Getting a puppy .... hit me with it!

(42 Posts)
Shoeshelpplease Fri 21-Sep-18 10:32:10

We were due to get a puppy in the new year but things have fast tracked a little and we are now looking at getting one in a couple of weeks. Likely a Cockapoo.

I had freed my diary for the new year for weeks to be here 24/7 and help puppy settle, get stuck into training etc.

Can any experienced puppy owners please tell me just how hard this is going to be. Will I be able to go out (90 mine at a time max) and actually carry on with life while having a puppy. Regarding timing constraints, is it similar to having a baby?

I don't work / or work from home.


OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 21-Sep-18 10:56:25

We were due to get a puppy in the new year but things have fast tracked a little and we are now looking at getting one in a couple of weeks. Likely a Cockapoo.

Where are you getting this puppy from?

Reputable breeders rarely have puppies available at such short notice. There are also very very few responsible breeders of cockapoos. I'm concerned that you may fall into the trap of buying from a puppy farm (they can often be very well disguised) - which brings with it a whole host of issues - mums kept in horrific conditions, puppies that have never seen the inside of a house before, expensive health problems, incurable behavioural problems caused by spending the first 8 weeks of life in unsuitable conditions... I could go on.

If you can post a link to the breeder you're planning to buy from (or even just give us a name we can google) then I'm sure MN members would be happy to have a look and see if there are any obvious red flags.

As you're going to have this dog for the next 12-16 years, it's worth getting the sourcing right.

Shoeshelpplease Fri 21-Sep-18 11:04:47

Hi I won't post a link but please be assured I have spent a long time researching this and have come across a couple of puppy farms in that process. I am involved in a local community of these beautiful dogs and have been very thorough in my research and due diligence.

Now, back to the question ....

OP’s posts: |
bunnygeek Fri 21-Sep-18 11:12:07

Yes it's going to be hard. No your life won't be the same again. Going out for extended periods, especially for the first six months, will involve getting friends/family to puppy sit for you. Yes it's a bit like having a toddler who doesn't grow up for the next 12 years haha!

Find local reputable puppy classes, any of the Dogs Trust ones near you?

A lot of Cockerpoos end up in rescue as people weren't prepared for the training involved when you combine an energetic breed with an intelligent one. Do you know if the Cocker part is working or show?

BiteyShark Fri 21-Sep-18 11:19:04

I hated the puppy and teenage months. You might be one of the lucky ones and gets a really chilled easy puppy or most probably you will be on here tearing your hair out about 'something' they do or don't do grin.

Good luck OP

bunnygeek Fri 21-Sep-18 11:20:08

Also, you say you're not working/working from home - is that likely to change in the next year, 5 years, 10 years? One of probably the top three reasons dogs are signed over to rescue or sold online is because their owners have had a circumstances change related to their job. Plan ahead, if you were to find yourself in full time work not at home, would you have dog walkers or doggy day care options near you?

adaline Fri 21-Sep-18 11:41:54

Yes, it will be hard. He/she will pee and poo on your floor with alarming frequency at first. You won't be able to take it out for at least a month because it won't have had it's jabs yet.

In terms of toilet training, they need to go out every twenty minutes when awake, after meals, after drinking, and during/after each play session. I wouldn't use puppy pads as they encourage peeing in the house, so you'll need to take them out 2-3 times a night for the first couple of weeks. Ours didn't sleep through consistently until he was seven months old, but some have stronger bladders than others.

Generally the rule of thumb is they can go an hour/month of age plus one hour. So if you have a 2 month old pup, they'll be able to last three hours maximum overnight, less during the day.

Puppies also teeth, chew, bite and nip. Do you have young children? You need to teach them how to deal with it and prepare for them to HATE the puppy while it's teething. Puppy teeth are like needles and they bloody hurt and will probably draw blood a couple of times. You'll need lots of teething toys and chews that are suitable for a puppy.

Are you going to crate train? How are you going to cope with that during the night? If you're not going to crate train, where is the pup going to sleep? Is it puppy proof and can you get to him if he needs to get out in the night?

How are you going to cope with going out all day? You can't leave a tiny puppy for long at all - maybe an hour or so max at first. What if you want to go to the zoo or the cinema? Do you have someone who can watch the dog for you? Do you live in a dog friendly area? Can the dog come to town etc. with you or will it need to stay at home? And if so, are you prepared to cut days out short so you can get home for the dog?

In terms of walks, cockapoos are very high energy dogs - you have a combination of two high-energy working dogs. Can you dedicate the time to walk them for at least an hour twice a day (when fully grown) every day for the next 12+ years? You can't skip walks because it's raining or you're tired or have a cold. We have a high-energy working breed (beagle) and he's a nightmare if he doesn't get his walks.

Have you factored in the necessary costs? Leads (yes, multiple, they will chew through at least one!), collars and harnesses (replaced as they grow/wear out), food, chew toys, blankets, beds (again, they will chew and destroy them), insurance, puppy classes, flea/worming, annual vaccinations?

Not trying to put you off - I love our pup and haven't had anywhere near as many problems as some MN'ers seem to have had with theirs, but he is a lot of work and has taken over our lives. Days out have to be planning around his needs, you have to think about whether he can come into cafes or pubs with you, whether you can take him on days out, whether the beach allows dogs in summer etc etc. And be prepared for the puppy blues!

But saying all that (sorry it was an essay!) ours is amazing and so worth it. He's eight months now and settling down massively. He goes to weekly classes and has started doing very basic agility this week. He walks to heel (most of the time@), can be let off-lead, loves playing with other dogs, knows a fair few tricks (except roll over, he refuses to do that one!), comes back when called, is 100% house-trained and sleeps through the night. He's an amazing addition to our lives but the first few months were HARD.


Jenniferturkington Fri 21-Sep-18 12:04:26

Lucky you, how exciting!
I’m not an experienced puppy owner by any stretch, but we got our first ever dog aged 9weeks, last October. In the first couple of moths the main issues were peeing and pooping everywhere, and also being bitey.

The toilet training wasn’t too tricky to crack- we just kept taking her out every half an hour and praising her when she did it outside. She very quickly knew the expectations. However, if it was raining, she refused to step off the back step 🙄 so would still pee indoors. She thankfully grew out of this although she still hates wet paws!

The biting phase was tricky. She was just playing but it bloody hurt! We followed the advice to yelp if she bit us and turn our back on her. Someone on MN told me it was cruel and sent mixed messages, but it certainly worked for us. She knows that she is allowed to bite her toys but not people.
We had her in a crate in our room for 4 weeks while she was still waking in the night. After that she was in the crate downstairs. She has never weed or pooped in her crate and is happy in there from10-6.30. She sometimes takes herself off to bed earlier in the evening!
She is never left during the day for more than 4 hours - I advise you get a dog walker/ sitter employed asap so that your dog is always happy to go with them. Ours only sits one day a week but the dog adores her and literally leaps in to her arms!
Enjoy, it’s the best decision we made!

Wolfiefan Fri 21-Sep-18 12:07:17

Go out for 90 minutes? No. It could be weeks until you are able to leave the puppy at all.
I don’t understand what you mean by local community but if you’re getting a puppy in a couple of weeks and you don’t know the breed i can’t see How it isn’t a puppy mill puppy.

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 21-Sep-18 12:09:50

All I have to say is that remember those dogs need grooming at the groomers every 6 weeks and get loads of carpet cleaner mouse pink tin in Poundland. Will save your sanity!

BigLass9 Fri 21-Sep-18 12:43:26

Very similar to having a baby or toddler in terms of workload.
Very hard to do anything else at the same time. Kids get less attention.
House gets trashed.
Expense is very large
Grooming is £30 approx every 4 to 6 weeks.
Days out have to be dog friendly.

We've had ours a month and were expecting hard work. Wow it really is massive. But we don't have any regrets.

Shoeshelpplease Fri 21-Sep-18 15:45:11

Thanks for all the tips! Yes expecting hard work but huge reward. Just wanting to know if i can still attend yoga classes etc during the day or will have to wait for someone else to be in.

Getting my head round not being able to nip out for last minute theatre breaks and the likes. We have excellent dog walkers / sitters on our doorstep, thankfully!

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Fri 21-Sep-18 16:04:40

Not to start with you can’t.
If it’s a puppy farmer then don’t buy. I can’t understand how you don’t know the breed. confused

missbattenburg Fri 21-Sep-18 16:19:26

Dog walkers and dog sitters may be unable/unwilling to take your dog until s/he is much older (6 months plus). Walkers take out multiple dogs and need to walk, puppies cannot walk far so they are incompatible. Sitters have multiple dogs in their care and unlikely to have the time to watch a puppy properly. I think some sitters may be able to help but you would need to speak to them first.

Some people get lucky with their puppies not minding being left for a few minutes (not as long as an hour) but many others find it is several wees before their puppy is fine with being left. I would prepare to NOT go to yoga if I were you.

Battendog took up just about every minute of every day, as I recall. Mostly watching him like a hawk to check if he needed a pee, wasn't chewing something he shouldn't, wasn't about to do something dangerous, was rewarded for anything good he did etc etc. I think one day I counted 30 garden trips!

Like others, the idea you could suddenly get a puppy and not be totally sure of the breed is something I find surprising.

Tutlefru Fri 21-Sep-18 16:22:52

I honestly didn't find it that bad or maybe I've blocked it out

As for not ever leaving pup I think that's a bit dramatic. My pup was fine whilst I went on the school run. She was in her crate and pretty much just slept. still does

Toilet training you just need to be really consistant from the minute you're home. I didn't find it took all that long.

My friend has a lovely Cockerpoo. Poodle crosses are frowned upon on MN as everybody thinks they're all puppy farmed. Granted some are but that's not exclusive to Cockerpoos. Just be careful and know what to look for when viewing a pup. Plenty of info online to help you spot the signs of puppy farming.

All in all I'd do it all again. So worth it.

adaline Fri 21-Sep-18 16:25:46

Whether you can leave them (or not) really depends on the dog. Ours can be left now he's 8 months but at first? No way. He just barked and howled and cried.

You'll need to train them to be alone from day one. So get them used to settling without help. We can now take ours for meals in dog-friendly pubs and he'll sit under our table with a chew for half an hour then sleep. But it's taken a lot of work to get us to that point!

PuppyMonkey Fri 21-Sep-18 16:36:36

We’re also 4 weeks in - our puppy is 13 weeks now. He’s such a good boy, but even so it is really really full on for the whole family. Yes a toddler who can’t be left unattended for a second when awake and out of the crate. Good way of describing it.

However if you set up a crate and a safe area, it’s perfectly possible to leave him unattended for an hour or two in the day while you nip out. Ours slept in crate from 1-3 today and is back in there now until 5-5.30. Puppys need loads of sleep.

BiteyShark Fri 21-Sep-18 16:43:16

On leaving the puppy, it really is going to depend on the puppy. So whilst some people will say they couldn't leave theirs for weeks and some say they could for a couple of hours you won't know which camp your puppy will be in until they are here so hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Whilst I agree with PP who said puppies need their sleep, unfortunately they may not choose to sleep at the times you want them to.

PuppyMonkey Fri 21-Sep-18 16:45:37

This is our first puppy Bitey, so I have no other experience and maybe we just got a weird one. grin

werideatdawn Fri 21-Sep-18 17:23:54

Its probably safe to say it isn't a reputable breeder since OP keeps avoiding that question..
It's a major upheaval having a puppy, the reward is great but you have to put in a lot of hard work for things to work out. From what I've heard Cockapoos, although popular, aren't actual ideal if you're inexperienced with dogs and you dont seem 100% clued up on the "breed".

BiteyShark Fri 21-Sep-18 17:39:02

PuppyMonkey I think you got one of those elusive easy going puppies not jealous at all grin

Wolfiefan Fri 21-Sep-18 17:46:46

OP doesn’t even know the breed so it’s either a last minute internet purchase (puppy farmer) or a breeder who has lots of breeds (puppy farmer)
If you’re not prepared to spend weeks hardly leaving the pup I wouldn’t get one. You may get a magical non chewing, toilet trained pup who is happy to be left. Or (like mine) you could have a puppy that panicked if left at all, chewed through walls if left for a minute and had zero idea of toilet training. Fun times. hmm

Jenniferturkington Fri 21-Sep-18 18:32:02

I didn’t find it in any way similar to having a baby ! It’s a DOG ffs. Yes, they are stupidly loyal and love attention, but get on with your life around them! Of course you can nip out to yoga 😐

Wolfiefan Fri 21-Sep-18 18:35:52

It’s not a dog. It’s a tiny baby animal that has been taken away from its mother and siblings and the only home it’s ever known.

Alyx80 Fri 21-Sep-18 19:01:12

I’ve got two cockapoos. Both were left the day after we got them for half an hour as I had the school run to do so no choice. They were crated and were fine. (I have a camera so I can watch them). We slowly built up the time we leave them and they’re now ok to be left for 4.5 hours max. They get walked twice a day but it could be two 10 minute walks or two 60 minute off lead walks, they’re fine with either and don’t expect to always have long walks as it’s so varied what we do with them.
I’d recommend puppy classes and lots of time training them at home, one of ours is very intelligent (working cocker cross) and one is a bit more dopey and harder to train (show cocker cross). They get groomed every 8 weeks at £26 each and needs lots of brushing in between. Enjoy your new puppy!

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