Things you weren't prepared for when getting a puppy

(29 Posts)
Dozycuntlaters Thu 13-Aug-20 13:16:12

I'm getting a puppy (border terrier) in the next 7 weeks or so and so of course am doing my research, buying books etc so I am sort of prepared. I am used to kittens/cats and I know a puppy will be a whole different ballgame.

It's all well and goods reading books but was just thinking....is there anything you weren't prepared for or were surprised by when you got your pup? I know they are all different and will have their own nature, but any tips/experiences will be gladly received as I just want to give my lovely girl a wonderful home smile

OP’s posts: |
IHTC Thu 13-Aug-20 14:10:26

How exciting!

From experience:

- I was surprised at how stressed my pup was during the first few days. When you think about, it's not that surprising - they've been taken away from all they've ever known; but I think it's easy to get wrapped up in your own excitement that you tend not to think about what a major thing it is for them, especially when they're so little! Some dogs are absolutely fine and settle straight away but ours didn't! We ended up at the vets to get some special paste to calm his tummy because he was constantly passing extremely watery bowel movements!

- People aren't joking when they say having a puppy is like having a baby. In fact, I think looking after a baby is easier! The good news is, that phase doesn't last very long. I was surprised at how demanding they are at all hours of the day. Be prepared for some sleepness nights!

- Puppy blues! We were so happy when we got our pup. We had wanted a dog for so long and were thrilled when we finally brought him home. However, I felt reaaaaaally low about 2/3 days in. I was sad, on edge and found myself regretting our choice to purchase a puppy. If this happens to you (it's super common) don't fret and stick with it. It WILL get better, I promise you.

It's hard but so worth it. She will be your best mate.

pupstersdream Thu 13-Aug-20 15:30:55

I hadn’t quite taken in just how bitey they are when they are tiny. I’ve read lots about it but actually experiencing sharp teeth is different!

Plus I think the early part where you can’t take them out at all is much harder than I realised. I can’t wait for us all to be able to go out together

OwlInAnOakTree Thu 13-Aug-20 15:53:26

Clothes will be ruined by bitey sharp little teeth. It's an expense of puppy ownership that I'd just not considered.

Girlintheframe Fri 14-Aug-20 05:49:46

I'd forgotten just now needy they are. I don't just mean when they are tiny but for quite a few months.
I couldn't go anywhere, literally anywhere without a puppy in tow. I was completely tied to the house and pup for months.
I'd totally forgot about zoomies too. He used to tear around the house and garden going complete nuts every evening. Was quite funny.
The biting was pretty painful at times and he could quickly go from gentle play to full on very rough quickly.
To be honest though all in all he wasn't too bad as a pup/teen and has grown into a sweet adult. Out of it all having a 24/7 shadow was the hardest to adapt to.

EmmaGrundyForPM Fri 14-Aug-20 05:59:08

We are first time dog owners with a 10 week old puppy.

He was quite unwell for the first few days - almost constant watery diarrhoea with blood in it. It was sorted out with a trip to the vet but was very unpleasant for him and for us whilst it lasted. I was also shocked at how expensive the vet is. In two weeks we have racked up £220 over 3 vet visits with another one to come in a weeks time.

The biting is awful. I was expecting it but god it hurts. Especially when he draws blood.

You have to watch them non stop. In a way a baby is easier because it doesn't move for the first few months. So far our puppy has got out through the front door and into the road, fallen off the garden wall, escaped into the utility room and eaten all the cat food.....

The rate of growth. He has almost doubled in weight in 2 weeks and the bed we bought him is too small already so I've had to buy a bigger one.

But he is an absolute joy. We are so pleased we got him.

chromis Fri 14-Aug-20 06:09:53

Keep him on hard floors for the first while as much easier to clean.

Baby gate a pup-safe room e.g. kitchen or utility so you can put him somewhere if you need to answer door or whatever.

If you're going to have him sleep in the kitchen/utility, you'll need to sleep down there with him the first 2-3 nights as they're used to sleeping with littermates etc,.

Crates v useful and positive.

Make sure we get a photo once he's home.

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DianasLasso Fri 14-Aug-20 06:14:17

Place marking due to DS's relentless campaigning - I need to know what we I am letting myself in for.

tabulahrasa Fri 14-Aug-20 09:38:49

The biting mostly... and yeah how much like having a baby it is, lol.

