Puppy - reality check needed!(47 Posts)
I've spent so long researching breeds and reading puppy books, that when a breeder came back to me yesterday saying her litter was bigger than expected and she had a puppy for us, I was sooo excited! However, I woke up at 4 this morning and kind of freaked out (like you do when you realise you're pregnant!)
I started worrying about it all and how we will cope.
The puppy will be 8 weeks when we bring it home.
How do you do the food shopping
The school run
My weekly swim
Spend a day at the beach as a family
How long are you tied to the house before being able to go out with your pup and how long before you can go out for a hour or so and leave the pup in an enclosed space (kitchen/crate)?
We were hoping to wait until September but before winter but I've come to realise that nature doesn't let you be quite that specific!
Is it really as bad as all that or can they slot into life if you chill and go with the flow...?
Please do your research before buying a pup - you are already talking about leaving the wee mite ! They are full on for many weeks & you have to have a routine to get them settled.
Shopping -online get stocked up before you get one or get someone else to stay with them when you go out. School run pop them in a crate in the boot so that becomes part of the routine.
Your weekly swim will have to go for some weeks unless you can get someone to stay with pup while they are settling & still young.
They are very tying at first but with realistic planning can be a beloved family member very soon!
Get your groceries delivered for the first few weeks
Plan for pup's nap to be at the same time
Take dog (when old enough) get dog walker (when old enough). Until then you can't go out for the day
You won't be able to take him out on a lead until he's had all his vaccinations - 16 weeks ish, but should carry him to get him used to traffic noise, people etc
It's every bit as bad as they say, and worse at times. He will do some or all of - pee, poo on the floor, bite, nip, jump up, have completely loopy sessions where he just flies around the room, chew anything and everything, need regular, calm, consistent, positive training, need taking out at VERY regular times (every 15-30 mins daytime and possibly a couple of times during the night to start with) drive you to the end of your tether
In about 18 months you will hopefully have a calm, well-trained and obedient dog
Still up for it?
What breed? Do you have any experience of dog/puppy ownership and training?
Scooby, I'm sure it'll be fine--as all major transitions in life this too feels daunting. I am also in the planning process (researching with the hope to finally get a dog or puppy during the next year hopefully).
I left my puppy in his crate for very short times when we first got him, just to do school run etc, and he was fine. If I had waited for a time when I could be home 100% we would never have got him as it just doesn't work that way when you have two kids as well.
Full days out are trickier, but once your pup has had his jabs, he will be able to come with you to some places, and it's good socialising for them.
It is hard work having a puppy, you might have a few sleepless nights to start with, and they're very full on, but it's great fun, and you can just include them as much as possible in what you're doing, rather than stopping everything.
Thanks for your messages so far. I hope I am being responsible and doing my research by asking such questions before we commit. I'm thinking of our real, realistic life and if we could manage a puppy in the early days. Correct me if I'm wrong, but do puppys not just have 2 vaccinations, 2 weeks apart starting around 8 weeks?
Costacoffeeplease We are looking at mini Schnauzers and no, we don't have any experience of dog ownership or training (yet!).
Oh goodness.... Sooo many people do this every year, it can't be thaaaat bad, surely? Or maybe we should wait until the winter??? Or is that horrendous for toilet training?
your worries show that you are doing everything right.
puppies ARE hard work but they are also wonderful fun.
you wont be housebound !!
you are right about the vaccines. the pup can go out and about at around a week after the second. Some vets offer puppy socialisation after their 1st vaccination which is good fun. None of the owners who come along look traumatised and don't sit rocking in the corner muttering about toileting.
You've done your research so enjoy your puppy.
you will need
a crate - if you are crate training
food - the breeder will tell you what they have fed the pups on. if you want to change do it gradual.
pup will need vaccination. flea treatment and worming - mosts vets offer this as a package.
INSURANCE - if the breeder doesn't offer four weeks free ask your vet as many companies offer this and if you take itvout when you first visit the vets it is immediate cover. just make sure you take out lifetime cover.
i am jealous - you will vacilate between 'i cant wait 'and 'wtf have i done' over the next few weeks and again once pup is home. tis natural.
enjoy your puppy x
Try and borrow a friends dog for 24 hours, remembering that will be toilet trained and house aware which your new puppy won't be. If you find that a struggle the your not ready. Please when you are ready consider a rescue there are so many dogs out there looking for homes in the last 6 months I have given homes to 2 beautiful choccy labradors both one 9 months old the other 18 months and both perfect in every way x
House training is soooo much worse in winter
You are completely right to panic but I hope you don't change your mind. The fact that you are being realistic about it is great.
- Get yourself on the dog forum on here
- Buy the perfect puppy book by Gwen Bailey, be firm and consistent.
- Get a crate, and out vet bed In it (impossible to chew).
