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What happens after puppyhood, given everyone says this is the hardest bit!

(21 Posts)
needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 11:13:42

It's been a bit of a tough week for me with trips to the vets, dh away then ill etc and I must admit I have found my puppy and his excitable ways and need for attention a bit tough this week if I am being honest.

Given he is our first dog, I only know the puppy stage but I read a lot on here about how tough it can be for people with puppies and also how many look for an adult rescue.

So, what happens that is so ace? This week, I am dying to get to this stage, whatever it is!

Is it just a general calming down and being able to amuse themselves a bit more and training (although a lifelong thing) being rather more entrenched?

Also, I feel like I ought to be playing with him a lot when he is awake, he kind of stalks me everywhere I go if I dont or just goes to sleep again (dozes I suspect until somegive plays with him), I put out lots of toys for him but he will only play with them if I am sat there right with him, even if I just go to the cupboard or kettle etc he stops. I love playing with him and all four of us give him tons of attention and cuddles etc but life does happen too and I need to do stuff. When I do, I feel bad!! Do I just need to toughen up a bit? Always felt a bit like this when the DC were young but I am knackered tbh!

DH says I shouldn't feel bad, in the wild, dogs would doze until something exciting happens, he's come to live with us etc, rather than the other way round but I find it hard to ignore the eyes!!

Weirdly, he's fine being left alone though.

Sorry, feel a bit pooped this week smile

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 11:15:03

'someone' - phone issues

littlewhitebag Sun 03-Mar-13 13:41:15

Our pup is now almost 10 months and although we still need to put the work in she is a lot more predictable which helps. We made the mistake of doing lots of cuddles and playing when she was tiny and set up some bad habits which were hard to break. Start training right now. Start as you mean to go on.

tabulahrasa Sun 03-Mar-13 14:12:10

'Is it just a general calming down and being able to amuse themselves a bit more and training (although a lifelong thing) being rather more entrenched?'

That mostly - also they stop watching you intently every time you do something, because they've seen you do it lots before and it wasn't that interesting, lol

If you're doing something and he stops playing with a toy to watch you, that's his choice, let him, he'll get bored eventually.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Sun 03-Mar-13 14:17:59

I found the 5-9m stage hard. After that he started to be more chilled out. Don't be scared to send him to bed out of the way for a while if he is being a pest, they need to learn to cope without constant entertainment too.

But then lots of fuss when it suits you both, walks every day, I found that as he became more obedient and after he was neutered he was less nutty.

Now coming up for 2 (border collie) and he is so damn good. Floppy and waggy and ball mad, but lies straight down in the boot of the car if you open it, walks nicely off lead (still pulls a bit on lead).

I see him totally giving me 'the eyes' when he is waiting for a walk and getting all excited if you go near the muddy right coat.

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 14:21:47

Littlewhitebag thanks for the reply. Do you mean back off a touch with the playing? My post wasn't very clear at all, sorry, we are doing lots of training already which we all love and puppy is picking up quickly but we entertain him a lot too.

Really don't want people to think I don't enjoy this but I want to get the balance right, he's lucky really that kids are pre-teens and he has four of us all giving attention. Just think he needs to settle sometimes himself too.

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 14:24:10

Thanks for more replies while I got busy. I will read thoroughly later.

Love the doghouse, never been anything but supportive.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Sun 03-Mar-13 14:28:43

You know when you have a grizzly toddler that needs a nap and doesn't realise?

Mine was like that sometimes. Went extra loopy and annoying - sending him to bed for a nap helped and he woke up nicer and calmer.

Floralnomad Sun 03-Mar-13 14:52:09

My dog is nearly 3 , he gets walked at least 3x a day and usually comes out in the car at least once a day . I rarely play with him indoors but he does get cuddled a lot ( by everybody) , he still follows me everytime I move indoors or in the garden . I think he gets enough of my time without me feeling obligated to entertain him when I'm indoors . I do talk to him all the time though !

littlewhitebag Sun 03-Mar-13 15:37:59

As an example - we used to sit on the floor and let her clamber all over us and lie on our laps - then got cross when she had no idea about boundaries and wanted to jump all over us when we sat on the couch. She is a lab - she got big quite fast!

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 16:34:23

Thank you all. I am a first time doogy parent, displaying all the symptoms that you do with your first DC I suspect!

