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Just got a new puppy, I feel so guilty but I'm beginning to regret it! Any advice?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Just got a new puppy, I feel so guilty but I'm beginning to regret it! Any advice?

    We just got a 2 month old Boxador (Boxer/lab mix) last week and although she is so sweet I'm afraid I'm having puppy regret and I feel guilty! Don't think I'm terrible, but honestly, if someone offered to take her today I would probably let them and I hate that I'm feeling that way!

    I have two boys, two and five years old and they have fallen in love with her already but I guess I'm having a little trouble getting adjusted to everything new. She has been great about potty training but she has had several accidents and she tends to cry when we crate her.

    Even though I expected these things when I got her I guess I wasn't as ready as I thought! Plus, I feel guilty when I pay attention to her and not my kids and vice versa!




    Anyway, any advice for a new puppy owner?

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome! Puppies are definitely a lot of work to train, and to get them to feel secure in their new home. I don't envy you, as you have your hands full with a two and five year old in the house...I don't blame you for stressing out. Hopefully the boys are being gentle with the dog, I had my nephews visit who were 6 and 8 years, and I had to get on them quite a few times not to play rough with my dog.

    Puppies are usually easy to rehome to a loving family if that's what you really want, waiting longer and having the dog around for more than a week or so, may give you a change of heart...but, it will also be harder to remove her from your kids, as there bond will be stronger.

    Are you having time during the day to take the puppy for a good walk outdoors? Because some of that crying in the crate may be built up energy. But, any time I got a puppy, they cried just a little at night, but it lessened quickly. She probably sees a lot of activity outside of her crate, and wants to get in on the fun, can't blame her for that, it's normal.

    I don't have any kids, so I never had to spread myself so thin like you feel you're doing. If I ingnored anyone during puppy training and playtime, it was just maybe my other dog. I usually paper-train, along with outside yard training, so I just gate the pup in the kitchen with the papers, unless I'm there to supervise it in other rooms. As soon as they start urinating, they must be picked up by you (not the kids), and placed on the newspaper...that's how they learn, without scolding or any negativity.

    Good luck, you have some thinking to do, it can work out well, but not if you crate her just to get her out of the way when you're too busy. If the kids are gentle with animals, something like a Guinea Pig would be quieter and easier to care for...until they're older. That's what some folks do, just a suggestion.

  3. #3
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    Most of us have been through the phase of getting stressed out as new dog owners, especially since when doing it alone. I agree with Alpha. Gate the puppy in an area where it is easy to clean like the kitchen. Exercise her to reduce that pent up energy. The breed itself may require more exercise than lap dogs and small breeds.

    The crate crying is a newbie thing. Puppies love their company and when they're crated, they won't have access to you guys. Here's a trick you might want to try. Have her crated in an area where the family often stays e.g. living room. So that she sees you even when she's crated.

    Also, you can start by doing the walks or play time then encouraging her to enter the crate for rest time. And you might want to try putting her favorite toy inside the crate so she can keep herself occupied. Try a Kong and put some peanut butter in it. I'm sure that'll keep her busy for now.

  4. #4
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    Hi Sarah, I don't know if my experience will help or make things harder. Two weeks ago I visited friends who had 7 Siberian huskies. 3 still needed homes. My partner fell in love with them and by the following day we made a decision to buy one. My other friend also did so we were all excited and really looking forward to owning these gorgeous little bundles! We got her on Good Friday, we had puppy-proofed the house, bought a crate and books on huskies and the first 2 days were fantastic. Then, reality started to hit home! My partner and I work long hours, different shifts and my children are away at university. I've never owned a dog before - I have 4 cats - and the realisation that we hadn't thought it through came crashing down on me. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I felt anxious and unwell the whole time.

    in my ignorance, I assumed that a dog would be like owning a cat but with more fun and exercise and also I think I am suffering a bit of empty-nest syndrome. My friend's life is very different to mine - she only works 3 days, has a dog already (and a horse, 3 cats and other pets) and her teenage girls are still living at home to help out.

    The dog was chasing the cats (which upset me and my daughter who is home for Easter) and I had to leave my daughter and son to look after the pup one day when my partner and I were both at work. But they go away again next week - who was going to care for the pup?!

    With a heavy heart I contacted the breeder and she was lovely! She took pup back (we'd only had her 6 days) and assured me she would find her a good home. I felt like a terrible person, I felt stupid for my ignorance at not fully considering the long term implications, I felt like I'd let everybody down. But the bottom line is I am an animal lover, and it was not fair on the dog. I feel it was the right decision for me, but every situation is different. I would recommend a long honest talk with the family about what is the best thing to do in your situation. Once you have made your decision, stick to it. Your children are young enough to get over it if you decide not to keep it. But if you do decide to keep it and you have the time to care for it I am sure the 'puppy regret' that is so common will pass and you'll find things get easier.

    Sorry for long rambling response, and I'm sure some people will think badly of me. Just remember your own health and well being (and your family's) is extremely important and all dogs deserve to be in homes where they can be cared for and given the attention they need.

    Good luck

    Cat Lady

  5. #5
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    As with Cat Lady, I'm not sure if this reply will help (& several times yesterday and today I have started a reply and changed my mind) - but I have to agree with some of Cat Lady's points. From the dogs point of view, if you cannot offer her what she needs now - what's going to change when she grows? If you don't have the time to dedicate to her and to her training now, it's not going to be all that much easier when she's older as she won't know how to behave and you may find yourself with a big dog that has no manners, boundaries or command training.

    Puppies should really not be left for any more than 2-3 hours per day, as any more than that and they are not getting the attention they need. It is such a difficult decision and I really, really feel for you but you do have an obligation to do what's right for the dog - it's a long term commitment and will be far to more stressful and upsetting for all involved to part later on down the line.

    Trust your gut feelings but if you do decide to rehome, please make sure you find the right home and view it with the new experience you now have - if you can't cope, will a similar family set up manage? Or should you be looking for a different type of home for her?

    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you and your puppy.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for sharing your story Cat Lady, I think information like that is invaluable, and I completely agree with your responsible decision. My reply may have seemed curt or heartless to some, but I also am an animal lover, and want whats best not only for the family, but the dog as well.

    My attitude is the same for people in bad relationships, better to separate or divorce, than stay together...because many times neither person is happy or living the fulfilled life that they deserve. Wishing the best for you Sarah, no matter which way you decide to go.

  7. #7
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    Thank you Alpha1, I don't think your reply was curt - it was an honest response that shows how much you care about animals

    Sarah, I hope all the advice above is helping you make your decision. This really is a great forum - I kinda wish I'd joined before now!

    Quick update on my situation.....(sorry guys, feel like I'm making this all about me!!)......

    I went to visit my friend last night who kept her pup and played with all her animals all evening, which was great. I have now realised my partner and I can actually help them out when they need someone to care for the pets (I'm even learning how to muck out the horse!) which is a win-win situation. We also know that the pup we had for 6 days is going to a lovely home where there is another husky dog already - so those owners know what it's all about!

    It will take some time still to get over the guilt of making a very bad impulsive decision in getting a puppy - my partner is still upset with me - but it really does help when people reassure me that returning the pup was a responsible thing to do. My 4 cats are certainly more relaxed and happy.

    Wishing you all the very best Sarah

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat lady View Post
    Quick update on my situation.....(sorry guys, feel like I'm making this all about me!!)......

    I went to visit my friend last night who kept her pup and played with all her animals all evening, which was great. I have now realised my partner and I can actually help them out when they need someone to care for the pets (I'm even learning how to muck out the horse!) which is a win-win situation. We also know that the pup we had for 6 days is going to a lovely home where there is another husky dog already - so those owners know what it's all about!

    It will take some time still to get over the guilt of making a very bad impulsive decision in getting a puppy - my partner is still upset with me - but it really does help when people reassure me that returning the pup was a responsible thing to do. My 4 cats are certainly more relaxed and happy.

    Wishing you all the very best Sarah
    No apologies needed Cat lady, informing us about how your situation is working out helps everyone, including Sarah...as it's very good 'food for thought'. Great that you're learning to about horse care, they really are beautiful animals, but I've never been around them much at all.

    I think you did the right thing, your cats are relaxed and happy, and your partner will forgive in time. So happy the pup is with another Husky!

  9. #9

    My lab mix story. Wow! Boxer/Lab mix= Super Family Dog.

    Sometimes our regrets can turn out to be the biggest rewards! I lost my Malamute after 16 years and it took a while for me to even consider petting an animal. We had a full house, raised five children and always had pets because children raised with animals naturally learn to care with compassion. I finally purchased a titled Belgian Malinois (ACTIVE). Six months later I found a homeless lab mix dog that was in dire shape and requiring surgeries. Two weeks into this venture I thought I was going to lose my sanity. The homeless guy ate two interior car doors that could only be fixed by "shipping new doors from Germany", he broke his front canine off at the gum line while breaking out of a crate, ate my phone, and anything else that smelled human. I could not leave him anywhere nor board him (he climbs fences). How was I suppose to work or buy groceries? You don't even want to hear about the housebreaking adventure! I tiptoed through it all and figured it out day by day, knowing that he just needed some security.
    He was trying to figure out what I wanted because dogs love to please their pack Alpha. Everything became easier to handle when I started to think like a dog.

    See, he thought he had been captured and caged. He had NEVER lived with humans, was wild and he wanted to find a pack where he belonged. Today, he is the best dog I have ever had! Trials build bonds and bonds build families. We make a game of "free belly rubs" with kids, the dogs love it!

