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Am having half term nightmare with puppy - please tell me it gets better

(26 Posts)
itchyandscratchy Tue 27-Oct-09 09:39:29

... and please don't tell me 'told you so'.sad

We didn't the pup on a 'whim', we weighed up pros and cons for a fair while; I always had dogs as I was growing up and it 'made' our family.

Things in our life seemed to be the best they could to accommodate a puppy - I live next door to work so can regularly come home; we walk a mile and back to childminder's every day and also go through parkland, so walking no problem; dds are a 'good' age (8 and 4).

We are currently quite lazy with our weekends and waste quite a lot of our time so we both (dh and I) agreed that a dog would give us some more family time doing walky, healthy things. I don't like smaller pets and I think dogs give so much love and happiness.

But the reality has been hard. Last puppy I had was 17 years ago, before dds and dh! Puppy has been generally very good given her age and she's only been with us 4 days.

But dh was in a right mood this morning, even though it was me up at 1.30 and 5.30, and he's has just admitted by text that he was really happy with our life the way it was and he feels 'invaded' and can't love the puppy the way he think he should. Yes, it's a pain getting up and picking up poo, and being confined to barracks, etc.... but it won't be forever. It will get better... won't it?

abra1d Tue 27-Oct-09 09:51:32

It will definitely get better. They start to sleep through the night, like babies, without howling. They start to learn to do their business outside (if you encourage them--clickers are good). You start to fall in love with them. When the pup's old enough to go for walks it's fun!

Totallyfloaty35 Tue 27-Oct-09 10:05:04

I think lots of people have rosy views of having a dog as they remember how great it was having one when they were young.The reality was that your parents probably did all the hard stuff you are doing now, so it just seemed great wink
It will get better,its always a shock to the system when you get a puppy.I kept thinking"what have i done?" for the first 3 wks with mine and then we came out the other side and now i wouldn't be without them.

wildfig Tue 27-Oct-09 10:07:48

It will get better, honestly. It's just a massive upheaval, and totally different from having an adult dog. We rehomed a 3 year old who, looking back, has always been an angel, but having never had dogs (or kids yet!) myself, I was utterly freaked out by the having to get up/having to go for walks/not being able to spend 7 hours shopping thing. Got used to that, fell in love with my dog completely, decided that the logical thing to do would be to get her a companion, since they're a breed who hate being alone... and so got a puppy.

Seriously, between the constant poo/weeing (and the serious discussion of frequency and texture of both poo and wee), the hawk-eyed supervision, the crying at night, the mess, the moments of absolute sweetness amidst some scary frustration, for me it's been better preparation for a baby than any Miriam Stoppard manual.

DH has conveniently found a lot of work to do away from home, so I'm training the puppy, pacifying the other dog, while attempting do to a full-time job from my kitchen table. It's been stressful. But it has got markedly better in the last month (he's now 5 months old) - there's a real acceleration once they grow out of the baby stage, develop a bit more bladder control, and start to 'get' what you want them to do. Then of course the chewing starts, but at least they understand no.

How old is the puppy? You won't have to get up in the night for much longer. And when he's old enough, take him to puppy class - it might help the family bonding?

exexpat Tue 27-Oct-09 10:09:22

Tomorrow's the first anniversary of our puppy's arrival, and we are so, so glad we got him. Yes, the first few weeks were a bit frustrating - puddles everywhere (including the week or two when he decided the sofa was his toilet...), chewing things, and not being able to leave him by himself for long.

But by about Christmas he was reliably housetrained (fairly reliable quite a bit before that), only chewed his own toys, and could be left for several hours. It's the difference between the amount of attention a toddler needs, and what a 10-year-old needs.

And more importantly, the children love him, and we do go out for family walks in the woods at weekends, which would have been nothing but a chorus of moaning before.

minimu Tue 27-Oct-09 10:12:54

It really really really will get better. I think everyone of us has had the oh my goodness why did I get this pup moment! I am a dog trainer and behavourist and still have the odd moment! Do try really hard to be consistent with everything in these early days and it will get better quicker.

I am a little concerned for you that you need to get up twice in the night for your pup that does sound like hard work.

How old is the pup and what type is it? I wonder if we can help to make things a bit easier.
But hang on in there soon you will have a dotting family pet and you will ne half a stone lighter and that much fitter!

minimu Tue 27-Oct-09 10:13:55

dotting is obviously an extremely lovable and well behaved pup!!!!!!!

MmeGoblindt Tue 27-Oct-09 10:14:02

I had the same feelings about a week after we got our pup last year.

It lasted until she was sleeping through the night and was housetrained, thankfully that was not so long. I think she was pretty much housetrained by 4 months.

She is a year old now and none of us could imagine life without her. Least of all DH who went from not being keen on getting a dog to now spending 5 minutes on the floor, tickling her tummy when he comes home. He greets the blardy dog before he even says hello to me.

