New puppy parents, come cheer me up!(89 Posts)
I was expecting hard work. I was expecting mess. I was expecting the chewing. And the mess. And the poo. But it's way harder than I was expecting and I'm struggling. And we're only two weeks in.
I was at the vet at 2am this morning after she had been straining and straining to poo for over 2 hours and was then violently sick - it seems that she had been eating small stones, even though I thought I was watching like a hawk.....she's still not right this morning so I think I may end up having to go back. DH didn't want a dog and feeling very justified in his "I told you sos" this morning!
I know I am very sleep deprived and grumpy, but puppy parents further along than me, cheer me up and tell me how brilliant it is when they are a bit older - pleeeeaaaaaasseeee!
Life with a puppy is a bloody nightmare. It gets easier around 16weeks, less biting, a bit more settled, depends on the breed personality etc. Our pup is now 7months, is funny and charming and his training is helping him become a less disruptive member of the family. It passes quickly.
It took me months to feel we'd done the right thing, months and months. Ours started to be fairly reliable at 2 years (recall and not bouncing on unsuspecting old ladies) and is now at 4 is an absolute joy.
That's probably a longer timescale than you were thinking of though, sorry.
To be fair the mess and chewing didn't last long...
Within 2 weeks you will feel completely different!
I was where you are not long ago, had tears, middle of the night arguments with dh, the lot.
It gets much better really quickly.
It depends on the breed, maybe some puppies grow up quicker than others. Labs are puppies for at least 2 years and mine got worse before he got better.
God yes the arguments and stress over the puppy were horrendous....I think my kids nearly moved out!
I'm a fairly experienced dog owner but I still found it really hard when we got our most recent pup. It had been 8 years since we had a pup and that one came to us ready house-trained at a slightly older age, so realistically it had actually been 14 years since I last had a really young pup to deal with.
It is hard work, all consuming and exhausting for the first couple of weeks and sleep deprivation doesn't help either, but it does get better, I promise. If you can get someone to watch the pup for an hour, while you go and have a long bath or nip out to a cafe for a proper break it will help.
You are still getting to know each other and things get easier once you start to get a handle on her personality, likes and dislikes.
My boy was a stone eater too. We have a long gravel border along our fence-line - and a very long garden - and he used to race out there, grab a mouthful and leg it. It is exhausting having to watch them literally every second because of it. I can remember being on here despairing at ever getting him to stop, as interrupting and redirecting wasn't working and neither was teaching a strong leave it, but then the training suddenly clicked, he realised it was more rewarding to leave them alone and lost interest in them. He's never even looked at them since (he's 19 months old now).
Hang in there.
Thank you everyone, and sorry for the silence - I was back at the vets (more injections, keep an eye etc).
Thank you SinclairSpectrum - feeling better - within 2 weeks sounds doable, months and months not so much (Velvetbee!), but I know that it will all pay off - just feeling that it's a lot of work for little reward at the moment.....
But I know that's because I've been up all night with her, and she is gorgeous really.
I've had 3 very young pups in the last 6 years and I STILL forget how bad it is, every single time. My youngest is now just over a year and is beginning to settle into the lovely dog I know he will be, but it is bloody tough. The first 12-18 months is one thing after another, but each stage only lasts a few weeks and it does get better, frustratingly slowly at times, and it can feel like one forward, two back, but it will get better
I agree that the 1st 18 months are hard work but, if you put the effort in with training, you will (fingers crossed) then have 10 years of a well-behaved dog to enjoy. And it will get progressively easier over that 18 months - you're at the toughest stage now.
Make sure you go to puppy training classes. They are worth their weight in gold. And have you got a crate for her? They are brilliant as the puppy feels secure and you know you can safely leave her without the house being trashed.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Itsgoingtoreindeer - that was me yesterday. I was in pieces thinking that I had really, really thought about what I was doing, I read loads, I spoke to the KC about my choice of breed, was interviewed by the breeder etc but I was in tears thinking that "I really really can't cope, and I can't believe I'm going to fail her".
But, I look at her now, curled up under my feet and know that it was reminiscent of one of those days that I had when my newborn sons screamed with reflux for hours on end as newborns, and I wanted to get them adopted by a kind, patient person with less sensitive hearing , but somehow I got through that, and will this too! It just would be helpful if DH was a weeny bit more supportive - but to be fair, he did say that she's my dog, that he is happy for me to have her because I said that I wanted her, but that he isn't interested and doesn't want to be involved.....
Sounds as though 16 weeks is a good milestone to look forward to. I'm also looking forward to being able to take her out for her first walk at the weekend - being able to leave the confines of the house and garden is very exciting at the moment!!
Anyone forTurps - we were due to start puppy training classes tonight - but the vet has advised me not to take her because she's so uncomfortable. IF I can convince DH to sit with her, then I will go without her so that I don't miss anything. She does have a crate but doesn't really use it in the day - she prefers being under the computer table or curled up against the sofa.