    Don't feel guilty about splitting your time up. Involve the children and dog as much as you can. Take a break when you feel overwhelmed. If you just don't want the responsibility of pet ownership then rehoming is certainly the best option. Please remember that the puppy has been through a lot, made new friends (kids) so make sure it goes to a permanent home. It just wants pack security. Good Luck with whatever you decide.


    Quote Originally Posted by BB23 View Post
    We just got a 2 month old Boxador (Boxer/lab mix) last week and although she is so sweet I'm afraid I'm having puppy regret and I feel guilty! Don't think I'm terrible, but honestly, if someone offered to take her today I would probably let them and I hate that I'm feeling that way!

    I have two boys, two and five years old and they have fallen in love with her already but I guess I'm having a little trouble getting adjusted to everything new. She has been great about potty training but she has had several accidents and she tends to cry when we crate her.

    Even though I expected these things when I got her I guess I wasn't as ready as I thought! Plus, I feel guilty when I pay attention to her and not my kids and vice versa!


    Anyway, any advice for a new puppy owner?

  10. #10
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    Great story and good advice K9sMom, thanks for sharing your experience and welcome to the forum.

  11. #11
    Don't feel guilty, if you want to get rid of the puppy, make sure you give it away and not to the pound. The kids will get over it but it will be very hard. I remember the first time my father gave me a puppy and my mom made him take it back. I was the same age as your kids and it hurt really bad. But I know it hurt my dad too.
    Rethink your decisions to give up. The hardest part is the first year. After that, you have a valuable family member that just happens to be a dog. He will take care of your kids and be loyal to your family, especially the children.
    Please try to hang on, you are showing your family how to be responsible for another living creature, they are learning how to love and nurture at a young age and this will be a big benefit later down the road of life.
    I do not want you to feel guilty if you decide to give him up, let the kids be involved about the people you will be giving him to and be honest about why he has to go. Otherwise the children may learn a negative lesson of giving up too easily if something seems too difficult to keep trying.

  12. #12
    It's definitely difficult juggling it all! I'm a single mom who works full time. I have a three year old and a (now) 1 year old puppy (I got her when she was 5 months). At the time I was also fostering a German Shepherd. It was super hard giving everyone the necessary attention. I found the best was alternating bed times! (Hear me out) I put my son to sleep at between 730-8 and during that time my dog goes outside to relieve herself and lose some energy. I then get ready for bed, spend half hour to an hour training/playing with the dog (depending how tired she is) and then in the morning its the Opposite. The dog gets some me time in the morning while my som sleeps then she goes outside while i get my son ready for school. Put your kids to sleep and let the dog exercise on his/her own. (In a pen/yard) and once their asleep spend half an hour/hour with the dog.

    As far as crate crying, my dog still does it whenever she sees/hear us. What I have to do is block her from us (like a bird) with either a blanket on her crate or shut in a separate room. She now knows that it's bedtime and quiets down. But it a long and exhausting process. I have found that cats (and older dogs) are easier to manage as they are less attention needy. Lol!!

    If you do feel it is best to get rid of the dog and dont want the kids to be heartbroken, you can always go for a low maintenance animal for the kids like a guinea pig.

  13. #13
    Believe me, I know how hard it is to raise a puppy, because i know have a 1 year old golden retriever! it's a lot of hard work, but with a lot of attention and training it can really pay off.

    I think it sounds like you have it under control for the most part, just keep doing what you're doing and it'll all pay off soon!

  14. #14
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    It can be SO overwhelming huh!
    Clearly, if you've made a mistake in thinking a dog is right for your family, well that is one thing. But if you are more nervous about your ability to handle the bunch, hang in there!
    As they get older, it does get better. I had a 3 month old daughter with severe colic, and a 3 month old miniature poodle. I'm not sure any of us had much sleep then, but now, they have a truly amazing bond., and eventually, the poodle toilet trained lol. Both of my children (a son followed,) have a healthy respect and appreciation for dogs, and my dog for children. (Please don't assume this means I leave them unsupervised!)

  15. #15
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    I agree that this is a choice that only you can decide what is the best answer. A Boxador is going to be a very high energy dog as he gets older, and right now, he is small, but will soon be large enough to be knocking the small children over. He will want to play with them, and probably won't realize that he is a lot larger than they are, so he will need a lot of training to keep the kids safe.

    If you can put a soft stuffed animal in the crate with him, he will feel like he has company in there, and should sleep better. When my Chipper was a puppy, we got him a little toy squirrel (he still loves it ) , and he slept next to it all the time. I got one of those fold up baby play pens , and Chipper could see me when he was in there, and he had his squirrel, so he soon learned that this was his own space, and he was comfortable there. When he needed to potty, he would stand on the side edge and whine, and I would take him outside. That might be part of the reason your puppy whines in the crate. They hate to potty where they sleep, and will yowl and whine until you take them out to go do their chores.
    Good luck with your decision on this .

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