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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Ask An Expert > Answered Questions > We Recently Adopted A Female Beagle She Is A Wonderful Dog

We recently adopted a female beagle. She is a wonderful dog. Very loving, swee...

HelenMargaret

Question: 
We recently adopted a female beagle. She is a wonderful dog. Very loving, sweet & happy. EXCEPT when left in kennel while we are not @ home. She turns into a wild dog. She bends the metal bars, she chewed the plastic bottom tray of crate to pieces. We put down a rubber mat UNDER the crate, beneath the metal bars. She figured a way to chew that to shreds also. She shakes the kennel so much that it scrapes against the wall & chips the paint & is rubbing holes. She obviously has seperation anxiety & we could use some help. She especially does not like to be seperated from myself, the mother figure.
Answer: 

It sounds like she very possibly does have separation anxiety. Many dogs with SA cannot be crated because they will injure themselves trying to escape. I would recommend you work with a veterinarian and a behaviorist. Many people have success dealing with separation anxiety using a combination of medication and behavior modification. To the best of my knowledge, you would be using a medication to help the dog calm down enough to learn that it's okay to be alone (the behavior modification part). In the anxious state, she won't be able to learn that it's okay to be alone. Once she learns that, you can often wean off the medication. Until you can work with some professionals to help you, I'd try to find another place to contain her when you leave or maybe take her to doggie daycamp so she is not home alone. Try to make your arrivals and departures as boring as possible by ignoring her for the 15 minutes before you leave and the 15 minutes after you come home. If you come home and fawn all over her, it's a huge difference between you being home and you being gone. Make sure she is well exercised, has plenty of mental stimulation, and gets rewarded for independence (i.e. not following you around or lying right next to you). Also, if you haven't tried a stuffed Kong toy when you leave, that sometimes helps. Chewing helps the dog relieve stress and it gives her something else to do. Good luck and don't hesitate to work with a professional to solve the problem.