a calming spray that can make the area your beagle puppies sleep in one of peace and tranquility. If that isn't enough, your beagle puppies can have treats that will help calm them down with natural ingredients. These would be amazing when there is a thunderstorm.
However, sometimes it's not that simple. While all pet owners want to do what's best for their dogs and go the natural route, sometimes the only thing to do is to discuss the concerns with your beagle puppy's veterinarian and have them rule out any other issues that they may be suffering from and give them something medicinally. Just because we think they are, and look, healthy, there could be underlying conditions that are causing them to be anxious.
For beagle puppies, the first courses of action to reduce their stress and anxiety should be socialization, conditioning, and lots of patience, time, and love. If all else fails, go the natural route and consider getting your dog their own emotional support animal to keep them company when you're not home, providing a friend to play with and lean on. Or, you could consider sending them to doggy daycare if it becomes too much to leave them home (or be gone for longer periods), and this can also aid in their socialization and reduce their anxiety at home.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Beagle Puppies Doesn't Have to be Difficult
As you can see, reducing stress and anxiety in beagle puppies is something that can be done in the comfort of your own home with simple tools, even with just the food they eat. The puppies will get you with their soulful brown eyes, but instead of letting them run the house, one needs to take the time to work with them for obedience purposes but also to reduce their anxiety and stress in certain, and new situations. Beagle puppies that have no structure and don't know what's expected of them can become destructive, anxious, and stressed.
One of the main factors when it comes to beagle puppies is to ensure that you have the proper amount of time to dedicate to them when they're in their puppy stages to ensure that they are happy, confident, and stress-free as they grow into adorable older dogs. Beagle puppies have a lot of energy and will benefit from structured work time, including training and learning tricks or walking, as well as active playtime where they can run freely or catch a ball. A little bit of everything for your beagle puppies will keep them stress-free, especially when you leave the house to go somewhere. Following some of these helpful tips can be the difference between an excellent house dog and a dog that, sadly, ends up in a shelter due to no fault of their own.