Our Beagle even though he is 3, and is quite capable of being left on his own for a while, still opens the fridge (has broken 3 fridge locks)..and seems to squeak a lot.

We have followed all the recommendations but the is still being very difficult.
My husband thinks it may be due to the fact that he thinks he is pack leader and gets anxious when one of us leaves, either of my daughters, myself or my husband.

If one of us isnt here in the evening he gets very stressed.
Can you help?
Beverley
Hello Anon,

I believe it is still possible to correct your dog's behaviour even though he is 3 already. Persistence, love and patience are the key.
I'd like to ask a few questions first. What recommendations have you followed so far? What does your Beagle do all day long, is he alone? Does he have a buddy (another cat or dog) to have fun with? How does he behave with other dogs and people? Is he trained to perform some simple tricks at least?

If he thinks he's the pack leader, this must be changed, and your husband or you have to become the alpha dog. Otherwise the situation won't improve in the future but only get worse I'm afraid.

Waiting for your reply!
Try hiding a food he really likes in a toy he already has, or consider purchasing some toys that will keep him mentally stimualted. For intance, Kong toys can be filled with wet food and frozen in a plastic bag, which keeps most dogs occupied for quite some time. Other brands make similar toys, and there are toys available which dispense kibble when played with. This will keep his mind off of the anxious feelings he has when he is left alone. See if you can find an alarm that makes a very unpleasant noise when the fridge door is opened and then just switch it on before you leave him alone. There is a good chance that the unpleasant noise will deter him immediately. Also try to make your arrival and departure seem insignificant to him. This can be accomplished by pretending to get ready for work, walking out the door, and then walking right back in. If you repeat this, adding small increments of time to to the amount of time you leave him alone, eventually he will learn that it is not meaningful for you to walk out of the door and leave (after all--you could turn around and walk right back in!). When you come home, ignore him (don't even look at him) for a minute or two, and wait to greet him until he has calmed down and is no longer focused on you. It will take dedication and time but it beats having an anxious dog, an empty fridge and a huge vet bill. Good luck!!