She's still really unhappy in herself today - trying to wee repeatedly and pass these stones. Vet has said to feed little and often and just keep a really close eye on her - which I'm doing, but it's horrid to see her so uncomfortable.
Thank you everyone again - it's great to know that everyone has had a wobble at some point!
Just as an aside - my dh said very clearly if it was his choice and his alone we wouldn't get a dog. Pup was bought for me as a hobby / companion, all responsibility for training, walking, poo picking falls to me.
Dogs have a way of sneaking into every heart - 2 weeks after the 1am "told you so" row dh was the one suggesting pup should be allowed to snuggle on the sofa after all.
We have just booked a sitter for tonight so we can go out for a drink - sitter for the kids, dh wouldn't dream of leaving pup behind!
Thanks Sinclair - can't see that happening here at the moment but that gives me hope that he 'may' change his mind eventually!
Panic I'll echo what Sinclair said - Dh did not want a dog but he reluctantly agreed because the kids were desperate and we both felt growing up with a pet was important for them.
And you know what, Dh comes home from work and the bugger speak to the dog before me, the dog makes him laugh....he enjoys the silly things the dog does, pup provides a lovely distraction from Dh's stressful job, he gives him far too many treats - even bought him steak from Waitrose!! .... so I wouldn't worry too much about the "I told you so comments" - puppies are stressful, older dogs not so much and harmony started to be restored in our family when the pup was 4-5months old. It's still hard, but you get to know each other, you lower your expectations on a fully trained dog overnight and you just learn to plod on becoming more and more besotted by the day. Damn those puppy eyes!
Our puppy is now 6 months old and things are so much better. I remember being at the same stage as you (with a reluctant DH as well) and thinking I'd made a terrible mistake and I couldn't do it any more. Dpup is snoozing beside me now and is so much calmer than I thought he would be at this age. We still have issues to work through, eg loose lead walking and making his recall 100%, but I can definitely tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Good luck!
Hi OP - we are four weeks in and it is a bit easier already. It is still bloody hard work though and the destruction is incredible. One problem is the complicated system of stair-gates we have which means I can't dash around the house doing my usual jobs.
But ... we have been for a brilliant off-lead walk with the family as well as on-lead walks, she's been to two pubs, out for coffee, playing with other puppies locally. I think once you start her walks it will feel a bit better.
<fingers in ears to labs taking two years>
How I feel your pain, took almost 3 months before I felt anything like joy in our lab pup. he is nearly 2 1/2 and although still does zooms and loves a chase with other dogs, he is a huge loved part of our family. One evening (the dreaded 5.30pm - 7pm slot) DH even offered me £1000 to take the puppy back to the breeder! Now of course he is so proud of HIS dog.
punter lab snores on the sofa most of the evening.
I too am hoping this puppy stage passes very very quickly I'm exhausted
And my dh didn't want either of our dogs now I think he loves them more than he does me!
I remember with DDog1 sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing, thinking, "wtf have i done?!" I think that may have been the day after he had eaten about an a4 sized piece of the kitchen lino, and was currently pouncing on my feet pretending to be an extra large crocodile.. It was much much harder than DS1 as a baby!!
But DDog 1 was my dog of a lifetime. He just had eyes that could see into your soul, and I would do anything to have him back.
Interestingly DDog2, also another labrador, was a much easier puppy- which was a good job as I had a just turned two year old ds2 by then. She is a lovely lovely girl but <looks round to make sure dodge doesn't hear> will never be in the same league as ddog1.
Chin up, it will be worth it ten fold!
I've got a 12 week old puppy. The first two weeks were hard work! I've found having a play pen really helpful. We have a crate too but the playpen is so handy for just popping the puppy in when I need to do something - like empty the dishwasher or unpack the shopping. Or if she is having a crazy five minutes and I need to keep her and the children apart.
I adopted my 10 week rescue puppy on Saturday having never had a puppy before and.. oh my GOD I was not prepared for having a puppy. I have never had a dog before because my parents were allergic but have had cats. My husband has had dogs in the past. Spent two months reading everything i could about what to expect, how to train her.. still feeling really overwhelmed! Total lack of sleep is not helping
But I am so glad I read all the books and researched everything I could. She's been here 4 days and we've already got her well on the road to being toilet trained. She listens to me when I tell her to stop doing something (loud AH! noise) and she'll come to me when I tell her to. Although she did excitedly headbutt me in the face this morning and has left me with a fat lip. Little sod .
OH! And if you have a stone eater (which mine would be if I hadn't done this), get an empty 2 litre bottle, put 250ml of vinegar in the bottle and the rest water, pour it all over the stones and (hopefully!) your dog won't pick them up any more. That's what I had to do in mine to stop her eating them, all she does now is sniff them.
This is a therapeutic thread. It might be nice to keep it going and offload when our puppies do 'puppy' things.
I gave ours a massive box earlier, with a treat in the bottom. I thought she would enjoy working out how to get it out as it was a flat stair-gate box. My God, the mess when she'd finished!
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