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Topic: My older beagle cries and howls all the time now and I'm at my wit's end

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Subject: My older beagle cries and howls all the time now and I'm at my wit's end
Date Posted: 1/13/2011 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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I have a beagle who turned 11 last October. For the past 4 - 8 months I've noticed a change in his behavior. I'm a first-time dog owner so I have no idea if this is a natural thing or if something is going on with him.


It's gotten to the point where my dog whimpers and howls almost all the time. Mainly he does the whimpering thing. It'll be the middle of the day and I can hear him walking around just crying.


Also, whenever I or my mother leave for any length of time (go out to lunch with friends, grocery shopping) he starts howling loudly. Even if I come outside to show him that hey, he’s not home alone, I’ll go back in the house and it’ll start all over again.


At night he gets settled in his favorite sleepy-time spot and is fine. But lately he resists going and when put there whimpers for long minutes. And if he should happen to see or hear me or another family member, you the crying and whimpering will start all over again.


Lastly, I’ll sometimes notice he’ll just sit on one of the two steps that leads to our front door. I’ll open up the screen door, step out and whack him on the nose because I have no idea that he’s sitting there. And he’ll just sit there for hours sometimes. Sometimes quietly and other times whimpering.


This behavior is getting to a point where I actually had another dog-owner neighbor worriedly inquire as to his well-being. I had to tell her I have no idea what's going on. I also told this problem to a friend who also has a dog. He said it sounded like separation anxiety. I would say perhaps that’s true, but what’s the reason for doing it in the middle of the day? And why now all of a sudden


Does anyone have any experience with this? I just don’t know what to do for my beagle anymore. I’m getting so frustrated and upset with this whimpering problem. I’m thinking of just waiting till his next vet appointment and begging them if they can give me any idea on what could be wrong. I doubt they could tell me since they’re not dog whisperers or anything, but I’m desperate.


Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.


Natalie B.

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Date Posted: 1/18/2011 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
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I'd go to my vet now and get him a check-up. At his age it could be any number of things. Arthritis, possibly going a bit blind or deaf...I'm not familiar with beagles so am not sure what problems they are most prone to. But with any sudden change in behavior, you should rule out medical problems first.

scifiponygirl avatar
Date Posted: 1/18/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
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Sounds like Old Dog Cognative Disorder (aka dog alzheimers).  You should have your vet give him a thorough check up.  If it is ODCD, there may be medication that can help him and possibly slow his deterioration. There are medications to treat it, but sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. 

I had to euthanize my Keeshond due to ODCD.  His symptoms were very similar to your Beagle's.  His confusion and misery got so bad, I felt it was the only humane thing to do. 

Good luck and I  hope the vet can help.

cozy-creek avatar
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2010
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I agree with the others, take him to a vet.     If it ends up that there is nothing wrong with him health wise, then try to find a behaviorist OR you can go to   The people on that forum are very helpful. This is actually Victoria Stilwells website.  Hope all goes well, good luck!!

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Date Posted: 2/2/2011 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
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Ruling out any medical problem have a senile old man on your hands. Going thru the same thing with my 12 yr old dog for the last six months or so.....he will just sit and bark into space until you manage to get his attention...then he wags his tail as if to say oh there you are. I found leaving either the tv or a talk show radio station on helps....he seems to think their are people around talking. He is getting weak in his legs (. Large solid every day I have to ask myself if he is enjoying his day or is it time to let him go. Each extra day is a bonus day despite the invisible intruders that only he can see and protect us from by barking