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HELP ME. We got a puppy and I'm scared to death I made the wrong choice.

  1. #1

    HELP ME. We got a puppy and I'm scared to death I made the wrong choice.

    So...I'm terrified. My husband and I decided to get a 10 week old beagle/pinscher mix the other day. We were previously looking at dogs in the 1-2 year range, but she was too cute to pass up (bad..I know). We have never raised a dog indoors- we are from a farm community originally and dogs run free outside. That's what we're used to. Our expectations were way different than we're experiencing.



    Well...we are military. From now until December, we will be living in a one bedroom apartment. After that, we're not sure where we'll go. My question is...did I make a horrible decision getting this puppy, or am I going to be okay??

    Because I was not expecting a puppy...I did not do enough research probably. We have been trying to crate her so far. She's fine with it...but will whine as soon as I leave her side and not stop. She often whines when she is out of the crate, just because I am not paying her 100% attention. She has done phenomenally well with going potty outside. We have had two poop accidents, but I feel okay about that. In order to get her exercise, I have to keep her on a leash, but being as she doesn't know even the most basic commands yet, I struggle with training her. I don't want her to get in her head that she is in charge and can do whatever you want.

    She actually sleeps very well for a puppy. I do get up a couple of times during the night, but I know that's a sacrifice that has to be made with puppies. Because I am the only one home all day, no one can watch her while I need to shower and she DOES NOT like when I'm out of sight. We both have ended up in tears several times. Also, I'm so afraid to leave just to do something as simple as grocery shop/run errands. I just feel so overwhelmed with it all- as well as looking forward at all of the stages she has yet to go through.

    I don't know if I can handle being her trainer. I feel like I have to give her attention 24/7 and can't do anything else. Most of the time she will only tolerate laying on my lap, so I can't do anything that isn't sitting down. How long does that last? I was hoping to get at least a part-time job eventually and right now I often have to run errands for my husband, so I'm away from home for a couple of hours 4 days of the week. I don't want to be tied to the apartment every weekend. My husband has a very stressful job and it is nice to get out and Saturdays an go out to eat or to a movie. On Sundays, we go to church, eat out, and run errands, so we're usually gone from 9:45-2:00 or so.

    My goal in getting a dog was to have one that I could just enjoy being around and go on walks with and play with- not one that won't let me do anything else. Will this puppy phase fade soon, or am I in for a looooong period of this.

    Did we make a horrible choice? Should I send her back to her parents?

    Agh...I just feel so stressed out- maybe it's the lack of sleep and frustration wearing on me...but I wonder if I made a horrible choice.

  2. #2
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    Well for 10 weeks old she sounds incredibly well behaved - only two accidents in the house is amazing for such a young dog. If you think you've made the wrong decision, do something about it now - it's the least that poor puppy deserves. The training and behaviours a pup picks up at this early stage are crucial, the longer bad behaviour goes on the harder it is to correct when older. Don't give in to whining or crying now - completely ignore everything you don't want the pup to be doing and give lots of rewards and praise when she behaves correctly. You ask how long the wanting to be around you constantly lasts - it lasts as long as you let it and will last forever if you don't do something about it now. A puppy should never be left alone for more than 2 hours or so a day while they are so young and need constant care and training to grow into a well behaved, well rounded dog.

    Forgive me for being blunt, but it sounds as though you where looking for only the positive aspects & "perks" of pet ownership but aren't prepared to deal with the more difficult sides. Like wanting a baby to play with, but not to clean up after. There's no such thing as a dog that you can just play with and walk, but nothing else. All dogs need attention, training & guidance. It doesn't sound like you have the time it takes to raise a puppy so unless you are prepared to make some lifestyle changes in order to do right by the dog, maybe you aren't in the right place to give her what she needs.

    I wish you, your family & the little puppy all the best.

  3. #3
    Imo, pets are our kids. They need playtime, feeding, rest and everything in between.

    I have two. One that is highly allergic to everything and requires special care (was fine until he turned three) and another that has a congenital issue found in 2010 where his trachea totally collapses and he cannot breath. He is my whiner. Sometimes it is all night long
    The allergic one? He itches. Badly. To the point he needs to sprint out of the cage *very late at night when we are sleeping and he begins to pant. He needs care for hours.

    I am tired. But I love them. I cannot walk the trachea one - unless he is in his stroller. Cannot be too warm outside or humid.

