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Hi all,
Husband and I got an 8 week old goldendoodle about a week ago. Before we got her I was so excited and couldn't wait for this new addition to our family. Now that shes here though, it's a different story...
I think I've cried every day because of her, almost had a full on panic attack once. I constantly feel overwhelmed and stressed. My appetite has decreased significantly. I'm feeling really guilty that I'm feeling this way, but I honestly can't explain why I have these feelings. The best way I can describe it is like post-partum depression but with a puppy. I have this cute, cuddly, smart puppy and you would think I would be enamored, but I'm not at all. And it's not even like she has crazy behaviorial issues. She's actually a really good puppy - hasn't had any accidents in the house, sleeps pretty much all night, learns quickly etc. My husband has become very attached to her, but I don't feel attached at all. The thought of bringing her back is really appealing to me, but I don't want to do that just yet because I know it's only been a week... I guess what i'm needing is reassurance that i'm not the only who has felt this way...any suggestions to help get me through this because right now it feels all consuming and there's nothing I do to help with these feelings..
 

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I have seen several threads about this issue but don't understand it at all. How can anyone not love puppy breath? Good luck and I am sure it will pass.
 

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That's the point of this post...I don't know why I'm feeling this way either. I wish I wasn't and I know I shouldn't be but I am. I'm sure with time it will pass, but for now I just wanted to not feel like the only person on this planet that has felt this way.
 

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Puppy blues are VERY common and part of the process. I was super prepared and even I had a few days of "what the heck did I get myself into". You have a newborn creature that you are now responsible for and most are not prepared for what it takes...even those that have raised kids.

Use the search button above and enter "puppy blues". You fill find you are for from the only one with those feeling at some point in the puppy raising process!

Now I miss the puppy breath since he is getting older!
 

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It's called the puppy blues. It's quite common and we have 2 sticky threads about it, and if you scroll though the puppy help section you'll see a bunch of threads that are very similar to yours.

Here's the link to the one in puppy help. http://www.dogforum.com/puppy-help/puppy-blues-125986/ I actually wrote a reply in that one around a month after I got Zody... If I'm honest here, when I wrote that I was over the worst of it but still not really bonded with Zody, I remember that 5 months after that I walked out of my house, without him, crying and wondering if I should give him back to the friend I had gotten him from. I was not happy, it was not working out, we were not bonding, etc. I stuck it out though and now I can't imagine life without him.
and here's the link to the one in New Additions http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/puppy-blues-puppy-depression-171570/

Here's some links to other threads written by puppy owners with puppy depression so that you don't feel so alone in how you are feeling...
http://www.dogforum.com/puppy-help/puppy-blues-kicking-my-butt-281081/
http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/edited-normal-feel-new-puppy-anxiety-289098/
http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/pupy-blues-went-away-but-have-292161/

Give yourself time and the puppy blues will pass. The feelings are normal, and they can happen to anyone, new and old dog owners get them, so don't feel like your some sort of horrible puppy owner.

If you are feeling overwhelmed then remember that it's alright to give her some exercise, put her in her puppy proofed safe place, and go do something that gives you pleasure, don't feel like you have to be with her 24 / 7. It's alright to take some me time. If you are feeling like you might be raising her wrong, or not training her right, a puppy class might help. Otherwise it just takes time for a bond to form, it can take weeks to months, but eventually they worm their way into our hearts and steal a piece of it.
 

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I have seen several threads about this issue but don't understand it at all. How can anyone not love puppy breath? Good luck and I am sure it will pass.

It's goes from, "Oh he's so little, fluffy, and adorable. and that wonderful puppy breath!" to...... "I'm responsible for taking care of this little, helpless puppy, oh heck what did I get into??? What if I do something wrong? what if it gets sick? Worst yet, I feel nothing for him!!!!"

It's worse when you don't feel that bond, and feel like you should. Then you get upset because you look at the puppy / dog and think you should love him, but your going through the motions of taking care of him not because you love him but because you swore to take care of him. You end up feeling horrible, like what kind of heartless person are you.

