Beagles love their humans. These dogs show their affection in many ways such as by being protective, possessive and of course, clingy. I assume your beagle also follows you around and seeks your attention all the time. Thus, it makes you wonder what causes your little beagle to crave so much attention. Is it normal or is something wrong with the doggo?
Beagles are clingy due to their instinctive habit of wanting to bond as pack-animals. Thus, your beagle can become inseparable with you when its bonding instincts are triggered. Moreover, a Beagle’s clinginess can be a reaction to bad emotions such as separation-anxiety, a change in the dog’s daily routine or health issues such as vision or hearing loss and cognitive decline.
These factors that affect the behavior of a Beagle can be internal as well as environmental/external. However, the outcomes of these causes can be both good and bad to the wellbeing of a dog.
In this post, I will explain to you about this clingy behavior of Beagles in more depth. Plus, I will give solutions on how to make your doggo less clingy and more healthy and happy.
Nevertheless, just do not worry. This is a very usual behavior in most dog breeds and it does not harm a dog in any significant ways.
Here are the causes of your Beagle’s clingy behavior
01 – Being Pack-animals
Beagles are dogs that inherently want to be in a pack. That means a Beagle wants to bond with other dogs and become a part of a pack/family.
However, since your Beagle does not have a pack, it realizes you are its pack/family, so when its instincts to bond get triggered, the dog gets more clingy with you.
In other words, your Beagle thinks you are its only family. In fact, it is a good thing that your dog sees you that way. It means you have done your job right raising the dog to feel so loved that it shows just as much affection in return to you.
02 – Emotional state
Just like us humans, Beagles also feel many different emotions. Emotions can be positive as well as negative to the emotional state of a dog.
So, when a Beagle has negative emotions, it reacts to them in varies-different ways. For example, the dog becomes hyperactive, aggressive, tries to wander off or hide and even, starts to eat less or not eat at all.
And being clingy is also another way, a Beagle copes with its emotions.
Here is how bad emotions affect your Beagle:
When the dog feels that it could be abandoned by you, it tries being closer to you to make sure it does not happen. This is the most usual reaction to this emotion.
A beagle can get separation-anxiety when it is alone for too long. Lets say you leave your Beagle at home for long periods of times, then, the dog starts to feel bad emotions.
In fact, this is how the dog becomes insecure of being abandoned. Not only that, separation-anxiety can also lead depression which is quite bad for the mental health of the dog.
Thus, when you come home, the dog becomes too attached and clingy to you to make up for the lost time when you were away.
Whenever a Beagle gets bored, it usually distracts itself with toys and foods but when that also becomes dull and boring, the dog comes to you to play or cuddle.
This emotion may also be derived from being left alone at home for too long.
When a Beagle feels scared, it usually gets clingy with you for comfort. It can be a phobia such as being fearful of loud noises, certain people or things.
Or for example, it may also be due to having guests over. You see, Beagles get defensive when there are strangers around especially at home. So, considering the fact that these dogs are super territorial, they get quite upset due to feeling unsafe and unfamiliar.
So, seeking your attention for relief is the coping mechanism for such situations.
03 – Changes to the daily routine
If you make any changes to your Beagle’s daily routine, it can cause a clingy behavior in the dog. You see, all dogs in general do not like changes in their lifestyle.
if you changed the number of times you feed your Beagle, it can upset the dog. So, until it feels used to that new pattern of eating again, the doggo will feel anxious.
And to cope with its feelings, the dog will come to you for attention.
Here are some more examples:
- Moving into a new place
- Changing exercises
- Changing food brands or types of foods
- New furniture in the house or getting rid of old one/ones
- Not going out for usual walks
- Painting the house walls with new colors
- Having strangers over at home
- Other family members moving out or being away for too long
04 – Health Issues
When a Beagle feels that it can not interact with the world normally due to its health condition such as vision or hearing loss, the environment around it becomes unfamiliar or strange, so the dog gets clingy with you in hopes of being dependent on you (and for affection and comfort too).
This is mostly common in older Beagles but it is best to provide your doggo with regular vet care. So, do not skip on the visits to the vet office for check-ups.
Also knowing whether the dog has a health problem is crucial because that way, you can quickly get your dog proper treatments and minimize the harm.
Here are symptoms when your Beagle is having a health issue that could affect its behavior to be clingy:
- Not obeying your commands and ignoring you when you call out its name
- Being unresponsive to day-to-day sounds such as vacuum or doorbell
- Being less active
- Tilting or shaking the head
- Barking excessively when there is not even a reason to do so
- Finds it difficult to wake up from sleep
- And obviously, the clinginess
These symptoms are quite obvious:
- The dog would bump into walls and furniture
- Shows difficulty in finding food and toys
- The dog will not show eye contact with you
- Being hesitant to run, jump on or off the couch
- And obviously, the clinginess
- Licking excessively
- Ignoring to house rules or learned training
- Extremely slow when learning new commands
- Severe irritability
- No willingness/excitement to play or go out for walks
- Difficulty in remembering familiar routes
- Too much barking
- Loosing appetite
- Again lastly and obviously, the clinginess
05 – Unintended positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement basically means giving your dog rewards for behaving a certain-desired way.
You see, when you give rewards to your four-legged buddy for being obedient, the dog becomes motivated to behave that way even more in order to get more rewards.
This is simply how you train a dog to obey commands.
Speaking of a desired behavior, usually, when your Beagle becomes clingy with you, it is a behavior you like right?! It makes you happy that your dog follows you around. So, you give the doggo treats and praise for being so close to you like that.
When you do that, your Beagle gets convinced that its clinginess is a positive thing that makes you happy and also, gets it more rewards.
So, with that incentive, the dog will keep on being more clingy.
How to make your Beagle less clingy?
When a Beagle lacks enough exercise, it will not be able to spend its stored energy (which should usually be spent on physical activity). So, as a result, the dog becomes hyperactive, causing all kinds of commotions (with more behavioral changes).
You see, when a Beagle is not active enough, it becomes extremely energetic even while it is resting. So, it is only normal for the dog to feel temped to be bouncy. Thus, being a full-time attention seeker by following you around also gets much easier.
And that is why doing plenty of exercise can help the dog feel satisfied and tired enough to not come after you 24/7.
Use of positive reinforcement training
When you leave your Beagle at home, give the dog a treat and a toy. This way, the dog will think of that movement as a happy and positive one rather than sad and lonely one where it will be left alone at home.
So, every time you leave your dog, in its mind, that will be a good thing since it gets him/her rewards.
However, still, try to minimize the time that you are away from your Beagle.
Create a happy play-environment for the dog
If you have an extra room or space in the house, make it your Beagle’s own area to play in. Keep the dog’s bed and toys there.
So that every time the dog feels bored and wants your attention, it will instead go to that play-area to spend time since playing with its favorite toys must feel more exciting and fun.
And buy your Beagle new toys every once in a while. It will make the dog more excited.
Also, use positive reinforcement training to encourage the dog to make this a habit.
Every time when your dog goes to its play-area, give a treat. That will make the dog think that playing with its toys is not only fun but also gets it more rewards from you.
Show attention and affection as much as possible
Whenever you see your Beagle, try giving some attention because when the dog gets attention without even having to ask for it, the doggo will likely stop craving it so much.
It is a simple psychological trick.
When we have something, we do not crave it – Same thing applies with dogs. When your Beagle already gets what it wants, it will not go out of its way to be clingy with you to get it.
Socialize the dog more
Generally, a Beagle becomes so clingy to its owner because they are the only interaction the dog usually has. So, make the dog interreact with other people and allow it to trust them.
It can be your family members or friends. Let your dog spend time with them.
Moreover, making the dog interact with other dogs is also great. Dog park would be an optimal place for your Beagle to make friends.
How much of your Beagle’s clinginess is too much?
There is not a specific amount but if your Beagle has become so clingy that it almost overwhelms you, then it is the time that you bring your Beagle for a visit at the vet’s office. There, the vet will do a diagnosis and detect if there are any abnormalities in the dog’s health mentally or physically such as the Velcro Dog syndrome.
It is quite obvious that there are numerous factors that influence a Beagle to be so clingy such as the instinctive habit to be a pack-animal, having negative emotions, health issues and more.
However, you can deal with the dog’s clinginess by exercising the dog more, using reward-based training and a lot more.
The good news is that being clingy is not an unhealthy habit. It can only cause you trouble since you have to be with the dog 24/7 but other than that, it is not a harmful behavior to the dog.
Featured image credit: Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels