You love your Beagle buddy to bits, but his chewing habits are wreaking havoc on your home and wallet. Puppies going through a teething stage will chew on everything. Adult dogs can continue to be destructive chewers. What can you do to contain those chewing habits?
How to stop a Beagle from chewing everything? Here are 8 steps I’ve used to address this issue:
- Help them during their teething period
- Crate your Beagle
- Try not to leave them alone for long periods
- Reinforcing the wrong behavior in your Beagle
- Giving them inappropriate toys
- Put valuable items away
- Interrupt their wrong behavior
- Add taste deterrents.
If your Beagle has a chewing habit you want to break, read on. It is normal for a Beagle puppy to chew on everything, and for older dogs to keep the desire to chew. But it is important to know why they are chewing and to redirect that energy.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a lifelong dog owner who has fostered many shelter dogs, I’ve dealt with Beagles and other breeds’ chewing challenges. Beagles have many wonderful qualities – their friendliness, good nature, and ability to get along with kids, other dogs, and even cats. So it is well worth the effort to train your pet to stop unnecessary chewing. Here’s a pic of my Beagle Lincoln.
Why Do Beagles Chew on Everything?
Beagles chew for two primary reasons.
Beagle puppies chew due to teething.
Older Beagles generally chew out of boredom. How to stop a Beagle from chewing everything? In most cases, it’s about addressing boredom in your Beagle.
Keep your Beagle occupied and give him plenty to do, and you can stop a bad chewing habit. The old adage, “A tired dog is a good dog,” applies to adult Beagles who tend to chew too much.
For some dogs, chewing helps relieve anxiety. If your Beagle is nervous or shy, chewing may make him feel more comfortable.
How to Stop a Beagle from Chewing Everything
1. Help your Beagle during teething
Teething and Chewing
Beagle puppies are not born with teeth. At about one month of age, the milk teeth come in. These 28 small choppers are temporary, and the permanent teeth start emerging between 3 and 4 months. That’s when Beagle puppies start their teething chewing frenzies.
As the permanent teeth emerge, the puppy experiences itchy, painful gums. Puppies chew to relieve this oral irritation.
As the teething process starts, the incisors are the first to sprout. They are followed by the canines, and the molars come in last.
How to help your Beagle during teething
There are two ways to help your Beagle during teething.
- Give your Beagle puppy appropriate items to chew on. We cover the best chews later in this article.
- Relieve his teething pain by administering ice.
Ice not only eases the pain, but it is also safe, and puppies enjoy chewing and playing with the cubes. Make sure to “ice” your puppy in an area that is fine to get wet.
Here are some alternatives to frozen water:
- Freeze some chicken broth and give it to your puppy, who will appreciate the gesture even more.
- Soak some dry dog food in water and then place the mixture in ice cube trays.
- Put a large carrot in the freezer and allow it to get very cold. Give the icy carrot to your Beagle puppy, who will love to chew on it. It is full of fiber and valuable nutrients – while the frozen treat aids his mouth pain.
2. Crating your Beagle
We mention a couple of times in this article the benefits of crating your puppy if you are leaving home for a specific time. That way, your puppy is confined to an area where they cannot destroy everything in sight.
If you are crating your puppy, you might want to know:
You may have heard of someone who left their adult Beagle inside the house alone and returned to discover their dog had chewed up furniture or other items.
This does not have to happen.
If your Beagle is crated when you are out of the house, he cannot grab items to chew or make a snack out of furniture or electronics. That is why crate training is one of the best ways to stop a Beagle from chewing everything. It is also a valuable tool when you are trying to housebreak your puppy.
Here are some informative articles to read about crating your Beagle if this is a new thing for you and your dog:
3. Try not to leave your Beagle alone for long periods
Any dog can prove destructive, and Beagles are no exception.
A Beagle’s destructive habits, are more likely to occur when left alone for an extended time with nothing to preoccupy him.
Loud and constant howling is another issue found in lonely and bored Beagles, like in the video below.
Pack animals born and bred
Keep in mind that Beagles are genuine pack animals, more so than many other dog breeds. Remember, it’s in their genes to hunt small animals like rabbits and foxes with a group of Beagles.
Beagles do not like being left alone, especially if that means no other canines in the house. Separation anxiety is often an issue with this breed. Why? As hunting dogs, they have been trained to stick close to their masters during the hunt. While having more than one dog is not a possibility for everyone, it is a good idea if you have a Beagle.
If you are crating a dog that suffers from anxiety, you should research crates specific to dogs with anxiety issues. We’ve done some research that you may want to read.
Addressing separation anxiety
Here are some actions I’ve taken to overcome Lincoln’s separation anxiety that you might like to try:
- Consider leaving the TV or radio on for your Beagle when you are away. I’ve even read in dog online forums that you can find soothing music for dogs on Spotify.
