Sometimes we just can’t take our Beagles with us as we go about our daily routines. But just how long can you leave your beagle alone? What is a sensible amount of time that avoids them getting into mischief while you go about your daily life?
Adult Beagles (over 18 months) should not be left unsupervised for more than 4-6 hours a day. Beagle puppies should not be alone for more than 2 hours a day. Beagles left alone for long periods could develop anxiety, become destructive (through boredom) or bark and bay excessively.
Many dog owners have differing views on how long you should leave your dog alone. As Beagle owners, it is one of the biggest challenges of dog ownership. In the following post, I will share with you the maximum time they should be left alone, based on your Beagle’s age and some training techniques that might help your Beagle being apart from you.
How Long is Too Long for My Beagle?
Whether you already have a Beagle or are considering one join your family, it’s natural to worry about how long we can leave our new furry friends. Depending on their age there is a difference in the time you can leave your Beagle alone; let me explain more.
Puppies (0-18 months)
When you first bring your pup home, she is probably going to anxious and a little scared; she’s just been taken from her mother and littermates. She’s in a new home, new smells, new people and likely she’s never been left alone before.
Training your new Beagle pup to be left alone should start pretty quickly.
Firstly, make sure you provide a safe and secure environment for your Beagle pup. Crate training is a great way to provide a safe haven for your new puppy while at the same time teaching them that spending time on their own is no bad thing. It’s a good idea to start crate training as early as possible. Beagles are curious and are likely to try to eat and chew anything remotely interesting. Hence, crate training provides the opportunity to put her somewhere for time out while getting her used to being alone.
Based on the age of your Beagle, here are some guidelines for the time they can be left home alone.
It’s a good idea to build up the time that they are left alone, so start small and build up as your new Beagle becomes comfortable. We recommend using a crate while you train, but you could separate your Beagle in your chosen room or area.
8-12 weeks of age
15-60 minutes. In the first few weeks, get your puppy used to being in the crate by herself. Place her in the crate with her favourite toy and go make yourself a coffee. The first time you leave her alone, she might cry or whimper. Ignore her. Do not be tempted to remove her or interact with her, or else she will know what is needed in the future for you to do what she wants!
Beagle puppies will typically need a pee every hour at this age so make sure she has the chance to pee outside her crate.
3 – 6 months old
1-2 hours. Again, place her in the crate, maybe with her favourite toy and enjoy a little time to yourself. She will be getting used to the idea of her crate as a safe place and being alone.
Typically your Beagle puppy will be able to hold a pee between 1-3 hours.
6 months – 18 months old
Up to 4 hours. By this stage, your Beagle should be pretty comfortable with being in a crate. She may even go to her crate by herself when she needs a rest, some time out, or to go and play. When we give our girls a tasty antler to chew on, they always take the antler to their crate to chew on, it’s their ‘safe’ place.
After 6 months a Beagle will need a pee at least every 4 hours.
Adult (18 months plus)
Up to 6 hours. By now your Beagle will be comfortable being alone ion her crate. Sometimes enjoying her own company in her ‘safe place’. If you are leaving your dog for most of the day, she must be let outside to do her toilet work at least once per day, else there is likely to be a mess when you return home, and an unhappy Beagle.
Adult dogs will need to pee at least every 4-6 hours.
If you’ve had your Beagle from a puppy and have trained her, she should be comfortable being left alone for a maximum of 6 hours. If you have adopted an older Beagle, with little training and who isn’t used to being left alone, you may need to start from the beginning of the training.
What might happen if I leave my Beagle on her own without proper training?
Beagles are part of the hound family, and generally speaking, hounds are very sociable and like to be around people and other dogs. Without proper training and showing them that being alone is ok, our Beagle friends can become rather stressed when we leave them. In some instances, this could lead to separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety is a condition in dogs, where they become extremely anxious and distressed when left on their own. If your Beagle is showing signs of Separation anxiety, we recommend you see your vet or a qualified dog behaviourist for diagnosis and advice.
Typical behaviours to look out for are:
- Destructive behaviour, such as chewing
- Howling, barking or baying
- Pooping and peeing in the house or crate
Other things can cause Separation Anxiety. Therefore we would recommend getting professional advice to understand the root cause of the problem.
We wrote an article about why some Beagles eat poop, you can read it here.
What can I do if I need to leave them longer than is recommended?
If you do need to leave your Beagle for longer than the recommended hours, you should consider the following:
- Ask a neighbour, family member or friend who you can trust, to pop in on your Beagle and either take them for a walk or let them pee or poop in the yard and stretch their legs.
- If your job allows, go home for lunchtime to see your Beagle. It’s good for them but also good for you to get out of the office for a while.
- Use a professional dog walking service to walk your Beagle while you are out.
- Find a local doggy daycare service, where you can leave your Beagle with a professional dog sitter.
How can I train my Beagle to be left alone?
Training your Beagle takes time, patience and commitment for it to be successful. So whether its a puppy or an adult dog here are some steps you can follow that we used successfully with all our Beagle puppies.
When you are in the house with your Beagle, sat together in a room, get up and walk a short distance away. When they stay calm and don’t attempt to follow you, return to them and reward them with a tasty, healthy puppy treat. Repeat a few more times, lengthening the period you are not with them each time.
Top Tip: If your Beagle is part of a family, you all must stick to the same training routine. You may find it actually shortens the time to train your Beagle if you all get involved!Theresa Wilson
This time, walk away from your Beagle again but leave the room altogether. Wait for a couple of minutes, then return into the room. As long as the puppy has stayed calm and made no fuss, reward them with a treat. Repeat a few more times, again lengthening the time you leave them.
Top Tip: When you return to them, and they are excited to see you, don’t make a big deal of it, stay calm, so it will teach your puppy it’s normal for them to not always be with you.Theresa Wilson
Once both you and your Beagle buddy are comfortable being apart inside your home, now leave the house for a short time, e.g. 15 minutes. Then return home, be calm and collected and give them a reward when you return. Keep repeating this step, and again each attempt lengthen the time away from your pup.
Top Tip: Make sure when you leave your Beagle, they are safe, and there is nothing they can eat or chew.
Are crates a good option for my Beagle?
Growing up with dogs, we never used crates, I used to think they were like puppy prison. However, when we had our first Beagle, Bracken, she wouldn’t settle at night, embarking on crate training was a real game-changer for us. We all managed to get some sleep finally!
Beagles, more so than some other breeds, adapt exceptionally well to crates. They feel secure and happy they have their own den. We have used crates with all our Beagles and with success.
When you are training your Beagle to be used to being on its own, a crate can really help. It can also give you reassurance she isn’t up to no good.
Some things to think about with using crates:
- Crate training can help with: house training, prevent chewing/destructive behaviour and help your Beagle to relax.
- When you use a crate for the first time, ensure you undertake proper crate training techniques, so your Beagle learns to love her new den.
- Invest in the right size crate for your Beagle and line it with a blanket or Vet Bed to provide insulation and warmth.
- Crates can also be used in your car to transport your dogs safely.
In summary, an adult Beagle should be alone for no more than 6 hours and 2 hours for puppies. Training a Beagle that being alone is not such a bad thing and is essential. It can help prevent your Beagle from being distressed when you have to leave them, which could lead to separation anxiety.