All sounds very normal! How old is your pup? Ours is 8 months now and a lot calmer (although the vet today described her as hyper). I hate the early morning starts. The latest she sleeps is 6 am as that is when she gets fed. Sometimes she wakes earlier as she needs out. <weary>
I found exactly what you've just described hard - the claustrophobic feeling of not being able to relax in case that was the moment I should take the puppy out for a wee, or that was the moment he'd try to swallow something and end up choking to death. I'd read loads of books beforehand, so was very aware of the development window for training and socialisation, and probably worried too much about getting everything right before his personality locked shut - which of course it didn't! I think if you take your responsibilities as a dog owner seriously, you do worry, because you don't want to be That Owner with the badly-behaved adult dog. Don't feel bad about leaving him, if you know he's safe, exercised and fed; it's good to get him used to spending short periods of quiet time alone, so he doesn't end up with separation anxiety later on.
You'll find it gets much less stressful when he's reliably housetrained (which took us 6 months!), and then again when he stops chewing (about a year). My puppy's personality seemed to calm down dramatically at 3; he went from being quite barky and Kevin the Teenagerish, to being a lot more relaxed and cuddly.
I love him, and training him was rewarding in lots of ways for both of us, but it's adult rescue dogs for me from now on...
I have a new puppy, he is about 10 weeks (i've forgotten already!)
I don't like the constant taking out to wee and mis-timing it so I either a) don't stay out long enough and he wees as soon as he gets back inside b) or mistime it so he wees behind me as I'm putting my shoes on
However I am eternally gratefully to my long suffering Spaniel who my puppy adores and who puts up with endless games of how-long-can-i-hang-onto-your-ears-and-lips. He takes over entertainment for us when we are all exhausted!
Littlewhitebag - he's nearly 12 weeks so just a baby! He's doing so well, but I am glad to hear you say they get calmer. DH gets up with him at 6am for work and has 3/4 hour with him, to be honest he would sleep longer though (and was doing during the Christmas break) so can't even complain about that! Usually asleep by 9pm ish and toilet trained, goes to the door when he wants to go out (not saying that is reliable yet though and we won't have some slip ups but he's been doing this for a while). Do you share the gettin up at 6am as that would be quite tiring?
wriggletto - so glad of your post, you are me!!!! I so want to do it 'right', read loads, I really get on DH's wires tbh, he goes with the flow much more I am always questioning and worrying, I feel a little tense all the time. I am very concious of the 'window of opportunity' closing at 16 weeks. Harry doesn't seem to pick up on this though thankfully. I do love the training so much, it's so wonderful to see him pick it all up, although we are going to do puppy training too (and beyond, if DH has his way!)
Had a bit of a breakthrough with pulling on the lead too today, he seems to have grasped that if he pulls, I stop but that he gets tons of praise and treats when not pulling. Also used the training lead, but not very long, just a little longer than the normal lead but he doesn't like being left so kept going.
Just two questions - he's quite nervous on walks (although getting better), I thought he would be raring to go but he tries to go home or to the car (once even running back to it!), getting better slowly but is this normal? I assumed he would love his walks!! I must look a prize idiot treating and encouraging and sounding generally insane!
Also - I mentioned we entertain quite a bit at night, although he's usually settled quite early anyway (between - 8 and 9pm) I have this fear that if I let him doze all evening he won't sleep as well as he does? Do other people let their puppy doze or is this part of being a puppy owner, a bit like when the DC's are young?
I have 3, The puppy (Jack Russel x Shih Tzu), my Springer who is 4, obedient when he feels like it, and my Border Collie who is nearly 7, a grumpy old cow, hates the puppy but is very obedient! The only trouble with 2 or more is that they do pick up each others bad habits. Such as if one runs off the other follows! But it's lovely to watch them play together. My Spaniel is actually completely unreactive towards other dogs, doesnt play, chase, sniff, anything boring old fart but he seems to be enjoying bundling with the puppy.