- Enroll yourself on a puppy class and go with the whole family.
- Don't waste your money on lots of toys or lovely beds in the first few months, they may just chew it up.
- Get advice on food, it could be that the food the breeder weaned them on isn't the best in for them. Ive been very happy with Symply or Canagan, but get advice on how to slowly introduce new food.
- Ring around a few vets and ask around for locally/friends recommendation.
- ask your breeder lots of advice
- don't bother with puppy pads, minis are paper shredders (4 years in with mine and she is still destroying anything paperish she can get her teethies on).
Yes, you are tied to the house (I think the general consensus is a few hours max for pups and 5-6 for older dogs MAX and not regularly) but with all the other things (shopping, school run etc), the crate comes into its own, safe, happy, warm, comfy place (always leave water in thee, if you're going out and the vet bed, you can get this on Amazon and cut to size, is super absorbent and washable for any accidents).
Mini schnauzers rock and you will love it, be prepared for some difficult days, but they don't last.
Just look at all the threads on here from people who say they did all their research and soooo wanted a puppy - then at 16/20/30 weeks want to give them back
Once they're no longer small and cute, they get awkward and rebellious, and still have accidents, and the kids don't like it when they nip/jump up etc etc
An older rescue may well be a better option
Reality check coming up! There a web-site where you can "borrow" a dog, I dont know what it is called. I have a toy who is 10, and border collie pup. I have met folk out walking who have lost their dogs and joined this site, so they can have the best of both worlds. Oddly, enough one of my Daughters friends got rid of her puppy last week, and another has just got one. Neither actually realising what they were in for.
You have a baby on your hands, one that has been removed from its Mum and siblings. May well cry at night.
It pees and poos, BUT isnt in a nappy or cot, doesnt know the difference between your posh rugs and the grass.
Also chews some more than others, you cannot tell in advance, because it is teething and in pain.
Yes, injections, 2 weeks apart, but you cannot go out for at least 7 days after the second.
The time for this depends on the breed tiny dogs should not leave their Mum before 11 weeks, bigger dogs like my Collie can leave at 8 weeks.
DO NOT buy a puppy from a Pet shop. deside on a breed, visit breeders, see the puppies with their Mum, BEFORE they are old enough to leave, make sure of her temperment, if you have young kids, make sure the dogs are used to them.
Puppies are born with worms, you have very regular worming to do.
Regular flea treatments, I use Advocate, it does everything, one drop on the back of the neck, but MUST be done every month.
It is not cruel to give a puppy a crate to sleep in, they feel safe.
You must socialise the puppy, before the injections, carry it around, find a vet that people recomend, they should be able to give you a puppy pack with all the info you need, and my last one had 100 people the puppy had to meet/greet/see, uniforms,hats, bikes, cars, mobility scooters, so they will not freak out. If you have a friend with a vaccinated dog, let them play in one of your gardens. Mine had never seen a horse, I took her to my Vet, dropped off in Ashdown Forest a horse came along, she went ballistic.
Training classes a must.Toilet training is hard work.
Life goes on hold for at least a few months, you gradually leave the puppy a few minutes increasing.Young puppies do sleep a lot, and of course you have to go shopping.
I always have 2 dogs because I feel they should have their own kind as well as human company, also feel mostly its only fair to go places where you can take your dog. No, they dont go to the cinema.
I say the first year is very hard work. BUT I have had dogs since I was a kid, they drive you nuts sometimes, and ruin your house, but give unconditional love, free excersise, make you laugh and I wouldnt be with out them.
Socialisation is about sooooo much more than meeting other dogs.
Check out the puppy socialisation checklist on the Pet Professional Guild website.
We went through the same stresses. It is hard work & can be frustrating but the wag of the tail and the look from those puppy eyes makes it all worth it!
Our puppy is now 6 months old and we can't imagine life without her. It's a bit like when the kids came along - a whirlwind of hard work but the rewards are
usually worth it!
Our puppy was 12 weeks old when she came to us which looking back I think was better for us as she was able to control her bladder a bit better & so house training wasn't as hard work as I had prepared myself for.
It is a million times easier to house train a pup in summer than it is in winter, especially for your first dog.
You need to accept that your daily decisions will be affected by the needs of the pup but that you will end up with a wonderful adult if you make the effort to go at the pace of the pup and be consistent.
Start thinking about who else you can rope into puppy sitting when there are things you need to get done!
I always find these sort of threads a bit depressing. A potential dog owner comes on here asking for advice and all they get is how terribly hard and unrelenting it all is and intimations that after a few weeks most people regret it and want to give the dog back. Not sure it's always that awful.
Having said that, whilst I didn't find the first weeks hard at all - my puppy came from a very responsible breeder who had socialised as much as possible and started house training before I got her - having a small puppy is a full time commitment and your life will have to be put on hold until puppy can either come with you or is old enough to be left alone; in a crate for about 15/20 minutes when a few months old and not more than about 5 hours max by the time it's an adult; although I'm pretty certain a large percentage of dog owners leave their dogs far longer.
Basically it depends how much you want to commit to the whole dog owning thing, how responsible an owner you want to be and how happy you want your dog to be. Be prepared for your life to completely change if you get this new member in the family
Dogs can fit around family life but to an extent family life has to fit around the dog.
I find it more depressing to see threads moaning about pups being pups and them being sent off to rescues at 5/6 months old
We got our puppy at the start of Swiss winter so freezing and snowy... I was out in snow at 3am with the puppy for a couple of weeks. We started leaving him after a couple of weeks (started at 10 mins and increased). But we also took him to restaurants etc with us. As it was cold and winter I took him to the supermarket and left him in the car with a blanket and hot water bottle. We had a travel crate that he slept in at night but he hated it during the day so we just let him roam in the lounge and kitchen. He was pretty much house trained within a month (save for occasional lapses). We hung a bell on a string from the front door handle and trained the puppy to ring the bell if he wanted out!
Puppies are hard work but so worth it. I wasn't housebound, I left mine from an early age for short periods of time and crate trained. No problems with any of them being left alone. Personally I would leave mine for an hour here and there while I did the school run or a quick shop even as tiny babies.
Even as adults though I only leave for 4 hours max, so be prepared to find someone to have them if you do go out for the day.
House training isnt great but I didn't stress about it, just took the puppy out very often and lots of praise until they understood. It took mine days but I have a breed that trains easily and yours might not be as simple...invest in lots of cleaning products.
Training and socialisation is very important, it can still go wrong despite everything so be prepared to deal with any issues that may happen, not all dogs are straightforward to train and personality plays a big part.
Sometimes people do stress a little too much. Your house will be messy, things will be chewed, mistakes will happen, you have to walk around in the snow and rain and you can't go off for days and leave it but other than that I don't find my dogs trouble at all.
Well firstly, it's perfectly fine to have a panic...it shows you are taking it seriously - and also expect to have another one about a week or so in, mine came complete with tears and thoughts of sending him back and this puppy wasn't by a long shot my first dog, lol.
Food shopping, for the first few weeks either get it delivered or, go by yourself when someone else is in.
School run, unless it's really long, a puppy should be fine, but, also...you can take it with you, it's a great opportunity to get it used to being out and about.
Remember while puppies can't be walked until they're fully vaccinated, they can be carried, so you're not house bound at all, in fact the more places you can take it the better.
Weekly swim, you might have to miss one or two.
Beach - wait till its vaccinated and find a beach that you can take dogs to, days out like that are what dogs are for
I would advise not leaving it alone at all if you can help it for the first few days, but after that as long as it's somewhere safe (puppy proof room or crate trained) then you can leave it for half an hour to an hour , it's longer things that you need to make sure someone else is in for.
For the first couple of months, no, they don't really slot into your life at all...they're babies, it's a bit like thinking having children won't change your life TBH, lol.
But after you can walk them it gets a bit less full on and they do start to slot in a bit more and you change your routine to fit round them and it does all kind of fall into place.
Mmm... Thank you all, for cold hard facts and views and advice from both sides of the fence. I think that ultimately, this time of year is wrong for us as a family. We live by the beach and we all love doing things on the beach and in the water during the summer so are out far more than the Autumn/winter. As much as I don't want to turn down this pup from a great breeder, I don't want to regret it and spend a summer at home whilst my family enjoys the great outdoors of North Devon. I'm definitely up for the challenge of a pup, I've had 3 boys so no stranger to hard work and commitment, but it needs to be at the right time for me. Thank you all. X
Yes, Costa I do think it's a shame when posters make it sound like having a puppy if ghastly. I really enjoyed my dog's early days and it never occurred to me to moan about any of it because I wanted her and was prepared to do whatever it took to end up with the lovely dog I've got and it really wasn't hard.
Yes, there are people who come on here and moan and want to send the dog away but clearly the majority of posters love having a dog or several, so why make out it's so awful.
Obviously if a person is committed to dog ownership then it isn't that hard, that's all I'm saying, and I find it odd that when someone starts a thread asking for input everyone just talks about the negatives. Be realistic by all means by don't make it sound like hell on earth.
I have had dogs all my life, I've had 3 pups in the last 6 years. Each time I've forgotten just how hard it is - and I work from home, live in a country where the back door is open virtually all day every day, have tiled floors throughout and no children
Pups are cute for about 10 minutes and bloody hard work for up to 18 months
Anyone who doesn't have any experience of raising and training pups needs to know just how hard and frustrating it can be
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