Seamus Smiff

Sudden Separation Anxiety-- with destruction.

My beagle has recently developed destructive separation anxiety. I come home to find random things chewed, and today he tried to dig into my room, and tore up the carpet. We have had him for 1.5 years and it has never been like this. Has anyone else had a similar situation of sudden separation anxiety? What did you do? Does anyone have any good suggestions? I realize that a crate would be the first "quick fix" to think of, but he gets highly anxious in his crate and is not crate trained. I know that it would save my home from damage, but I think it could do more harm than good to push the crate training full force right now. Please see his blog for more details.

Asked by Seamus Smiff on Sep 20th 2007 Tagged digging, chewing, separationanxiety, beagle, destruction in Separation Anxiety
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • This question is closed.



I would be sure to walk him before leaving...sounds like he is bored and full of energy. Also, you could try a kong filled with treats to keep him busy. .... Okay.... I just read his diary. hmmmm...... are you sure the dog walker is coming over? Are you available to come home on lunches? I would still suggest long walks BEFORE you leave .... and teach him tricks when you get home. Get his body and mind working harder. Maybe you already do this ?!?!? But I hope something helps!!

Good luck.....

Blackie answered on 9/20/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Buddy Boy

We found Buddy on the street when walking our other dog. He followed us home for a mile and 1/2. We kept him and he was fine and good for 2 months. Then all of a sudden he started tearing things up in the house. We tried kongs, bones and toys. That worked for about a week. So we had to crate him. He didn't like it at first, but he got used to it. He would go in as long as we threw a few cookies, a bone and a toy in there for him. There isn't much choice when you have to work and they are doing dangerous destructive things than can harm them if they get into the wrong thing.
Is he getting exercise? I don't see that mentioned at all. It may be boredom, not separation anxiety. Try giving him walks first. That wasn't our problem because they would get 1 1/2 miles in the morning and again at night. Try exercise first. Then maybe seclude him to just the kitchen with baby gates, or the hall way with a bed, toys, bones, etc.... then it may have to be the crate. We also always leave the TV on.

Buddy Boy answered on 9/20/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Hobie - Guardian Angel

Could there possibly be somthing that startled him in the apartment complex? I know when a lot of dogs are afraid of thunderstorms they tend to try to dig through walls and stuff like that. Kinda sounds like maybe somthing scared him either a person in the hall making loud noises when you're gone or possibly a break-in or something like that. If he wasn't doing it before and it started all of a sudden sounds like something happened. Did the dog walker bring someone with them into the apartment that Seamus maybe didn't approve of or maybe it was someone that resembled someone that hurt him in the past? Just some things to think about. Good luck to both of you!

Hobie - Guardian Angel answered on 9/21/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


A baby gate in the kitchen or a spare room, to keep him from roaming the whole house; a playmate to give him companionship; turn on the radio or television for him while you are gone. Definately make sure he has plenty of excersice before you leave, and give him plenty of toys to play with.

Good Luck!

DEUCE answered on 9/21/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If this is truly sudden, I'd take him to the vet to rule out any medical issues.

Next, I'd make sure the dog has more exercise. It is AMAZING how that works. That expression, "A tired dog is a good dog" is SO true!

I'd also leave the dog with a Kong filled with his wet meat or treats and some peanut butter. Give this to him when you're just about out the door, with a reassuring phrase, like, "I'll be right back" or "I'm going to work!" Try this on the weekend when you can leave for a short, ten minute errand (make sure you get in the car and leave, they can hear and smell you if you take a walk around the block and it won't be the same.)

When you return home, resist the urge to pet your dog for about five minutes, after he is calm. You can say, "Hey, there" but in a soft, monotone voice.

All this will help him re-associate what your leaving and arriving means to him and pretty soon I think you'll see a change.

Jack answered on 9/21/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


a little over a year ago I went though this. when mom was gone I would tear everything I could find up. when she came home I would get in her bed and not get up. mom started crating me when she was gone. she had to lock the crate because I hated it and figured out how to open it. when she got home would not let me just lay in the bed. we would go for walks and then play catch. after about 3 month of being in the crate when she left she decided to let me out again and I havne't torn stuff up again

Dallas answered on 9/21/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I also think before you leave take him on a long walk play with him in the backyard ect.
Make sure to get him a kong, i know they are not super cheap but they will work great. Fill it with Peanut Butter, Cheese wiz anything he likes! Then when you are walking out the door give it too him it will keep him busy! Also try and get a few chew bones some maybe Busy bones and things to keep him busy. Also when you come home ignore him yes i know it sounds bad but ten minutes later if you see him act like that was the first time you had seen him in weeks! (It truly does work) And maybe you could also get a dog walker to walk Seamus when you are gone.
Good Luck!
-Luke's Mom-

Luke answered on 9/29/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer