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Hi everyone, I got a 5 month old shih tzu and it's my first puppy..been with me 4 days now & yesterday I had a major crying fit, felt really depressed & started psychoanalyzing myself :) The pupp is very quiet, never barks, spends most of the time sleeping, doesn't eat his food (same one he had in the pet store) nor the new wet food (which he seemed to love at his vet checkup), he doesn't have a consistent poop & pee mis ..sometimes he does it right & sometimes he makes a mess, ...I live alone in an apartment which has a balcony so when i'm home i let him out , I take him for walks morning & evening...we have a communication issue, I dont understand him at all, he doesn't understand me either, i'm also starting to think he doesn't even like me, I read all these training tips online but they sound giberish to me I just don't know how to actually translate them into actions...I try but I think he just gets confused cos I dont really know what I'm doing...I always thought dogs would make you a happier person & shower you with love & cuddles but I am just frustrated and disappointed...it basically feels like all creatures would not give you love if you don't work your ass in a systematic pre-meditated way for it... I mean I admit I felt lonely & lacked affection in my life & I thought a dog would be the best companion unlike any other...but now I'm just sad...I know this sounds rather silly but I'm at work and I am just holding back tears since morning ...
 

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There will be many people on here who will be able to advise a lot better than I can.Like anything else in life you generally get back what you put in.All puppies take a lot of time,energy,love etc....Without a doubt your puppy will be feeling your energy ,and negativity and will be frightened,insecure etc.Love and affection does not come automatically ,even with puppies,but will come when trust and a secure ,loving environment is established.It would be helpful to both of you to join an obedience club or similar so you get some support.Dogs certainly do give unconditional love but only after you've shown you've the same to them.Don't want to sound judgmental but you can't expect a puppy to change your life in four days!I'm sure with some support from vet,dog groups etc you can develop a wonderful relationship with your puppy...However ,if you decide it's never going to work I would suggest you rehome while puppy is still young..Good luck,I'm sure it will work out!
 

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Zenailou,

I'm new here, too, and can relate. I brought home a two-year-old shelter dog nearly three weeks ago, and after the first week, I was so overwhelmed that I seriously contemplated returning him. I didn't feel bonded to him and was beginning to believe that I had made a major mistake.

But, things have gotten better. I've learned to pay close attention to what my new dog needs as I've gotten to know him. He's also been learning how to adapt to living in my home. Each day, we've been developing a better schedule of rest and activity. And, just last night, he learned how to sit on cue, which was a huge accomplishment.

Am I totally in love with him yet? We're not quite there yet. It was only about ten days ago, that he was jumping on me and nipping me. (And, that's no small thing when your dog is 57 pounds!) But, we're starting to develop a bond of affection, which is growing day by day. I really, for example, enjoy taking walks with him.

Take your time to get to know your puppy. Many dog owners, both here and elsewhere, have commented that it takes time to bring a new dog into your life. I've been told to expect a shelter dog to settle in after two or three months. I've already seen remarkable improvement in the nearly three weeks that I've had him. Just be patient with yourself and your new puppy. It will get better.
 

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Thanks SusanLynn, I think I just need to get a grip of it & lower my "being showered with unconditional love" expectations for a few months ;) I'm glad you see progress with your dog & hope to go down that lane soon
 

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Dogs are animals and yes, they don't speak our language and they don't understand what we expect from them until we teach them. They have unique personalities and they are shaped by their puppyhood experiences. It's unfair to yourself and to your new dog to expect so much in such a short time period.

What do you know of your new dog's background? Give him some time to adjust to his new surroundings. He doesn't know what a heavy load you've placed on him. He's got his own emotional baggage, so to speak. Relax. Keep walking him. Start doing some simple training with him. Build a bond. He may feel much like you do.

You say you don't want to have to work your ass off in a premeditated way but all relationships require work and the rewards are worth it. :)
 

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Grabby, somewhere in my heart I'm so tired of working hard and maintaining behaviors and attitudes in this world of ours.. I just hoped in a naive sorta way that with a non-human, you can relax...love & get loved back & thats all..you know without goin thru the rough patches and road bumps to get there ...but as you said, the reward might be just worth it :)
 

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Zeinalou,

I think we'll both get there, but it will take some time. Grabby's right that your new puppy needs some time to adjust to his new surroundings.

The first full day Maru was here, he barely ate. The second day, he was so hungry that he ate very quickly and then vomited three times. Since then, his eating habits have been fine. I'm sure that he was just under a lot of stress. In my limited experience, I think it's really important for you to adopt a feeling of calmness around him, so that he can begin to feel more comfortable and relaxed in his new surroundings.

One thing that's helpful is to start asking specific questions of the members here. What are your biggest concerns at the moment?
 

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zeinalou, I think we all wish life and relationships were always easy. I get what you're saying and I am not unsympathetic. Hang in there.
 

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Four days is not long at all. Your puppy is still learning the routine of a new home and where everything is, and barely knows you. It will just take some time to bond. Keep in mind too that some dogs/puppies are super outgoing and cuddly with everyone right from the beginning, but some are more like introverted people and forcing affection and attention on those dogs can make them nervous and withdraw. So try giving the puppy a little space and reward for choosing to come to you.

