New puppy - When does it get bearable?

(33 Posts)
puppyblues Wed 02-Oct-19 08:20:39

We have a 9 1/2 week old whippet puppy. We did our research but it's been so much harder than I imagined. And we were prepared for it to be bad.

I keep telling myself it'll be a lot better when he can go out for walks in a month. Is that true?

He's just frantic all the time, snapping at everything and attacking the toddler in the same way he attacks the mop (they are both home for 1 1/2 a week and at the moment he has to be separated from her). We are trying hard with the training (yelping and going limp) and he does wee outside when we go out every hour, although understandably he has a few accidents in the house still.

But it's just so joyless. I am committed to this for the long haul but if I could wave a magic wand and make it so we never went down this path, I definitely would.

Just wondering if anyone else felt the same at this stage? And did it get better?

I think him going out will be a major milestone so I'm just trying to endure this part and get to a month away.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Wed 02-Oct-19 08:27:59

It's the puppy blues and is very common. Honestly I hated the puppy months and often wondered what the bloody hell had I signed up for.

It did get better week by week and you find yourself thinking hmmm they are much calmer now or the biting has become less.

I won't lie, it was months before I thought I had actually made the right decision to get a puppy but now he is part of the family.

fessmess Wed 02-Oct-19 08:35:17

Totally agree. It was hell. I didn't bond with mine until about 10 months because it was so hard. Mine used to jump and hump me too, only stopped that at about 2 years of age. BUT. I love her to pieces now and would do it again.

puppyblues Wed 02-Oct-19 08:39:24

Thank you both for replying, that's exactly what I needed to hear.

I already suspect it will be months not weeks before I don't regret this but I think small improvements each week will make it manageable.

It's just massively reassuring to hear others have felt similar and that it did get better

OP’s posts: |
Spied Wed 02-Oct-19 08:41:30

When we got our whippet he was 9 weeks.
Luckily he was very easily trained and had very few accidents in the house. Problem was he was very bitey and very excitable. No down-time at all. Constant need to be stimulated ( we had all the kongs etc. Didn't interest him). DC loved this but I found him totally exhausting and felt we had made a huge mistake.
Luckily it started to calm down after about 6 months for us. Less biting and a chilled attitude ( I can't say taking him out for walks was what helped as this brought a whole new set of problems). But by this time he would go for a walk and come back home and relax rather than seem extra stimulated.
We now get a crazy couple of hours each evening but the rest of the time he is chilled.
He has a walk abd run 4pm- 5:30.
He is 2.

itsasausage Wed 02-Oct-19 08:42:34

got better at stages. 6 months got over 1 set of difficulties and onto the next, then maybe 12, 18, 24 and hes probably settled as much as hes going to now hes 3...
think it was the same for my last 2 dogs too.

TheoneandObi Wed 02-Oct-19 08:44:30

my husband still has puppy blues and ours is nearly a year old. Man he gets grumpy with the pup's every transgression. That said, the little bugger leapt the garden gate this morning and chased the bin lorry.
Get a Golden retriever they said, very pliable and plodding they said. Nope!
In every other respect through he's doing really well and the bitey phase is now a distant memory.

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Hydrogenbeatsoxygen Wed 02-Oct-19 08:45:27

We crate trained our puppy and it made things easier. When you’ve had enough of them, back to bed they go! I can’t recommend a crate too highly.

UndomesticHousewife Wed 02-Oct-19 08:48:11

My puppy almost broke me! He wasn't my first puppy but he'll definitely be my last, he was just hard work. It was actually about 6 months that he started to calm down and things got easier. He was good about the toilet but I wouldn't have said he was fully house trained until he was about 7 months. My other dog just got it from practically day one so I was spoilt.

And my dc were teenagers so they helped a lot.
It does get easier but maybe not at 9 weeks as it's way too early. Keep going with the positive reinforcement and the puppy will learn.

I had a noise that I made a distractor for when he was doing something that he should not have been doing (like an ah-ah noise)
I had to get him to learn the noise by carrying pockets full of treats and making the noise randomly and often and giving him a treat when I made the noise. He learnt to associate the noise with the treat so when he was doing something I'd make the noise and he stop what he was siding and look for the treat. After a while you give the treat more randomly until you can stop the treat altogether, but this does take time. Even now years later I can make the noise and he stops.

dottyrobin Wed 02-Oct-19 09:02:37

I remember crying with frustration at my whippet puppy. I said to my husband that I didn't want her anymore. We fortunately didn't have children at the time, she was very jumpy and bitey with me - she bit me on the bum which made a hole through my trousers and I remember feeling I was done.

We got kicked out of puppy classes as she was too unruly and was distracting the other dogs (she literally screamed and pulled on the lead the whole time).

Quite honestly she didn't settle fully until around 3 years old - the same time we got a second dog (rescue greyhound). She is now an angel - snuggly, lovable, walks perfectly on the lead. I can't tell you the magic secret unfortunately - for us it was just constant training and maturity. We got stopped in the street one day when she was a few years old by a gentleman with 2 whippet puppies and he asked how we got ours to be so well behaved as he can't cope with his. He even offered for us to take one of them there and then (and he was 100% serious!)

You have my full sympathies - but it really does get better!

dottyrobin Wed 02-Oct-19 09:03:42

I forgot to say, she never had problems with toileting in the house but we did crate train her. In the first few months we kept her crate in our bedroom with us and took her out to the toilet a few times a night. As well as regular trips out to the toilet during the day I can only think of a couple of accidents in the house.

talia66 Wed 02-Oct-19 09:04:18

Hey 😄 I have a 13 week old puppy and know how you feel!! Just know it gets soooo much better. I had to put my 12 year old dog to sleep last month. These puppy years annoyances don't come close to the overwhelming loyalty, love and friendship a dog will give you. It is stressful and first (wait until they are a teenager!) but it is so worth it. I would give anything to have have just one more day with my 12 year old dog. The bond you achieve through all these trials 100% worth it, hence why I am doing it all again (and as I type this my puppy is chewing my foot 🤣) stick with it x

Amicompletelyinsane Wed 02-Oct-19 09:06:37

One day you look back and realise they aren't as crazy as they once were. Although when I realised that I went and got a second dog. Big mistake🤣 he's the crazy one. At 3 I felt he was settled. Once they hit one generally they begin to be less hyper. They are worth it though

missbattenburg Wed 02-Oct-19 09:32:53

It gets better (and worse) in stages, I think.

e.g. Around 5 months (20 weeks) they tend to become reliable re toilet training so you're not having to take them out every half an hour or so. That makes like easier.

But on the other hand, around that time they also start to really understand they can influence the world around them - e.g. making noise at 4.30am means the humans get up nice and early, for example. This makes life harder grin.

Going out for a walk might not be the fanfare moment you are expecting (if you are). You pup may take several attempts before being comfortable to go further than the end of the drive or street.

Battendog seemed to take significant steps towards maturity and calmness at around 1 year, 18 months and 2 years. He's just over 2 now and I STILL look on with amazed relief in an afternoon when he's all asleep (and therefore no trouble!).

However, there are lots of things you can start now which will make life easier later on. For example, I REALLY wish I'd implemented a recall routine when battendog was that tiny. Using a recall word any time I wanted to give him dinner, treats, toys, anything nice - that way the link between the recall word and coming to you is strong and exciting for him long before you ever go out for a walk.

If you plan to use a lead or harness then taking time now to get him used to it, before walk day is also a good thing to do. It means there is less risk of the walk experience being overwhelming for him.

We play in the living room but if you - eventually - wanted this to only ever be a calm place so you can relax, then start that now by never playing in there with him and leading him out of it if and when he starts the zoomies.

The key is patience, consistency and a strong sense of humour. Which I realise is fair easier typed than implemented when the little bu**er has just found an expensive shoe and chewed it or has just leaped onto a cup of tea and sent in flying.

dgc4rter Wed 02-Oct-19 09:39:19

Milly's almost 7 months old now and I got her at 8 weeks. Although I think I've been pretty lucky that she took to her crate instantly, never had any separation anxiety or any other behavioural issues and has, generally, been a very good girl, the first 4 months were extremely hard work. Toilet training was probably the worst - it just seemed a never ending process of cleaning up pee and poo everywhere. She was very bitey and her sharp puppy teeth ripped everything to shreds (including my hands). There was the odd occasion when I thought "what have I done?". Four months in seemed to be a turning point when she was 95% toilet trained. She's just been spayed, she's still a rascal and chewing everything in sight but she's a lot more enjoyable and easier now. I suppose I'll have the adolescence to deal with shortly but one thing's for sure - she was worth it. Yes. It'll definitely get better.

adaline Wed 02-Oct-19 10:10:36

Ours was very difficult until he was five months. Then we had a month of peace before adolescence hit, and that was much harder for us than the puppy months (sorry!)

He's 20 months now and generally a great dog. The only issue we have is jumping when he gets excited and a bit of pulling on the lead, but otherwise he's a really great boy. But it's taken months of hard work, training, consistency and persistence to get there and there was a period of time where it felt like we were getting nowhere with him. I'd say from about 13-14 months he started to get easier, and he calmed down a lot when he got castrated at 18 months too.

He's still a bit excitable and gets a bit silly when he plays with other dogs but most of the things we struggled with have stopped now. It's absolutely worth it now we're out of the other side but adolescence was really challenging for us. I can see why so many teenage dogs end up in rescue centres!

puppyblues Wed 02-Oct-19 17:09:30

Thank you so much everyone. It's good to hear I'm not alone but daunting knowing there's so far to go.

He is crate trained, that happened really quickly and it helps but I don't want him to see it as a punishment so it's only for sleeping and if we are cooking or doing something where he can't be out.

I've realised the baby gate pen thing we had from our baby can be used as one long fence. I've fenced off half the living room and he's in one part, the baby in the other. This has worked pretty well and he's asked to go outside which is progress (there's a patio door on 'his' side).

I guess it's a case of not forgetting the end goal of a lovely family dog, even if it takes quite literally years we are here now and there's no going back (even if I do fantasise about it in the bad moments)

OP’s posts: |
puppyblues Wed 02-Oct-19 17:10:25

I've taken note of specific advice and will be trying everything! Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 02-Oct-19 18:21:37

I wouldn’t say puppies need constant stimulation. Can you imagine keeping a toddler constantly stimulated? What puppies need is sleep, they’re only babies. If you can get in the habit of putting him in his crate for a good couple of naps a day it makes such a difference. I made our crate really cosy with a lovely big soft bed inside and a blanket draped over to make it a bit darker. My boy used to spend loads of time in his, with the door open, just snoozing.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 02-Oct-19 19:41:51

Can you take him to visit a vaccinated dog for a bit of playtime or have one round ? This is good for his socialisation too - provided the other dog is nice of course.

I have to admit that with our most recent puppy, I ended up taking her to a piece of fenced ground unused by other dog walkers and let her frolic there because she was driving me mad. I reckoned her risk of Lepto was a lot lower than that of any puppy playing around a farm or near a chicken run.

It gets easier surprisingly quickly, and then you look back dewy-eyed at the puppy pix.

yodl Wed 02-Oct-19 19:52:57

It does get better! We got our pup when he was 9 weeks and he´s now 13 weeks and it´s getting better day by day.
I cried so hard during those first weeks! Even didn´t know I was able to cry so hard :D
Between those crying and regretting sessions I managed to establish some kind of routine for our pup and it has helped a lot. I know when he sleeps and when he´s awake and when I take him for a walk etc.
Last week I started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

But I´m still sure that this is our last puppy ever.

LaidbackLibra Wed 02-Oct-19 21:12:34

Oh no!! I get my whippet puppy in just over two weeks and now Im worried! I thought I was prepared but it goes to show that no mater how many training tips and puppy books I read it's still going to be really, really tough. I've read about puppy blues too so expect I'll feel drained by it all. I can't regret getting him because I pestered my husband for months!! All the damage the puppy does to the house will be all my fault!
I'm planning to crate train and to have a few nights on the sofa so he doesn't disturb the kids and hopefully get his training started ASAP. This will be my first dog so I feel like a new mum with all the expectations I have. I'm terrified of letting him develop bad behaviour habits like the snapping you've described and it being my fault!
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things get easier for you, I'd have the same high hopes about getting him outside as you do. You'll have to do a New Puppy update post in a month or so to let us know how things are improving.

Whippydog Thu 03-Oct-19 11:29:19

My whippet is now 16 months old and I will admit that he was a biter bugger when he was a pup but he had calmed right down by 6 months old. He doesn’t And never has destroyed anything on the house, doesn’t chew things, easily house trained, basically sleeps 90% of the time. He does sleep in our bed. Was initially created but partner left door open one night and pup joined us and has been there ever since! Refuses to get up before lunch time now. He is raw fed and I am a firm believer that, like children, feeding a dog a food full or additives and rubbish will make them harder to handle and I do think our pups raw diet plays a part in how calm he is. Walking him is a whole new ball game however and his recall is still shit, he is slowly getting over his obsession with other dogs and people but will still charge off at full pelt if he spots someone/something interesting on the distance. He pulls terribly too and we have had to resort to a head collar as nothing else was working. Apart from that though he is a dream and the softest most loveable family dog.

KatinLondon Thu 03-Oct-19 22:15:10

I could have written this! Our pup is now 5.5 months and so many times I have found myself crying that I can’t do this anymore and maybe getting her was one awfully big mistake - I had wanted a dog since childhood and I’m not far off 40 and couldn’t believe how hard work it is!

Thankfully Molly had only a few accidents, less than ten wee and one poo (the day after we brought her home!) but I really worked at this as it is one thing that stressed me. She quickly mastered weeing on command. The biteyness and lack of time for myself were the hardest thing for me. It felt like I spent weeks shut in my house and garden with a baby shark! The best times were when my good friend brought her gentle adult dog over, Molly adores her and they’d play enthusiastically, I’d get adult company and then Molly’d sleep for ages.

Being a single parent made it hard too - I couldn’t walk away. I did make sure I started leaving her for short periods from 12 weeks, starting with a few minutes and now I will happily go for 2 hours, as long as she’s walked and tired.

Crate training kept me sane - Molly slept through from night four and I’m sure having a safe and cosy den helped that.

Having many chews available, with variety, has helped. As has reading the Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy book by Steve Mann and joining a dog behaviour group on Facebook, plus puppy classes - we did IMDT ones which were fab.

A tug e nuff toy has been great for play, along with an empty plastic bottle tied in a sock!

I feel for you so much - hang in there, it WILL be worth it.
Xx

Medievalist Fri 04-Oct-19 07:46:41

We crate trained our puppy and it made things easier. When you’ve had enough of them, back to bed they go! I can’t recommend a crate too highly.

How awful. Thankfully other posters on here sound like they use crates responsibly rather than when they've "had enough of them" hmm

It is difficult op (15 week pup here). We don't use a crate but pup has dens he goes to when he wants a break. However there is always someone around to keep an eye on him and we do have other dogs, one of whom plays with pup on demand - it's like having a nanny for an unruly toddler!

But honestly, it does get easier and the initial pain is SO worth it!

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