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I think I've made a terrible mistake

(24 Posts)
NatFrenchie Thu 16-Jul-15 09:05:23

Our puppy is now 6 months old, he's very sweet natured and easy going until we go out and then he barks at every dog he sees, he's up on his hind legs desperate to greet them and their owners and is the same with people (but doesn't bark at them). I have been to puppy classes and even had private one to one sessions but cannot break this cycle. People say he'll grow out of it and that he needs more socialisation, but I work so the walks he has during the week tend to be in the village where we live where he doesn't meet other dogs but over the weekend we make sure we walk where there are plenty of other dogs (painful though it is)!

That's one thing.

The other is worse. I don't think I want to keep the puppy any more. He has been the cause of untold arguments between myself and my 11 year old son (who the puppy was bought for after much soul searching and discussion) as although my son loves the dog, his input when it comes to walks, training etc is minimal. He would rather play with his friends or watch TV than interact for any length of time with the dog. This makes me resentful of the poor puppy as I feel that I am the main carer (I work from home) and annoyed with my son because of it.

I was really naive about how much attention a puppy would need and how restricting it would be for me. I really stupidly didn't think it through.

I think I'm suffering hormonally too as I'm going through the menopause and having the puppy is increasing my stress levels and making me more unhappy. I really don't know what to do now as I feel that giving him away makes me a selfish bad person and I feel that I'd be giving up on him but at the same time, I really crave the freedom I had before getting him.

Has anyone else gone through similar feelings or is it just me? As I am typing this, I want to cry as I feel so guilty.

Pootles2010 Thu 16-Jul-15 09:12:55

Right, your son is 11. You were maybe being a smidge unrealistic thinking you wouldn't be the main carer! Maybe give him one job to do, which is part of his daily chores - perhaps he just sorts food & water, something like that.

Then I would get a dog walker, then he'll get lots of walks, and socialising too. He will calm down as he gets older too.

Stellios14 Thu 16-Jul-15 09:30:24

Have you considered Doggy Day Care? I send mine a few times a month and its great for the dog and me.
We got our Pup at 7 months old from a family who just couldnt cope with her. We certainly didnt look at the previous owner as being selfish or a bad person, we were utterly grateful at getting the chance to have pup in our lives.
We keep in touch with the previous owner with the odd pic on FB.
She was hard work and still has moments of sheer naughtiness but nearly 6 months with her now and she is settling down nicely.
It really does get better, hard to believe it when you are living it though!!
Good luck with whatever you decide to do smile

Costacoffeeplease Thu 16-Jul-15 09:32:05

Absolutely unrealistic to not expect to be the pup's primary carer, why on earth did you think an 11 year old would be responsible enough to look after him?

I get so tired of seeing posts about how the decision to get a dog was thought through and researched, but after a few months, inevitably the novelty wears off and there's yet another dog heading for re-homing or months in a rescue kennel

When will the message get through - they're not toys, pups are bloody hard work, they pee, poo, bite, jump up, chew - they need a lot of training, love, consistency - the rewards are there but you need to put the ground work in first

Poor pup, I feel so sorry for him - if you pass him on, do not ever get another pet again

insanityscatching Thu 16-Jul-15 09:37:34

I think you were perhaps a bit unrealistic buying a puppy for an eleven year old and expecting to take on only a minor role in its care tbh. We bought Eric for dd's eleventh birthday but we wouldn't have if we didn't expect to care for it ourselves and that's what we do. Dd plays with him most days but everything else is down to dh and I.
I would speak to your ds and explain that you aren't happy to do all the training and care and if he doesn't feel able to commit to a daily role in ddog's they you both need to consider whether ddog would be better placed elsewhere.
At eleven just starting secondary their lives and interests change so you might have to face that ds isn't going to be willing to commit time to ddog and therefore he will need to realise that without that commitment you won't be willing to continue as things are.

Pootles2010 Thu 16-Jul-15 09:51:30

Will tread carefully here, not being at that stage yet myself, but is it possible its not so much pup as the hormones that are really getting to you, and it's 'transferring' to pup a little bit?

I know mum suffered dreadfully when she went through the menopause, so my sympathies. Is there anything dr can do to help?

NatFrenchie Thu 16-Jul-15 11:12:24

Pootles 2010 - yes you're absolutely right on both counts - unrealistic re expectations for my son's input and yes I think that hormones may have a lot to do with my feelings about the puppy too.

Insanityscatching - again spot on. This is my concern too, that once my son starts secondary school his input will be even less. I really need to think all this through and how to manage it better.

Thank you Stellios14, I don't think I'll do doggy day care, not sure if there is anything like that around here anyway, but I do know someone who can take him for walks with other dogs and she does this sometimes already. I might see if we can make it a more regular occurrence though.

And yes Costacoffeplease - I am fully aware of all the things you mentioned and am guilty as charged. Thank you for reinforcing it though for me in case I was in any doubt. Rest assured, that if we do give this puppy away, he will not be going to a rescue centre, but will be re-homed somewhere where he will be happy and loved. If that isn't possible, I will not be letting him go. And no I won't be getting another dog if that happens obviously.

StarsInTheNightSky Thu 16-Jul-15 12:36:41

Some harsh comments here. I don't think it's unrealistic to have expected an 11 year old to be the main carer, I was for my three dogs, my horse and my rabbits when I was eleven, my parents only had to drive me to the vets when necessary and watch the dogs while I was at school. I did all the feeding, walking, training, cleaning up etc myself. It wasn't unrealistic OP, but things have turned out a bit differently that expected, there is no shame in that.

OP, I have owned and rescued dogs for years and I think that everyone has a what have I done moment at some point, wobbles are completely natural, its a huge life change. Insanity has some good ideas. Perhaps you could also have a look into a different trainer? That kind of behaviour isn't something that I'd accept from my dogs at that age, nor is it something that I'd want to wait and see if he grew out of, he could hurt himself or you in the meantime.

What breed is he? If he's of a breed/ temperament suitable I would be having a look for reputable schutzhund clubs/trainers near you. There are some pants trainers, but there are also some fantastic ones, and you don't have to do the full security bit of schutzhund, you could do a more relaxed version of just the obedience, or the obedience and tracking bits. Most offer puppy obedience classes.

Do you feel that if you could resolve his walking behaviour and get your son to help a bit more then you might feel less resentful of pup? Sending [floweron] any new dog or pet is an adjustment process, it takes time i both sides, don't beat yourself up for your feelings.

StarsInTheNightSky Thu 16-Jul-15 12:37:10

That was meant to be flowers

cashewnutty Thu 16-Jul-15 12:45:46

All i can offer is that when my dog was 6 months old i had had enough and wanted to give her away. She was disobedient and a total nightmare.

I took her to training class and after 20 weeks of classes she was like a different dog.

Now she is 3 and i can't believe i ever thought of giving her away. She is an absolute dream dog now and i adore her.

Stick in there - she may become a fabulous companion to you once your DS is older.

honeyroar Fri 17-Jul-15 03:46:49

Oh dear. Poor puppy. Sadly it's quite common for people to struggle with 6-9month old pups and for them to be given up. The rescue where our dod came from calls them Xmas pups and they usually come in July-Sept at around 6-10 months old.

Having rehomed two such dogs, the main factor in their problems is lack of exercise, followed by lack of owner effort. With both of ours, lots of exercise wore them out and solved 90% of their problems. So a dog walker more regularly may give you a break and the dog what it needs.

If you do rehome this dog do consider a rescue. They generally know what they're doing and they know what to look for in a good home. Safer than an advert in a lot of ways...

nooka Fri 17-Jul-15 04:07:15

Some rescues will rehome from your home so the dog doesn't have to go into kennels but the adopters still gets properly vetted. Hopefully this is mainly a combination of teenage dog wickedness, menopausal mum and pre-teen laziness and it will work out for all of you.

I do think finding someone to walk him more often and with other dogs is the way to go. I remember our dog being a total nuisance at the same sort of age with jumping up (especially small children, who he loved but could easily knock over).

Mrscaindingle Fri 17-Jul-15 04:08:59

Just wanted to say I've been where you are, I also found our puppy much harder work than I anticipated and my 2 DS less than enthusiastic about helping out so that often it was easier just to do it myself.

Our dog is 18 months now and I'm so glad I hung on in there as he is a much loved member of our family. Looking back I was going through a difficult time emotionally and was projecting some of my unhappiness onto the poor dog. It just felt like one more chore when I was already feeling overwhelmed. Do you think this may be the case here? Dogs are like children really and generally get easier as they get older.

