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Hi everyone!

So it has been a week since I got my aussie pup, and it has been hard, way harder than I could have imagined. I would love to get some advice from you experienced dog owners (aussie owners in particular would be amazing but everyone’s advice is appreciated).

To explain my current situation, I am 24 currently living at home with my parents, and I am currently working from home. I have always wanted an aussie but I am terrified I made the wrong decision and feel horrible and anxious.

I had done research on the breed beforehand so I was aware of the exercise needs and everything, and was careful to ask breeders what the temperament of their aussies were like. I had been looking for a breeder for a while and finally found one who had a pup available and then everything happened very very fast, within 1 day. I did not have enough time to mentally prepare, and this is my first pup. I knew it would be hard but had no idea how hard. I feel bad because I know my pup is a very sweet, loving, and good dog and I already am so attached to him, but I honestly am so scared I made a mistake here.

I am worried I wont be able to handle him: mainly concerned I won't be able to leave him home alone when he’s a little older and still live my life. I am still relatively young and I'm worried I made this decision at the wrong point in my life. I do still want some freedom and to be able to go out randomly without major worry. I feel horrible just typing all of this so I can't even imagine how awful I would feel giving him back. As an added factor, although my parents were onboard, they are not really enthused about the dog and want me to keep the option of returning him to the breeder open. I really don't want to do that, but as I am now trying to think far into the future, I don't want him, my parents, or myself to be miserable because our lifestyles cause each other pain. I am a pretty active person, and can commit to a walk/run every morning, another in the afternoon, training sessions & fetch in the day, and things like hikes and going to the beach on the weekends. I’m just thinking, what if I want to stay out one Saturday night- is that something that would be possible?

Please be gentle but honest on me in your responses, I really have been hard enough on myself and would just love some clarity from others situations, and honest advice! Thank you all for reading this and letting me vent -🙃I am super sleep deprived so I hope this made sense. I have heard it gets better, but I dont know if my concerns will be resolved as he matures.
 

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Z, Rescue Mutt
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If you are providing your dog with enough physical and mental exercise, leaving home for a bit is no big deal. The absolute maximum for an adult dog to be left alone inside is 6 hrs. (puppies should be less time) If you are gone for longer, come home for 45 minutes to take care of the dog, then leave again. Tire the dog out before you leave, and hire a sitter or dog walker when necessary. Since mental exercise is so important, especially for doggy geniuses like Aussies, focus on that as much as possible. That is even more tiring for smart breeds than physical exercise. And never underestimate what a smart dog can learn (look up Chaser the BC- who knew the names of 1,000 toys, as well as multi-part sentence commands- if you don't believe me). Consider agility lessons if financially feasible, or try disc dog. Try scentwork (even in the basic find-the-treats format), and teach all kinds of fun and advanced tricks. Be sure to give the necessary human interaction through tug or other games. Fetch, by the way, is a great way to tire your dog out mentally and physically. It can take a while to teach with non-retrieving breeds, but it's doable and worth it.
If you are providing for your dog all their mental and physical needs, and work on crate and separation training, there's no issue leaving them for a bit. Just love on your dog when you get home! :)

It's difficult and exhausting to adjust to a new puppy, but don't give up. The companionship and unconditional love you receive it totally worth it. With training and age, your dog will improve, and your relationship will grow even more. You said you did the research before getting this breed. If you truly did, and believed then that you could do it, there's probably very little reason to second-guess yourself now.
 

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The ”puppy blues” is very common and totally normal.

If you plan and make sure your dog's needs are met, you can still go out - perhaps not quite ”randomly” but it is still possible. If you want to be out overnight (sorry if I misinterpreted that) then you will need to make provision for your dog, but would your parents step in for that?

More of a concern for me is that over the next 12 plus years or so, your life is likely to go through some significant changes. There is a good chance you will enter a long term relationship, move away from home, start a family. You need to be sure you can fit your dog into these plans.
 
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