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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Beagle World! This is my first time to post after much browsing through the site. First of all, you can call me Marion. I am from New Mexico and the proud Mommy of Cooper, a beagle I adopted from a beagle lab.

I'd like to seek advice regarding these recent observations. It started about three days ago. Every morning, around 7am, I take Cooper out to walk and potty. Lately, I noticed that he would often (not always, but most of the time) lick the ground while sniffing around for his potty spot. At first, I let him be, but when he started choking and semi-puking a foamy substance that is light gray, I started reprimanding him whenever he starts licking the ground again, thinking that he's consuming the asphalt from the streets and little bits of cement from the sidewalks.

He wouldn't stop, though!!! Even if he'd choke and puke each time! What should I do?!

He also seems distracted all the time outside! We would usually take a whole 45 minutes to an hour outside because of his curiosity, and it's really difficult because we live in the mountains and staying outside too long isn't very pleasant due to the bitter cold.

I wish Cooper could do his business at a secure place such as a backyard, but I live in an apartment and really have to walk him outside for potty. :-(

My second observation also started happening a few days ago. After his walk and potty each morning, I give him breakfast. Usually, he'd gobble everything down in seconds. But just a few days ago, I noticed that he wouldn't even finish his breakfast! He would leave half of it, and come back for it in the afternoon. Is this normal?

Well, that was a mouthful. I hope you guys could give me your two cents' worth. This is my first time to take care of a beagle, and they are indeed quite unique little creatures. :)

~Marion
 

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Hi Marion! Welcome to you and Cooper! You're right, Beagles are quite unique little creatures. I'm still learning a lot and often have questions about the crazy things that my little guy does. As for the vomitting, I'm not sure what that could be from. Does he vomit right after he licks the ground? I know that sometimes research beagles can have strange behaviors since they were inside and confined for so long. I wonder if the vomitting and the lack of appetite are related?

The only thing that I can give you advice about is the potty time when you are outside. I live in a townhouse and also have to walk my dog for potty time. We taught him to go potty as a command so that when we go out we say Go potty and he does it first thing. Then he gets a walk afterward. Now we really don't even have to ask him to go, he runs to his potty area and goes as soon as we walk out the door. You've probably read about that technique on the forum already but just in case you haven't this is what we did. To teach him this we would take him out to the same spot, say Go potty and not let him leave about a 5-10 foot radius until he went. If he did not go we would go back inside and try again in a few minutes. If he did go he would get treats, praise and playtime or a walk outside. Also, when he would go on his own to begin with we would say Go potty while he was going to try to help him associate the word and the action. He picked it up pretty quick.

Good luck! I'm sure everyone else will have more advice to give.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
These are great tips, Vicki! I will be sure to teach him Go potty the next time we go out, which is tonight. :-D You have a good point -- I always forget to bring treats to reward him during potty time. Maybe that's why he's been very naughty and inconsistent. :-\

As for the weird behavior, you also have a good point. Cooper's vocal chords were actually removed during research, therefore he can't bark (yes, he's mute). And yes, he was confined most of his life (he's 1 year old and we only adopted him three months ago), so the weird behavior could definitely be attributed to that. I will continue to observe and keep you guys posted should anything even weirder happen. ;-)

Again, thanks for your help Vicki!!!
 

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Welcome Marion - we're looking forward to hearing more of Cooper's antics. I can't imagine why a research lab would remove his vocal chords...poor guy.

Because he was a lab pup, the outside world must be BRAND NEW to him so he's curious. I'd teach him the leave it command and use it when he's licking the asphalt. You can also move him away from it when on leash.

You probably want to give a short window on the amount of time he's allowed outside to potty. 10 minute window at the most. We take ours out, ask him to do his business. If he goes, he's free to explore the yard for a few minutes or take a walk. No potty = no reward. A treat is a great way to reward them - but the walk and outside time is just as helpful.

I wouldn't know what to do if my pup didn't finish his entire bowl of food in under two minutes so I'm no help. It could be the transition to his new environment. I'd say if he's eating enough during the day to not be too concerned about it...
 

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Hello theregalbeagle! Thanks so much for these wonderful tips! The window time trick is so useful; I should definitely give that a shot as well.

As for the vocal chords, I think it's because beagles have one of the loudest (if not THE loudest) bark out of all breeds, and that is why researchers like testing them. It is indeed sad and I'm glad that Cooper's in a much better place now. I hope that his vocal chords grow back because I believe that is also possible.
 

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to BW! Thank you for giving Cooper a home and family. I can relate to the licking of asphalt/concrete. My Maggie (who I adopted when she was 1 yr. old and who will be 14 in June) started licking concrete when she was about 6 -- it coincided with a move into a new house. My best guess is that the behavior was related to the stress of moving and adjustment to new surroundings which Cooper certainly is undergoing. To this day I have not been able to stop Maggie's drive to lick anything and everything concrete -- I can only divert her and stop it whenever she starts. If we are on a walk and I get distracted or start talking with a neighbor and Maggie licks the sidewalk or driveway, she will get sick from it. I also cannot let her onto the back porch as licking the brick pavers makes her terribly sick and, like Cooper, she will start licking right over again, given the opportunity. My best advice is to watch him carefully on your walks and move him along via leash control when he starts to lick -- I honestly don't think reprimanding him will do much good. Beagles don't respond well to negative feedback -- maybe as you walk along, you can give him some special treats if he walks for a few minutes without licking. Hope that helps a little bit -- maybe just to know that Cooper's behaviors are not unique to him!
 

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Welcome, and thank you for rescuing Cooper. It's so sad to think that his beautiful beagle voice was taken from him.
I have no experience with the licking, but wish you and Cooper the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Sandyj, for the well wishes. I will give Cooper the biggest beagle hug from you to him. :)

judymaggie, it is so, SO good to know that this weird habit of licking asphalt and concrete isn't such a weird behavior after all! I guess I will just continue to monitor him and pull him away with the leash once he starts licking again, instead of reprimanding him, which, you are right--him being a beagle, sure doesn't enjoy!!! Thanks for the words of encouragement. I feel much better now knowing that Cooper is not alone. Kisses to Maggie!!! :)
 
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