It’s time to leave the house and your loyal, adorable beagle knows it. The dog sees the signs of you putting on your shoes and grabbing keys. It begins to pace, whimper, and whine while your inner guilt sets in, forcing you to ask yourself, can I leave this beagle alone? Will it be okay?
In short, yes you can leave a beagle alone and the dog will be fine. But it’s not easy and it requires planning with making a commitment to training. Various beagle guardians have opposing views on how to handle it, but there are some general steps you can take to ensure peace and calm, for yourself and the dog.
Can Beagles Be Left Alone?
Because beagles hail from the hound family, they’re very sociable and loyal with people and other animals. Without training, they can become stressed when left alone to their own devices. So, you can leave them alone, but the dog’s temperament and tolerance to isolation will determine how long they can be left alone.
How Can You Train Your Beagle To Be Left Alone?
You want to begin training your beagle to be alone when they’re eight weeks old or when they become part of the family. The younger they are, the better it will be in the long run. This will take some time, commitment, and patience. But if you follow the guidelines as best as you can, success and happiness should be well within your grasp.
If your beagle is an older adoption with little training and they aren’t used to being alone, you’re going to have to try and start from the beginning, and not leave them for more than an hour. However, as they grow you’ll be able to keep them alone for a maximum of 4 hours by adulthood.
You want to take the minimum time allotted for their age, as suggested below, and build from there, little by little, until the beagle becomes comfortable.
Also, everyone who lives in the house should participate in the dog’s training. This will make things move faster and it will deliver consistency. Repetition is how any dog learns best.
Using a Crate or Special Area
Using a crate or a separate room to begin the training process may seem like a cruel prison for your beagle. But don’t worry, beagles, more than most other breeds, acclimate to a crate with ease. Think of it as their own little house for rest and repose.
Plus, you don’t have to keep it locked or closed all the time, actually it’s not advisable to do so. But of course, if your adorable furry angel loves to raise hell when you’re not around, you’ll have to secure their enclosure. But with the right training, this shouldn’t bother the dog in the slightest bit.
So, the best way to ensure the most peace and calm for your beagle is having a special area for them. You can get a crate, designate a spare room or provide some other area.
You could have a doghouse outside, but this may not be a sensible approach and will very much depend on the beagle. In general though, beagles do not fair well in extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
Once your puppy is eight weeks, you can begin training to leave them alone. Start with a short time and distance away from your dog. Then, increase increments as the dog ages and becomes accustomed to being alone. Make sure you use a steady yet slow pace.
- Positive Reinforcement – Sit with your beagle while at home, then walk away within the vicinity and don’t make eye contact. When they are calm and don’t try to follow you, give them a treat. Do this several more times but elongate the length of time you aren’t with the dog.
- Increase Increments – When they’re ready, start leaving the room. Wait a few moments and return. If your beagle didn’t whimper and stayed calm, again, reward them with a treat. Do this several more times, extending the time you stay away.
- If they show excitement upon your return, do not engage them. This will teach them that not being around you is normal.
- Be Age Appropriate – When they’re between three and six months old, you should place a beagle in its crate and leave it alone, even while you’re home. Also, don’t lock them in the crate. This will help get them used to the idea of being alone.
- Build-Up to Leaving the House – Once everyone is okay with separation in the home, then it’s time for you to actually leave the house. Begin at 15 minutes and slowly build up increments according to how old they are.
- When you return, maintain a calm, collected demeanor and give them a treat so long as they didn’t act up or destroy anything.
How Long Can You Leave a Beagle Alone?
As a general rule, without any training or planning, most adult beagles over 18 months old can stay home alone for up to four hours per day. Puppies shouldn’t be alone for longer than two hours. But there are some intricacies to consider in balancing their age and training with leaving them alone.
18 Months or Older (Adult)
All adult beagles have to pee every four to six hours, there is no compromising with this. So, if you’ve had yours since they were a puppy, they should be fine being alone in their crate or special room.
At this stage, they may very well enjoy their own company in their spot. But if the dog is alone for most of the day, it’s going to have to go out for a tinkle and poo at least once. If not, there will be a mess when you come back home.
Six to 18 Months
Beagles will have to pee at least every four hours starting at six months old. During this point in their life, a beagle should be comfy enough with their crate or dedicated area. They might go there by themselves to rest or play, even when you are home.
Three to Six Months
When they’re as young as three months old, they cannot hold going to the bathroom for very long. So, one to two hours is the longest they should be left home alone. You can try pushing it to three, but only if you think the dog can handle it.
Also remember, it’s at this tender age where their separation anxiety is delicate, so you may have to make arrangements with someone you trust if you’re going to be gone for longer than two hours.
Eight to 12 Weeks
This is the age to begin training your beagle to go into a crate to get used to being alone. The first time they’re left alone, you may hear some crying. As difficult as it may be, you have to ignore it.
Don’t reciprocate the beagle’s excitement or this will demonstrate how they can get you to do what they want. At eight weeks, they’ll have to pee every 15 minutes but that will grow to around an hour when they reach 12 weeks.
Eight Weeks or Younger (Newborn)
In the event you have a newborn beagle, never leave it alone. Don’t attempt any amount of training until they’re older than eight weeks. If their mother is available, all the better.
The only time you leave them “alone” is when they go to bed for the night. Even then, their bed should be in or somewhere near your room.