Squash was NOT a cuddly puppy. At all. I had a few sad days over that, but as he grew and we did a lot of activities and bonded we have developed a very close relationship. Although he has episodes during the day where he wants some lap time etc, he's still not a very physically cuddly dog most of the time, but he always knows where I am and wants to be close. So there are different ways for dogs to be affectionate, too.

It will all be ok. :)
 

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The first step is to breathe. It's only been a few days and both of you are still adjusting to each other. Not to mention you are new to dogs so I am sure all of the first steps can be overwhelming.

Have you spoken with a reliable trainer? Finding a reliable and knowledgable support staff can be the best step. You said you have read the training tips and it all sounds like gibberish, that is understandable. It would be like someone talking to you in Italian when you've never learned it. You might find it helpful to get someone who can help you step by step. A class will help socialize your puppy, teach you, and it's also nice to see that you are not the only one going through this.

I'm sorry your first few days are not going well. And don't mistake a dog that does not like to cuddle as a dog that does not love you. My Roxie is not a cuddler, when she tries to cuddle I end up getting kicked usually in the rib cage or the face, but she loves and trusts me, and she proves that every time we go into the agility ring.
 

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Zeinalou,

Just a couple more thoughts -

You said in your orginal post that you and your puppy don't understand each other at all. As a new dog owner, I totally understand that feeling. One simple thing that has helped is to become more observant. I've learned, for example, that Maru's jumping and nippng increases when he gets overstimulated and excited. He starts pacing and panting. Knowing that has helped me back off from a lot of energy play in the evenings to long walks in the neighborhood. And, after we come back from every walk, I have him quietly sit for a minute or two in the front yard before bringing him inside. Spend some time just observing your puppy - see when and how he approaches you and when he backs off. Let him come to you. He will.

Also, there are some great "sticky" threads on this site with the best on-line videos and resources out there. There's a lot of contradictory and just plain bad dog training advice on the Internet. For example, I very quickly learned from the members here that Cesar Milan's approach is garbage. Instead, I've been directed to kikopup and her www.dogmantics.com site. I've also learned to go step-by-step and prioritize what I need to research and learn about as I go on.

Just by asking questions and reading a lot here, I've been feeling more and more confident that I can eventually make this experience a positive one.
 

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Just to reiterate what the others have said--this is brand new for both of you, it is going to take some time for you to figure out each other and bond. A new dog is stressful for most people, I clearly remember the first few weeks. I was sick with a cold for a month because of the stress.
--don't try and hurry things, be patient with him and yourself, a true bond takes time.
--remember that puppyhood doesn't last forever.
--you can find a lot of information on this forum that is VERY helpful. Be sure and read all the stickies. If you have specific problems, post them and you will get answers (or at least some commiseration!).
 

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Hang in there, you've gotten some very good advice here.

It can take a long time, sometimes months (or less too), to bond with a new puppy. It is a big change for both you and the puppy. I like the idea of finding a reliable and gentle trainer who can work with you and your puppy.
 

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Hey Zeinalou,

So happy to hear back from you. I'm glad that you're both doing better. I hope you'll stop back in from time to time with updates and pics.
 

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What you're going through is very normal. When we brought theo home (at 2 months old) , I cried everyday for a week. I was so frustrated, anxious, tired, and confused. I'd never trained a dog before, let alone a puppy, and I was freaking out about being responsible for theo's well-being. My stress level was on overdrive for about a month. However, as we all adjusted and made new routines, things got better. As he got older and as he continues to mature, things get better. Just hang in there!

I had this "vision" that a puppy would be ready to go for long walks, would want to be cuddled and petted immediately, and would sleep through the night. Again....I had no clue that I needed to train him to do these things. I found it was easier to meet theo where he was at and let him be the puppy he is. He's not a cuddler, and he is just now accepting petting ( at 7 months old!). Review your "vision" and see if it needs some adjusting, for your peace of mind. And keep updating us. Dogforum is an awesome place to get support. Good luck!!
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I'm glad you're doing better. I've owned two shihtzus, and I know that they can be very frustrating dogs. They're not as intelligent, and it can take forever to get something down. My corgichi and puggle's ability to learn vs. the shihtzus is vastly different. It took less than five minutes to teach them to lay down, and it took like two weeks for the shihtzu. I think shihtzus are actually a very difficult breed to train.

Keep at it! I understand the frustration. The methods are accurate, and all out there, but you really need to remember that it may just take your dog more time than most to learn things. even something so simple as sit, depending on their personality and what they're inclined to do.

Just remember to use positive reinforcement. Punishment will make shihtzus (and most dogs) do even worse things, like hide their poop inside and such. When I inherited the shihtzus from my grandmother, I realized that she must have punished them for pottying inside – because they would be even less likely to go outside! They would hide the fact that they were peeing and pooping, going to another room to do it. It took forever to get over that. You're starting off at a good point, where the dog is easily malleable and has no previously learned bad habits.

Good luck with it!
 

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I have a 10 week old shih tzu and they are hard work.
Hang in there and just bond with your puppy for now. He/she is just as scared as you are and unsure.
Don't worry about the big bits to come, you have time and your reward will be the deepest love you ever could imagine.
((((HUGS)))) for you both
 
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