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My partner is having cold feet. What to do!?

(24 Posts)
Maggie2828 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:19:38

My partner and I got a 12 week old puppy last week. He's a lovely, intelligent dog, really good, just a normal puppy in lots of behavioural ways. I work full time, my partner works from home so the burden of dog care falls on him through the week.

I've had a dog in the past, this is his first. The trouble is my partner is massively having cold feet, thinking we made a huge mistake and he doesn't want the dog around. He admits the puppy is a great dog, he just doesn't want a dog! Taking the dog back to where we got him isn't an option.

Has anyone experienced this kind of reaction? I feel we made a commitment to the puppy and feel awful about the prospect of rehoming him, especially as we have children who'd be effected if he went. On the other hand I don't want my partner to be miserable and stressed. I don't want the puppy to be with someone who hates having him around all day.

What do we do? We have imposed new house rules - no pup on the furniture or upstairs and have discussed giving it 6 weeks to see how things go, but would it be better to act sooner before children get very attached to him and he to us? I know that given how my partner is feeling now we shouldn't have got him, but didn't foresee this at the time. So in the full knowledge that we have made a mistake what do we do for the best?

JennyOnAPlate Mon 13-Mar-17 14:23:17

I think this is pretty normal with a new pet. It's the same "why the fuck did we think this was a good idea" that you ask yourself when you're a week into sleepless nights with a newborn.

I think he needs to give it more time before you can make a decision.

BiteyShark Mon 13-Mar-17 14:37:07

I think you need to have a sensible discussion with your DP. I think most of us go through the 'what have we done' and I will say in the first few weeks I really regretted getting a puppy but now I am completely besotted with him.

Working from home with such a young puppy is a nightmare juggling work, toilet training and all the other stuff that comes with it. I took time off and only did a bit of working at home when my puppy was that age and I ended up having to work extra at night to catch up. I still work from home but now he is bigger he doesn't impact on my work.

Some dog walkers and doggy day care will do home visits for puppies so to take some burden away from your DP could you suggest paying for that so he had periods of time where he can simply concentrate on work until the puppy is older. I also think you might need to take over puppy care as soon as you get home to either give him a break or let him catch up on work if he needs to.

NoNamesLeft86 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:57:35

Thats really sad. I think if you dont keep him that will really effect your children. Depending on how into him they are. Is it an option to pay for some help? Maybe a dog walker to come once a day? If he isnt up to a long walk he/she could just take him to play in the garden for an hour to give DH a break?

LaGattaNera Mon 13-Mar-17 16:32:34

Gosh so your partner agreed/wanted to have a dog and agreed to take on the bulk of care but now has cold feet? It's one thing to feel a bit omg or have puppy nerves but if someone actually doesn't want the dog around at all anymore then do you really think they will change their mind? Might be different if you were primary carer but given that he is and he doesn't want the dog, sounds like it will need to be re-homed via a dog rescue, if the breeder won't take. I'd be really upset in your position. Sure you could give it more time but your partner would firstly have to agree to that and secondly have an open mind - sounds like he doesn't. Why did he agree in the first place as a matter of interest to go from zero dog experience to being primary puppy trainer & carer etc? I don't think just having a dog walker is enough as that's perhaps 40 mins a day but what about the puppy for the other 7 or 8 hours?

BiteyShark Mon 13-Mar-17 16:50:16

OP my puppy goes into half day care whilst I am at work in the office. If you could find something like that near you so your DP could work would that lessen his stress and thus mean he would keep the puppy? It does cost but don't underestimate the stress of trying to keep work happy with deadlines etc and looking after a puppy full time. I can certainly understand him having regrets as he is in the thick of it at the moment and can't see that it will get easier with time. Mine is now lovely company for me when I work at home but boy was the early weeks hard.

Maggie2828 Mon 13-Mar-17 18:11:23

Thanks for the support and advice. Really appreciated.

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 18:19:36

I'm the home worker in our case.

We got a pup last year with the full agreement of everyone that walks would be shared, DH and DD would go to training classes etc.

Bloody hell it was hard work. Please tell me that you are, at least, taking the dog out morning and evening, training, poo-picking, leaving frozen Kongs for it, buying chew toys and thinking up new games unlike my shiftless lot ?

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 18:21:59

Earplugs to ignore the whimpering.

Physically separate the dog from your DP so that he can actually work, and only needs to interact with the dog at (say) hourly intervals.

I do frankly adore our mutt now, so I hope he comes round.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 13-Mar-17 18:49:06

You can't do that to a 12 week pup, he needs constant interaction/training, and your free time is when he's sleeping

Maggie2828 Mon 13-Mar-17 20:38:19

Yup. I'm doing morning and evening walks and weekends and happily so. The dilemma is whether DP is going through 'the OMG what have we done?!' Phase which will probably pass, in which case we all make a proper effort to bond with the dog, or whether it's a genuine 'this isn't, and never will be, right' in which case I don't want the kids to bond with him as that just makes it harder. I think the present position is to give it some time and see how it goes. It's been really helpful to hear some similar 'OMG' reactions in the early days!

DaffodilTime Mon 13-Mar-17 20:43:13

Yes I think most people have those moments! It is really hard work and takes great patience at times despite the rewards.
I find it hard to advise but in my mind an important factor is whether your DH was a part of choosing to have a dog in the first place- I'd feel much happier knowing he's shouldering a hard time if he'd at least had a role in wanting a dog as if he didn't it does seem quite tough on him. Is he a keen dogs person? And it Will definitely get easier

Theworldisfullofidiots Mon 13-Mar-17 20:50:52

When our dog was a puppy we went through an omg what have we done phase. As soon as the house training was sorted (it suddenly clicked) it got easier. It is like having a baby. Dh still takes him to training every week and we wouldn't be without him even when he steals the remote control. I would see if your partner could persevere. I think it needs to ve recognised it's bloody hard work. Our dog us crate trained as well which I think makes it easier.

SparklingRaspberry Mon 13-Mar-17 20:50:56

Earplugs to ignore the whimpering.

Physically separate the dog from your DP so that he can actually work, and only needs to interact with the dog at (say) hourly intervals*

Are you serious?

First of all puppies should be let out every 20 minutes/half hour to go to the toilet!

They need interaction. They need love and attention. Not to be shut off in the kitchen and only 'dealt with' every hour.

You don't leave your dog to whine anywhere especially it's crate which is supposed to be made to be it's safe place. Not something that he's locked up in and ignored.

Don't get me wrong it's unhealthy to be with your puppy 24/7, but you certainly don't pop it in a crate and leave it to whine confused

The problem here isn't the puppy, it's the husband. They've only had the poor thing 1 week.

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 21:20:26

Yes, I'm serious (though I'll admit I didn't read quite how little this pup was, sorry!). Interaction every hour or so is plenty more than most dogs get once their owners are at work. And five minutes of play every hour can be knackering for a tiny pup. Ours would fall quite happily into her crate and snooze for an hour. I tended to shut the crate door in case I got too absorbed in work and missed her chomping on a cable.

It's much the same policy I used for overtired children at preschool age.

Maybe not the earplugs then.

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 21:22:23

Were we very lucky with the peeing? She's never needed to pee every half hour, right from nine weeks old.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 13-Mar-17 22:15:54

This is a 12 week pup not a 12 year old geriatric dog ffs, you don't take him out for 5 minutes play an hours, and shut him away for the rest of the time


Costacoffeeplease Mon 13-Mar-17 22:16:42

'Get too absorbed in work' hmm

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 22:23:39

No, ours wasn't shut away after five minutes. She would sleep for an hour, get up and pootle round the garden with me while I drank coffee, be the far side of the stairgate while I did non dog friendly things like medicate the cat or make a work Skype call, have five minutes concentrated play and training -- and be ready for another hour's nap with a stuffed Kong to chew. I was frankly quite envious of her lifestyle.

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 13-Mar-17 22:31:48

Anyway, do carry on, Costa. I was suggesting things that have worked well for me and for our particular dog. Giving up work for months wasn't an option.

ProfessionalPirate Mon 13-Mar-17 23:19:25

It's a pity your dp has had such a change of heart. Did he understand what he would be taking on beforehand? I think working from home and having a puppy is never as ideal as it sounds, as pup always needs such intensive work in those early weeks. Did either of you take any annual leave for puppies arrival? Would it possible to take some now at short notice? Even just a couple of weeks at home with pup can make a big difference in terms of house training, getting into a routine etc. The thing to remember is that this stage doesn't last forever, but it's important to put the time and effort in to get it right if you want to end up with well behaved adult dog.

But if your dp has completely decided, from the pup's point of view rehome the sooner the better. The pup takes priority here: your DC will get over it, the pup might not. Did you buy from breeder or rescue? Contact breeder in the first instance, if it's a no go try a reputable shelter. Avoid rehoming directly yourself at all costs, and of course don't expect to recoup any money.


Bluebell9 Tue 14-Mar-17 11:10:22

My DP has our puppy more of the time and he works shifts. It was a shock to him just how much the attention the puppy wanted/needed. But it does get better, he plays with toys by himself now and is happy to go in his crate for sleeps so DP can do housework etc. We've had him 8 weeks now. We have never let the puppy upstairs, puppies shouldn't be climbing stairs etc until they are developed anyway as it can cause hip issues.
For the first 5 weeks, there was someone at home with our puppy everyday, with the puppy being left for short periods of time which increased over time to get him used to being on his own.
We also use a dog day care place for when DP is working, puppy comes home tired out and sleeps all evening.

Yokohamajojo Tue 14-Mar-17 13:45:53

ATailofTwoKitties I am with you here! Our pup is now 17 weeks and my DH is the one working from home, the pup as yours slept lots during the day, happily either slept in the office or went into his crate.

It's not easy but even now at 17 wks when he is toilet trained, easier to walk, knows some commands it is so much better and so lovely, he really is part of the family now and we wouldn't be without him. Hopefully your husband is just feeling a bit overwhelmed.

ATailofTwoKitties Tue 14-Mar-17 14:21:20

Well, I'm really wishing I hadn't made the flippant comment about the earplugs, as I think the rest of my message got lost after that.

Honestly, this early stage is the very hardest bit (until they reach adolescence and try every boundary just for the hell of it). DoggyMcDogface is currently flaked out on the doormat where she has been for a good two hours. She'll wake up to come with me for the school run, have 45 minutes walk, and spend the evening pottering/wildly greeting each member of the family as they get home.

You CAN work around a young puppy at home, but you have to be quite structured about it - having been very random about child nap times, I was surprised how much routine I needed to impose on the dog! We used Gwen Bailey's 'Perfect Puppy' book as a guide to a reasonable timetable (and it has the teethmarks to prove it).

You also need physical safety for the dog when concentrating on work, and protection for your work from inquisitive paws and teeth.

However, even with the best planning, your DH is inevitably going to lose some work time -- probably a good couple of hours out of a full day at first. The question is, can you and the children take something else off his load so that he can catch up later?

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