    Have you seen the many dogs on very warm days "jogging" along side their mom or dad panting up a storm? Does anyone realize dogs have higher temps than us? Require longer time to cool down? Kidney destruction can begin while jogging? Riding in warm car? Whether they are given cool water or not. I hate seeing pets at the beach for hours. Being made to catch the frisbbee until the poor dog basically passes out from extreme heat. They cannot tell you that they are suffering.

    My two cannot stand another dog's scent in their house. They will pee on top of it. So, there is a NO SHOES ALLOWED in the house rule. Oh, and they both throw up alot. It is almost like a digestive ritual they do at times. I don't let them become dehydrated or anything. i do keep an eye on them. It seems they pick up things off the floor that they naturally get rid of by barfing. On the rug. A bed...wherever they may be at the time it needs to be "expelled."

    But I love them. More than anything.

    Hope the best for the puppy. He deserves parents that will learn and do what is best. + ♥ =
    Please stop the abuse and do NOT buy pets from a store. Adopt a throw away pet from the shelter please. + ♥ =

  4. #4
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    Congratulations on your new puppy, and welcome! You and the puppy need to bond, you as the leader and the pup as your companion. It is a lot of work at first, but you should keep a positive attitude and move forward with her. She really sounds pretty good from all you've said.

    You're now just shaping her personality, and guiding her on what she can and can't do. When she responds in a good way, give her lots of praise and a treat. She's new in your home, and needs to feel secure with you and your husband and her new surroundings. Although it is a very good thing to hold her on your lap and give her love, it must just be to show affection, and on your own terms.

    She needs to know that there are times she just needs to be on the floor, a chair or her bed. Times when she needs to just amuse herself with a chew toy, or lie quietly by your feet. If she whines when you leave the room, ignore her. If she whines when in her crate, either ignore her, or you can place the crate nearer to where you are, so she can see you.

    Never tell her "it's okay", or baby talk her when she's whining or making a fuss. That is just feeding into that behavior, and basically you are methodically spoiling her. Once she has no manners and is spoiled, as an adult, nobody will enjoy being around her. YOU have the power to make sure that doesn't happen.

    As far as walking properly on a leash, she needs training for that from you also. She needs to walk by your side, without pulling forward or lagging behind. Keep training sessions short for this, several a day, for no more than 15 minutes each as far as strict lead instruction.

    I've had good results using a small metal choke collar for training my pups to walk on lead. You need to shape it into a "P" while facing the dog before you slip it on their neck, that way it releases properly. The collar must never be used to pull or drag the dog, or you can damage their neck or esophagus. It is only used for short, sideways corrections if they start to pull forward. For safety reasons (choking), the choke collar must be removed after each short training session.

    When she starts to pull ahead, and she's on your left, give a short tug to the right, to get her slightly off-balance. You can just make a shhhh, or tch sound when you correct. Avoid talking to your dog or having any conversations. Another thing, the lead should be no more than 4-6 ft.

    Once the dog responds favorable, you can instruct her to sit, hold the treat raising it above her face, so her nose goes up to follow it, she will go into sit if she doesn't know that already. Treat and praise for everything she does right. Never scold or become angry during a training session. If you have to, just cut it short and try again later.

    If you remain calm and confident with her, you will reap the rewards of a well-mannered companion. Relax...if you're nervous or annoyed, they will feel your emotions through the leash and act accordingly. Don't be overwhelmed, you can do it, I'm not an expert by far and have learned from my mistakes over the years...but if I can do it, anyone can.

    Take a deep breath, and think positive about your new baby! Since you are military, and may move now and then, a confident, well-trained dog will be an asset. Seek out a neighborhood puppy obedience class if you really need to, but I don't think you will.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch7 View Post
    Forgive me for being blunt, but it sounds as though you where looking for only the positive aspects & "perks" of pet ownership but aren't prepared to deal with the more difficult sides. Like wanting a baby to play with, but not to clean up after. There's no such thing as a dog that you can just play with and walk, but nothing else. All dogs need attention, training & guidance. It doesn't sound like you have the time it takes to raise a puppy so unless you are prepared to make some lifestyle changes in order to do right by the dog, maybe you aren't in the right place to give her what she needs.

    I wish you, your family & the little puppy all the best.
    You're right...I didn't have the proper expectations. I do realize pets take work, however, I have seen so many people that still have jobs and can get stuff done at home, even while taking care of a dog. I just am worried and feel as if I can't even do my laundry, keep up with the house, or run to the grocery store without worrying about her.

    I wanted a companion for when my husband is gone...but I'm worried that I don't have the proper abilities to raise one myself and can't afford a trainer at this point in our lives...

  6. #6
    Part of my problem training her is that I don't know how to correct "bad" behavior, I guess.

    For example, whenever she is out of her crate, she runs directly to me and climbs on me. I feel like I can't train her to sit or stay if she doesn't know what that means and I just don't know how to show her. I say, "No," but she doesn't respond. Obviously, I don't reward her, since she didn't do what was asked.

    Today, I tried to work on the whining problem by leaving her in her crate and letting her whine. I went in another room, shut the door, and came out only after she started whining. I live in a housing complex though...so I'm worried about getting in trouble if I just let her whine. Hopefully she'll stop soon!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zulu1 View Post
    Part of my problem training her is that I don't know how to correct "bad" behavior, I guess.

    For example, whenever she is out of her crate, she runs directly to me and climbs on me. I feel like I can't train her to sit or stay if she doesn't know what that means and I just don't know how to show her. I say, "No," but she doesn't respond. Obviously, I don't reward her, since she didn't do what was asked.
    Firstly, I wouldn't label it a 'bad' behavior just yet. She has not been shown any good behavior, and she's just being a puppy. They have no idea what we say, as they do not know how to speak, or understand the human language. But...they can relate a verbal command such as "Sit", to performing the task. When you give the 'sit' command, just say it calmly and firmly. Don't put a question mark after it, you're instructing the dog on what to do, not asking a question. Praise/treat if she sits for more than 2 seconds.

    Take a treat, like a tiny piece of cheese, when she's not overly excited about anything. Tell her to "Sit", while holding the treat in front of her face, but do not let her take it from you.

    Slowly raise the treat up, so she's looking at it with her nose in the air. Move it towards her neck, so it forces her to sit her rear down onto the floor. When she sits, give her the treat. Don't get too excited when you praise, that will just make her excited. Make her sit for lots of things, before you put down her food, before you put the leash on her for a walk, before you let her go out the door with you, etc. Always make her sit for any treats.

    Each time you do this, her response will be quicker. When I was training my puppies to sit, and they knew it but still weren't sure...I would just point my finger in front of their face and upwards until they went into a sitting position, without a treat...then petted and praised when they say.

    You really need to change your attitude to a "can do" one to be successful, please don't be so negative. Once you teach one thing, the others will follow more easily.

    Once the sit is taught, and that should be first priority. Then, when she runs toward to you to jump or climb up on you...see what's coming beforehand. Before she makes contact with you, firmly tell her "Sit", and make her sit in front of you. For this training time, it's a good idea to have some tiny treats handy in your shirt pocket.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zulu1 View Post
    You're right...I didn't have the proper expectations. I do realize pets take work, however, I have seen so many people that still have jobs and can get stuff done at home, even while taking care of a dog. I just am worried and feel as if I can't even do my laundry, keep up with the house, or run to the grocery store without worrying about her.

    I wanted a companion for when my husband is gone...but I'm worried that I don't have the proper abilities to raise one myself and can't afford a trainer at this point in our lives...
    The people that you are looking at who are getting things done probably have adult dogs. Puppies do take a lot of work and require tons of attention. This is the time in which they bond and learn the "house rules."

    I've had a puppy, who is now a great adult companion and sitting at my feet while I write this. I also have a newborn baby that I stay home to take care of. Honestly, the way you are describing not being able to get anything done sounds more like when one first brings home a baby, rather than raising a puppy. I am sensing anxiety from you and I believe that this is being picked up and mirrored by your puppy.

    When you are cleaning house, let her follow you around and talk to her. Be playful while you are cleaning and you will amuse her and the work will go by faster. She may want to be on your lap but just "explain" to her that you have work to do now but she can "help" you by keeping you company. While it's true that she won't understand your words, she will understand that you care about her and are including her in your life. This will give her some confidence to leave your lap. When you go to the store, put her in her crate and "explain" to her that you will be back. Will she cry while you are gone? Probably. But that's what puppies do. Do your shopping and come back. When you come back, act happy to see her and let her know that you missed her, too. Animals respond to our emotions, attitudes and actions.

