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Hi everyone! I just joined this forum, after reading several posts and seeing how helpful and friendly people are here. :)

My husband and I have been talking about getting a puppy/dog for quite a while now. We have one cat. We had a dog before (adopted at the age of 7), and that was my only dog I ever had in my life. She was the best dog ever. Very mellow, well-behaved, quiet, etc. It's been about 5 years since she passed.

We live in a place where it is very difficult to adopt dogs from shelters. As soon as a dog is available for adoption, they are usually adopted within hours (which is great for the dogs, but not so great for people looking to adopt). We have applied for several dogs, but they are either adopted by the time we apply, or they are not good with cats.

So, we decided to buy a puppy. We put a deposit on a Rottweiler a few weeks ago. We are supposed to be getting her in a couple of weeks. But we are both having second thoughts. We're not really sure if we're ready for this commitment and all the work involved.

I have never had a puppy, so I am very nervous about having one. My husband works a lot, so I will be the one taking care of the puppy in every aspect. My husband is starting to think that it is unfair for me to have to do all the work. I work part-time from home, so I have some free time, but I am also responsible for everything that gets done, such as housecleaning, cooking, errands, appointments, etc (for both myself and my husband). I also have anxiety, and I get stressed out very easily. But part of me thinks that maybe a dog might help with that.

I'm also a little nervous about the breed. I hear they make great pets if properly trained. But I fear that if I fail, she could become aggressive or just difficult to handle physically. (I also recently injured my back, so I'm afraid that if my back pain doesn't soon go away, it may affect my ability to hold on to her when she gets bigger.)

I am one of those people who doesn't do something half-assed. I either give it my all, or don't do it at all. So, I plan to put in the time and effort to train her, but sometimes I wonder if I will be able to do it. I have read lots of articles online and have watched plenty of Youtube videos. There just seems to be so much to do and so much to remember!

When I think about not getting her, I get pretty depressed, but I also feel very relieved. Then, when I think that I should get her, I feel really stressed, and can't even function because that's all I'm thinking about.

Part of me wants a companion so bad, and something to care for. But part of me wants to keep my freedom and keep our life as it is now.

We have fostered 5 adult dogs over the last few years. My hope when fostering them was that we would want to adopt, but I never bonded to any of the dogs that we fostered. Honestly, after a few weeks, I couldn't wait for them to be adopted so I could have my freedom back. I know that sounds selfish, but I'm just being honest. :(

I am also very indecisive and tend to overthink everything, which is part of the reason I feel this way!

Oh, and another thing... I'm allergic to pet dander (and other things). Several months ago I finally found an antihistamine that works well for me and I take it daily. But part of me worries about if I need to stop taking them someday for some reason. I am absolutely miserable without the antihistamines.

Anyway, these are just some random thoughts I have been dealing with lately. I would love it if you guys would offer me your opinions or suggestions. Or maybe someone here has been in a similar situation and can offer some words of encouragement.

Thanks for reading this long-winded post!!
 

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First... is the breeder reputable and do they do health testing on the parents? Sorry, but I have to ask, you don't want to support an unethical breeder and end up with a puppy with possible health/temperament issues down the road either. But I really don't know much about rotties so I can't comment on their temperament or if they are good with cats.


Also, puppy fever is real, and with anxiety it's way worse, but it usually doesn't last. But you probably know what to expect from fostering.



I don't bond with every dog either, by the way. Honestly, in your case, I would keep fostering until you find a dog that you click with.
 

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Raising a puppy is a lot of work. Raising and training a Rottie is a lot of work.

What made you and your husband gravitate towards this breed in the first place? It sounds like you don't, but does he have any experience with large, guardian breeds and training and raising puppies? (not a critique at all, an honest question).

When you're starting with a puppy, there are no guarantees on adult temperament. You can stack the deck in your favor by choosing a breed whose temperament and needs are within your comfort zone (that includes considering whether you will be able to handle the typical adolescent issues that can appear in that breed, and if your natural style of interacting with a dog fits well with how that breeds tends to need to be handled in terms of structure/discipline/training commitment). You can further stack that deck by getting a puppy from a reputable breeder who is doing breed minimum health testing on the parents (which for rotties would include hip and elbow X rays certified through ofa.org and yearly eye exams done by a specialist), and who is using breeding stock that are a good behavioral representation of the breed (to which conformation or sport titles may provide some support, but can be best confirmed by meeting their dogs in person).

At the end of the day, a puppy is going to turn your life upside down and limit your freedom for the first few months. In my experience (including my own personal experience), those with anxiety especially tend to experience an uptick for the first few months as they readjust to a new routine. There are a lot of threads you can find on the forum searching the phrase "puppy blues".

Also, there is no shame in deciding maybe a dog is not the pet for you, or at the very least that a puppy maybe isn't a commitment you're keen on making right now. Dogs are a HUGE responsibility and not everyone feels that the return is enough to completely restructure their lives.
 

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Hi Missy6,

Welcome to the Dog Forum! I think it's great that you're asking these questions now before you bring home a puppy.

