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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

I have a year old beagle called Mowgli. Recently I thought things were getting better with his obedience. He is responding better to leave commands etc. However recently his play biting is getting out of control. He thinks my partner is his personal chew toy and he tries to mount my arms and legs while biting me at the same time. (he has been done) Ive tried everything I can to stop him, including ignoring him when he starts or shutting him the kitchen for time out.

Also he is very very stubborn and I have a particular problem with him trying to hide in my bedroom. The garden leads off my bedroom so when I call him in he tries to hide under the bed/chest of drawers because he knows hes not allowed to play in there. If I try to lead him out he attacks me. Also if he manages to steal something like the tv remote he becomes very aggressive if we try and retrieve it. This aggression only arises if he manages to get into one of his hiding places. Its as if he is afraid/protecting himself. He shows his teeth snaps and bites me quite hard. No one has ever hit him or anything so I dont know why he would feel afraid and react like this.

Another problem which has only occured in the last month is separation anxiety. He is hardly ever left. Maybe 2/3 hours at a time, once or twice a week. When I put him in his crate or he senses that we are going out without him he shakes, its quite upsetting. He doesnt howl or bark while we are out. I also cant go in a room without him. I could go into my bedroom and leave the door open(with the stairgate closed so he can still see me) and he will cry at the gate. If I go into the bathroom without him he scrates at the door. I have also noticied that the shaking can occur for no reason. We could be sitting on the sofa together and he could start shaking for no reason. If you met him you wouldnt think he was a nervous dog at all, he will go up to anyone and play. He also plays with other dogs really well.

We went to puppy classes when we first had him but I didnt find them very useful. We are currently trying to find an obedience trainer who has experience with beagles. I would be very grateful if anyone can offer me any advice on how to deal with these problems. I am keen to address them quickly as I am currently expecting a baby. I feel like I must be doing something drastically wrong and I worry he is not happy.

Thanks

Sam
 

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Sam, from what you've described, it sounds like Mowgli has dominance issues. Ignoring some of these displays of dominance will most likely NOT work as it will take more active steps. Some people recommend the dominance down method--where you pin the dog on his/her side--but I'm not completely convinced this is effective. A professional may serve you best, but I'm sure others on this forum will have some great insight as well.
Separation anxiety can also arise, if your dog does not feel like he has a leader to follow or feel comfortable with. There are a few schools of thought on how to address these types of issues, but I'll leave that to those with more experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im located in West London. I feel like I havent done myself any favours because we let him sleep in our bed. Which obviously isnt a good idea if we are having leader issues but now we cant stop it. I have tried putting him in his crate over night and he literally does not sleep he barks ALL night. He even got so worked up he wet himself. It was so upsetting I havent tried again.
 

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Originally Posted By: MowglisMumIm located in West London. I feel like I havent done myself any favours because we let him sleep in our bed. Which obviously isnt a good idea if we are having leader issues but now we cant stop it. I have tried putting him in his crate over night and he literally does not sleep he barks ALL night. He even got so worked up he wet himself. It was so upsetting I havent tried again.
Don't feel too bad - sleeping in your bed alone is not going to create dominance issues. It is not something I would recommend continuing for a dog that is having dominance issues overall, but on its own, sleeping on the bed is not going to create behaviourial problems. My beagle sleeps on the bed, but has an 'up' command and an 'off' command when she must get off the bed.

Crate training IMO is something that you need to take a gradual approach too - when I started crating my beagle, I built her up to longer stays in the crate very slowly, because you want to be careful that the crate is something the dog chooses to be in, and WANTS to be in because its a comfortable and safe place.

When I first bought the crate home, I left the door open for my beagle to suss out on her own. She loved it straight away luckily - but we still had to build up to having her in there with the door closed for extended periods of time. You don't want to force them into the crate from the word go otherwise it may not be a positive place for them. Remember that crates should never be used as a punishment, because we want the dogs to LOVE being in them.

A good way to start off crate training is to put your beagle's bedding in there (in your case, even a t-shirt or something that smells like you as well as bedding could be beneficial). Give them a treat as soon as they get in the crate, and LOTS of praise. Do not start closing the crate door until the beagle is happily going in the crate with the door open. You also want to teach the crate command, so when your beagle gets in the crate, say in your crate!! and give LOTS of praise.

Feed every meal in the crate, as this will help your beagle associate the crate with positive and exciting things.

Once he is comfortable in the crate with the door open you can start closing it for short periods of time - at first, close it for a few seconds, then open it up and give lots of praise. Increase the amount of time gradually as the beagle gets more comfortable with the door being closed. You can even feed treats through the wire whilst the dog is inside.

Depending on the dog it may take time, but crate training slowly but surely will make your dog so much more comfortable in the long run. You don't want him to feel like being in his crate is a punishment - you want it to be his choice.


BTW - I'm not located in the UK (although I am in London at the moment on holidays, lol!) but I know we have a few members there so I am sure someone will be able to point you in the right direction
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took him for more walks than usual today he seems a lot calmer. Maybe that is the key. I think he gets bored.
 
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