- Supply him with “brain game” puzzles for dogs to keep him occupied. The beauty of some puzzles is that you can adjust the difficulty level once your Beagle figures out how to get the reward. That way, they are always stimulated.
- Leave your Beagle a treat that they will take a while to get through. We use dried chicken breasts or Kong’s stuffed with peanut butter. We also soak dried dog food in water, pack it inside the Kong and then freeze it.
- Take your Beagle for a long walk before you leave home.
- Give your Beagle some clothes that smell of you so they can curl up on it and not miss you so much.
- Try crating your Beagle. Lincoln responded really well to having his own den or “safe space”. He was very comfortable in there. Add a piece of your clothing in the crate too.
Here’s a suggestion I found in a dog forum: a beep/shock collar that beeps when your Beagle barks or howls. I thought this would be a cruel way to deal with separation anxiety, but when you’ve tried everything else, give it a go. That way, each time you put the collar on your Beagle, he knows you are leaving and can settle down rather than get anxious.
3. Reinforcing the wrong behavior in your Beagle
While you can train your Beagle to stop destroying toys and other items, you can also inadvertently encourage this behavior.
The result is that dog owners do not realize they have created this canine monster.
Sometimes, when a Beagle puppy tears a toy apart, the owner may think it is cute and make a positive fuss over it. To the puppy, that translates as “This is a good thing to do. They are paying attention to me.” The behavior will persist as he ages, as the destruction worsens, and there is nothing cute about it.
4. Giving them inappropriate toys
Do not give your Beagle an old shoe to chew on.
You may not mind your footwear being chewed, but your dog does not know the difference between a shoe that is falling apart and your Manolo Blahnik’s.
What toys to avoid
- Avoid buying your dog a toy that looks like a shoe – even if it is not made of leather – or any other article that your dog could mistake for the real thing.
- Avoid plush toys
- Avoid squeaky toys.
5. Put valuable items away
Doing your part involves picking up and safely putting away any items you do not want your puppy to reach. It’s your responsibility to ensure your pet does not have access to things he might chew up when left alone.
There is nothing a dog might not decide to chew.
Put your shoes, wallet, and phone away, make sure the kids put their toys out of the dog’s reach, and never allow your dog the run of the house when no one is home.
6. Don’t punish but interrupt their wrong behavior
Scolding a dog after the fact is more than worthless – it is counterproductive.
Unless you catch your Beagle in the act of chewing something they should not, any sort of punishment is too late.
Dogs simply do not grasp that something they did five minutes ago, like shredding a book to pieces, is why you are so upset now. If a dog does not know why you are raising your voice or seem angry, it can lead to other unwanted behaviors.
Rather than punish, interrupt the behavior.
If you find your Beagle gnawing on something she should not have, make a loud noise rather than yell. The distraction will let her know something is up, and you then take the object and replace it with a suitable toy.
One caveat: If your Beagle will not give up the unsuitable item, do not start chasing her. He will think it is a game, and there is nothing more fun than a game with your human! Instead, call him and offer him another toy or a treat.
7. Add taste deterrents
If your dog is chewing on furniture or even the walls or doors, you need to take action.
While crate training is advisable under such circumstances, you can also use a taste deterrent to make the piece or area unpalatable.
Common canine taste deterrents are available online and in pet stores and include products such as bitter apple.
Won’t always work
Taste deterrents are not 100 percent foolproof.
Some dogs do not seem to find what is billed as an unpleasant taste, particularly unpleasant.
Beagles are notorious for eating just about anything, and a picky Beagle is a rarity.
You may find that your dog considers the taste deterrent some kind of enhancement.
Most dogs, Beagles included, are not going to like the taste. Remember that many of these deterrents require regular reapplication. So if your Beagle stays away from an object coated with deterrent this week, that may not prove true in a month when it has worn off.
The product will have instructions regarding reapplication and any precautions you should take.
Try a little experiment before investing in a large container of taste deterrent.
- Put a small amount of the deterrent on a piece of cotton or tissue.
- Put the cotton or tissue in your Beagle’s mouth.
- If he does not like it, he will spit it out. He might drool or start head-shaking.
You are pretty much guaranteed that he will not touch the deterrent-soaked item again.
Because he is already familiar with the deterrent’s taste, anything with its scent will remind him this is not something he wants to put in his mouth.
Why Does My Beagle Destroy Their Toys?
If your dog is not getting enough attention from you, his toys or available items may suffer the consequences.
If he starts destroying toys, or if a toy he’s had for a while is in pieces, think about how much time you have spent with him lately. All that energy that went into toy destruction is better channeled through long walks or intense playtimes.
Some dog toys are too flimsy to stand up to any canine abuse. That is especially true of plush toys, or those made of thin plastic. Neither of which are good choices for dogs.
