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Old 11-27-2012, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please Help - At the end of our tether.....!

Hi,

We have a 2 1/2 yr old beagle and she's the family's first dog (But I have had a few different breeds when growing up). We have struggled badly with her since the day she came home at 7mths. She has the usual beagle traits like stealing food and running off at the slightest opportunity. We can't even leave her to potter around in the garden, as she's off - so we have to keep her on the lead if she needs the loo.

Our latest problem started on fire works night when she developed a fear of the dark. Nothing happened to scare her in any way. Then she started wriggling out of her harness and running off at the slightest thing (she pulls terribly on just the collar which was causing a wound under her collar, so we changed to a harness). We now have to carry her out of the house and walk her a bit before she settles into a walk. The thing is that it has now developed to daytime too. The other day, I was taking her a nice run up the fields, but she spotted other dogs up there and wriggled and got off again (I might add here that the harness is not slack by any means, but I think she is that determined, she could pop a shoulder if she wanted to)!

Now she knows that she can do this, it has become a battle of wills, I wanted to take her home but she wanted to go in the other direction, so we had another scuffle. It seems that if she doesn't want to do it, she knows she can escape.

To make matters worse she has become a bit aggressive when my daughter has been trying to take her out first thing in the morning before school, and I have just witnessed this. Its not a bite but it soon might be. To make matters worse, I had the embarrassment this morning of coming out of the shower and seeing my daughter scuffling with her on the front lawn, so my poor neighbours nearly got an eyeful as I rushed to her aid in my dressing gown -

So the matter is that my DH has had enough and wants us to get rid of her as she is causing too much trouble. Its becoming an argument now as to who's turn it is to take her out as its so much trouble, certainly not a nice walk with the dog, that's for sure.

Sorry to rant on, there are probably a few issues to tackle here but I don't want to pass her on if there is something we can do to rectify this behaviour. Apart from the walking issue, she's a loving and playful dog in the house (I have 3 kids) and she's great with them. I just don't know what to do now.

Thanks for reading this and sorry for the length but any advice would be great. Thx
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have always double leashed a dog who is an escape artist - one leash attached to the harness, another, with very little slack, to the collar. You might want to take a pouch of treats with you when you take her out - tempt her to move in the direction you want her to, give her the treat, hold out another, etc. Begin to use fewer and fewer treats as you go on.

Many dogs are frightened by loud noises - such as fireworks. And frightened dogs can be aggressive - it is the way they communicate.

How old is your daughter? We have found that with a troubled dog, a consistent, adult interaction helps. Children try very hard, but most don't have the ability to deal with a troubled animal.

My suggestion: As the parent, I would suggest that you be the one to take over caring for the dog. Having one person responsible ensures that your dog receives consistent messages. Also, it will help you develop a working relationship with the dog.

Be calm and positive when you interact with her. If you get excited, so will your dog.

Get professional help. A few sessions with a professional will make worlds of difference.

Good luck - a bit of work and your dog will be a pleasure to have around.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First of all let me say that I am no expert...my Beag is 10 months old and is a challenge in the energy department...lol Some thoughts on your situation may be to have her checked by a vet and perhaps get some medication to calm the dog.

I wouldn't try to do walks for awhile until you can identify what may be going on. If you have an area on a yard you can pen her in where she can pee and poop and where you can play with the dog. We have a huge nice yard for our dog but can't let her free in it because she manages to get into trouble so we purchased several pens from Petco that are attachable and surrounded our patio where she can come and go safely to all day from inside. We did put a tie out stake in our lawn and put the dog on a long leash so she can walk around, sniff, dig and play with toys.
By forcing a walk may just make her more resistant.
good luck
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi,

I meant to add that unfortunately I work full-time and we got her when my DH became a stay at home dad and we thought it would be great for the kids to have a dog and for him to get exercise as well as the dog as he enjoys long walks. The only trouble is that because she has been such hard work, he has lost complete interest in her and see's her as a pest as opposed to a loving family pet ( he has never had a pet growing up which might explain why!!).

I know that if I was stay at home mum, she would be a different dog as she obviously needs more one-to-one and constant training.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, we always take treats everywhere but strangely, this doesn't coax her out the door. I came home tonight and my DH had already tried the suggestion of tethering her to both her collar and her harness, which has helped on this occasion (but she's probably working on a plan as we speak - lol).

