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Hello, I feel a bit silly writing this post as I just got my new puppy 6 days ago but I'm a bit overwhelmed with the feelings of anxiety I have been experiencing and wondering if anyone has any goodfeel stories to pass on to ease my nerves. I have a 9 1/2 week old Yorkshire Terrier who is adorable. I have 2 children, 9 and 7 who are dog mad and always had dogs (poms and cavalier king charles) growing up. This is my 1st dog in my own house. I only work 2 days a week and am with the puppy other than that. She sleeps in the kitchen and only cried for 10 mins after I put her to bed last night and then again at about 6.30 a.m. this morning for about 5 minutes but then didnt wake up until 7.30 a.m. She is very small but seems to be very clever and quite spunky. The problem is I am so anxious worrying that I made a mistake taking on the puppy ever since I got her. It's like what I felt for the first few weeks after I had my children 'my life used to be so easy and now it's so unpredictable and I don't like this feeling.' I keep thinking did I do the right thing and why did I have to change things up in the house. Now I feel like my time is not my own and I worry about the dog constantly. She hasn't had her 2nd injections yet so she can't go out for walks but we have a nice enclosed garden but it's been raining for the past couple of days so she doesn't like the wet grass :) She is such a gorgeous puppy and I love her so much and get glimpses of excitement when I think of her being able to go on walks with me and come in the car with me and walking to collect the kids from school and going to training classes but mostly I just feel anxious like my life will never be my own again. Completely irrational I know but it's how I'm feeling. I've also always had 2 dogs when I lived in my parents but I feel 1 dog is enough for my family and again I feel guilty that she is on her own although I have brought her down to my mams house to meet her dogs and she gets along really well with them (they are 10 year old cavaliers) so they are very mellow. She also doesn't seem to eat at regular times. Any advice on how often I should be feeding her would be great. She does her pee on the puppy pads at night but poos on the floor furthest as she can get from her bed. She only so far has managed to go once for a pee outside in the garden. Yesterday I walked around with her every hour on the hour but she does nothing and then comes in and wees on the floor or rug. She is very small (3lbs) so cleaning up after her doesn't bother me at all. She loves her chew toys and in the evening curls up on my husband's lap to sleep. Again, any advice for any other dog owners would be great and anyone who has felt like I do it would be great to hear as at the moment I am feeling very nervous. Thanks a million!
 

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First off, congrats on your new puppy! And welcome to the forum! Dog ownership isn't a walk in the park, particularly with puppies! Rest assured, you're not the only one who's ever felt that way. When I got my girl, I worried for MONTHS that she wasn't the proper dog for me. Bryn is my first dog all on my own, and my first rescue -- and a challenge. When I got her, she was terrified of everything. Definitely a project dog at six months, no socialisation, and pretty much the only reason I chose her was because this clueless lady with a thousand kids wanted to bring her home. A GIGANTIC no-no for such a fearful dog! The first six months I had her was a lot of work, and I didn't think I was cut out for it, but my policy with pets has always been once you're a member of the family, you're there for good -- so Bryn stayed, and we put in hours and hours of work, and I can't imagine life without her!

You're in a similar boat no doubt, wondering if it's all worth it and if you can manage. The answer is yes! Don't second guess yourself, if you're willing to put in the work, you're going to have an amazing family dog! Your little pup already sounds like she's doing well!

Since she's so young, definitely feed her three small meals a day; at this age, some puppies like it when you soak their kibble in a bit of water to soften it up. Don't do this forever though, as hard kibble helps clean and strengthen puppy teeth. At around six months old, you can reduce her food to two times a day. When she reaches one, you can decide whether you want to continue feeding her two times a day or switch to once a day. My dogs get a small breakfast and their main meal at night. As for her free feeding, it's very easy to fix! Put down her food in the morning, leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then pick it up and put it away. Never mind if she hasn't finished it, or hasn't touched it. When lunch comes, do the same thing -- offer it to her for 10-15 minutes, and then put it away. She'll quickly learn that she has a food schedule, and if she's going to eat, she has to do so accordingly, as meal times are not a free-for-all.

As for two having just one dog, don't worry about it! Dogs are very happy to live out their lives amongst their people, with no other dog for company. Some dogs dislike other dogs, and will only ever hang out with people, and that's okay. You may want to focus more energy on socialisation as she grows though, so that she knows how to interact with other dogs and isn't scared of them. You're off to a great start letting her play with the spaniels!

If you're going to toilet train her, Dr Ian Dunbar has a load of good tips and tricks, which you can find here: https://www.siriuspup.com/articles/...ian-dunbar-how-teach-your-puppy-eliminate-cue

Another method (the one we always used growing up) is to leave puppy in a small fenced in area, with the floor covered in newspapers. Praise the puppy when you see her going on the newspaper, and gradually make the papered area smaller and smaller, taking it farther away from the dog's bed. A dog will almost never soil the place where she eats and sleeps, so they'll usually go as far away as possible. With persistence and diligence, she'll get the hint! You can then take the newspaper out onto the grass and teach her to do her business there, or, like we did with my sister's Italian Greyhound, you can easily teach her to use a litter box indoors. Nessa doesn't like wet grass either, so the litter box is really convenient during the wet (and cold) months.

Hope some of this information helped! And don't worry, it will actually get easier! The puppy days are the hardest, but also the most rewarding!
 

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oh thank you so much smudge. Your reply was so informative and really helped me calm down and put things in perspective. I've only felt the way I do at the moment twice before in my life and that was after having my children! I never thought these feelings would come up again with a puppy. I love her so much but feel overwhelmed by taking on a puppy, like 'is my life ever going to be easy again'. I know it's silly and to be honest she's only a tiny dog. She's 3 lbs at the moment and the vet said the biggest she'll get is 7 lbs. So it's not like she's this great big dog that needs lots of space. She is so good and a real character. I know it will probably get easier after she gets her injections and I can start bringing her for little walks. She's due to get them on the 16th of October and then the vet said 5 days after that she can be brought out. I'm looking forward to getting out with her and puppy training classes. It's just most of what I'm feeling is 'why didn't I leave well enough alone and go back to my boring, regulated life before puppy'. And then I feel guilty for thinking that way as I've loved dogs all my life. I suppose it's just a change. Your post was so informative. Thanks so much for the advice with her food. I will definitely start doing that. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply as it's made me feel like I can do this and my life will settle down again and be better for having her in my life.
 
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