The wrong toys
Beagles were bred to chase and hunt smaller animals, such as rabbits.
You already know that letting your Beagle off-leash during walks is a bad idea because your dog is ruled by his powerful nose. A scent can set him off on a chase, and you might never see him again. A squeaky toy brings out the prey drive in dogs, and such toys tend to get destroyed promptly, especially with Beagles.
Providing Appropriate Chew Toys
How to stop a Beagle from chewing everything? Give them appropriate chew toys that will entertain and stimulate your Beagle so they won’t be bored.
Here’s a list of my best chew toy recommendations:
|Category||Name of chew toy||Where to go|
|Best Chew Toy Overall||Kong Dental Rope chew||Latest price here|
|Best Treat Chew||Antler Dog Chew||Check price here|
|Best Comforting Chew||KONG Cozie Baily the Blue Dog Toy||Check the price|
|Best Teething Chew||PlayfulSpirit Bumby Bouncy||View the price|
|Best Puzzle Toy||Nina Ottoson Puzzle toy||Latest price here|
If your Beagle is a power chewer, make sure you supervise their first session with any of the toys I recommend. That way, you will be able to gauge if it’s safe to leave your Beagle with that toy alone.
How to Teach a Beagle Not to Destroy Toys
If the toys you give your Beagle are soon destroyed, you can teach him not to do that.
First, however, you must figure out why he rips and shreds his toys so quickly.
With many dog toys, destruction is inevitable, but it should not happen within a few minutes of receiving a brand new plaything.
Rather than let your pet have free access to his toys, or at least most of his toys, let him earn the right to play with toys. This is a useful tactic with Beagles, who are not the easiest dogs to train.
You can kill two birds with one stone by giving your dog short training sessions, and when he responds correctly, rewarding him with toy playtime.
Toys as rewards are healthier overall than giving your Beagle treats when he performs the desired action.
If you catch your pet chewing on something she should not have in her mouth, reprimand her gently but firmly (make a loud noise like a clap) and remove the item. Then substitute a suitable toy, and make a big fuss over her when she accepts it.
You can also seek out the types of dog toys that are virtually indestructible. That way, your Beagle can chew to his heart’s content without leaving bits of the toy all over the place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Beagles grow out of chewing?
Once the young Beagle’s permanent teeth come in, he will no longer suffer teething pain. That does not mean he will stop chewing. After all, chewing is a natural behavior. It helps keep a dog’s teeth clean and the jaws strong and healthy.
Why do Beagles destroy toys?
Beagles destroy toys for lots of reasons, and one of them is because they can. While you may not want your Beagle to destroy his toys, there is a bright side. When a dog puts a lot of energy into toy destruction, it can mean he really likes those playthings.
When do Beagles stop chewing?
A Beagle may never stop chewing for relaxation and entertainment. That is not the same as destructive chewing.
My elderly Beagle Lincoln still enjoys his chew toys, but he does not destroy them.
A chew treat is part of our evening ritual. It is actually the only type of “treat” he receives since he just inhales conventional treats.
He takes his time and savors the experience with his chewy, or at least I like to think so.
When do Beagles stop teething?
Teething ends for young Beagles between the ages of 7 to 9 months. Some dogs may take a bit longer, while others will stop teething earlier. In some puppies, a milk tooth, or deciduous tooth, does not come out.
This most often happens with the canine teeth.
Your vet will inspect your Beagle puppy’s teeth at her regular checkups and will remove the tooth if it does not come out on its own.
Failure to remove a deciduous tooth can result in food getting trapped, leading to permanent tooth decay.
How many teeth do Beagles have?
Adult Beagles have 42 permanent teeth. These consist of:
- 6 incisors in the front of each jaw, are used for cutting and lifting food
- 2 canines in each jaw, are used for holding and tearing food
- 8 premolars in each jaw, used for tearing and cutting food
- 4 molars on top, 6 on the bottom, for food grinding.
According to the breed standard, Beagles should have a scissor bite. That is a normal bite, in which the upper jaw incisors mildly overlap the incisors in the lower jaw, while still making contact.
When the Going Gets Tough
Most Beagle owners can train their pets to cease inappropriate chewing.
If you have patiently tried to train your Beagle to no avail, it is time to call in the professionals.
When seeking a dog trainer for this issue, ask about their experience in stopping unwanted chewing and their methodology. You do not want anyone to use tactics that could cause your dog physical or mental harm.
Look for a Certified applied animal behaviorist or a Certified dog trainer, and ask them about their experience with Beagles. When it comes to your pet, he’s more than a dog – he’s a Beagle!
Bonkers About Beagles
If you are bonkers about Beagles, have a read of our other articles published on the Outdoor Dog Fun blog: