I had two gorgeous dogs...(25 Posts)
OK, i'm posting in trepidation. I realise I'll likely be shot down in flames. In honesty I would have probably thought the same pre-baby - how could you think that? Why did you get a dog? You don't deserve them.. etc etc etc.
I'm posting because I already feel incredibly guilty. I'm looking for advice maybe help or ideas to re-integrate the dogs or perhaps someone else has had a similar experience?
Pre-birth I had two beautiful spaniels that I loved so much, they were my babies. They came on the bed with us, we did classes with them, walks, I didn't notice their doggy smells and if they wiped their bums on the carpet or rolled all over the carpet, so what - it was cute!
Since coming home with our little man, everything has changed. To start off with, they were to boisterous right after birth and I didn't have the energy to walk them. Then we established ground rules which we tried to put in place prior to the birth but I was convinced everything would be fine, the dogs are part of the family, welcome in every room. So, not allowed in our room or babies room - fair enough. Then they would sneak in if the door was ajar and come out with baby socks or toys and not chew them but dump them in the garden and pee all over them. I started to fall out of love with them pretty fast. And sometimes they would tear up a baby sponge or rip up underlay, the dogs used to be really good and I wonder if it's because our attention has shifted, but obviously that can't change back.
I bought new shoes and they chewed them up, something they grew out of when they were pups.
I've just been feeling like they make my really life difficult, I can't put little man on the floor without vacuuming, I vacuum three times a day(!) Sometimes I shut them out just so I dont have to watch them rolling all over my carpet or shaking and the hairs falling everywhere.
Last night the pooped on my landing which they haven't done since they were pups and they were let out. I was livid (and no I didn't take it out on the dogs - I did my dutiful cleaning up and squibbing whilst thinking I need to replace the carpets). To be honest I feel like all they do is annoy the hell out of me, they used to be my little angels and now I hate their smell, their fur and the endless chores they seem to make for me. I've been working on it, I try to fuss them and include them i.e. little man gives them a little fuss.
Oh, and to top it all off they now try and bolt out the door so I have had to install a stair gate to stop them from barging past me and terrorising the chickens when the post man or someone else arrives :-(
I haven't confessed to OH yet, he's at work most the time but I'm sure he's feeling the same way.
Please tell me i'm not an evil witch :-/
They have also become really yappy, i.e. my OH will let them out and give them the run of the utility area plus alley by the garage and back garden when he goes to work at 6.45 but I won't be able to go back to sleep once he leaves as they just squeak and yap.
I have done lots of classes with them so I never reward this behaviour. I always wait until they are quiet and then I will let them back in. I used to treat them once they had calmed down and give them any left overs from the day before in their bowls but this seems to have caused another problem. The second I let them in they charge around the house looking for scraps -.-
Oh christ i'm at my wits end with it and not having slept properly for months doesn't help.
Look at it from their point of view. A new strange little human has come into their world. They are getting less exercise, less attention and less stimulation. Their routines are all out of whack.
They are bored and now creating their own entertainment.
The poop could have been caused by a medical issue or thier lack of routine.
As for fur on the carpet....I gave up sterilising when I realised how daft I was for doing it because my DD was shoving dog hairs in her mouth when she started crawling. Kids need dirt to kick start their immune system. It honestly won't hurt.
Thank you potap, they are just getting twice a day for 15 minutes to be honest. I'm finding it difficult so OH has been doing it. They also pull like trains so having a lo and getting pulled is a nightmare. Again, they never used to do this :'(
I just did a quick look on gumtree and didn't find any dog walkers local - was thinking if someone could get them back into the routine I might find it easier to pick it back up when they are calmer.
I think you're spot on, I feel like it's all grinding me down x
How old are they OP? I second what camper said, their routines are all out & they're acting up due to the change. Can your DH walk them before work? Even if it means getting up earlier, surely that'll make the start to your day easier & you'll feel better.
I think If you solve the walking problem then you will solve the rest of the problems.
How old is you DS?
I'm not trying to add obstacles (honest) but sometimes OH will walk them before work, other times it's when he gets in and before bed.
I'm breastfeeding LO and he doesn't sleep through. Quite often OH will have to get up for work and is already complaining his tired. Don't think I could ask him to get up even earlier. It's down to me. I need to make the effort.
I'm sat here thinking about walking them one at a time now lol. Meant to be at tiny talk in 30mins but I think I have to sort this out because I'm really starting to resent them and I feel guilty about that.
DS is 5months and the dogs are both just over 2 (not related though)
They aren't being walked enough, sorry. I know it's tough with a new baby. Have you got a sling/carrier for the baby? Dog walking is a bugger with a pram. Who used to walk them before you had the baby and how come your DH doesn't have much time now? Is there a local dog walker you could use? Or a teenage neighbour who you could pay to take them out?