To be honest, your entire post reads like a list of reasons for you *NOT* to buy this puppy. Nearly every paragraph is a red flag. Just reread your own words again:

But we are both having second thoughts. We're not really sure if we're ready for this commitment and all the work involved.

I have never had a puppy, so I am very nervous about having one.

I will be the one taking care of the puppy in every aspect.

I also have anxiety, and I get stressed out very easily.

I'm also a little nervous about the breed.

But I fear that if I fail, she could become aggressive or just difficult to handle physically.

(I also recently injured my back, so I'm afraid that if my back pain doesn't soon go away, it may affect my ability to hold on to her when she gets bigger.)

When I think about not getting her, ....I also feel very relieved.

Then, when I think that I should get her, I feel really stressed, and can't even function because that's all I'm thinking about.

But part of me wants to keep my freedom and keep our life as it is now.

Honestly, after a few weeks, I couldn't wait for them to be adopted so I could have my freedom back. I know that sounds selfish, but I'm just being honest. :(

Oh, and another thing... I'm allergic to pet dander (and other things).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with anything you've written. You're being completely honest about your strong reluctance to bring home this puppy. I think you're feeling pressured because you want a dog, there are few adoptable dogs in your area, and you've already put a deposit down on this puppy. None of these are compelling reasons to bring home this particular puppy at this time. You can say "no" now, and I think that you should say "no."

A friend of mine is going through this right now. Several months ago, she lost an amazingly mellow, sweet-natured older dog that served as her emotional support animal. She was devastated when she lost him. She wanted desperately to replace him and brought home a puppy of the same breed. Even though she thought that she was getting the most mellow, gentle puppy of the litter, the new puppy has brought her nothing but stress and anxiety, so much so that she is strongly considering rehoming her.

A new puppy is *not* going to relieve your stress. It's going to intensify it, several times over. I think you're wise to realize this now.

I agree with Franci27 that continuing to foster dogs will most likely lead you to the one that is meant for you. Talk with the shelter / rescue group that you've been working with about what kind of dog most appeals to you, and perhaps the right one will turn up. I think that a calm, middle-aged dog would be the ideal dog for you.

Good luck! I wish you well.
 

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Puppies are honestly, not for everyone. They are a lot of work, frustrating, exhausting, and require full attention all the time. They’re also sweet, adorable, eager, and when you bond, there is nothing quite like it.

I’d also love to know what drew you to Rottweilers. They’re wonderful dogs, but they can certainly be overwhelming if you don’t have experience with them.

Do you think you never bonded to any of the foster dogs because in your mind you knew you were “only fostering”?

If you’re set on a specific breed, many reputable breeders end up rehoming adult dogs. Either they are no longer using them for breeding, or they kept a puppy that didn’t quite have the structure they were hoping for.
 
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I also am in the camp to caution you to get this puppy. It is not only a decision that will affect you and your husband, but also the puppy.
Keep fostering, and rather become a foster failure at some point, than an adoption failure. <3
 

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Coming back to this thread, I'd like to encourage you to reach out to rescue groups in order to find the right dog. Here are a couple of websites to start with:

Adopt a dog or cat today! Search for local pets in need of a home.

www.petfinder.com

And, rather than look for a specific dog, get to know the rescue groups that operate in your region. You can do a search for "shelters" and "rescue groups," and then start reading their websites and Facebook pages. Some groups are better than others about updating their pages (sometimes the dogs you see listed have already been adopted), but look for a rescue group that will help you select the right dog for you and your husband.

For example, I had been "following" this rescue group for a couple of years as my previous dog Miles, the one in my avatar, was a Pekingese mix:

Alura Always & Forever Pekingese Rescue

When Miles passed away and I wanted to adopt another dog, I contacted Alura. I felt like I already knew this rescue group and their dogs from their FB posts, and it was very easy to adopt Asher, my current dog, from them.

While this group is located in Southern California, they will adopt out dogs to out-of-staters who fly in to meet and pick up the dogs.


I really think you will find that special dog by expanding that search beyond your local shelter or breeders.
 

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Hi there.

I really feel for you.

My puppy is now 7 months old and she is the first puppy I have ever had. It's a lot of work and while I LOVE having her, the first weeks were really hard and triggered my anxiety. In saying that, the initial feeling of being overwhelmed is quite normal and some may call it the 'puppy blues'. After a few weeks, this subsided for me and my anxiety levels went back down and now my puppy contributes to keeping the levels down.

If you're already very anxious and stressed before even picking up the puppy, it might not be the right time now. It's totally okay to realize that too. 5 years ago, my husband and I fell in love with a puppy at a shelter and expressed our interest and very last minute cancelled the whole thing. We realized it wasn't the right time, as we had a grievance in the family as well. I'm so glad we did not get that puppy! Especially now that I know how much is involved in raising one of those little rascals! And the puppy at the shelter was adopted by another family the next day.

I wish you well and hope you can make a decision that is in your best interest as well as the puppies best interest.
 

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@Missy6

From your posts it sounds like you are struggling more than is normal. I think you are a prime candidate for puppy blues.

