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Getting a dog has pushed me to the edge

(22 Posts)
Mammyofonlyone Sun 23-Oct-16 09:20:46

Just that really.... DD is 3 1/2. We have a nearly one year old Labrador. I knew getting a dog would be hard work and we thought long and hard about it. However, since she arrived (some months ago) I'm finding it really hard and it's actually turning me into a not very nice person. For example, I had literally never shouted at my daughter before the dog arrived but she (the dog) stresses me out so much that I now often shout. She just won't leave me alone and I just want some space. I don't work so the dog is with me pretty much all of the time and if I do go out without her I feel I have to rush back as I feel sorry for the dog being shut in her cage. I thought I would pretty much love her on sight but I don't. I know this sounds like I'm really a) stupid and b) unpleasant but I am tense stressed and shouty all the time because of the dog. Is this unusual? What can I do to form a bond with the dog rather than just feeling irritated by her? For anyone worried about the welfare of the dog she is well cared for, fed and exercised - I couldnt bare the thought of her being unhappy or mistreated so no worries on that front

TutanKaDashian Sun 23-Oct-16 09:37:30

I think you should rehome her. I had two cats when DS was a similar age and he terrorised them and they spent all their time hiding under the sofa. It was difficult and I felt terrible but it was the right decision for them. You clearly love your dog so do the right thing for her and let someone have her who will have the time.

Then get a pet rock grin

SleepFreeZone Sun 23-Oct-16 09:41:29

I totally understand. If you decide to have another child you honestly will not be able to cope if you feel like this now.

I have one cat and the pressure I feel when the toddler is tantruming, the baby is screaming and the cat is meowing is extraordinary. I wouldn't believe that a cat could stress a situation in this way. It's not her fault but there are many many times I regret agreeing to take her. I can't imagine a lab puppy in the mix, I would have a break down for sure.

sparechange Sun 23-Oct-16 09:41:46

Why is she still in a crate at a year old?

If she won't leave you alone, can you leave her in another room with a baby gate?

Buy a copy of 'The Pet Gundog' from Amazon. It has Labrador-specific training plans and can help you to work on her being more independent and also more obedient so you don't have to shout at her

Mammyofonlyone Sun 23-Oct-16 10:21:57

Thanks for the empathy and for the book tip, I'll give it a go. My husband thinks I'm being short tempered but he isn't with her all day...! My daughter adores the dog so I really don't want to re home her, I just wish I could cope with her better

Mammyofonlyone Sun 23-Oct-16 10:23:02

Oh, and I only use the cage at night and when we're out to contain her. I didn't realise that was wrong

gettingtherequickly Sun 23-Oct-16 10:32:55

There is nothing wrong with crate training, some dogs love to have a space that's just theirs, my collie X used to go and sit in hers with the door open when she wanted quiet time.

lightcola Sun 23-Oct-16 10:32:58

I feel your pain. My cocker spaniel drives me round the bend, just stares at me all day and if I go anywhere near where her lead is kept she jumps up and down barking and whining as she's so excited about going out. She's constantly under my feet and licking my 3year olds face. I always say she's harder than my child, at least he's in bed by 7.30.

yesterdaysunshine Sun 23-Oct-16 10:34:42

I definitely found having a puppy harder than children.

But she changed after she turned 3 and isn't quite so demanding or needy.

Doggy day care also saved my sanity!

pigsDOfly Sun 23-Oct-16 13:21:43

Nothing wrong in using a crate at that age, it stops the dog chewing things that can cause it harm, in fact as long as the dog isn't in it for long periods and is happy to use it as it's quite place - not locked in - I can't see any reason not to have one for the whole of the dog's life.

I'm massively against animals being seen as disposable but you sound so unhappy with this dog that, perhaps rehoming would be the best thing for all of you.

Labs are often not the easiest dogs and a lab puppy is generally pretty hard work.

A pp up thread mentioned doggy day care. Could you use one a few times a week to take the pressure off? Also, if your DH wants to keep the dog perhaps he needs to have a bit more input into walking her and her training.

Do you go to training classes with her? Classes will help you learn how to train her and training her will help you bond with her. Bonding can take some time it's not automatic; it's a long way from taking home a a lovely cute puppy and having to cope with all the demands of a small unruly creature.

A lot of dogs following their owners around, she's still a puppy so is probably very focused on you, she may grow out of it, or she may be like that for the rest of her life. My dog is pretty independent when we're in the house, she always has been, like you, I think I'd find a dog following me everywhere would wear me down.

It's not ideal to rehome a dog but don't beat yourself up about it if you feel you have no other option. Better that than you spend the next 10 or so years resenting her.

GreyHare Mon 24-Oct-16 00:08:14

Sounds like you have got the puppy blues, I love puppies but I really struggled with both of mine, I loved and hated them equally, but they changed at around 8 months and grew up and everything just became easier and fun, I just kept repeating that whatever awful thing they were doing 'was just a phase' and that they would grow out of it, and they have, well apart from one of them has always liked to roll and or eat fox poo and doesn't appear to be growing out of it.