Unfortunately we live in Scotland so she only gets out to roam about the garden for 2 weeks of the year, when the sun's shinning!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi, nice to see a fellow Scot on here!

We have 20 week old Tobey and I am taking him to a weekly dog obedience class. There are lots of other dogs there ranging from puppies to older dogs with issues. I've found it really good to give the dogs a chance to socialise and also to get tips on training. It's good to have someone watch how I am handling the dog and point out what I need to improve on. Would agree with the other post about one person taking on responsibility and being the primary carer, you need to build trust between you and your dog and get into a good routine.

These are just my thoughts, I'm certainly no expert but rest assured beagles are difficult breeds but worth it.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on.


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Old 11-27-2012, 07:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It really does sound as if she is was or afraid of something outside. After a while, the behavior becomes ingrained, and is difficult to change.

If your husband were to take her to obedience class, he might feel more in control of your dog and learn techniques that he could use to solve the problems that you are experiencing. There is an excellent book Why Good Dogs Do Bad Things - available on Amazon - that might help you to understand what is happening, and what to do about it.

I have always adopted 'unadoptable' dogs, and can tell you from experience that there is always a way to solve any problem. You mention some very important positives - she is loving and playful, and good with the kids, in the house.

I would speak with your vet about your situation - they would be able to recommend a trainer that could address the problems that you are having.

Please let us know how you are doing!
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like there a few issues to deal with. I think a training class would be of benefit to all of you. It would teach you the skills that you need to work with your dog. There are trainers that will come to you home also if you don't want to be in a class.

As for the harness, be sure that she is properly fitted. I like to take the girls to the pet store and let them help me. There are so many types of harnesses.

The more confident she gets on walks and you get with her, it will help to overcome her fear issues. My beagle Molly had severe fear issues when we got her but now she is much braver, will let some people pet her etc. It takes time, patience and love.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Rimmer, I really feel for you with the situation you are in. It can't be easy. I am having issues with my 2 at the moment that I am working hard to resolve.

As for the harness! Buddy is a huge escape artist. However I found a company in Carlisle and they made him a harness to fit his measurements and it is amazing. The company is called fleece dog harnesses the owner is called Joanne and she really couldn't have done enough to help me. Her number is 01900 812732, mention my name Paula Wright.
Good luck
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think she is slowly overcoming the night-time fear as she's been ok the past couple of days - horaay......

With regards to the escaping, she doesn't seem to be showing any symptoms of fear such as her tail between her legs or cowering or anything, I really feel this harness escaping thing is more a battle of wills and her showing us that she's the dominate one - terrible 2's maybe - lol. The other day, I was just trying to pick up her poo, which she obviously objected to and tried to wriggle out.

We took her to a local training class and the chap took one look at her and dismissed her as a beagle and told me I was wasting my money, so I left. In hindsight, I should have tried another class in case the trainer was bias against beagles!

With regards to the harness, I have been frantically looking online but they all seem to be the same design as the one we have and its the same with Pets at Home. I'll check out your recommendation Paula for the company in Carlisle and any other suggestions would be great.

Can I also ask another question, does any of your dogs have problems with their anal glands? She is constantly dragging her bottom over the rug so we have to take her to the vet every 2mths to have them emptied, the vet said it just depends on the dog, all breeds are different. This is also annoying DH. The vet said these could be surgically removed if need be.

I have had numerous border collies before I was married, so I'm more than familiar with the normal antics of a dog, but a beagle seems the most challenging of all. Sometimes I wish we had taken the guy from the Beagle Trust's advice when he told us to get a nice a breed as a beagle would be too much hard work!

She does try my patience, but she's such a loving dog otherwise, i don't want to give up on her as her previous owner abandoned her.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If she isn't eating dry food that can add to the anal glad issue. I used to feed my first beagle canned food only and he had problems. The dry food tends to make the stool firmer and it helps clean the glands naturally. They can get infected and then the vet needs to give meds.

That trainer was awful to say that about your beagle! Both my beagles have been in training classes. Even if they aren't perfect in class, you learn the tools you need to teach them at home.
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