Floral - your phrase 'feeling obligated' struck a chord. I feel obligated to my puppy. He's a dog, a much loved dog, but a dog all the same. As you say, I walk him twice a day, always off lead and making a special effort to see other doggy friends, cuddle him, groom him, train loads. Add up DH and the kids efforts too and I don't feel the need to feel guilty I realise.

Last question - he just goes to sleep if he isn't getting attention (which needs to be when it suits me I see now, thanks Merry) Would he still sleep at night?

That's probably a really daft question! smilesmile

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 16:35:02

bloody damn damn phone - 'doggy'

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Sun 03-Mar-13 16:52:44

One day they drop being the puppy and fit seamlessly into your life. They stop being the dog and are simply your friend.

Sad thing is you never notice when it happens grin

Floralnomad Sun 03-Mar-13 16:54:10

Mine sleeps at night ,irrespective of what he's been up to during the day , at the moment he's laid out on the setee watching the athletics .

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Sun 03-Mar-13 17:04:04

Yes - he's like a big hairy baby. We often notice he has taken himself off for his afternoon nap - he just flops into bed for a kip around the same time each day.

He is happy to abandon it if there is a walk on offer though grin They do just chilled out eventually. I found it quite stressful when he was 6-8m, not much in the way of manners, jumping up at people, super bouncy. But some training just stopped all that, he is lovely now.

He leaps out of bed to greet you when you come downstairs in the morning, has a quick stroke then pisses off back to bed grin

NewYearsEvelyn Sun 03-Mar-13 17:14:22

Mine is nearly two and, despite a couple of 'good citizen' courses, she's still a nightmare when we take her out. She jumps up people and is just desperate to lick their faces. All the time! She thinks that every human being was put on earth to make a fuss of her and if I try to hold her back from a person, she whimpers like I'm the cruellest person in the world.

I can't afford another set of classes right now, as we've just had the house done and we're all cutting back on non-essential spending, but as soon as we've paid off a chunk of the loan, I'm getting a behaviourist in. Til then, I'm reading what I can, where I can and trying different things to get her to calm down.

She's lovely, but she's definitely in charge of us instead of the other way round!

Isandri Thu 07-Mar-13 10:45:36

My dog is 10 and has regular naps. He has around 4 naps before midday. He's currently napping next to me on the sofa while I rub his chest. In between naps he plays, eats, follows us around the house and sunbathes. He has 2 walks a day and sometimes gets walked by bicycle where he runs for approx 6 miles. Some days he finishes a nap and finds a new place for second nap. Alternatively he wants to be played with constantly and brings toys smile

Owllady Thu 07-Mar-13 15:12:46

I have walked miles with mine this morning, done 490 minutes lead training and ball exercises with the 9 month old pup and for the last hour they have just been snoring (and dreaminggrin)

how expensive are your classes newyears? I have seen them as cheap as 33.50 a week. Mine are £6 a week

Owllady Thu 07-Mar-13 15:13:01

sorry that should be £3.50!

ithasgonetotheopera Fri 08-Mar-13 23:35:39

Teenage stage is difficult, over 12 months often start to calm down. Training is the best way to get to the stage of having a calm happy adult dog though - really helps to have reliable sit, stay, bed commands! Don't feel bad about not playing all the time, puppies need to learn to be own their own sometimes/to play independently. Have you tried a Kong (toy that you can put food inside, gives the puppy something to really think about!). Its good that he goes to sleep if he's not getting attention, don't feel bad about that - if he were distressed you'd know about it.

needastrongone Sat 09-Mar-13 15:22:48

Thanks 'opera', I really appreciate the reply. We do train him lots, poor sod but he does seem to enjoy it, or the food that it brings anyway! Kongs don't last long or hold much interest as he's more of a 'chewer' iyswim, but a bone or tripe stick/bullystick works well.

He spends his whole time watching me when I don't play with him. I try very hard to not look back at him sometimes but you can't help yourself sometimes when you 'feel' somebody watching you!! Yesterday I put him in the garden for 20 minutes (fully safe and enclosed) in the end after about 90 minutes of it (I did pop over and give strokes etc and chatted away occasionally), he was fine and chewed a stick/toy etc and pottered.

I think I need to just get over it and realise how well looked after he actually is instead of feeling guilty that I don't spend every waking moment with him.

Thanks again smile

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