Can Beagles Be Left Alone?

Bracken and Baylee in crate for first time training

Sometimes we just can’t take our Beagles with us as we go about our daily routines. Can beagles be left alone and if so, 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. Read on to find out more.

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 be apart from you.

Can beagles live outside?

No, Beagles should not live outside 100% of the time. They are a social breed that needs companionship and interaction with their family pack.

A lack of human interaction can lead to boredom, depression, and destructive behavior.

If you work long hours or are gone for extended periods, consider dog daycare or hiring a dog walker to help your Beagle get the interaction they need.

How Long is Too Long for My Beagle?

Whether you already have a Beagle or are considering one to 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 dog alone; let me explain more.

Puppies (0-18 months)

When you first bring your pup home, she is probably going to be anxious and a little scared; she’s just been taken from her mother and littermates. She’s in a new home, with new smells, and new people, and likely she’s never been left alone before. 

Training your pup to be left alone should start pretty quickly.

Firstly, ensure a safe and secure environment for your 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.

Read our post about when beagles stop biting with hints and tips.

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 they become comfortable.

We recommend using a crate while you train, but you could separate your dog in your chosen room or area.

8-12 weeks of age

15-60 minutes. Get your puppy used to being in the crate alone in the first few weeks. Place her in the crate with her favorite 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 favorite 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 puppy can hold a pee for between 1-3 hours. 

6 months – 18 months old

Up to 4 hours. By this stage, your puppy should be comfortable 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 puppy will need a pee at least every 4 hours.

Adult (18 months plus)

Up to 6 hours. By now, your puppy will be comfortable being alone in 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 dog with little training and aren’t used to being left alone, you may need to start from the beginning of the training.

Facts about beagles and separation anxiety

Beagles are not the best dog breed for those who work long hours as they do not like being left alone for extended periods of time.

If you work full-time, getting a dog sitter or dog walker to help take care of your beagle during the day is important.

Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when left alone, manifesting in destructive chewing, howling, and barking.

If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help from a certified dog trainer or animal behaviorist.

There are some things you can do to help ease your beagle’s separation anxiety, such as:

  • Leave your dog with a favorite toy or chew
  • Crate train your beagle, so she has a safe place to go
  • Give your dog plenty of exercises before you leave
  • Set up a doggy cam so you can check in on your beagle while you’re away

With some patience and training, most beagles can learn to cope with being left alone.

If you’re considering getting a beagle, make sure you’re prepared to commit to spending time with your new dog.

Why does a beagle howl?

There are a few reasons why beagles howl.

One reason is that they are trying to communicate with other members of their pack.

Howling is one way that beagles can let others know where they are and what they are doing. Another reason why beagles howl is that they are trying to get attention.

Beagles are very social animals, and they love to be around people.

They may start howling to get their attention if they think someone is ignoring them.

Finally, beagles may howl simply because they are happy and enjoying themselves.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that beagles enjoy howling, and it is one of the things that make them unique.

Does My Beagle Get Lonely?

As a Beagle owner, you may be worried that your dog is lonely. Maybe the little rascal has been displaying signs of anxiety, has a low mood, or doesn’t seem to be herself?

Beagles can become lonely when left alone or given little attention. Typical behaviors to look out for are low mood, destructive behavior, urinating/pooping in the house, barking, or howling.

To prevent loneliness, be sure to give them plenty of exercise, attention, and companionship.

Addressing loneliness can be quite easy to do, and you can also have some fun with your beagle along the way.

What are some of the causes of my Beagle feeling lonely?

Many different situations can cause loneliness. Isolation is a common reason. Isolation could be due to not spending enough time with your Beagle because of work, family, or social commitments.

It might be that you’ve had a recent change in your life, such as a new job, or maybe you have had a baby. Either way, it has led to you interacting less with your Beagle.

Another reason which I have recently seen with my own Beagle, Baylee (our third, now eldest Beagle), is loneliness caused by separation or loss. Baylee lost her friend Bracken in 2019 due to cancer.

Although our lives from day to day hadn’t changed, and we were still spending the same time with Baylee, she was showing signs of loneliness (which I will talk about in more detail later in the post).

So losing a loved one, be it a furry friend or even a human friend, can cause loneliness by the gap left in companionship a friend once gave to the other dog.

Why do Beagles love companionship more than other dog breeds?

Beagles historically were bred to hunt in packs; when they were not hunting, they played and slept together. So it makes complete sense Beagles love the companionship of other dogs.

In modern times although people still use Beagles for hunting, though are now mostly pets. They still retain a pack mentality in their genetics, but we, doggy parents, have become part of their pack. 

After food, beagles are happiest when they spend time with you or one of their other pet companions, be it another dog or cat.

They are contented little hounds, whether hanging out with you while you smash your way through your favorite Netflix box set, taking trips to the drive-thru to grab a coffee, or going for walks on your favorite beach or local park.

Beagles love spending time with you and for you to give them some attention; remember, they see you as their pack.

lonely Beagle dog in a crate
Beagles are pack animals and love spending time with other dogs and people. Too much time in isolation could cause loneliness.

Beagles love companionship, whether it’s from their dog friends or their human family. Consequently, they will feel lonely when left on their own or given no attention.