But in the case that mom isn’t around, you want to keep the beagle around you often. You may also want to recreate the sensation of “mom” with their bedding by making it nice and soft. You can also get pheromone sprays and heartbeat sound machines to help give comfort and keep them calm.
Are Beagles Prone to Separation Anxiety?
Beagles are very susceptible to separation anxiety if left alone for longer than the time suggested above. When this happens, they become very nervous, upset and stressed out. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, including destructive chewing, endless pacing and incessant barking.
What Happens If You Leave A Beagle Alone Too Long/Without Being Trained?
The main problem with leaving a beagle alone, especially without training, is their tendency toward separation anxiety. If your dog is a rescue or if you adopted it at an older age, then you may have to consult a canine behavioral specialist. The following are some behaviors they act out when experiencing separation anxiety.
Barking, Howling, Growling and Whining
Howling and whining are hallmarks of a beagle’s temperament and they can continue it for extended periods of time. It can get very daunting if they become inconsolable and upset. Some will even bark the entire time they’re alone, which may prove to be quite annoying to your neighbors.
Chewing; Other Destructive Behaviors
Chewing on things is a tell-all sign that your beagle is under duress and trying to deal with their anxiety. They’re not mad at you when they destroy your favorite shoes or your couch, it’s their attempt to redirect their nervousness the only way they know-how.
There are some rare instances where beagles will chew on their own skin and fur, leaving sores behind.
The Escape Artist
If your beagle is lonely and anxious, it may try to escape. This is most true when you leave them outside for prolonged amounts of time and they begin digging under the fence. But they’ll try to get out of a room they feel trapped in too. They’ll claw or chew on screens and doors to try and escape.
Using Their Crate/Area as a Bathroom
This most often happens when they’ve been alone for far too long and, more than likely, have to relieve themselves. But sometimes, they’ll do this as a coping mechanism for separation anxiety, which won’t make anyone happy, including the beagle. In severe cases, a canine behavioral specialist may need to give a diagnosis and treatment suggestions.
Excessive Panting or Drooling
Like most dogs, beagles will get themselves all worked up, which often results in panting and drooling everywhere. This is not only ruinous to wood, paint, fabrics, and carpeting but it is also agitating to anyone in your home with an allergy to dogs.
When you begin leaving the house, you may notice the dog pacing with nervous anticipation. Some beagles will do this all day long and even at nighttime, while you’re sleeping. Unless you’re blessed with a sweet older lady who loves dogs and is hard of hearing, this may prove to be very nerve-wracking to downstairs neighbors.
What to Do if You Have to Leave Your Beagle Alone All Day?
There are going to be times when you’ll have to leave your little buddy for longer than they’re used to. Plus, you know you won’t be home before they’ll have to go outside for tinkle time. In these instances, you’re going to have to devise a backup plan.
If your beagle has real issues being alone, create a solid course of action to ensure your dog is calm and well-behaved while you’re away. There are some beagles that show very few symptoms of separation anxiety. Of course, your dog’s demeanor, attitude, and general mode of being will determine their anxiety levels.
If you know you’re going to leave your beagle at home for long hours on a daily basis, because of work or school, there are several things to consider. First, your pup must go to the bathroom every six hours. So, it will be great if you can arrange to come home during lunch or some other break.
Beagles Love Having Friends
Beagles are very social dogs that love to be around other people and animals. If you can and its feasible for your living arrangement, you could try having a cat, bird or another dog around to keep the beagle company during the day.
That said, your sole purpose for acquiring another pet shouldn’t only be for your beagle. But if you get another dog, your beagle could be outside because they’ll engage with their friend. This is a wonderful distraction for a beagle to stave off boredom and loneliness.
Engaging Objects ; Enthralling Activities
Having an old shirt of yours or another aged piece of clothing with your scent on it will help keep your beagle calm throughout the day. Your scent will remind them of you and let them know you will come back home.
Also, providing toys that double as entertainment and a workout for your dog’s brain will keep them out of trouble and occupied. If they’re very young or highly subject to anxiety, you can get a machine to replicate a mother’s heartbeat, turn on some gentle music or have a light blowing fan. These last ones you’ll have to experiment with to see what works best.
Get Someone to Help Out
Try to get someone you know and trust to check on your beagle, let them outside to stretch their legs, and do their outdoor duty. This could be another household member, close relative, friend or neighbor.
Make sure that there’s friendly chemistry between the person you choose and the beagle. This will give assurance to the dog staying calm. Do not leave your dog with someone they don’t like or someone you don’t know well. A bad relationship may cause stress to the dog, thereby exacerbating problems.
Hire Professional Dog Services
There are many services out there that will take care of your dog while you’re away. This is ideal for when you’re going on vacation. But if you can’t enlist the help of someone you know, then this may be the only option to accommodate your long, daily schedule.
There’s professional dog walking and babysitting services or you could take it to a doggy daycare center. The downfall with this is that it will cost quite a bit of money and if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll have to weigh your options against your wallet.
Yes, Beagles Can Be Left Alone
As you can see, it’s possible to leave a beagle alone. You have to be an attentive owner and pay attention to your dog. Be observant about how they react when you leave them, what behaviors they exhibit with their separation anxiety and what keeps them calm.
You will should also take into account a host of other factors like their age, if they’re a rescue, their level of separation anxiety and how well behaved they are when not in your presence. Use a crate or other enclosed area to train them to be alone.
Take it slow and gradually increase the space and time you are away from the beagle. If you can exercise a commitment to their training with love and patience, your beagle buddy will be fine when you have to leave the house.