This is a Premium feature
When do the health benefits of owning a dog kick in cause right now I feel like I’m heading for a breakdown!(70 Posts)
Week 1 of puppyhood and my blood pressure’s through the roof I’m sure! I can’t imagine the house ever being calm again. Can anyone share stories of how hard it is at the start compared to how wonderful it becomes...please!
We got our beautiful puppy when I was diagnosed with kidney failure. I remember tears and hysterics from lack of sleep.
However, 6 months later my blood pressure came down enough to come off tablets and my kidney function improved 10%. We all agreed that this was, in part, down to more exercise with the dog and the positive effects he had on me. He very quickly realised what a 'bad day' looked like for me and adapted his behaviour.
I can honestly say it's the best thing we've ever done. I'm now due baby 1 any minute and I really don't know where I'd be without him. He watches over me like my shadow and now sleeps with head on bump like he's taken on the role of guardian to baby too
Stay with it. The first few months are painful but the reward far outweighs those hard times
Puppyhood is really hard - it had me in tears several times! The biting, the nipping, the relentlessness of it all...
But mine is nearly two now and absolutely fantastic. I found the puppy months ended around 20 weeks and we had a month of peace before the teenage years hit! Around 18 months it got easier and now at 21 months he's pretty much there. He still has his moments but he's a million times better than he was.
You will get there. Just persevere with the training and be consistent and it all pays off in the end
Ooohhhh I can!
Ours has just turned 1.
I’d say until 20 weeks was pretty horrific. The accidents in the house stopped around then bar the odd one. We couldn’t really leave her for more than an hour, but that’s pretty standard.
She nipped us, the kids, visitors and ripped more trousers than I care to think about!
Chewing continued until she was maybe 6 months and from 8 months she’s been a pleasure, sleeping all night, enjoying running around like a loon off the lead, one accident inside in the past 4 months, no chewing!
I said to my husband last night that I have just realised how much I love her!
Thanks both, I feel like a need a bloody good cry but I don’t want to break! He’s actually been brilliant, sleeping well and no accidents today I’m just finding the juggle of kids, cats, household stuff, work etc really hard.
I’ve never had a puppy before, we had an old rescue girl and I’m really missing her. She was so calm. I didn’t appreciate how bonkers puppies are and I’m finding the biting/mouthing really hard.
Also, I’ve been watching training videos and they make it look so easy. Pup just scrabbles around after the treat!xx
There is light at the end of the tunnel! One day you will look back and laugh at the puppy days, I promise you! Our last dog was a little sod as a puppy but turned into the most magnificent dog, I’m glad he never heard some of the things we said about him when he was small!!
Stick with it, you won’t regret it!
Have you been to puppy classes?
I would really recommend them especially as you've never had a puppy before. We were total novices and the classes were just as much about training us as they were training the pup!
Honestly I wouldn’t be without her now.
Even if she did wake me up at 2am for a poo this morning!
Eventually she just slotted in to our family.
The top tip I would give you is gets lots of people who can help if needed.
We use 1 dog walker, 2 dog sitters, parents and my sister.
That way if we want to go away for the night then we know we have someone to have her, if we need to work extra hours then people have a key to let her out if needed, if we get stuck in traffic and she’s already been alone for a few hours then someone can pop in and let her out.
We started her going to dog sitters/walkers about 5 months and she now has 3 second homes!
I feel awful but I don’t feel like I don’t even like him let alone love him. I mean he’s cute and I’d never say it out loud to anyone but he’s just a biting mess machine, I can’t see what there is to love 😞
Puppies are mental! They’re like having toddlers with no nappy and a full set of massive teeth! Really hard work!
It definitely gets easier OP- you just have to grin and bear it.
I find it helps when something disastrous happens (like he ate his way through the couch/flooring/stairs) to put him in his safe place (crate/playpen) and then go to another room, sit down calmly and work out what you can do to prevent it happening. Post on MN for tips if you need to and then write down the strategy. Have a specific “puppy handbook” notebook for it all so it’s a tailored guide to your dog all in one place. So for example if he ate your dining chair leg while you were answering the front door make it a policy to put him in the safe place every time you leave the room. Or take him with you.
We don’t start classes until January. We live in a small town and the only ones available now clash with DH work and we wouldn’t get the full course as it finishes just before Xmas. I want to go as a family so we’re all on the same page.
We’ve got both sets of parents puppy sitting for us at the moment-god love them! It’s only for a couple of hours at a time but I feel really bad about it. I’ve got a dog sitter/walker lined up for next year when I have to go back to normal working hours.
Thankyou for all the messages. I feel like I can’t tell people in real life how hard I’m finding it as, well, it’s just a puppy!
Give it a few months honestly. Mine has just turned 1 and me and DH honestly couldn't imagine our lives without him. The first couple of months he bit, had accidents, chewed, didn't listen... but that's all a distant memory now and we have the most loving, playful pooch!
They need lots of attention and training in these early days but the love they reciprocate is amazing, it's all worth it in the end. Give it time x
Oh god the mess though, the gardens so muddy from all the rain, I’ve got the back door open all the time so it’s bloody freezing, the kitchen floors a swamp, I’ve given up trying to clean it as he going berserk for the mop.
I think because I’ve not had a puppy before I don’t quite believe that this will all stop eventually.
It’s all very much like having a first baby-you can’t ever imagine a time when they’ll sleep or not throw tantrums then one day you realise they’re fully functioning humans!
Do you have a crate and a "play-pen"? If not, then seriously think about getting them. DD had both from day 1 for her pup who is now 3.5 months old, and they have been a god-send. Pup very quickly learned that this was her safe place, and quiet time place. It also helped I think that this was where her food and water were.
Yeh we’ve got that set up and he does have quiet time in it. He’s in there now-crashed out with a plastic pig and a cardboard tube, the peace is heavenly!
Perservere, it will be worth it! Keep a toy/chew handy so when he tries to mouth/chew on you/something he shouldn't, you give him that instead. He will get the idea. When our latest licked hands instead of nibbling, we said kisses, good girl. Then when she went near hands, we'd say kisses, & she would lick & get a treat. Soon stopped mouthing & biting.
Keep treats to reward good behaviour.
Don't just say no. It doesn't mean anything. Give a command. i.e. If jumping up - no, get down. And gently push him down. Etc.
Second the crate & playpen. You can get a safe break. We put a baby gate on the kitchen door.
Look up some training methods to get a head start on puppy classes & start building a bond so pup will want to do things with you. Treats work, find his favourites. Cheese, carrot, apple, bread/toast in cruton size bits. Chop up cocktail sausages - i could get 15-20 treats out of 1 cocktail sausage.
They all need effort put in but you will create a fantastic adult dog who will be a well loved part of the family.
Ours started to calm down at age 12 but he is a Jack Russell
Aged 10 he had to be dug out from under ground, was still chasing pheasants and had a punch up with a badger. Sigh.
Now approaching 15 he's the sweetest, cuddliest, snooziest little old man.
I would say crack on with classes straight away, with just you. My trainer says having more than one person as the 'lead' gets very confusing for a puppy, as everyone is giving the signals slightly differently.
Training is about socialisation too, so the earlier that starts, the better. And the more discipline and obedience you build into DPup when he is young, the sooner you will see a behaviour improvement, and build that crucial bond.
You can start training as a family together once you have got the basics in place!
Here is my pup, four months now. It DOES get easier and the joy, when it comes, makes it all worthwhile.
I remember looking at my puppy two weeks in and wanting to cry, thinking "why the fuck did I do this?!" I had had a dog for 15 years prior so wasn't a novice. I'd just totally forgotten the all consuming stress of puppyhood. I got him in mid October and it wasn't until mid January that I started to actually enjoy him. He is three now and I wouldn't be without him, he goes everywhere with me and I avoid leaving him at all costs because I miss him too much.
Ahh what breed is he OP?
Puppy blues is a thing. Come over onto the puppy support thread, you'll see plenty of us have been where you are.
Puppies are toddlers, and let's be honest toddlers are arse holes and it is relentless. Our pup is now 16 weeks and there definite moments where it is more enjoyable. She sleeps through, which helps. Although this week she's been a psychotic dickhead, but I still love her.
And it's like babies, perfectly normal not to love them straight away (and to wonder what the hell have I done?!)
Our pup still drives us to drink at times. He's having a daft turn right now and annoying the older dog. He's a terrier, so spends a lot of time going 'lalala, can't hear you' as we tell him off. He's a little shit at times, but he's also incredibly sweet. However, if he was the first dog, he'd remain an only! LOL! Our older dog is the same breed, but a completely different temperament. But honestly, stick with it, because they are worth it (and I'm more of a cat person.)
We found the logistics of puppy class too awkward. So got a lovely trainer to come to us for a 1-1. We’ve have three of those now and pup is now about 16 months.
I’ve found them so helpful. And actually cost less than the block of puppy classes where we would have been one of ten. The trainer could tailor everything to our particular dog, circumstances and aims. We worked on general puppy-ness to at the first one. Where the trainer gave us loads of brilliant but straight-forward advice which really helped. Since then we’ve had two other sessions where we asked her to advise on lead walking, recall and jumping up at visitors.
Aww your puppy looks so peaceful!
In my home puppies are known as land sharks... but that is irrelevant!
So I first enjoy them when they are settled in properly... so at the 2-3 weeks in mark. They have started to respond to training and have a little routine of paying sleeping and eating.... It's time to build on a good, strong bond.
The next big step is around 5-8 months depending on breed and temperament. You can enjoy a loner walk, puppy sleeping through the night and puppy can learn new tricks quickly...
And i enjoy my dogs properly at around 18 month, when they are settling into adulthood.
Please login first.