If it were me and I have in the past felt like you do I'd hold off on this puppy and seek medical advice regarding your allergies and anxiety. I say anxiety because of this sentence "When I think about not getting her, I get pretty depressed, but I also feel very relieved. Then, when I think that I should get her, I feel really stressed, and can't even function because that's all I'm thinking about." and I wouldn't want you to miss out but this gives me concern for your health. Sounds like your stressy thoughts are impacting on your functioning.

Apologies if I've got the wrong end of the stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks so much for all the replies, everyone! I will try to answer a few of the questions that were repeated.

As far as why we decided on a Rottweiler, it is mostly my husband who is interested in the breed. We originally wanted a Labrador Retriever, but after contacting the breeder, he replied saying he'll be in touch, and we haven't heard from him in months, so we decided to move on. My husband's sister has a Rottweiler and is always saying what great dogs they are. I've heard that they are loyal, intelligent and protective. I've also heard that they are pretty inactive indoors, which I like. Also, my husband and I both love larger breeds.

I actually don't think we can foster anymore. 4 of the 5 fosters were with a rescue that I don't associate with anymore. She was constantly lying to me, taking advantage of us, and bringing me pups that were less than a year old (teenage stage, basically) even though I told her I could only foster older/calmer dogs due to my anxiety. And there were a few other issues with her as well. So, we stopped fostering for her rescue. The 5th dog that we fostered was actually a rare fostering situation with a shelter located very far from us, so I doubt we can foster for them again as they usually have fosters in their area. There are no other local rescues that need foster homes because the dogs are adopted so quickly.

I should add that I live in Canada. I have contacted rescues/shelters outside of my province (within Canada and also in the US), and none of them ship their adoptable dogs. I only found one shelter in NY that ships their dogs to Canada, and they have mostly Pitbulls, which honestly, I am a little nervous about. Maybe I should reconsider their dogs.
 

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You're really constrained in your options. You're right that most rescue groups will not ship dogs, as they want to verify that the dogs are going to good homes. Some, though, will be fine with you flying out to them. That is the case with the Pekingese rescue I posted about. If you're willing to travel, you might have more success.

I see that you're still more interested and comfortable in having an older/calmer dog. I completely understand that as that's my preference as well. Sometimes dogs will become available for private adoptions. Try CraigsList or a site like this one:

- Canada Dog Rescue - ADOPTIONS - Rescue Me!


ETA: I personally wouldn't adopt any dog without meeting it first. Since you're looking at making a lifelong commitment, you really should travel to meet the dog(s) that you're considering.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You're really constrained in your options. You're right that most rescue groups will not ship dogs, as they want to verify that the dogs are going to good homes. Some, though, will be fine with you flying out to them. That is the case with the Pekingese rescue I posted about. If you're willing to travel, you might have more success.

I see that you're still more interested and comfortable in having an older/calmer dog. I completely understand that as that's my preference as well. Sometimes dogs will become available for private adoptions. Try CraigsList or a site like this one:

- Canada Dog Rescue - ADOPTIONS - Rescue Me!


ETA: I personally wouldn't adopt any dog without meeting it first. Since you're looking at making a lifelong commitment, you really should travel to meet the dog(s) that you're considering.
Thanks for your reply, Susan. Yeah, I don't feel 100% comfortable with adopting a dog that I haven't met in person either. It's pretty difficult to travel because unlike in the US, it is very expensive here to fly (and to drive off the island), unfortunately.

I have no idea what part of Canada you live in, but this might be a great dog for you and your husband:

ADOPT 19060600042 ~ Rottweiler Rescue ~ mississauga, ONTARIO


And, I see that you can still search for dogs on www.petfinder.com and Adopt a dog or cat today! Search for local pets in need of a home.. Just enter the name of your town and the abbreviation for your province.
Thanks for the link. He sounds like a great dog. I am located in eastern Canada (Newfoundland).

Unfortunately, petfinder and adoptapet does not show pets in my province. But, I know of all the rescues and shelters here and I am constantly checking them.
 

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Just to give you guys an idea of what I'm dealing with in terms of difficulty in adopting an adult dog... I am a member of a local group on Facebook where people occasionally post pets that they are rehoming. Yesterday, I saw a post where a lady was rehoming her 2.5 year old Lab. The post had only been made 14 minutes before I saw it. I messaged her immediately, and there were already 3 other people ahead of me. :eyeroll:
 

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I thought I would post an update.

I mentioned that I have a back injury in my original post. This past few days, it has really been bothering me, to the point where I am just sitting/laying around most of the day. So, just based on that alone, I realized that this isn't a good time for me to be taking care of a puppy. :(

Thanks for all who took the time to reply. In the meantime, I will continue to look for an adult dog, or hopefully in the future I will be ready (physically and mentally) to care for a puppy.
 

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Dear Missy,

I'm so very sorry to hear about your back pain. I hope that your health fully recovers.

I send you my best wishes for you to find a lovely companion dog. Keep looking because I know that the right one will bring you much joy.

Susan
 
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