Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
regretting getting the dogs(22 Posts)
Ten weeks ago, we adopted two dogs. A mother and a son. They are both adorable and beautiful and I really love them and feel very bonded.
However, the older one is dealing with separation anxiety, she barks when I leave the house and follows me around the house. I really adore her - she is a beautiful dog and has such a sweet sensitive nature. The son is fine - he is a very lovely little puppy of four months. He is just chewing things and trying to potty train. However, the mother is making me anxious. I can't leave the house without worrying about her. I am in work for six hours every day and I walk them three times a day. They are both much loved but I think I have made a huge mistake. Does it get easier? Have I been a terrible person to get them and then regret them?
Do you have a pet cam to watch how long she barks for? Maybe she only does it a bit and then settles down. Could you arrange a temporary pet sitter/walker to pop by (hoping she’ll become calmer as she gets more used to you and your habits so you don’t need to keep paying for it)? Did she show any signs of separation anxiety with previous owner?
Thank you Mary. My neighbour says it's about half an hour. We are really bonded in lots of ways - I really love and like her. I suppose I am looking for reassurance that she will become happier over time. She doesn't do anything in the house which is destructive, just waits for me to come home. I think I am feeling guilty and worried about her. She was badly treated, I assume, as she is scared of men and had two pregnancies and she isn't even two yet. Her last litter was 11 puppies. She comes into my bed every morning and snuggles in, it's almost like she is hugging me. She is now asleep on the sofa - she sleeps very happily on it all night. I am prepared for people to tell me I did the wrong thing getting them. I've always wanted dogs and this was my chance!
I don’t think you’ve done the wrong thing at all and think she’ll feel more secure as time goes on
Well done for taking them both on. Please don't give up. It's very early days. Sounds like she already loves you dearly.
They sound lovely dogs. Could you get a dog walker a few days a week to start with? I know it’s an expense but may not be for ever
30 minute barking is nothing better than hours, she sounds like she is settling, following you about isn’t a concern, you are obviously her human.
It's really early days still.
Have you tried a DAP diffuser, spray and collar?
Also, YouTube has great videos on how to help with separation anxiety and maybe crate training might help?
It's so normal to feel the regret.
Do you give her anything to do while you're gone? Stuffed frozen Kong, lickimatts, long-lasting chews etc. can help her to feel that you leaving isnt the worst thing in the world. Of course, if she has not interest in food because she's too anxious then these won't help.
Have you looked in to dealing with separation anxiety in general e.g. desensitization?
Consider a behaviourist to help you out- the earlier these things are dealt with the better chance of success
Thank you so much for your reassuring messages. I know it takes time and I am so proud of them. I have been googling (constantly) and am anxious that they won't be happy. I am her human - and the puppy's too.And I am really proud of them... she also only barks at men when we are in the park. Women and children she loves. Just men. I will persevere and try and relax. I met a lovely dog walker recently who adored the dogs and if I bump into her again, I am going to ask her to take them for a couple of days. That will definitely lessen my guilt. Thank you all.
I don't have any specific advice on separation anxiety, but I will tell you the one thing I wish someone had told me when we got our rescue - it takes a long, long, time for them to settle. I'd say it took DDog a year to feel 'at home' and even two years later he's still showing us more and more of the dog he can be. He came from a very secure and settled background, family had a dramatic change in circumstances, and I often wonder if that made his life harder or easier, say compared to a dog who had been found straying...
Anyhoo, I'm rambling - basically, give her time.
Sounds like you’re doing a grand job. Keep doing what you’re doing. Great advice on here. A snuggly dog. How wonderful.
Are you in a routine when you leave?
Our dog always gets a chew stick when we go out. He knows what's happening then. He takes it into the lounge on the mat and watches us close the front door. Every single time.
I also have a cheap pet cam from amazon that I can look at from a mobile phone app. It was only about £30.
You are leaving her for 6 hours every day when you work?
We use a lickimat with frozen cream cheese or pate that takes doggo about 20 minutes to scoff. Apparently 20 minutes of missing you is pretty typical.
@Maybe - I've had a look at that Lickimat and it looks great. What dog do you have? I think my lab puppy would just eat the mat after licking everything off
They're at home for 6 hours in a row during the day or you go back to walk them?
I wouldn't have her on bed or sofa, these are your spaces and you are encouraging her dependence on you by doing this. Give her own bed and space and create a separation. You are quite understandably giving her too much attention. Create a leaving routine ie, mat and biscuit, leave the room for a couple of.minutes and build this up. She wont be long at cottoning on that you are coming back. Currently my terrified rescue girl is lying flat out on her bed drooling. She took weeks to come out the corner and.I let her up on sofa etc but quickly realised this was wrong think to do. Stick at it!
Don't be so hard on yourself! You're still only a few weeks in. We adopted at the end of March and our dog is still showing signs that he's settling in. Is you'd asked me at 10 weeks whether he was settled I'd have said yes but now I look back I can see he is even more settled now. So it does take time. And as for regrets - yes I have those virtually everyday as he has other ishoos too but I'd never give him up. I loves him now.
Have I understood this correctly- you leave a dog and her 4 month old puppy for six hours every day?
Her separation anxiety won't get any better if you leave her and her pup for 6 hours per day!
Where did they come from? No reputable rescue would ever rehome a dog, and certainly not a pup, to a home that couldn't look after them for 6 hours during the working day.
Where did you get the dogs from OP? Did you tell them that you would be leaving a dog, with separation anxiety, and a puppy alone for 6 hours every day?
There is a very good reason why reputable rescue centres vet prospective dog owners.