I’d had slightly older puppies like 6 months old and completely untrained adult dogs so was prepared for the training and what have you with my first actual tiny puppy.

But I didn’t quite get what the biting was like - people tell you to do things like walk out of the room, how? When it’s attached to your leg? Rofl

There were whole days where it felt like biting was all that happened...

DilysMoon Fri 14-Aug-20 09:49:03

The relentlessness of it and that its me he wants all the time. I'm finding it exhausting mentally, like I'm trapped in my own house. He's cries when I go upstairs so I feel like I'm rushing round to appease him. I'm missing time with my daughter because his needs are coming first. He's actually a really good pup doing well with toileting, biting etc we could have it a lot worse but if I'm being honest I wish we hadn't got him, the amount of research I did and the time we waited and went back and forth of getting him... nothing prepared me for it. Hopefully this will pass as he grows.

Feralkidsatthecampsite Fri 14-Aug-20 09:52:40

That they love eating wallpaper.. Especially expensive stuff..

BiteyShark Fri 14-Aug-20 09:56:34

Everything. I had waited over 20 years for my own dog. Spent months researching training etc.

BUT I still wasn't prepared for the reality of this dependent, bitey, peeing pooing monster.

Don't be upset if you think WTF and want to send them back. Don't be surprised when the puppy months start easing but then they hit the teen phase and throw all your previous training out the window. Don't be surprised if toilet training takes months. Don't be surprised if they are so bitey you think you will end up with an aggressive dog. Don't worry if you don't bond with them straight away whilst everyone else says awwww they are so lovely.

grin

TeddyIsaHe Fri 14-Aug-20 09:58:33

How time consuming toilet training was. I spent the first few weeks outside every half an hour and after every meal/drink/play saying have a wee! Have a wee! In a mad, high voice.

How much I regretted getting the puppy in the first few weeks. If I could have gone back in time and not got her I would have done many tones. It does ease, but don’t be surprised if you think you’ve made a huge mistake for a few weeks!

NOTANUM Fri 14-Aug-20 10:00:31

I wish someone had said how unsettled children can be at first. One of mine (teen) found the change hard and was worried about the weeing indoors, mouthing etc. (Thankfully and weirdly, puppy came more or less toilet trained!). The teen would have handed the puppy back for 2 weeks but now adores the dog. Overall it's been a great "therapy" for hormonal teens who don't say much!

Also your holidays are different. No more National Trust visits (yay!) or formal dining options.

TeddyIsaHe Fri 14-Aug-20 10:00:43

Oh yes and the teenager years - they basically forget absolutely everything and become buggers. It’s the time when most dogs are rehomed.

Consistent, reward-based training will see you through. But it can last months, and is v frustrating seeing your delightful pup that used to have rock solid recall and heel work turn into a stone-deaf lout that doesn’t give you a blind bit of notice.

Dozycuntlaters Fri 14-Aug-20 10:36:14

Thanks everyone, keep posting, it's very helpful.

I am definitely going to crate her, thinking of having the crate in my bedroom, covering it over night and hoping it's not too bad.

Most of me is very excited, and part of me thinks wtf am I doing. But....it's the perfect time for me, my DS is 18 so can help out, no partner and I can take her to work with me. Going to start puppy training pretty much straight away as I am conscious that with her coming to work I really need to get on it. Seeing her for the first time on Sunday and very very excited smile

OP’s posts: |
EmmaGrundyForPM Fri 14-Aug-20 10:40:40

tabulahrasa

The biting mostly... and yeah how much like having a baby it is, lol.

I’d had slightly older puppies like 6 months old and completely untrained adult dogs so was prepared for the training and what have you with my first actual tiny puppy.

But I didn’t quite get what the biting was like - people tell you to do things like walk out of the room, how? When it’s attached to your leg? Rofl

There were whole days where it felt like biting was all that happened...

yep. Every flipping book and website says to stop them biting you should offer an alternative for them to chew on or turn your back on them. Our puppy is of the firm belief that there is nothing better to chew on than our feet/ankles/ legs. And turning my back on him just means he bites the back of my ankles not the front.

