My Beagle is Very Fearful and Shy
Let’s face it, no one wants a dog that is scared of everyone and everything. It’s just not something you would expect a healthy and well behaved dog to do. Sure some dogs can be a little shyer than others, but if anything new causes them fear, anxiety and panic then there is a deeper problem than just shyness.
If your Beagle is fearful of strangers, other dogs, or new things in general then you need to find a way to address the behavior. Although it is normal for a dog to run away from a large noisy car, or bark at the vacuum that is making too much noise – it is unhealthy for a dog to panic over things that normally he shouldn’t worry about.
Examples of Fearful behavior we are talking about
It’s alright to be scared of certain things as we previously mentioned above, it’s perfectly healthy. What we are talking about here is fear of things that your Beagle shouldn’t be running or hiding from. Here are a few examples.
- Strangers – Your beagle shouldn’t be running away from every person that he sees. If he gets all crazy from just seeing another person, going out on walks with him are usually a complete nightmare. At this point many owners will end up taking out their dog out on shorter walks and that will make their Beagle even more anxious and fearful of strangers.
- Other pets and animals – This one usually stems from a bad experience with the other animals, and that’s understandable. However if your Beagle is scared of anything that moves, then he probably has not been socialized properly.
- Cars and other vehicles – If you can’t take your dog out on a sidewalk of a somewhat busy street without him choking himself to death trying to run away from the cars that are driving by… well then you might have a problem. Again, if you don’t do anything about it your Beagle will turn even more fearful overtime making it harder to overcome the problem.
Examples of when your Beagle SHOULD be fearful
Fear is a great safety response and is only an issue when it gets out of balance. Here are some situation where you should expect your Beagle to be fearful because it’s natural and nothing that you should worry about.
- Trains – Not only is the sight of a huge chunk of metal coming towards you at frightening speeds scary, but all the noise that accompanies can scare anyone, not just dogs. Of course if you live not too far from the railroad your dog can get used to the noise over time and think nothing of it.
- Fireworks – If you live in United States you know exactly what to expect when 4th of July approaches. The loud noises from fireworks sound like loud gunshots and since your dog doesn’t understand that they are there for celebration, it will freak him out.
- Loud Noises – Pretty much anything that can make a lot of noise can be scary for your Beagle, not just the fireworks. This can include vehicles that are louder than the usual sound cars make on the street, groups of loud people, loud home appliances, etc.
Help your Beagle overcome his fears
Just like with any other behavior problem, the longer you let it go on the tougher it will be to get rid of.
Take baby steps. If your Beagle is scared of passing cars, take him with you on less busy streets. If he is scared of strangers, invite a friend or two to your place so that he can see that meeting new people is nothing to be scared of. By taking small steps at a time you will build your dog’s confidence. Going on a busy street won’t be as bad for the Beagle is he has already seen a few cars drive by him with no harm done.
Make your dog feel as comfortable as you can. Some owners think that pushing their dog to face their fears is the best route to take, but this usually backfires on the owner. The dog just feels more anxious and fearful because of the extra pressure caused from the owner, the person they trust the most. Instead you should make the experience as comfortable for your dog as you can.
Don’t feed his fears. If you know anything about the Beagle dog breed, you already know that these dogs are really good at reading their owners emotions. Your dog will be able to sense when you are anxious and that will make them even more anxious. So try to stay calm and don’t make a big deal out of their fears. You can acknowledge the stranger walking by the street, but don’t tense up ahead of time.