When do dogs blend into the background of family life?

(47 Posts)
Circletime27 Tue 07-Apr-20 19:05:46

If ever?! I’m new to dogs, I’m a cat person. Cats do their own thing, they’re there for a fuss and food but generally they’re just in the background of family life, always there for love and attention but don’t really demand too much.

We have a 7 month old pup. He’s fantastic and we all love him but the impact has felt like when I first brought dc1 home, it really has felt like that big of an adjustment. It’s all much easier than when he first arrived but I’m still finding that most of my day is filled with what he’s doing, what he’s eating, getting him down from jumping all over people, stopping him from barking (too much) etc etc.

Maybe I’m not very adaptable to change, I don’t know, I think DS was probably 2 or 3 when life started to feel like a new ‘normal’.

When do dogs/puppies not demand so much time and attention? Or am I being naive? I’m not sure I’ve even explained any of that very well!

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DeborahAnnabelToo Tue 07-Apr-20 19:10:18

I'll be honest, it's only in last 2-3 months I've felt our dog has. We've had her almost 2 years (in June, she was a 6 month old rescue). I'm also more of a cat person and dogs are incredibly in your face in comparison. She was also a giddy, untrained teenage dog when we got her!

I thought things would never seem normal again but I love her loads now and she's calmed down a lot, especially with the cats, which has been hugely instrumental in me feeling much more bonded and loving towards her. She also clearly adores me and I'm her "person" grin

TemoraryUsername Tue 07-Apr-20 19:12:38

You have a puppy, the most demanding of creatures grin

It'll take as long as it takes for you to get used to the fact that your life revolves around her now wink

Circletime27 Tue 07-Apr-20 19:23:03

Thanks both, I think we’re in the teenage phase too which is meant to be pretty bad.

Some days I look at him and think how much I love him and how I couldn’t imagine family life without him other days I just wonder what the hell we were thinking getting him and that I want my calm, peaceful (ish!) life back!

We also have a cat so that’s an added stress although the dog just wants to play and the cat is happy to just sit around watching the dog bounce about until he gets bored and gives him a bop on the nose before slowly walking off. I don’t think I’d ever trust them alone together though.

I’m glad we’ve got a dog, I do see all the benefits of having one but I don’t think I’d do this again. They’re complicated creatures. Cats don’t give a shit if you leave them in a room on their own, they don’t want to chase cars, they don’t need socialising, they don’t need training to walk in a straight fucking line, they don’t need to be stopped from humping your toddler 😄

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Shortfeet Tue 07-Apr-20 19:24:32

Honestly, I think some never do.
Dogs are bloody hard work. Which is why there are so many badly behaved dogs out there.
Some People just don't realise the hours you have to put into training a dog.
Good luck with your puppy. It's not the easiest of times to be having a dog.

Buzzer3555 Tue 07-Apr-20 19:24:38

It depends on the dog but it gets better when they are past the puppy stage.

Shortfeet Tue 07-Apr-20 19:26:11

Should add if it seems like your day is filled with doggy stuff you are doing it right! grin

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Circletime27 Tue 07-Apr-20 19:26:19

I think he’s got the potential to be a great dog, he’s just exhausting at the minute. This lockdown’s not helping!

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DeborahAnnabelToo Tue 07-Apr-20 19:27:55

I think you're at a really tricky stage dog-development wise. I think it will get easier if you carry on with consistent training etc.

YangShanPo Tue 07-Apr-20 19:29:03

Never you just get used to ordering your life around them 😁

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Tue 07-Apr-20 19:30:25

I think it depends on the breed and how much exercise they get. Our springer is still full on at 10 whereas our lab has noticeably calmed down at 2. They are outside all day and so do spend most of the time on their beds when they’re in the house

JKScot4 Tue 07-Apr-20 19:31:38

Never! our 4 dogs are part of the family and Id never expect them to be in the background.
Maybe having just had a cat it’s a big change for you, dogs rely on us for food, exercise, company, affection, if you expect them to
be in the background you probably aren’t a dog person.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 07-Apr-20 19:32:59

* When do dogs/puppies not demand so much time and attention?*

When they're asleep?grin

krustykittens Tue 07-Apr-20 19:41:59

It depends on the dog. Puppies are always incredibly needy but some don't grow out of it. I have three - two are independent little souls, they love a scratch behind the ears and a cuddle and lots of play out on walk but when they want a snooze or are just busy having a sniff about, they can't be bothered with you. One has NEVER grown out of her neediness and actually whimpers in the evenings if you don't lift her onto your lap for a cuddle! She drives me crazy sometimes but is so loving it is hard to stay annoyed at her!

Toilenstripes Tue 07-Apr-20 19:47:11

I have a cat who has never been in the background and nor do I wish him to be. Very strange attitude to have if you have opened your home to an animal.

MajesticWhine Tue 07-Apr-20 19:52:14

My dogs are always in the limelight. They firmly believe everything is about them. Ages 1 and 13.

Slychomping Tue 07-Apr-20 19:53:18

Don't worry op, it does settleflowers. It's a huge adjustment (especially if you are more of a cat person). 7 months is still very young. It depends on the breed, but you need to get through the teen stage.

Things will settle naturally to a degree, but obviously it will help if you have a good walking and training routine in place (including simple brain teasers to tire them out).

How much help are you getting from the family? Is it all down to you? If so, perhaps this lock down is the perfect opportunity to delegate a few of the main dog-related tasks in your family ... .

Did you take him to puppy training before the lockdown? The more training you can do, the more freedom you can give him, and a less of a pain in the bum he will be at home. In the absence of a behaviourist, there are lots of good trainers on You Tube and Facebook.

Hang in there! It will get better!

Slychomping Tue 07-Apr-20 19:57:44

Krustykittens we have a needy one too! It's actually because she is incredibly bright and gets bored very easily. We have started a combination of (very basic level to start with!) "sniffer dog" and "retrieval" training with her - just ten minutes once or twice a day- and it is really making a difference!

cowfacemonkey Tue 07-Apr-20 20:00:09

I'd say 2 years minimum. I do still on occasion give him the side eye that I have to factor him into ALL our plans or like today when I'm ironing and I have to use a bloody sticky roller on everything cause of dog hair.

The only upside to lockdown is I don't have to factor him into plans as we have none and I don't care about furry clothes because no one is seeing us.

VetOnCall Tue 07-Apr-20 20:01:38

Mine have never changed that much, they're not background creatures. Puppies are particularly hard work but dogs need high levels of company, attention, affection, mental stimulation, daily exercise etc. throughout their whole lives. Some breed types and some individual dogs are more demanding and others more self sufficient - I have the first kind with a house full of needy velcro gundogs - but few dogs are ever going to blend into the background of life like your average cat does.

Circletime27 Tue 07-Apr-20 20:03:52

Yes we did training classes so I’m practicing a home. It’s mostly all on me as the dc are too young and DH is a key worker although the is very hands on when he’s at home.

Toilenstripes there’s always one. My attitude isn’t ‘very strange’ at all! I love all our pets, they get all the care and attention they need. Everyone else on this thread seems to have understood what I’m saying. I’m new to dog ownership that’s all!

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cowfacemonkey Tue 07-Apr-20 20:04:55

I agree with VetOnCall it's less that they blend into the background and more that you blend into their's.

Pipandmum Tue 07-Apr-20 20:05:17

He won't reach teenagedom until about a year. My dogs are 8 and ten and while they do their own thing much of the day they are still always in the same room as me, always happy for a tummy rub and will demand attention if they feel you have been ignoring them. That plus dog walks and feeding they do dictate a schedule.

CherryPavlova Tue 07-Apr-20 20:07:36

Our dog is nearly four. We’re his third home. We’ve had him about two and a half years.
He doesn’t blend in; he dominates our lives in a way I’d never have thought possible. Much more omnipresent than the children ever were.

If we sit and relax he puts his head on us.
If we put on a coat, he sits by the door.
If we eat he follows every mouthful.
He follows us from room to room. He doesn’t like being alone.

Circletime27 Tue 07-Apr-20 20:08:01

I think it’s about my ability to relax around him. I never feel like I can really relax. Hopefully once he’s better behaved at home that’ll help.

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