Dh has taken to wearing heavy duty gardening gloves when playing with.him.

pistachioicecream Fri 14-Aug-20 10:48:29

My loss of freedom. I totally wasn't prepared for that. My kids are teens so I had just got my life back and could come and go as I pleased. But now the puppy has totally attached herself to me, is a complete limpet and I'm trapped in the house again.

Sometimes trapped in a room even because if I walk out she'll follow me - even if she was fast asleep on her bed beforehand. If I go upstairs she'll sit at the bottom of the stairs crying.

Take now for example - I'm at my desk in the study. I really need a wee. But the puppy has just dropped off to sleep on the floor by my feet. If I get up to go to the bathroom, she'll get up and follow me. She needs to sleep. So I'm going to hold on as long as I can so she gets the sleep she needs. Sigh.

It's taking some adjustment. There have been lots of moments when I've wished I could turn the clock back and change my mind.

Her little face though when she's running towards me in a field - ears flapping, tail wagging and tongue out - that's getting me through!

DianasLasso Fri 14-Aug-20 10:56:47

Out of curiousity, has anyone, ever, got a pup because a teen/just pre-teen has said "it'll be my dog, I'll do everything", and not ended up as the de facto dog owner/dog's mum within a matter of weeks? grin

DS is insistent he will poop scoop, train, feed, etc. etc... but I'm not sure I'm buying it.

Dozycuntlaters Fri 14-Aug-20 11:01:27

Haha you're selling it to me so well grin

Ok so basically a toddler again, no sleep, no going to the loo in peace and need to wear armour plated clothes.

OP’s posts: |
tabulahrasa Fri 14-Aug-20 11:03:58

DianasLasso

Out of curiousity, has anyone, ever, got a pup because a teen/just pre-teen has said "it'll be my dog, I'll do everything", and not ended up as the de facto dog owner/dog's mum within a matter of weeks? grin

DS is insistent he will poop scoop, train, feed, etc. etc... but I'm not sure I'm buying it.

No, I wouldn’t...

Puppies are pretty much a full time job for the first wee while, plus a dog is a pretty big responsibility.

Kaykay066 Fri 14-Aug-20 11:05:22

I’m getting a pup because I want one well a dog and we can’t get a rescue due to my youngest son, so it’ll be my dog but a family pet too. I’ll be doing the leg work as Will eldest son(19) great reading all these, my mum and sister both got pups just over a year ago and my mum used to breed dogs so is very handy for advice and my sister is great with dogs, my dog died at 11 in may so it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a puppy...I think they do need to learn they can’t be limpets though, I intend to take mine loads of places but there are some it won’t come but won’t be left too long alone either I need to find a balance. But so excited I saw one from a previous litter recently and he’s beautiful.

DianasLasso Fri 14-Aug-20 11:13:21

tabularasa ha ha! That's what I suspected.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm on board with project dog-ownership too - I've also wanted one since I was a kid, and I'm finally in a position to feel like we could have one, now my current move to working-from-home looks like it'll probably become permanent.)

GinWithASplashOfTonic Fri 14-Aug-20 11:22:23

Former border terrier owner here - ddog died a few years ago aged 17

Get him used to the car early on- figure out how you are going to make him secure first
If/when he nips your ankles - a firm no when he does.
They are a rather head strong breed, almost too bright for own good. So get into a puppy training class and persevere. Classes can be done socially distanced so should be open
Lots of chew toys and hard rubber toys. They like to chew. Especially furniture feet. Get chew deterrent spray.

They are an amazing breed, loveable and great with kids.

tabulahrasa Fri 14-Aug-20 12:06:32

DianasLasso

tabularasa ha ha! That's what I suspected.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm on board with project dog-ownership too - I've also wanted one since I was a kid, and I'm finally in a position to feel like we could have one, now my current move to working-from-home looks like it'll probably become permanent.)

My DC have always been fairly involved...
It was DD that did training classes with the last one, me and the puppy had already covered everything, so I let them train DD basically, lol, while I was chauffeur and observer.

They have puppysat, they did walks sometimes when they were old enough and the dogs were old enough and fairly reliable.

They get texts if I’m not in saying the dog needs fed, lol

But no, I’d not be swayed by one to get a puppy based on them putting in all or most of the work, because realistically it’s not going to happen - even if they were capable (and adults struggle sometimes) and willing after the novelty wore off, they’ve still got school, any other activities and social stuff...

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