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Not sure we (I) should have got a dog

(31 Posts)
Confusedandfedup Wed 12-Jun-13 13:14:38

I realize I shall get some flak for this and I'm not sure why I'm posting other than to get it off my chest. We got a 17th month old dog from a rescue shelter 4 months ago as a pet from our youngest son (8). He loves dogs and really wanted one. I thought about it a lot. Things like who would look after it during holidays, days out etc. In the end I thought it would be a good thing for him to have a dog. We go walking a lot so that is not a problem and I have 2 family members who could look after Dog if needed.

BUT, I have just not bonded with the dog. She has a couple of issues including hating the car and barking aggressively at visitors/strangers, but apart from that she is fine. DH and son really like her, but I've just not got used to her being here yet. I feel stressed a lot and the thought of feeling like this about her for the years to come is depressing.

BeerTricksPotter Wed 12-Jun-13 13:23:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPotter Wed 12-Jun-13 13:23:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsravelstein Wed 12-Jun-13 15:06:49

i sympathise. we got a dog 9 months ago because DH and kids wanted one. they all adore her, and ds1 (12) does his fair share. but i have never bonded with her at all, cute though she is. the only thing that helps really is to throw myself into it and take her for long walks and do training with her, and then i sort of enjoy it more and enjoy her more. but i would give her back tomorrow without a 2nd thought. (i mean, if i knew she would be well looked after etc etc, obviously i wouldn't wish her anything but happiness!)

AdoraBell Wed 12-Jun-13 15:25:08

Me too. OH bought two puppies in addition to the two dogs we already had, I told him not to dump them and their care on me, he did. I would also give them back but here it's not an option.

People in Chile don't view dogs in the same way as responsible owners in the UK. There's an area were "everyone" goes to dump their no longer wanted, not neutered, dogs and many people abandon their dogs "at home" when they go on holiday. If the dogs are still hanging around when they return all well and good, if not they buy more and do the same the next year.

So all four dogs are staying with us.

Confusedandfedup Wed 12-Jun-13 16:45:56

Thanks for replies. Glad I am not totally alone on this. I would happily go back to being dog free (which surprises me a lot) blush. I like dogs but I'm not really a 'dog person'. I really like walking with a dog, but there is a big difference to having one 24/7. I would never let her sleep on my bed (she is not allowed upstairs) and neither is she allowed on the sofa/chairs. I will care for her and I do most of the training...maybe in a year I will feel differently confused

AdoraBell Wed 12-Jun-13 17:06:40

I am a dog person, and I still haven't bonded with the two latest additions. The only reason mine are not allowed on furniture is because OH doesn't allow it, and I would happily let them on the bed too. The dog we had growing used to sleep on my bed, at the end.

You are right though, 24 hour care is very different to a pleasant stroll on a warm afternoon.

idirdog Wed 12-Jun-13 17:42:54

sad

RedwingWinter Wed 12-Jun-13 18:18:51

Confused, I think this is fairly normal because getting a dog is a big adjustment, especially if it's not something you're used to. It's hardest for the one who has all the responsibility and I expect that is you - much easier for everyone else who just gets the enjoyable parts. Sometimes it takes time to bond. Also it gets easier over time because you have a routine that you are used to, the dog is used to it too, and it all gets easier.

On the one hand you have gained a wonderful canine friend who will also be a great friend to your DS, and you can feel proud of yourself for giving a home to a rescue dog - and at the same time you have lost some freedom. I think it's normal to find that hard.

Do you need some advice on any specific problems? Has he got used to the car now or is it still an issue? Also you could recruit some friends to help you train him to visitors coming round. 'Go to mat' is a useful one, as is having all visitors offer treats from a safe distance.

Everything Redwing said. I found adjusting to being a dog owner really tough, and I still sometimes long to be able to skip out the door for the day without making all sorts of arrangements. It does get easier, and one day you'll realise that your dog is your mate. Try and remember the good stuff for when the going gets tough, and get the dog into a routine which suits you.

moosemama Wed 12-Jun-13 19:44:12

I think what you are feeling is very common, both with experienced dog lovers and family members who perhaps wouldn't have chosen to have a dog were it not for other members of their family wanting one. Dogs are a huge responsibility and it can feel overwhelming, even for those of us that are used to sharing our lives/homes with them. It's not dissimilar to that moment of panic some of us get when we suddenly realise a couple of months in that our new baby is for keeps and things will never be quite the same again.

