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Old 06-21-2019, 06:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Obsessive smelling?? Help!

Hi everyone, sorry in advance for the somewhat long post, but I'm hoping a beagle owner out there can shed some light on how to help my dog's obsessive smelling.


My boyfriend and I adopted an 8 year old beagle mix (we think beagle x jack russell terrier mix) who is obsessed with smelling the shed in our backyard. We suspect a skunk lives under the shed as the area smells of skunk and there was a skunk living under it a few years ago (we have tried blocking the area around the shed and have installed motion sensors that emit noise but it has not stopped the skunks from coming back). Whenever we let her out into the backyard she goes straight for the shed and spends hours doing nothing but smelling the perimeter of the shed and stalking around the shed. Nothing we do can get her to come away from the shed or smelling it! If we left her outside, she would probably smell the shed for the whole day until the skunk came out at night and sprayed her. We usually have to pick her up and bring her inside to get her to stop. But once she is inside she is very fussy and will whine until we let her out into the backyard again, where she goes straight for the shed. We walk her twice day, about 1 hour each walk, and by the end of the walks she is noticeably exhausted and slower coming home, but as soon as she's home, she's instantly re-energized and will go straight to the door to be let out into the backyard. We have tried distracting her with toys when she is in the backyard to get her away from the shed, but she generally is not interested in toys whatsoever.

My last resort would be to get pest control to remove the skunk, but I would like to know if there is anything that can be done to train her to leave the shed alone despite the skunk that is inside (in case a new skunk finds a way to occupy the shed after the current one gets removed). I know it's in the beagle's nature to hunt and that's what's driving her behavior, but she seems very obsessed with the shed. I had a dog before her (a sweet border collie mix, bless his soul), but I'm fairly new to beagles, so I'm not sure if her behavior is something that needs to be addressed or if I'm just overreacting? I'm mostly concerned about her need to be outside with the shed. I can't imagine leaving her outside the whole day. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Last edited by JJackson; 07-01-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Xerxes is also fascinated with skunks and will scent them, pull to places he's seen them, bay at them (it's a miracle we haven't been sprayed).

I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions because I would say to some extent it's just a beagle's nature and you're not going to get that scenting/hunting out of them. But I am not the most expert trainer.

We have a saying in our house...nose on, ears off
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome...
Yep smelling is just part of a beagle's trait. I would get pest control in to get rid of the skunk because your dog wont stop smelling the place the skunk is..or was. My dog will suck the smell out of the grass...lol. she puts her nose into the grass and inhals big time. Ive had workmen in the house when my dog wasnt there and she went to every spot where someone had been.
Another thing you can try is an animal repellent spray to try to get rid of the skunk.

Last edited by Cassie; 06-21-2019 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes! Nose to ground is a common beagle trait! Cassies' advice sounds good to me.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I will recommend that you be prepared if your dog gets sprayed by the skunk.
1 qt of hydrogen peroxide
1/2 tsp of baking soda
Dawn soap
Wash the dog in this mixture. I can speak from experience. I laugh every time I think of the episode...
My son in law was outside with his rottweiler while I was in the kitchen with my daughter. Suddenly we saw my SNL and the dog running frantically around the yard... my daughter and I just thought he was being funny...but NOOOOOOoo...they got sprayed. My SNL opened the door and the dog ran into the house rolling all over the carpet....OMG the smell! We got the dog in the tub and washed him with the mixture...it helped ...but the carpet cleaners had to come the next day...lol yike!
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies! Now I'm just hoping she doesn't get sprayed!
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