I have a dog walker and the DC are also getting (a little) more helpful with him as they are getting older. Only you can decide but as someone upthread said you do reap the rewards after a couple of years of hard work.

Whipnaenae Fri 17-Jul-15 04:19:46

I got a puppy under similar circumstances. I became really resentful. Fast forward a couple of years and he became the love of my life. We lost him earlier this year, my heart is broken and I miss him more than words can say. Give it time, it is a massive adjustment period but the more you put in the more you get back. Corny but true.

NatFrenchie Fri 17-Jul-15 21:28:53

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I am feeling a little better now knowing that I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed sometimes. I AM going to persevere and keep my lovely boy. He had a good walk with the dog walker with other dogs this morning and behaved beautifully I'm told. She cannot sing his praises highly enough in fact.

This afternoon, I had a one to one training session which worked really well and the trainer this time was full of praise for him & me, saying that whatever I've been doing is working and that she's really impressed at the way he responds and learns.

So I guess I just needed to be reassured that I'm doing the right thing by the puppy. I've also had a long chat with DS and we've agreed that he will do more to help. How long that will last who knows, but it's the summer holidays so he'll be around a lot more and may even notice what goes on during the day and realise that there's a little more to looking after the pup than just playing with him for 5 minutes a day!

Next thing to do is sort out my hormones - could be harder than the pup or DS!!

honeyroar Fri 17-Jul-15 22:01:35

Aww, that's lovely to read. Best of luck.x

StarsInTheNightSky Fri 17-Jul-15 23:18:31

That's great news smile. Keep posting if you feel overwhelmed, there are some posters on here with great advice x.

Dismalfuckers Sun 26-Jul-15 18:17:25

When DDog was about that age I regularly threatened to "put that dog on eBay "��

It got better, keep at it, keep up the training, you are doing all the right things, it's normal to feel overwhelmed at times, but I reckon you can do it.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Sun 26-Jul-15 18:28:52

I was very overwhelmed with our lab puppy. I almost gave her back to the breeder last summer as I couldn't cope. She was such hard work compared to our Golden Retriever who was an absolute pleasure as a puppy. I stupidly thought that our Lab bitch would be a piece of cake. How wrong I was.
However, she's now 17 months and although a bit naughty at times, she's come on leaps and bounds. I couldn't bear to part with her.
Stick with it OP it does get better.

KiwiJude Sun 26-Jul-15 22:33:42

Our DDog was hard work when he first arrived too. I was overwhelmed and became very resentful, not to mention the stress of downtime from my work in the first few months (I also work from home). There was much talk of him going back to breeders, but when it came down to it it was me who made the decision to keep him. I'm glad we did, he is a lovely part of our family now although every now and then resentment surfaces but it doesn't last for long, and when it does happen I just acknowledge it for what it is and pour another wine grin

He is only 14 months old and surprisingly quite settled/calm, esp given his breed (boxer).

kippersmum Mon 27-Jul-15 12:16:52

Ddog is 21 months old. When he was 6 - 10 months old I regularly threatened to send him to the local rescue centre sad

He is now my constant companion & I can't imagine life without him. He can still drive me demented from time to time but he is growing up into such a lovely boy.

When my 2 moody preteen DDs have strops he sits by me & puts his head by my hand to give me moral support smile

NatFrenchie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:27:34

Thank you for your encouragement and support. Now the school holidays have started, it all seems less daunting. In spite of having a houseful of children and adults last week, the puppy adapted really well and was lovely with all of them and they all fell in love with him too!

DS is making more of an effort, although there is some cajoling involved, but baby steps... I love going out for walks with the puppy as we're very fortunate & live near some fabulous beaches, there's nothing better than walking on an empty beach first thing in the morning especially when the sun's shining!

Kiplinghoover Mon 27-Jul-15 13:46:28

Same here , experienced dog owner but a long time since I've had a pup. I've sat and sobbed and wondered what the hell I've done with 10 month old pup.
Mine has massive walks etc and goes to day care once or twice a month so we can have a break.

KiwiJude Mon 27-Jul-15 22:15:08

Oh my goodness NatFrenchie, he looks like a bit of trouble if ever I saw it!! grin hahaha Good to hear things are looking up. I'm about to drop our boy off at doggy day care for the day. He goes a couple of times a week and loves it, comes home tired and happy and usually puts himself to bed for a wee rest after checking in with the cat.

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