stressed and anxious over new puppy

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stressed and anxious over new puppy

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Old 07-31-2013, 12:31 PM
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Unhappy stressed and anxious over new puppy

Hello everyone, just found this forum as I searched through the Internet for other new puppy parents who may be feeling the same way I am.

My boyfriend and I have been talking about how we'd love to have a dog together. He has had dogs (small breeds) growing up and have lost his chihuahua two years ago to old age. I have had a dog with my family when I was younger about 15 yrs ago.

Together we started looking and 3 days ago we adopted an English Bulldog pup, 7 months old. He is calm, obedient, relaxed and learns fast. However, he is not housebroken yet. I've been taking him outside to the front of my apartment building every 2-3 hrs and he's been successfully doing his business. If unsupervised he will go in the house on clean towels I give him. He also lays on weewee pads to sleep on rather to pee on. He also urinates in his crate if he wakes from a nap and I'm still asleep.

Because of his schedule I've been losing sleep and am anxious all the time about him. I walk him but his walks are short because he overheat fast and doesn't seem to enjoy walks so I just bring him and he comes back and lays in his crate to sleep. I feel so bad that all he does is get dragged out and comes back to sleep. He doesn't really enjoy toys and just rather lay there. Should I be stimulating more of his play energy or is this just what he wants to do? He also follows me everywhere and will whine and bark if I put him in the crate and move out of his sight to take care of myself ie shower or clean the house. I've read this breed may be prone to that, as well as the skin allergies he has right now and the massive amount of farts and drools. I am currently out of school and in between jobs, while my boyfriend works way too much so I'm the one who is taking care of the puppy for now and am feeling overwhelmed.

I wanted this and wanted a chilled out dog and knew that I rather adopt an adult to skip this housebreaking part. Now I'm panicking as I'm responsible for this little boy with larger than life needs. I cry because I feel like I failed, knowing hes a puppy and will need lots of attention time and training, knowing about this breed and now disliking certain traits I KNEW THEY COME WITH. I can't seem to gather what I can expect when people say "things will get better", or when he's all grown up "I'll wonder how I ever lived without him". I miss my peace and quiet and wish I hadn't done this. Can someone share the light at the end of the tunnel? What have I gotten myself into? And, am I an irresponsible monster for thinking maybe I should re-home him?

Last edited by sunshine513; 07-31-2013 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:49 PM
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"Puppy blues" are very normal! These feelings will pass.

You CAN do this.

The dog will learn to be house trained. It sounds like you are doing it basically correctly. Check out the "housebreaking puppies" section of the forum and read the sticky thread, as well as other peoples' stories. Follow the directions carefully. He is 7 months but you do the house training the same way as if he were 8 weeks.

It will be OK. Just ride the emotions for now. Observe them, and know this hard part won't last forever. You can stay afloat!
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:13 PM
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Hi sunshine,
What you are feeling is pretty normal, especially if it's your first dog. I've had Charlie(he is about 10 weeks) for about four weeks and there are times when I feel like throwing him back into the rubbish bin where I found him. What makes it easy for me is that I know, first-hand since I had a dog before ( and the challenges I faced initially was much worse than puppy), that as time go by, the connection and bond will grow stronger and with that comes energy, more commitment and joy. Before you really connected, it feels just like a lot of work and no reward. Trust me on this, how you feel will change but it will happen gradually and kind of in the background without you really noticing it.
For house training, read this thread. I'm also struggling with house training, and the universe seems to conspire against me ( weather, work-schedule, unexpected visits etc) to make it as hard as possible

Again, what you are going through is normal. You will feel very different in a while. Three days is nothing, it took me months with my last dog.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:43 PM
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I can't tell you how much I wanted my peacefully dull, quiet life back almost as soon as I got Cobber home and realized what an overwhelming change I'd brought down on myself! The only reason I didn't give him right back to the breeder was because I got him from so far away he had to be shipped in -- he made the trip just fine but at the very end of the traveling range where airlines that ship live animals stop when it gets above or below certain temps. In other words, about as soon as I thought "I've made a mistake, I want to send him back," it was too hot to do so. That made it worse! I felt awful, like a failure, and I couldn't go back even if I wanted to (plus I'm not allowed to rehome by the terms of the adoption agreement I signed).

So I came on here and posted comments very much like yours! I reached out to everyone I could think of for help, even if it was just inviting me and the puppy over to their house for a small break (they play with the puppy while I whine and show everyone my bite marks), etc.

It took another week or two but after awhile things finally started to settle down as Cobber got used to me and I got used to him (and learned about being a very slow, boring human who isn't fun to bite).

There are still times when I wish I had my before-puppy life back, but they only last a few moments till I look at him and think about how much fun he is and how much more fun he'll be once we get through the puppiness.

I don't envy you having to be the one who is more responsible at the moment for your pup. If there's any way that you can hand the pup over when your boyfriend gets home and you go out somewhere (a friend's, to a movie, for a coffee) just to get some "me time" that might help a little.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable about the breed you have will be along to address your questions about specific traits.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:32 PM
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I can't help with the breed traits, but I can speak to the rest of it. I adopted my first puppy a year ago. Now I have another. I'm going through the days of wishing I waited to get dog #2 now. And I remember what I felt like last year. For me, I take one task at a time, mentally. I worked on sit, down, come, stay when I could, but focused primarily on house training and establishing the schedule. Once I had a handle on that, I worked on proper loose leash walking. Just supplementing with the basics and gradually adding a new behavior when I felt like I could. Don't worry about the long list of things you think you need to teach him.

Once house training is done, you WILL feel better, I'm certain of that. It takes a new dog up to 4 weeks to settle in to a new home. Don't expect it will stay this way. I'd also suggest taking a group class, that will probably help you feel less overwhelmed, with others going through the same thing and a trainer to help you train more efficiently.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:23 PM
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Stressed and anxious over new puppy

Thank you everyone for your kind advice and encouraging words. A set back today, he went inside the house twice, but trying not to lose sight of our accomplishments.

I am learning to take it one day at a time... I just wasn't sure if I should expedite my figuring it out so that if I do decide I cannot keep him, I should do it quicker before the pup or my boyfriend gets attached. Yes, I'm waiting for the bond to come between us. It really does just feel like I adopted this pup so I can subject myself through all this work, and all I am doing is just waiting for him to grow up so that I can regain my freedom to do things on my own. It makes me wonder, what is the point of me having a dog then? This is when I begin to feel terrible and guilty about this. I don't seem to have the same appreciation other dog owners do of their dogs. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this.

I do count my blessings that he is a lazy dog. He sleeps most of the day and today I will try to leave him in the crate for a little bit while I run to the market. Tomorrow I have an appointment and will need to leave him for at least 2 hrs, I hope he won't make too much of a fuss. Thank you again, everyone. If you have more stories/advice to share, please comment!
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:41 PM
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If you think there is any chance you will bond with the dog, I'm certain you will. If you don't have ANY interest in the dog, maybe you won't and should give him back. It is WAY too early to judge. Don't worry about set backs and accidents. Expect it to take a few weeks, maybe even a little longer to house train. Don't beat yourself up over some pee or poop. Get some enzyme spray, read about house training, and don't stress too much.

What was his situation prior to adoption? Was he in a foster home or shelter/kennel situation? Sometimes dogs that were in kennels will take longer to train, especially if they had accidents in the crates there.

Read about crate training. The short advice I'd give you about the crate is: don't open the crate until he is quiet. If he whines and you go back into the room, he learns that whining will get you back and he will keep doing it. Unless he's really got separation anxiety, work on leaving the room for short periods of time, or working in the room but moving further away with him in the crate. It's hard to judge without seeing his behavior. Make the crate a happy place, which you may have already done. Feed him in the crate so he sees it as a happy, safe place. Leave to door open and leave treats in there periodically so when he wanders in, he finds good stuff. This will help make him feel like the crate is where he wants to be when you aren't there. I'm trying to give you the short version so it doesn't seem overwhelming. There are a lot of threads on crate training and separation anxiety.

My key point on the crate (and other behaviors) is that if it works to get your attention, he will continue to do it. That includes whining, barking, even peeing in the house (stop him in the middle and bring him right outside if you can, but clean the mess up in silence and just ignore him while you do).

Hope this helps. I'm at work trying to do a quick response, but I think I hit the key points:-)
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:28 AM
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I just wanted to add that 3 days is a VERY short time for both of you to adjust. Your dog is also going to make some major adjustments, and his personality and behavior may change A LOT over the next few weeks. This is a huge change, so don't beat yourself up to much, give yourself some time to adjust. I don't know much about the breed--maybe if you look around you can find someone else with the same breed to act as a "mentor", as I do know that they have very specific needs, problems and personality quirks. People that have them really seem to love them!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:18 AM
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If you are looking for someone who has one already, post "looking for English bulldog owners" and you might get someone's attention. Or go under the Dogs heading above, search for the breed, then you can message the owners.

Looks like you are new to the forum, so I thought I'd help navigate:-)
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:10 PM
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Thank you, you are all very helpful and supportive!! One day at a time... Woosah
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