Did your puppy make you cry?!

(29 Posts)
roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 13:53:19

I have a 9mth old mongrel rescue puppy. I also have three children, 8, 5, 2. We all love her. Husband not at all keen but tolerant so that's fine. She has two long walks a day (from me. Only ever me), treats, toys, we play search and sniff games after naps. I read dog training books and work hard to give her an enriching puppyhood.

And then she spends days in some kind of stand off with us: barking at me, barking at the kids, eating the remote control, snatching the kids toys, snarling at the postman, badgering the toddler... and it is only lunchtime. So I just yelled at her and threw her outside (I was really rough sad) and burst into tears.

Last time I remember us having issues was when the kids were on holidays. I think she hates all their noise, she hates the break in routine, she hates strangers coming to the house, she hates sudden loud shrieks. we live in an open plan house so unless I crate her she is on edge and miserable and it comes out in this shitty, confontational behaviour.

What can I do? I looked at the puppy thread and it is lovely but it makes me feel even more desperate because underneath it all there is love and humour. I feel none of that right now.

Our last pup died suddenly which my then 7 year old has never recovered from. And now I have fucked up royally getting this wonderful pup who is making my life a misery. Am I doomed for another 15 years?!!

Please tell me this too shall pass... I just want to send her back, really quietly, so no one notices and I can be myself again.

Thank you for reading and for any help. Please don't judge me for hating on a defenceless puppy.

OP’s posts: |
madmum5811 Wed 24-Oct-18 14:00:05

You say mongrel, can you tell me what mixture of breeds she is please?

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Wed 24-Oct-18 14:04:01

Think of it this way: did you never have days with your toddlers when they made you cry/ snap?! I certainly did! Keep working on the training, reward the good, ignore the bad, try to socialise her a bit more. All puppies have a little adolescent phase and you will get through it! But you do need to keep reinforcing the rules and praising the good behaviour!

bunnygeek Wed 24-Oct-18 14:12:55

With the open plan, are their any other "quiet" rooms she can have as a "safe" zone? I now understand why I've seen some rescue dogs advertised as not being able to live in an open plan environment, it can be overwhelming when there are lots of kids and toys around without a nice spot to go and settle down when you need it.

Are you going to puppy classes with her?

bunnygeek Wed 24-Oct-18 14:17:26

Also does this help if she's getting anxious about settling down? You'll have to teach the whole family though, not just the puppy ;)

BiteyShark Wed 24-Oct-18 14:21:32

Puppies are hard and 9 months is an even harder time as I suspect you are in teenage hell (mine was a pain in the arse at that age).

The problem is the more noise in the house the louder she is because she's excited and wants to join in. Can you create an area to cordon off as a quiet safe den away from the hustle? Do you have spare money to invest in a dog walker occasionally to give you a break, especially when the children are off school?

Keep at it, it will get better brew

fleshmarketclose Wed 24-Oct-18 14:26:52

I still shudder thinking about Eric as an adolescent,he was awful and I cried a couple of times as well. Eric still responds as though Bad Boy is his name when I say it because it became his second name at the time. It gets better, he's coming up for five now and lovely mostly.Hang in there, it will get better.


roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 14:27:25

Thanks guys for not shouting me.

madmum she is a complete wonder-mutt from romania. I think though she has corgi, sheltie, collie, carpathian and australian shepherd dog in there.

she was ill yesterday so I know her behaviour today is because of this. Thank you platypus I know she is just a baby and needs love and praise and not to be shut out sad Sometimes I am screaming in my head that I have had enough. With a toddler I have the telly for tricky days but tbh the pup tries my patience a lot more.

I think some of it might be that if she is behaving badly my husband will tell me off for whatever it is she has done. So I am under a lot of pressure to keep the pup happy and calm and polite or I feel stressed.
The kids love her and don't see any problems, which is great.

Quite frankly it's all me being rubbish, not looking after her properly (what is properly?!) and being knackered I think. Two hours walking every day to tire her out even a little bit?! Forever? The constant attention seeking squaring up at me with the kids' toys in her mouth?! How do other people do this?!

It's me. I am so tired!

OP’s posts: |
bunnygeek Wed 24-Oct-18 14:35:37

Long walks don't necessarily tire out, they just get your dog fitter and fitter so they can do even longer walks ;)

Training and making them use their brain is what can really tire them out. Whether that be teaching her tricks as well as training, having an agility set up in the garden, something like that. Thinking makes them sleepy!

bunnygeek Wed 24-Oct-18 14:36:54

If she's squaring up to you with the kids toys, work on teaching her to swap things she shouldn't have for things she should have - whether that be a doggy chew type treat or one of her own toys. Also need to train the kids to pick up their toys or they'll end up in the dog haha!

roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 14:42:20

cross posting! sorry guys. She does have a quiet space in the hallway where her crate is.

When should I use it for her? I can't seem to gauge her moods and feel bad crating her away from us because she whines to come back in the main living area.

Open plan living with a puppy is terrible. Oh for a utility room or kitchen behind a door for her. we rent so it's not forever, thank goodness.

OP’s posts: |
madmum5811 Wed 24-Oct-18 14:44:35

madmum she is a complete wonder-mutt from romania. I think though she has corgi, sheltie, collie, carpathian and australian shepherd dog in there.

You have a highly intelligent herding type mutt there. Bunny is right it is training that is needed to stimulate her brain.

madmum5811 Wed 24-Oct-18 14:46:19

Buy a whistle and start training her with that, you need to get a training book that discusses whistle calls. Buy two whistles, like car keys there is often one missing.


roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 14:48:46

bunny I didn't think I could be getting her fitter! Oh my lordy.

Also, I have treats on hand to swap with her when she has stuff she shouldn't do. She drops the toy straight away and comes for her treat to the point where she is only getting the toy for my attention and the reward. I feel like such a mug! But she is brilliant at dropping it.

I am thinking about taking all the kids stuff upstairs but my eldest has total phobias about going upstairs by himself, poor thing. I will do it though, it's not helping the pup be successful.

I don't take her to training classes, the only ones around here clash with the boys' after school clubs so I do it all myself. we have agility stuff for her, country walks, sniffing games... She gets bored easily and would rather badger someone for a treat than work for it! I spend a lot of time playing games with her when I should be doing housework/playing with the kids/working!

I think makes me feel bad too. And then when she just barks at me and frightens our postman I feel like it is all for nothing and am just making an aggressive, badly behaved, frightening dog sad and then I cry a bit again. poor pup.

OP’s posts: |
madmum5811 Wed 24-Oct-18 14:50:53

There is so much advice out there about whistle training, you can use it in the house, garden and outside. It is fun for both of you. He is a teenager so be patient. Go googling for training ideas.


bunnygeek Wed 24-Oct-18 14:53:34

With the toy swap, continue with the treat but also have one of her own toys there and make a much bigger game with her own toy instead. If she goes away and brings back her own toy, make a MUCH bigger deal of it! If the kids toys only get an average reaction but her own toys are way more fun, guess which one she'll bring you next ;)

Maybe use her crate as a place to teach her to take herself and settle, maybe with a favourite chew treat or kong which takes a bit more time to demolish. A kong with, say, doggy safe peanut butter and some doggy treats that's been frozen takes even longer to empty btw ;)

If you're doing your own, there's loads more really useful videos here which might help:

roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 14:54:06

thank you flesh you are kind.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Wed 24-Oct-18 15:03:39

That sounds like quite a lot of walking for a young dog. Just wonder if you're over stimulating her and she having trouble winding down.

Agree a bit more brain work might be better.

She an adolescent so is trying her luck and pushing boundaries so will be likely to reduce you to tears.

This is not meant to sound judgey and I know it's hard but shouting at her will only wind her up, try to take some deep breaths and walk away.

Just keep on with the training and yes it will get better.

Modestandatinybitsexy Wed 24-Oct-18 15:25:59

At 18 months she'll start to calm down. Promise! Keep reinforcing boundaries until then.

Maybe drop a walk and use that time to do some training, even tasks she already knows as that'll tire her out.

I changed all dog toys to only look like dog toys, removed all soft toys and plastic. Only ropes, kongs and tennis balls left. Big fuss when he plays with those and a stern No and telling off if he touches a baby toy. Have to reinforce it every time the baby gets a new toy but it's worked. I only now need to train the baby to leave the dog toys alone!

roflwtf Wed 24-Oct-18 16:39:00

oh you are all brilliant! Thank you so much!

I was thinking I might have to add another walk at lunchtime to tire her out - the idea of dropping one to play and train instead sounds like heaven! I thought that generally the bigger the walk the better but seeing the other thread on here about how long people walk their dogs it has made me realise that we walk a LOT more than is usual!
That's really very exciting, two hours walking a day is a long time plus I have the toddler on my back smile

I have crated her since posting and we have all had some peace from each other. I am so pleased to hear that she will calm down and that this is a difficult time. I do know this but still think I should be better for her. She is so good really, sometimes I just can't stay on top of it.

I got her a tug a jug toy the other day which she loves but it frustrates her and she gives up.

I will try and find an agility/training class we can go to and work on her having her toys instead of treats when she is being a monkey.

I will be back for more advice! Thank you, ladies.

OP’s posts: |
Nesssie Wed 24-Oct-18 16:56:41

I remember a couple of months after adopting NessDog sitting down in the middle of a field and sobbing. He had got overexcited and bit my arm as he ran past and then started snapping as I tried to catch him. It was the last straw and I just cried and cried. Convinced I had adopted the monster dog from hell.

Now at 2ish years old, he is the most well behaved, fun, happy, amazing dog. Im not even sure when the behaviour changed, sometime between 1 year and 2 year old, he just 'behaved'!

Can you get the adjustable/moveable playpen type gates to section off areas and allow her to settle down?
A dog bed in the lounge and teach the command 'on your bed'. So she is still 'with' you, but settled in a safe spot.

Walking away and ignoring when she's done something bad rather than giving her any attention.

But to answer your question - yes!

Applepudding2018 Wed 24-Oct-18 21:07:21

I find that my dog is better with more shorter walks than one longer walk as this breaks his day up, mostly walks in the week are on lead, we walk fairly slowly so that he can have a good sniff of everything, then games of fetch in the garden to run around a bit.

I sympathise with you for your DH's reaction, my DH also struggled when my dog was around 7 months and quite destructive. Dog has now stopped destroying everything and DH loves him.

Mamabear12 Wed 24-Oct-18 22:30:22

My dog gets more tired out playing with other dogs. I just go to the park, let her loose and she runs around with her dog friends. After she is knackered. If no friends around I throw a ball a bit. But nothing compared to her playing with her friends. She absolutely loves this and then gets tired out after.

roflwtf Wed 19-Dec-18 11:58:09

I just wanted to add an update... the pup is nearly 1 and so much calmer and I am just totally in love with her! All your advice and understanding was so brilliant and the lack of judgement really helped us push through. The biggest thing I changed was not walking her so much and she improved almost instantly; I do think she was overstimulated. She now has one decent but not overlong walk in the morning off lead and we play sniff games/tug etc in the afternoon instead of a walk then and she is doing so well. The length of time between bouts of mischief are getting longer and we are all understanding each other more - hurray! Thanks again smile

OP’s posts: |
LittleLongDog Thu 20-Dec-18 08:23:37

What a lovely lovely update OP!

So glad she’s settling down and I hope you have lots more happy times together. flowers

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