The traitorous dog even sits beside him all the time rather than next to the person who wanted her, feeds her, takes her for walks.

hercules1 Tue 27-Oct-09 10:29:40

minmu - quick question - we have a dane )2 1/2) who regular as clock work for some months now will wake us up at 4 am by crying to go outside for a wee. He isn't well and hasnt been for some time (suspected cancer but seems to be a torn cartiledge/ligament and is on painkillers and will need op with specialist eventually).
Do we accept it especially as he is pain a lot or should we ignore?
He is bound to have a wee in the house if we ignore.
Sorry for hijack!

minimu Tue 27-Oct-09 10:35:37

hercules I would try setting your alarm for 3.30 and taking him out before he wakes up himself. Do this for a few nights then set the alarm for later. What you are trying to do is to break the habit of the 4.00 waking. Hopefully you will get the time to a more acceptable time for you like 7.30!

It could be habit but as he is on medication etc that may mean he does need a wee or is uncomfortable

hercules1 Tue 27-Oct-09 10:38:04

Thanks. That's really helpful smile

itchyandscratchy Tue 27-Oct-09 10:38:55

Oh thank the Lord for all your lovely replies!! I will show this to dh when he gets home.

She is 11 weeks; we could have had her at 8 but we asked the owners to keep hold of her until half term and she was fine with that. Downside is that she's a bit late having her jabs (had first lot yesterday) but we're still trying to keep up with the socialisation, with visitors and kids all week.

minimu - up to last night was sleeping through from 11pm to 6.30am with only 10-15mins of crying when we first went up to bed. Last night she went off to bed nicely then woke me up at 1.30 howling and I didn't want her waking dh or the dds so I went downstairs, found a battery for the travel clock, wrapped it in my nightie and put it in her create with her. She went off without a whimper then. (unlike anyone who might have looked in through our front window at that time to see me buck naked bending over the dog crate shock Their eyes would have dissolved in the sockets)

She woke again at 5.30 and I just knew she needed the toilet. I let her out and straight away she did a stack of horrible runny poos, so she must have had a little bit of an upset. I put her back in her crate afterwards and she was quiet for another hour and a half until we went down for breakfast.

I just think I'm a bit stir-crazy and dh is just wondering why the hell we've run all over our lovely calm life with a little set of muddy paws.

wildfig Tue 27-Oct-09 10:54:09

Stir-crazy is EXACTLY how I felt for the first week or two. Eventually I gave in to it, and spent hours reading and watching Homes Under the Hammer.

itchyandscratchy Tue 27-Oct-09 10:56:38

pmsl. Homes under the Hammer is on as we speak with me at kitchen table and puppy lying across my feet

God my life is so predictable!

am also putting off a huge stack of work to mark as well.

Tum-ti-tum <twiddles thumbs>

Oh! To Buy or not to Buy is on next!

MmeGoblindt Tue 27-Oct-09 11:16:02

You only need to put your life on hold for a couple of weeks more and then she will settle in and then you can get out more.

What kind of dog is she? When you start to go out more then you will get stopped every few metres anyway when people want to stroke your puppy. It used to take us ages to get through the town.

LOL at you naked in the kitchen. Just as well no one walked past.

newpup Tue 27-Oct-09 12:19:45

She is a good girl not to 'do her business' in the crate especially if she had a bad tum! Sounds like a good dog to me.

It is definately hard for the first few weeks. My pup is now 17 months and I remember coming on here the first week we had her looking for the same reassurance. Good old mumsnet meant I found Bella and Hatwoman who were fab!

I will repay the favour now and tell you. Hold out it gets MUCH better! grin.

My pup is my joy I love her dearly although I still have moments when I think , why did we do it again! I think it just takes time to build up a bond between you. It takes some time to adjust to having 4 little paws but it will be worth it .

Bet you are back here in a few weeks telling us how much you love her!

Good Luck!

minimu Tue 27-Oct-09 17:32:00

itchyandscratchy I am glad you are not woken up every night by the puppy and it was a one off. Looking forward to you thread telling us how fantastic he is in a few weeks time

itchyandscratchy Wed 28-Oct-09 08:17:19

Hmmmm maybe not a one-off...

she went to bed without a peep, this time in the dining room which is where we've moved the crate to, still with my nightie and the clock in there. We were v.impressed with the lack of fuss and noise.

However, she woke us up howling at 4.30am and because of the tummy upset the night before, I got up and let her out. She eventually went for a wee and I out her back in the crate. Then she started up again at 5.30am, dh let her out and she just messed about in the garden. When decided to ignore her from then on and the howling was on and off until the dds let her out again at 7.00 and I got up.