TripTrappedNow Mon 24-Oct-16 00:12:12

The Dog maybe needs more dog things to do.
A kong or one of those sterilised bones things, stuff with a baby bel cheese and 1 hour peace and quiet.
Exhaustion, her not you. Use a long arm ball thrower thing on a field, first thing in the morning, have her run and run and run some more.
Wait for her to be two.

I have a one year old lab and her enthusiasm for life is well enthusiastic.

ThisIsReallyNotMyName Mon 24-Oct-16 20:38:33

Some people really shouldn't have dogs.

Mammyofonlyone Tue 25-Oct-16 18:45:07

I'll give our Kong toy another go, thanks. Thanks thisisnotmyname

wellhereweare Wed 26-Oct-16 15:38:08

I know I've said recently on another thread (About chewing) that this adolescent phase that labs go through peaks at about 18m. They're teenage idiots that are a nightmare BUT they do calm down.

Kongs, crate time and tonnes of exercise might see a real improvement.

Good luck.

Wolfiefan Wed 26-Oct-16 15:41:44

How much walking and playing does the puppy get?
I'm not sure I would want to create a year old dog. Especially not one as big as a lab. Can you create a safe space instead?

TheCrowFromBelow Wed 26-Oct-16 15:45:35

Our dog was like this at 1 yo he has calmed down a lot. It helped give the dog something to do. You can teach games like "find your toy" which get them off looking by themselves and smear the kong with peanut butter.
Keep her crated whilst you are out. She'll be fine for a few hours and you'll know she isn't chewing up the house.

5moreminutes Wed 26-Oct-16 15:58:48

We had a dog for 6 months when my youngest was 3. She was a rescue, about 3 years old. She changed me and made me hate my entire life and think if walking away and never coming back - something that 3 children never came close to doing. If I went out briefly I wouldn't want to return to the house, but would know I was duty bound to.

I became so angry but had to swallow it - can't shout at kids, can't shout at dog... I realised something had to changed when I slammed the front door so hard I managed to shatter the safety glass blush

We had taken her to training classes and had all sorts of attempted help but she had separation anxiety and barked a lot - my previously independent older children had begun to refuse to go downstairs on their own because she'd bark at them unless I was with them. She would also bark at any visitors and keep barking when shut into any room I wasn't in, and got upset if I paid more attention to my 3 year old than her, and followed me everywhere.

I just couldn't stand it. 3 to of course loved her and older children claimed to, though actually they were wary.

During the time we had her I managed to sort her physical health issues and get her up to the weight she should have been, and find the right food to suit her sensitive stomach, but she made our lives unbearable and in the end I handed her back to the rescue.

Never again. It was awful. The worst six months of my life and left us worse than before we had her. We thought for a long time about getting adog, and what dog and how, and sought help etc. but it was a disaster.

Don't feel bad if you have to rehome OP - better that than walking out on the whole lot (house, child, dog) which is what I was fantasising about doing in order to avoid the terrible admission of failure that giving the dog back seemed to be!

I sometimes muse about getting a cat as they are usually more independent and independent is appealing... But some of them aren't, and I can't risk it, so we stick to our lovely elderly rabbits and fish now!

MrsJayy Wed 26-Oct-16 16:02:52

She is still a pup and she is a pain in the arse she will calm down your post is so stressy that you dont say what stresses you is it the mainly the following you about ? Get her a chew/kong give her it at the same time every day i stuff jaydogs with treats rolled up in spreading cheese. Do a fetch/find session in the house keep a toy back just for this that is two things she has to look forward to. It is tough and they are nutters till about 2. If she isnt destructive she doesnt need to be in the crate and she can be left for 4ish hours at this age she will be fine. The thought of a dog and the reality of the dog is very different you need to calm down she will sense your stress.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 26-Oct-16 16:07:24

We had a spaniel, beautiful dog, but it was the bane of my life. I couldn't walk it he used to pull all the time, if he came into the living room he would just circle it driving me mad. He was a brilliant gun dog did exactly what he was told but as soon as DH went out he would go for us , the day he went it was the greatest relief

lk26 Wed 26-Oct-16 16:08:06

My lab is now a year and can still be quite clingy even to the point of sitting on my knee !! He just loves his pack and wants the company. Lots of exercise and free run of a large garden help. His favourite and so far undestructable toy is a buffalo horn. Keeps him occupied for ages.
I have a 3 yr old and they play well together mostly.
In my experience of Labradors they respond better to lots of training. Get a whistle and a few treats and start or joint classes.
Good luck.

Mammyofonlyone Wed 26-Oct-16 20:08:31

Thanks again for the support and tips everyone. I couldn't give up on her. I think I was just looking to hear I wasn't the only one and to get some tips on how to handle her. Thank you x

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