2 year old Beagle pooping daily in temporary home

Posted by tasher3433
Aug 15, 2009
My 2 year old Beagle is staying with my daughter, her husband and 2 Beagles, for 4 months. The dogs have played together since Sophie came to us at 8 weeks. Sophie is the youngest, the oldest is 3 1/2. Sophie has been pooping in their house on a daily basis since the first week of june, even though she has access to a doggie door. My daughter picks up the poop without making an issue, as it's always left when no one is around. Sophie knows she has done wrong, because she'll go right into the crate, and wait to be released. But she keeps doing it! She also has chewed up a photo album, got chocolate muffins off the counter, gone into the garbage. Yes, I think she may be bored, but she has 2 others to play with.
Today I hear that she snarled and snipped at the older Beagle when he was sitting on the couch with my daughter. Sophie had been lying behind my son-in-laws head on the same couch, apparently got down slowly and snapped.
I am cutting my trip short to get her as soon as possible, but I don't know what to do! Sophie is well loved, she hasn't had pooping issues before, and the snapping really concerns me as there seemed to be no provocation. Sorry to be so lengthy...I wanted to give as much info as possible. Thanks for any assistance.
Posted by kjd
Aug 16, 2009

Since no one is around when the pooping occurs, are you sure it is Sophie? One of the other dogs may be doing this in reaction to the stress of another dog. The dog who acts guilty is not always the one who did the deed. Also, is Sophie used to using a doggie door? If this is new to her, she may not think of it when she needs to poop. (I've a six-yr-old shepherd who, once she got the idea of the door, thinks it is better than sliced bread! Open the door with the doggie door and she will ignore the opened door and use the doggie-flap.)

I am leaving the more important problem, the snapping, to others to respond.

Posted by KOPsarah
Aug 18, 2009
Hi tasher and thanks for your post,
There are two possible cause for Sophie's behavior especially her snapping, one is stress and the other is dominance/pack order problems. It could also be a combination of both factors.

It is possible that Sophie is just confused by 'joining a new pack'. Although she may be familiar with the other dogs and the house she has probably normally come to the house as a visitor but now that she has been there so long she is considering herself as part of the pack and is unsure how to fit in. No doubt as the new dog on the scene she is receiving lots of attention and love which will suggest to her she is the dominant dog, however the other dogs will be older, already bonded and a little territorial which will suggest to her that she is at the bottom of the pack. Overall this could prove very confusing for her.

During the 'snapping incident' Sophie had been sitting above your son in laws head which means she was in a position that was well elevated above the other dog. In a dogs mind being in this higher position is a sign of dominance so Sophie would be feeling like a little queen sitting up there. This would give her the feeling that she is higher in the pack than the other dogs and therefore when another dog approached your son in law- her current favored resource Sophie was simply telling the other dog that she is the boss and as such she isn't letting anyone else near her favorite thing.

Although it is hard to tell exactly what is going on in little Sophie's mind there are a few things we can do to make everything less confusing for her.
-ask your daughter and son-in-law to not let her get up on the back of the couch or anywhere else that is elevated and prized by the dogs
-make sure she has access to her crate or somewhere else she can sleep safely and securely with her familiar items such as blankets. Give her some quiet time alone in her crate everyday to relax.
-also ask them to feed her last at every meal, put her on her lead last for walks, and greet her last when they come home. This will help establish sophie as the lowest member of the pack, the appropriate position for her as she is youngest and new. This will really help clarify her position in her mind which will reduce her stress levels and her destructive behavior. It should also reduce toileting inside as the lowest pack member would never consider toileting in the packs 'den'
-make sure she understands how to use the dog door and that she is not frightened of it.
-make sure the right offender has been caught. As kjd said you can never be sure who is responsible from their reactions you need to catch them in the act. It is quite possible that the other dogs are as confused about the new pack set up as Sophie is and are therefore a little stressed.

I hope this tips helps. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions and let us know how you get on.
All the best,