Help been driven to despair/ divorce by 11 month old beagle(86 Posts)
Hi got a rescue 11 month old beagle no history of mistreatment just came from a very young family don't think they could cope with her. So not a nervous dog with issues at all but extremely lively and only house trained otherwise no lead training or sit training or nothing really apart from the house training. Oh and she sleeps well through the night once settled.
So have made really good progress with her in the 9 days had her by following all the usual rules rewarding good and completely ignoring bad behaviour etc and have drastically cut down on her leaping up to greet and at the kitchen worktops when we're cooking etc and ld say about a 40% improvement in her lead walking.
But what l am struggling with is this nighttime madness of hers which we just can't break and it is causing a horrible atmosphere and dh has even said he wants her to go back and there's something wrong with her she's mad etc.
Every evening last five days or so she suddenly turns into this biting grabbing snatching everything little demon. I have tried everything in the book but have ended up having lock myself in the kitchen with her and leave hubby in lounge for hours till she finally gives up and goes to sleep or calms down.
We have tried ignoring her but obviously when she starts knawing on the furniture or runs off with the remote or leaps up on the TV table then you can't. Plus she then thinks you are playing which winds her up more.
I have tried putting her out the room which actally worked after ten attempts today and she went to sleep last time she was let in. But at night and tonight it doesn't usually work and on top of that she starts trying to bite my hands when l try grab her and although lm sure this is only because she again thinks lm playng rather than aggressive. Tonight l have put her out 15 times and still craziness starts again as soon as let back in. Also she scratches at the door so fast and hard the house shakes which my DH finds really enraging.
So we put her out in the garden and she starts to dig at 100 miles an hour and digs massive holes in seconds so we can't do that either.
We got her a couple of Kings which are always at the ready in the freezer and do calm her for about twenty mins. Also she gets three long walks a day including some lead training and some long lead fun and sniffing etc and l train/ interact with her lots.
On the plus side my kitchen has never been cleaner because whilst lm out there constantly pushing her away from me or things she can't have or do etc and waiting it out l ignore her by cleaning my kitchen. But seriously it is awful and although l am determined to stick it out and be consistent etc. my DH is now announcing all this reriding the good behaviour is all rubbish etc and is no longer giving her a little pat or a treat when she's behaving nicely. So she seems be diving at him more as l think she's confused now at his change towards her and tries all the more. He'd never hit her or anything like that don't get me wrong but doesn't seem to get that even shouting at her to stop when she's in full flow is giving her attention.
Kong that should have said not King. ....and 'rewarding' the good behaviour not 'rending'
Mine had what I called his 'witching hour' when younger in the evening although at 1 years old he has grown out of it. Saying that we had one day a week or so ago when he had been over stimulated all day with no down time and he had a mad 5 mins running around the kitchen island like a puppy until he calmed himself down.
When he was doing his mad thing as a puppy it was because he was over tired and hadn't learnt how to settle and sleep. Was very similar to having a toddler. Whilst yours is older if they haven't bothered training her I also suspect they haven't bothered to 'settle her'. Mine used to get all bitey and hyper and run 100 miles an hour etc. I had crate trained so it was easy to put him in a crate where he would then proceed to dig and throw his bed about until collapsing into it for a big sleep. When he woke he was a different calmer dog. Keeping him confined in the kitchen would not have helped him as he would have continued to run about like a mad dog. Only by putting him in his crate and forcing a sleep helped. Have you crate trained?
The evening zoomies are entirely normal - almost all puppies/young dogs find themselves suddenly more awake around evening time as they are naturally crepuscular (i.e. dogs normal time to be awake and active is dawn and dusk). For puppies this often means the behaviour degrades a bit and the mouthing etc starts. However, obviously for you guys the extreme zoomies your beagle is displaying is way too much.
I think I might:
a) look at her food; just like with children, what dogs eat can make a massive difference to their behaviour. What do you feed her and when?
b) change one of the walk times to coincide with the evening burst of energy - not forever but for a few weeks/months yet. Eventually you can bring them forward into the day again but for now she needs to be doing something other than going bonkers, otherwise it risks being a habit.
c) once back home after a walk set a very reliable routine to indicate it is time to calm down: perhaps a kong when you get back, followed by a trip into the garden then into the lounge.
d) keep putting her out the room if her behaviour goes above a threshold; it might not work in the moment but over consistent attempts she should learn.
e) as part of her routine never play with her in the lounge and keep that room for relaxing (for her) only. Playtime in the kitchen or garden but never in the lounge so she is never mistaken about thinking she is in there to play.
I'd also be tempted to talk to the shelter you got her from to see what she was like while with them and whether or not they have a behaviourist that could support you in settling her in.
9 days is not very long for her to learn a new way of life and it might take a while yet so she'll need patience (though I appreciate that 9 days can feel like forever when it's not very pleasant for you).
Attaching a cue to her being sleepy can help a bit too. When I first got my pup I would say "settle down" repeatedly as he fell asleep in a soothing voice. After a week or so of doing that I noticed that I could use "settle down" as a command for the times when he is not sure whether to sleep or play. More often than not it convinced him to just relax.
p.s. your DH is wrong about rewarding the good doesn't mean anything, but then you already know that
Thanks Bitey it's a relief to hear it's not just me or our dog then. I haven't ever done crate training and haven't got one for her but we have a safety gate across the understairs which l've tried locking her behind with a Kong etc but she just cries and cries and jumps constantly at the gate. So lm reluctant to get one because l've read that you're not supposed to let the dog see it as a punishment but rather really want to go in it so l worry she already seems to see being locked away from us as a punishment rather than a safe place. So l am a bit confused about the whole concept really.
She's asleep with her head on my lap now btw butter wouldn't melt
Yes you need to get them used to the crate first. Mine always slept in his crate so it was fine to shut him in as it meant calm down and go to sleep. Essentially you need to teach her to calm down. missbattenburg gives some other options to use without a crate which are good. Once they get the hang of calming down it will get better, certainly when mine started running about last week he soon calmed himself down without me intervening and wandered off for a snooze.
Thank you MissB we are feeding her Wainwright's dry food with a bit of chicken for recall / lead training. Dog food and Kong paste stuff in the Kong and then freeze it. Might cut out the peanut butter in the Kong l've been using also.
Oh and l got her from Dogs Trust and they have good support and they fed her on the Wainwright's so there's been continuity there.
That's acasually a good idea about the lounge make it a sort of privilege to come in here and associate it with calm behaviour yes l will try that. My mum had a best room a little front parlour ( God lm showing my age) and it had the nicest furniture etc and was lovely. But as kids if we so much as took one sweet in there we got the red card and we had to behave and no shoes allowed etc. So l suppose is same concept for my doggy demon.
What our behavourist suggested was to put a lead on so that you can stop them by gently reeling them in , long slow strokes to soothe then as they quieten gradually let the lead loosen.
We have a very big Fox hound but he would become like an overtired toddler in the evenings. It's worked for us very well
Zoomis are normal. Beagles are known for being bonkers though. Not that helps you.
Three long walks? Maybe over stimulating?
Training knackers the little buggers out!
Look up brain games. Scent work and stuff.
Don't grab her or put her in the garden. Go with her. Play some games. Direct her attention. Perhaps reserve a favourite toy for the mad bitey time! (We have a toy box and rotate toys! )
...and yes my DH isn't helping as like with an off the rails teenager it's important to be consistant and sing from the same hymn sheet. But l am a determined so and so and when l start getting results l know he will come round. I am going to ring DTs helpline on Monday unless of course l am getting somewhere.
Yes Wolfie l only gave her two walks today but she doesn't seem to be flagging at all but maybe l am making her overtired/over stimulated. See l thought at first she needs to burn off more of this excess energy but maybe lm creating more of it lol. So l'll stick to two a day and plenty of brain games imbetween and see if that improves things.
Beagles are a different kettle of fish from other dogs (beagle mum for 18 years!)
Crate training is a huge help. Beagles are hounds and they are into EVERYTHING! You need to have somewhere they feel safe (a den) and you know they are safe. They are headstrong and difficult to train, but usually very food orientated- they will learn very quickly behaviours that get them food, so use that!
As a child, I was desperate for a dog. My parents finally got me one - a beagle. They rehomed him after a year, which broke my heart. He was destructive, no recall, a thief..But they didn't really understand the breed. I never forgave them, and vowed I would have my own beagle as soon as I coukd, and when I qualified (as a vet) , I did. And a few years later I got another!
They are lovely dogs, but hard work! They drove my DH wild! I had them for 18 years in total, but when they were gone DH put his foot down and said no more beagles (we have a collie now, and she is DHs perfect dog, but I still miss my naughty dogs!)
It's a constant battle with beagles. But they can be trained to some degree. As long as you accept that they are beagles, not collies, and they have , er, challenging breed characteristics! You need to be as determined as they are! Good luck, they are lovely dogs, and (I believe) worth the extra effort!
Definitely focus on the mental exercise as that’s what wears them out. Good luck.
minimum will try that but how do l put the lead on her without winding her up more/tormenting her because she then thinks she's going for a walk and gets even more excited and l feel kind of mean then. But yes she never bites on the lead as if she knows lm in control or something..so that would sve the trying to pull her away from something and getting the little land piranha treatment.
Offer her something to bite or grab or ask for a sit with a treat and get the lead on?
Would she savage a soft toy and not you!!
If she is focusing on you get your dh to put the lead on her and maybe get a house line, so different to her going out lead. Does that make sense?
I think a crate it is then. playpus l can see apart from this issue that she is very trainable. I have had two labradar litter brother's from 12 weeks old before and l thought they were hard work but she is harder but obviously not being trained to any degree for first year of her life probably isn't helping. I love the fact beagles are so good natured with the grandkids and other
dogs. I have had rescue dogs before with issues and a bad history and we're not really to be trusted with kids and other dogs had to be avoided with some of them. So it's nice to see her interacting with other dogs on leads all positive so far and she loves kids.
Also just to say we have not had a Fox hound before, he is a rescue and I really fell for what people were telling me on line that he needed lots and lots of walking. I forgot that he is essentially a hound and bone idle so we overwalked him.
Now I do things like put his food in an egg box which is wrapped in sellotape so it takes him ages to figure out how to get to the food, which is tiring but not physical
But l am a bit worried about recall training. Dogs Trust told me that yes Beagles can be recall trained and they do get a lot of Beagles to rehome but on the Internet there's a lot of negative stuff out there about they can never be trained to come back eto. I do want to see her running free off lead sometimes and not live her life on a lead though. So far she comes back about eight out of ten times on the lead and in the garden (except of course during crazy hour)
Baah they are great dogs, but a lot of work! (worth it though!) Lovely natures, few genetic issues, generally really happy-go-lucky little dogs. They respond well to crate training, because they are very "den minded"
The DT have some good support/behaviourists, so I'm sure they will help where they can.At 11 months your beaglie is probably the product of people like my parents who thought they were a cute "small" dog, and didn't put the groundwork in! Their nature is second to none, but they can be infuriating at times!
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