Can you get them some walking harnesses and take them out? I managed to walk two large breed dogs and push a pushchair. The fresh air would be good for you and your ds.
I used to walk them, we also used to do a lot of rambling at the weekends and weekends away in wales walking and following os maps. OH changed his job whilst I was on maternity leave but now has an extra 45min commute :-/ better pay of course but that coupled with lack of sleep means OH is really run down, I also feel pretty guilty as he is sole earner at the moment and has offered to continue so I don't need to return to work.
There isn't walkers on gumtree but i'm not sure I could justify the extra expense long term.
It falls to me, I need to make the effort here and if you all think it's lack of exercise i'm going to boot up and brave the weather. I can't continue how it is i'd rather have a walk with us all than keep clearing up mess and feeling like I do. Just feel in a bit of a rut in this regard.
I know you've all been there, I have a list of chores as long as my arm, a baby that wants my attention everytime I start something and it's just another thing to do but I can't not try. I'm sure DS will like having a look around anyway.
Ten Min of mental stimulation is worth 20 of physcal exercise. Try feeding them from puzzle toys and maybe doing a bit of trick training too.
Thanks LilCamper, I have a kong and some puzzles for them which i haven't used in ages. Will try those too.
It is hard OP. The dogs are bored, under exercised and resent the disruption your DS has caused to their lives. You could take a leaf out of my DD's book (I think she is mad!) who gets up at 05.45 so that she can walk her 18month old dog and leave baby at home before her DH leaves at 06.30. Alternatively, when she is walking my dog as well as hers, she uses a sling and takes her DS with her and dogs - easier to manage than pushchair and bouncy dogs. She has just acknowledged the chewing problem as dog has destroyed several of baby's toys and clothes and is re-introducing the dog pen so the dog has a refuge, also restricts any pooping. Lastly, do not worry too much about dog hair, mud etc; as my granny used to say 'a little bit of dirt never harms anyone'!
Thank you ever so much for not judging me too harshly. I think perhaps if i'd taken a step back I would have thought it's not enough exercise! But it's easier to just get wrapped up in it all.
Thank you x
I had two 12 month old labs when DD was a baby and getting outside was the biggest challenge.
Once I had wrapped my head around it and started doing it I found that DD enjoyed the fresh air just as much as the dogs. I used a sling for a while (until they had got used to a decent walk again) and then switched to a pram when they had got enough fidgets out that they could go off the lead.
We also played finding games at home, I would hide small treats around the house while they were put in the bathroom and then tell them to seek. They'd tear around for ten minutes wearing their brains out.
You need to get yourself a decent walking pushchair. I had a second hand Jane 360 which was fab but I snapped the front wheel off that. I then bought an Out N About Nipper which I adore. It is so light and easy to push. It is also narrow and fits through small spaces. I used to push DS and dog to large field, park pushchair so DS could watch and then spend time playing fetch, knacker the dog out and then walk a bit further when she was calmer from her run.
I had this after my baby was born. The dog really started acting up and it was a nightmare.
I also found I had a very visceral reaction to the smell and mess she created, I just hated it.
It wasn't an exercise problem either as I used to walk her for hours with the baby in a sling.
OP I hope more exercise solves the problem but it didn't for me. Eventually I had to get rid of the dog as I just couldn't manage it any more. I do feel slightly guilty but she has a much better life now than staying with someone who resented her so much.
If you really find that they are pulling why don't you try a halti or a dogmatic head collar? We use this with my golden and he cannot pull at all on it. It gives me so much more control. They will probably take a little while to get used to it but treat lots when you a fitting it. At least that way you would feel safer when taking them out in walks?
Is there any where you can get to that they can get a good run off? My cocker can't cope unless he gets off the lead at least once a day, he's a lunatic otherwise.
I also second the Kong ideas - this website has handy recipes. www.labmed.org/catalog/kong2.html I was surprised and the number of different things they can have and it really keeps my pair busy.
i wouldn't use a bowl to feed either but scatter dry food as far and wide as you can which should keep them busy for a while, just avoiding the db's area.
Kong's, fetch in the garden, and any family/friends that will do a rota until these very early months are behind you and the mess and hair bother you less?
They have, as you've said, experienced a complete 360 in their lifestyle and sounds like they must've been a pretty fit and fast pair on all that fresh air and exercise and thats all gone, so yes, they are beside themselves with energy and the added stress of less attention and a new db.
I hope you know some that will help out at least until you do some sleep catch up, both of you, but save yourself a lot of energy and get them clipped short and stop all the timewasting hoovering, do it once in the middle of the day or something, and try to keep the ddogs to a separate area if your living space accommodates that in any way, so less hoovering and mess separate.
Good luck as it sounds awful right now and definitely not how you want to be spending baby days.
If either of you have DIY skills and as you have a safe and secure outside space, I'd do this - it looks fairly simple to make and must be a good energy burner both mental and physical!
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