Do we just leave her now if she starts howling in the early hours? Is that her night over? Will it get any better when we can exercise her properly?

newpup Wed 28-Oct-09 09:02:27

I used to put my pup into the crate at about 11pm and she would cry at about 5.30am to be let out. This went on for the first 2 weeks, I think that was as long as she could hold on. Gradually over the next few weeks I came down a bit later and a bit later, until after a while she would wait until we got up at 6.30/7 am. Now she will happily sleep until lunchtime if I let her!

She will be able to hold on longer but every dog is different. My friends spaniel always needs letting out at 6.30am she will go back to bed again but has to go out then for a wee.

I would leave her until 5.30am if she has been out last thing before you go to bed at night. She will learn to hang on. Obviously if she has an upset tum she would need to go out though.

Also as you say, when you start walking her she will be tired. It is early days. Good Luck!

itchyandscratchy Wed 28-Oct-09 11:17:24

That's really handy, thanks so much.

It won't feel so awful next week but this week a lie-in would be nice for half term! I keep saying to dh that this will be the only holiday like this - next time we're all off we'll be yomping across the hills like the Von Trapps! smilehmm

myermay Wed 28-Oct-09 11:45:34

Hi itchyandscratchy. I'm the opposite to all these on here i'm afraid. We got a 4 mth old dog, and she was lovely. Again it was not a decision we went into lightly, we had been researching for about 1 year, so really though i new what we were doing.

But after a week, i had to take her back to the breader, i just could not cope i'm afraid to say. I was so tired, couldn't give the kids any attention as i was always cleaning up poo/wee, stopping her nipping the kids etc etc.

I think my main prob was that i'd not long got over pnd when i got the dog and it seemed to be creeping back when we got the pup. I felt like your husband, completely invaded and overwelmed that i couldn't cope with it. Once i'd taken her back i felt a enormous sense of relief, but so so guilty

Good luck, i'm sure you'll be fine and you've been given great advice

notimefortv Wed 28-Oct-09 15:13:14

Am glad most experiences on here are positive - I am due to get puppy next Friday and am getting a little anxious when I think about all the extra work she will be - I think everyone warns you how hard it is and that it takes away any thoughts of the pleasure too. I feel like I did in the last few weeks of my pregnancy with DC3 - a bit overwhelmed at times but then that all worked out brilliantly and I love having 3 children so I hope will be the same with the puppy!

Has crossed my mind to back out now but I do think it will be just lovely to have her.

You have described how I think I may feel Itchy and am prepared to feel (if that makes sense) so I hope the anxiousness and initial feelings of 'what have I done' may either be small or at least disappear after not too long!

good luck to you smile

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 28-Oct-09 16:00:08

We were in puppy shock 4 weeks ago. Although you know it is hard you don't fully understand what it will be like until you are there I don't think and you can read as many books as there are and they still don't prepare you for the reality. We got her on a Saturday, by the Monday night if someone came along and promised me they would love her and give her a good home I would have waved goodbye as I felt totally overwhelmed by it all.

Things are loads better now and the alarm clock actually went off and we said "suppose we'd better get up then" which was unthinkable just 4 weeks ago.

Once you get to pottering off for a bit with DC's and dog in tow it improves hugely. Unless you do what I did yesterday, take elderly but very experienced with dogs neighbour and find under her direction you lose both children and dog !

itchyandscratchy Wed 28-Oct-09 17:25:15

It's so good hearing other posters' experiences (pos and neg) - makes me feel less of a numpty.

We had an afternoon out this afternoon and our neighbour's lovely 14yo dd popped in to dog-sit the pup. We made sure she was on her own for an hour before our neighbour came round and then we texted her to say we were on our way home and she left the pup again for another 3/4 hour. There was no howling when we came in so looks like pup coped well. I must say, it really helped being out of the house having lunch and going to cinema - for me and also for dh so he can see we can still do nice things like that and our old life hasn't ended completely.

I do feel guilty as I can totally identify with what Wynken said - I have been fantasising about one of the dds suddenly developing an allergy so the choice is taken away from us and we could hand her back guilt-free. blush

It would feel so defeatist to give up now and the dds would be devastated. why did I think I knew best? Think I was just mourning our old dog whom I adored. She only died in May. sad I hate getting things wrong... and that's how it feels at the moment. Being out has just made me want the freedom we had before.

BellaBonJovi Wed 28-Oct-09 21:00:44

If it helps, itchy, I adore my dogs - I think it's fair to say my dogs are pretty much my life. That said, my two younger ones have had a bit of a bad day really - it's not their fault, they are young - and I am sat here looking at my older girl thinking, 'why didn't I just stick with her? Life would be sooooo much easier!'

I am sure you will feel better tomorrow, better again next week, and in a year or so you'll be amazed you ever felt like this at all.

If you're a dog person, if dogs really do get nuder your skin, then they are worth the hassle. You sound like a dog person to me wink

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