It's a big upheaval and no doubt about it, it changes your life. With many people it passes with time as the dog starts to feel more like part of the family unit, for others it's less obvious and a more gradual acceptance of their new family member. Having said that, there are no rules that say you have to bond with her. If your dh and ds love her and are bonded with her, there is no reason for you to try and force yourself, but at the same time, you must make it clear that she is their responsibility and although of course you will take care of her needs when necessary, you don't want to be the one with all the responsibility, while they get all the fun of games and walks.

Having a dog that is aggressive towards visitors to your homes is stressful and if she doesn't travel well in the car as well, that can be very restrictive for you too, so it's no wonder you are struggling. I would advise you to get some help to deal with these issues, as it will definitely help. You say she is a rescue. A decent rescue should offer you follow up behavioural advice - so that should be your first port of call.

If you do want to try and bond with her more, I agree with others who've said take her to a training club, as the process of positive training actually builds a bond between handler and dog and perhaps consider trying a fun sport like agility or flyball, if you think she'd be up for it. Also finding other people to go on dog-walks with can help. Both open up new avenues of social life and therefore help offset the feeling of being restricted by having a dog.

You aren't doing anything wrong, your dog is loved, well cared for and bonded with both your dh and ds - she is not suffering and you have done a fantastic thing in giving a new home and life to a rescue dog. You are just admitting to feeling the way many people do when they take on a new dog - I won't be giving you any flak for that.

Oh - and I adore my dog/s (currently one, soon to be more) and we are very bonded (in fact a little too much judging by lurcherboy's recent foray into Separation Anxiety blush) but they are not allowed on my furniture or upstairs. They have lovely comfy beds of their own and I am always happy to sit on the floor to hug them etc - they aren't missing out on any comfort love or cuddles by not being allowed on the sofa. Lots of people are happy for their dogs to do either or both, but there's nothing wrong with setting your own rules for your own household and if anything, it's good that you set the rules straight away and started as you mean to go on with her.

needastrongone Wed 12-Jun-13 21:00:25

Helpful idirdog.....

Super post from moosemama, said far better than I could.

I am going through the same thing and it was me who wanted our puppy the most, DC and DH fully bonded with him from day one. However, I give him everything he needs, he doesn't know his adoration of me isn't fully reciprocated. I am hoping it will come with me relaxing a bit and time. I will never rehome him or be in the slightest bit cruel.

I find it easier when dh is not working away and the DC are helping out too.

Do you know what? I have forgiven myself for not feeling the love. I may never feel the love but accepting this has made me feel a whole lot better about the situation.

I posted last week under a thread called 'really struggling' and folk were so k

needastrongone Wed 12-Jun-13 21:03:21

Kind and understanding its helped loads.

Sorry, but of a rambling post as back in from a pony club event and cold and tired!

Strangely, the love is fully there for the new pony. I adore him. But you can't really tell who you are going to bond with, that's the thing.

needastrongone Wed 12-Jun-13 21:18:40

Ps. Dog is laid on his mat in the living room. I am stroking him tummy and he is sighing contentedly. He doesn't know I need a bit more time to bond.

Good luck.

Confusedandfedup Thu 13-Jun-13 07:10:41

Thank you so much for the positive posts. I will take your advice smile.

idirdog Thu 13-Jun-13 09:26:46

needastrongone ? It is sad and to be honest pathetic the number of psots on here "I don't love my dog" "it is hard work", how can I bond with my dog. All of you grow up and come to the real world.

Dogs are hard work, they are also innocent parties that have been bought into your homes, you have to make a commitment to them and to be honest, tough how you feel about it. You have taken on the dog you have a responsibility to care for all the dogs needs however you feel about the dog.

People get dogs and look at it with rose coloured glasses, they see the happily trained dog running alongside the family and lying by the roaring log fire, they do not consider the realities. That it has taken hours of training, and that most dogs will have situations that require dedicated training, that dogs will get ill, dogs may prefer different members of the family to you. Get over it.

Possible I shouldn't post this but really these posts are just very self indulgent.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 13-Jun-13 09:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 13-Jun-13 09:40:57

I've been here with foster dogs before so understand how you feel. My last foster puppy I hated him. I've never hated any animal before.

I didn't have it in me to give up on him, I knew with his behavior he'd be likely to just bounce from one home to the next and ultimately end up in kennels.