What are the signs to look for that indicate my Beagle is feeling lonely?

Just like humans, when we are on our own or ignored, we can sometimes feel sad, frustrated, or maybe even angry.

These feelings are also felt by our canine friends and can manifest themselves in some of the following behaviors:

  • Low mood, less active, slows down.
  • Destructive chewing
  • Digging
  • Urinating and/or pooping in the house
  • Barking/Baying or howling
  • Attempting to escape

Some of the behaviors above can also be attributed to other issues, such as health, diet, or general behavior issues.

If you think it’s any of the above, then It’s always a good idea to consult with your Vet or qualified dog behaviorist.

They will be able to give your dog the once over and advise accordingly. 

What can I do to make my dog feel less lonely?

For most Beagle owners, there are times when we can’t always be with our furry friends. We have to work, pick the kids up from school, and care for our relatives, there are many reasons why we have to leave them.

Though we can’t always be with our dogs, ideally, they should be left for no longer than 6 hours maximum. 

The obvious answer might be to get another dog. However, for many reasons, time, limited living space, finances, a strict landlord, sometimes getting another dog isn’t feasible.

But don’t worry; there are some things you can do that could help your dog feel less lonely.

Give your dog plenty of exercise

An adult Beagle should have daily walks for a minimum of 20-30 minutes each time.

The walk should be at a brisk pace for an adult dog.

For puppies, walks should be limited to one mile per day and in short bursts.

When you know you have to leave your Beagle for a couple of hours, take them for a good walk, this will tire them out, and while you drop the kids off at school, they will have a little nap.

Generally, dogs will sleep for 12-14 hours per 24-hour cycle.

Ask for some help

If you need to leave your dog, maybe ask a neighbor or relative to drop by for a scratch and a cuddle.

Alternatively, arrange for a local dog-walking service to drop by and take your Beagle out for a walk. The alternative companionship will stimulate your Beagle and give them something to look forward to while you are out.

Leave the radio on

Popping on the radio either while you leave your dog or when you are both home, but you are busy with stuff provides excellent stimulation for dogs.

It can also prevent them from barking. I always leave the radio on for my two Beagles, plus the lights if it’s dark!

Spend time with your Beagle

Beagles can feel lonely even if you are at home; merely ignoring them can contribute to loneliness. So when you are home, interacting with them at various times throughout the day will help.

You could do some training with them, throw a ball in the backyard, or give them a chew such as a deer antler or a Kong filled with healthy treats.

You could do this with the whole family when you are home.

Give them some of your time during the day, and you know you will get some proper loving thrown right back at you. It’s a no-brainer, right?

We wrote an article about how much exercise your Beagle needs.

Is getting another dog a good idea?

Adding another dog to the family, whether it is a Beagle or another breed, should always be carefully considered and not taken lightly.

There are benefits to getting another dog, and it could help alleviate your Beagle feeling lonely.

A little brother or sister will provide stimulation and companionship to your Beagle, particularly when you are not home.

We have lost two beagles to the rainbow bridge, and in both separate instances, they left a friend behind. After much careful thought, we decided another dog companion was the right thing to do.

In both scenarios, our Beagles have accepted their new friend and gone on to be best buddies. Yay!

But having another dog does require more attention (two dogs to train), costs more (food, insurance, etc.), and more responsibility.

You must also consider if your dog will accept a new dog. A history of dog aggression could lead your dogs to fight.

Even if there isn’t a history, aggression could still manifest itself along with other behaviors such as anxiety or depression.

Please think very carefully before adopting or buying another dog. It’s a decision all of the family should make, including your Beagle. 

We wrote an article discussing whether to get a second Beagle, are they better as pairs? You can read it here.

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 canine 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 that become extremely anxious and distressed when left on their own.

If your dog is showing signs of Separation anxiety, we recommend you see your vet or a qualified dog behaviorist for diagnosis and advice.

Typical behaviors to look out for are:

  • Destructive behavior, such as chewing
  • Howling, barking, or baying
  • Panting
  • 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.

Anxious Beagle barking
An anxious Beagle may bark excessively when you are not home, which is distressing for your dog and neighbors.

If you do need to leave your Beagle for longer than the recommended hours, you should consider the following:

  1. Ask a neighbor, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use a professional dog walking service to walk your Beagle while you are out.
  4. 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 it’s a puppy or an adult dog, here are some steps you can follow that we used successfully with all our Beagle puppies.

Step 1: 

When you are in the house with your Beagle, sit 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

Step 2: 

This time, walk away from your Beagle again but leave the room altogether. Wait for a couple of minutes, then return to the room. If 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

Step 3: 

Once you and your Beagle buddy are comfortable being apart inside your home, 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. Repeating this step and 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 prisons. However, when we had our first Beagle, Bracken, she wouldn’t settle at night, so 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 behavior 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.

Beagles may not be the best choice for everyone.

A beagle may not be for everyone due to their unique personality, but if you’re looking for a lovable, active, and friendly companion, the Beagle might just be the dog for you.

Here is an article to help you decide if a beagle is the right dog for you and discusses are beagles are difficult dogs.

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.