    Truly, the fact that you feel as if you made a mistake, probably means that you did. The best thing for this little puppy may be to give her back so that she can go to the right home for her. Please note, getting an adult dog will not necessarily be any better. All animals, require a lot of love, attention, patience and kindness. An adult dog will still need to be trained and made to feel welcomed in his or her new home. Maybe you just don't have the time to raise a pet right now. After all, you and your husband are still at the stage where you want to go out a lot and being in the military, you will be moving around quite a bit.

  9. #9
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    She sounds like a really sweet little puppy, and she seems to be trying hard to please you. Both Beagles and Dobies are highly intelligent dogs, so she can probably learn things fast, but being a puppy, she is going to want, and need, a lot of attention .

    For at least the next year, she is going to think like a puppy, so, even though you will not have to do as much as she grows up, she is still going to take a lot of your time, and will not do well if you get even a part-time job and she has to be left in a crate.
    I think that you need to decide of you have the time for training and spending time with a puppy . If not, now is definitely the best time to return her so the people you got her from can find her a home where they have a lot of time for a puppy.

    If you look at the pound, you may find a rescue dog that is older, and not as apt to be adopted, and if he is used to being left in the house alone, he would be much more suitable to your lifestyle; plus you will likely save his life.
    Look for a calmer breed, rather than a high energy breed.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
    For at least the next year, she is going to think like a puppy, so, even though you will not have to do as much as she grows up, she is still going to take a lot of your time, and will not do well if you get even a part-time job and she has to be left in a crate.
    I plan to never leave her home alone more than 4 hours. Especially for the first couple of weeks. Besides church on Sunday I'll probably never leave her more than 2. Is that okay, or is even that bad for her? I am not planning on getting a job until she is about 7-8 months old. Do you think that is feasible?

    She is a really sweet dog. She actually likes her crate and goes in on her own. What's weird though, is that she really doesn't play much! I have tried different toys, sticks, or even just getting on her level and being playful, but she really doesn't respond. She likes going on walks, I think, so I'm trying to do that for 15-20 minutes three times a day.

    We're slowly adjusting...I hope I can be a good mom for her and not worry so much!

  11. #11
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    Zulu, it sounds like you're doing everything you can to adjust & I commend you for that. The time left plans sound sensible for a pup, any longer & it does become really difficult to train - especially house training. Fantastic that she likes her crate - that's what you want, so she enjoys being in there when unsupervised.

    If you continue to do what you can to adjust, so that you can do right by your pup you're already a brilliant Mum. Everyone who adopts, puppy or adult, has to make adjustments to their lives & has to make mistakes to learn and get things right for the dog.

    Good luck

  12. #12
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    Zulu, I think you'll be a very good mom for her, and you're on the right track. Leaving her alone for those periods of time is okay, it will show her that you can go, but you'll always return. When we were training a pup, we'd leave a voice-activated tape recorder on in the house, to see how much noise they made while we were gone. After the initial whimpers, it was usually quiet, they just napped...good luck, you have lots of support here if you need it!

  13. #13
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    I agree with Alpha, it sounds like you are going to be a very good mom for her, and I believe that she will grow up to be a wonderful and protective dog to be with you when your husband is not home. I used to have a Dobie, and he was one of the smartest dogs ever,and was a very dedicated and protective dog.
    One of the things that I have found helps when a puppy jumps up on you is to step on their toes. She is probably going to give a yelp to let you know that you hurt her, but after a few times of having her toes stepped on, she is going to not want that to happen, and should stop jumping up on you.

  14. #14
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    I used to assist in puppy training classes and it was always strange watching owners and their dogs interact, and the owner just expecting the dog to understand what they were saying, and repeating it over and over again... just so confusing for the dog! Dog training to me became more about training the owners how to communicate with their dogs. You have had some great advise on here but I would also like to add that since you have access to the internet I would really recommend finding some good YouTube videos... type in things like 'How To Teach/Train my dog to sit" this will give you a good visual of how it's done. I am a visual learner and maybe it might help you too.

    Best of luck to you!

  15. #15
    i think u doing great !!! when they are small they do need alot of attention, accidents will happen too... just be patien , they learn so quick and soon enough you will feel confortable that she is home alone.... congrats on your new baby !!!!

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