He wasn't aggressive he just never rested. Ever. If you entered or left a room, you'd have four stone of puppy joyously throwing himself at you with gusto, ditto if you stood up from sitting down or walked past him. He was destructive, impossible to walk and had very poor recall and would steal food from your mouth of he could.

The more time I spent training with him the more I bonded with him and obviously he became better behaved and easier to love as a result of the training. I also made sure I did things with him that I enjoyed, like long walks in the rain/on deserted beaches with my ipod or sitting in the park in the sun. In the end he was the only foster dog I've ever had that I struggled to let go of once he found a home. I'm normally sad, but ready for the next challenge. This one broke my heart sad He's very loved now and in a great home but I secretly hope his home will break down sometimes so he can come and live here again, where I will find a way to afford his insurance.

I do agree with iridog though, the dog is the innocent party in all of this and really deserves for you to give it your all. Dog ownership is not a walk in the park for anyone, the sooner people realise that, the better.

idirdog Thu 13-Jun-13 09:50:32

Beertrickspotter Ok I agree it probably is high handed but the posts are not saying it is hard work and can you help sort it out. They are just going on about how the owners feel......

I will not post on these threads again but really people do need to get some backbone,be realistic and get on with things. Noone forced them into the situation.

<notes there is already another really miserable dog owner thread already today, I will leave it to the rest of your lovely touchy feely people to go and hand hold the owners and just hope the dogs have an ok life>

needastrongone Thu 13-Jun-13 09:54:23

I personally posted here as I have had tons of advice, some of you might 'know' me a little and I didn't want to offload this on the DC or DH, for various reasons.

I am putting the effort in, I so wanted to do it 'right' I didn't relax. He gets walked twice a day, trained (he has KC bronze and we will progress, although I am no expert!), loved, cuddled, played with etc. In a strange way, feeling I 'need' to do all this has detracted from just letting him 'be'. I have read some of the amazing stuff on here about what folk do with their dogs and assumed every dog needs that level of input, when, actually, they don't. Or mine doesn't anyway, and many dogs I know in RL.

Better to share and get support and advice than struggle, then rehome? I am glad I shared, maybe self indulgently, I already feel differently (a little) about him than I did.

I just don't know that you can know how you will feel about your dog until they are with you. A bit like not bonding with your baby after giving birth, you don't expect or wish it to happen, it just does, I guess?

Anyway, I am not going to rehome or ever be cruel, I will put the effort in and will continue to do so.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 13-Jun-13 09:54:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

needastrongone Thu 13-Jun-13 09:56:24

My original post WAS asking for help and don't assume my dog will not have the very best of lives we can provide, he will smile

MrsDeVere Thu 13-Jun-13 10:04:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

idirdog Thu 13-Jun-13 10:11:09

Lets not go off topic I have had my say your points of view are way more tolerant than mine so do not waste time having a go at me as that will not help the op feel better about herself.

BeerTricksPotter no where in any of my posts have I said that you said anything confused so not sure how you can say that your post didn't say that.

needastrongone you are not the op not sure why you think I was talking about you

<Never will understand people goes off to walk dogs in the rain smile >

Blistory Thu 13-Jun-13 10:16:13

Expectations run too high sometimes.

I adore my dog but there were times during the past 18 months where I bitterly regretted having a dog, not her, just the whole intense dog thing and I say that as someone who always has a dog around but hadn't had a young one for years.

You don't need to bond with a dog - it's lovely when it happens but it's something that you can't force. If you're kind and compassionate and care for the dog and accept it as a family member, that's enough. Quite why we expect dogs to fall at our feet and adore us is beyond me. Bonding is an additional extra that sometimes happens. Even experienced dog owners will tell you about 'the one', the truly special dog that just did it for them. There isn't a logic to it but it does often go hand in hand with training, focus and relaxing. But it doesn't happen with every dog that you care for.

I adore dogs in general, I adore my dog but she's got something about her that meant we have bonded and it's something I hadn't realised that I didn't have with my other dogs. I would walk to the ends of the earth for my other dogs but for this one, I would walk there and back carrying her. I don't necessarily think that the kind of bond I have with my dog is particularly helpful for either of us nor do I think my other dogs suffered in any way by not having that bond as they were all loved - just in different ways and to different extents.

Chances are if you learn to relax and accept her as part of your life, you'll grow to love her. It's only been 4 months and you're still adjusting. She isn't yet the dog that she will become nor are you yet the dog owner that you will become. That's exciting, not depressing.

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