Hello doghouse. I have owned dogs all of my adult life and always had them from puppyhood. However, I have only ever had a puppy before I had my dc's and I do remember it being a fair bit of work but not quite as awful as I read on here.
I have been thinking very seriously about embarking on another puppy for a year now (have ruled out an older rescue having researched relentlessly) but am absolutely terrified by all of the reports on here about how incredibly hard puppies are... I'm assuming that the combination of time (its been 15 years since I last had a puppy) and sleep deprivation have eroded my memory so I'd really like to know if having a puppy is always a guaranteed recipe for hell or are there actually people here who have quite enjoyed having a puppy or not found it too too awful?
I loved the puppy stage! We had 3 nights of sleep deprevation, but he was crate trained too which I think helped. During the day we put him out for a wee every hour which is quite exhausting, but he was a lovely pup. We have been very lucky in the fact that he has not had a chewing phase and is generally a good boy. The only thing I remember being hard was the fact that you can't leave them for very long to go out, but again that gets better in time. Our lovely boy is 15 months now, and a cocker spaniel. I was also 6 weeks pg when we got him
I don't remember it being hard at all. We crate trained and he was house trained in two weeks BUT he is by nature a quiet, gentle dog so I don't know how much that has got to do with it. I do think crate training alleviates a lot of the issues though.
Our black lab is now 15 months old. For the first few weeks we were constantly taking him outside, but we had very few accidents. DH took him to training classes so he learnt the basics. He's had very few 'accidents' in the house, and from virtually when we had him, he slept through the night in his crate - which is still his den. We had certain firm rules, like he was only free in the kitchen (large kitchen) and he wasn't allowed upstairs. These have disappeared recently due to daft DH and DC, but as he's no longer chewing everything, it's not a big problem. As a non-dog lover (although I quite like this one!!), he's actually been as good as gold, and not nearly the stress I was expecting when I agreed to get a dog.
I haven't found it that bad to be honest. Though to be fair my ds is 7 and I cannot imagine policing the bitey stage around babies or toddlers.
I accept also a lot of it was luck too. I popped mine in his crate on night one and he just snuggled down and shut his eyes. He was clean in his crate within a week (we only sleep 6 hrs a night in week which helps) and fully toilet trained, as in no accidents and vocalising when he needed to go out by 12 weeks. The negatives of this are that I spent hours in an evening shivering with a torch and umbrella leaping like a loon when he did something. But I think if you are expecting hard work you just knuckle down and get on with it.
He isn't really a chewer either and knoes the difference between his toys and ds's. He was VERY bitey for a while though and still at 6 months likes to play very rough. I can be minding my pwn business watching tv and 7 kg of terrier hurls himself into my lap trying to wrestle me!
He is easy to clicker train and has learnt all sorts of daft things but recall around exciting things evades us so he isn't perfect He is hard work around other dogs due to over enthusiasm.
I think overall if you have lots of dog and puppy experience and go into it expecting hard work, noise and a lot of mess you'll be fine. I view it the same as childbirth, scaring myself with horror stories made me grateful that the worst bits of our reality were as bad as it got. I may revise this soon though as we are hitting the teenage stage
Thank you so much everyone for sharing your experiences, much appreciated and very encouraging (was on the verge of ruling out ever owning a dog again after all the horror stories I have been reading on here )
I'm not too worried about the housetraining or the mess, I think the thing I'm most concerned about is any negative impact on my ds's... I think I'm terrified of the bitey stage, about having a little shark constantly trying to eat/nip them or chew/destroy their toys as then I would struggle with feeling like the decision to get a puppy was a very selfish one iyswim. On the other hand I can see and know first-hand the huge benefits of owning lovely adult dogs...
Also time. I'm home a lot but life is so busy with dc's and I worry a little about having as much time as the pup will need.
We had 2 months of sleep deprivation/chewing/tummy troubles etc.... but then everything was pretty much perfect.. So 8 weeks of yuck for years of heaven, since the dog fits in around us having been trained to from the start..
A couple of months at least. Mine is a terrier and can (still) be very full on when he has a target in mind. Trouble is for a couple of months that meant anything that moved, mainly feet and ankles. I won't lie, there were alot of tears and declarations of 'that dog is a menace...I don't like him!'. Everytime I went to the supermarket I had to throw in a 5 pack of socks for ds and I as he used to get hold of the top of your foot and be quite blood curdling growly. I used to pick him and remove him holding away from me as he would then snake round in mid air biting from side to side.
At 6 months this is all just memories . Long enough for them to elicit a fond smile Ds has just skipped down stairs singing ' doggy doo where are you? Doggy doo I love you!' So he is over it all now.
The only time he nips now is when he geta over enthusiastic with play. He likes tug games and tries to wrestle your arm but has a ferocious grip at times and can get carried away making a lunge for a toy. But he hasn't cut anyone so I presume he is still holding back a little and we are still following through with all play stops when it happens. It is only now and again too, not a weekly occurance.
I had a puppy with a new baby and then 7 years later a puppy with a 2 year old and never found it that bad. Had a one night of whining and a few weeks of accidents but that settled quickly. I was very firm with nipping etc, having a border collie it was essential to nip it in the bud, no pun intended I would say the most important thing is to find a training class and attend religiously but apart from that I just followed my instincts. I do wonder if dog owning is becoming a bit like child rearing, a job that 'experts' get involved in too much and make us doubt ourselves and think that there is only one right way of doing things.
My DC have really struggled with the monster puppy - in fact DS pretty much spent 3 months in his room avoiding him...
We had a couple of howly times in his crate, but nothing too bad and housetraining was a bit of a pain, but nothing unexpected or too awful.
It was just his teeth, he bit constantly and he chased anything that moved and bit that too, so if you walked you had a puppy attached to your foot or leg, socks only existed to be pulled off - gloves were even better, because they were socks with the added bonus of hands inside.
If you tried to stroke him you got chewed, if you stood still and ignored him that gave him free reign to chew you, if you tried to move away from the biting you were clearly playing a chasing game and he chewed you, if you made a noise when he bit you that was an invitation to play a bitey game... It was constant for about 3 months.
On top of that he chews everything, he still does that in fact, furniture, clothes, anything left out at all, wires, I've even see him sidle up to the wall and give it a nibble, lol. He hasn't destroyed or damaged anything important, but that's because I watch him constantly and he's crated at night or when left.
Now at 7 months - he still very occasionally tries to gently chew your hand, but I can cope with that and to be fair to him lots of people have told me that as a breed they are particularly bitey chewy puppies ... But it's completely put me off puppies.
I've had adult dogs before, my last one I got when he was about 6 months - I'd do that again, but not those first few months.