What a lot of people don't realize is that there's nothing wrong with not feeling love, or a bond, for the puppy / dog. It's new, and you do not know him. There's no real reason, except love at first sight, for you to feel some sort of instant love or bond. When you stick it out, and give it some time, then the bond happens, you come to love the puppy, and he steals your heart, slowly you can't imagine life without him and don't know what you'd do if he was gone.
 

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Puppy blues are very common" ????? That's a new one for me I guess.

I can appreciate that a new puppy for a first time owner can have it's challenges but that comes with the responsibility of raising a dog.

Feeling an "attachment" to a new pup isn't something that happens the moment one gets a new pup. The "attachment" is an earned privilege based on the care, commitment and effort put forth by the human and the dog will reciprocate in kind. It takes investment, plain and simple. It's not instant gratification for many, excepting those who are long range planners and thinkers.

Getting a pup is easy, anyone can do it. Creating a bond and having a well trained lifelong loyal companion that will warm your heart on your toughest days is earned. This is what makes the challenges and frustrations of puppyhood ( at times ) insignificant in the big picture.


Look beyond the moment and appreciate that the opportunity you have right now with this young pup, is in your hands as you are shaping the future today.
 

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I've had problems with the puppy blues too. So did my brother. I would say it's very common, yes.

You have this new responsibility. There's this need for everything to work out. You start to lose some sleep, begin to realize your life is changed.

Interestingly enough, when my parents brought home our two most recent additions I had no anxiety at all. They weren't my responsibility. Sure, since I'm still at home I help take care of them and I play with them, but I was free to develop a bond with them without worrying whether or not they'd be good dogs, whether or not they'd mesh with my life because it didn't matter. They didn't have to.

I had AWFUL puppy blues when I brought Chisum home. He had behavioral problems from the start and not just "normal" puppy stuff. Two years later and I am head over heels for him but it's very possible when I move he won't be able to come with me and I'm learning how to be okay with that. He'll have a home for life, regardless.

OP, it sounds like you have an amazing little puppy there. Have you considered taking her to puppy classes? Socialization is great and sometimes it's nice to hear from other people how awesome your pup is - you'll take it into perspective. I swear, my brother didn't like the dog he adopted until he brought her home and my family doted on her completely; then he realized she really was a pretty great dog.
 

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I had almost zero puppy blues with my Aussie. Other than a few very restless nights when I cried because I was so over-tired, I was overjoyed. So when I brought home my BC a year later, I figured it would be more of the same. Nooope. She was horrible to housebreak, chewed everything, and was an insane nipping machine. To make matters worse, she had hookworm, then giardia so she was just a little diarrhea machine. I cried every day and just wanted to take her back. It also didn't help my husband was gone all day, so when he got home from work he didn't know what my problem was. Looking back, getting her right before our wedding was probably a mistake...:p

We got over it though. They get a little older, hold their bladder better, get a longer attention span, start making puppy friends. Now I can't wait for my next puppy again. :p
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! Even just a few days later I'm starting to feel so much better. Both Ruby and I are getting into the swing of things and I'm already starting to feel more attached to her. Crossing my fingers that I continue to feel this way :)
 

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TOTALLY normal. I had it bad with my puppy and a few of the quoted posts from the past were actually mine ;) What I realized is that most of it came from the overwhelming feeling that I committed to this creature for 100% of their well-being for the next 15 years or so. As kids grow up, they get independent and more self-sifficiaent. Mine are 10 and 8 and get their own breakfast in the morning, do chores, entertain themselves, etc. Puppies grow from infants to then young kids and never outgrow the need for someone to walk, feed, train and care for them 100% of the time and that feeling overwhelmed me in the beginning (and still can occasionally). But I also realized that a lot of the feelings came from worrying about what "might" happen with the puppy (what if he wakes up several times tonight and I am exhausted tomorrow? What if he has an accident on the floor in the house and is never house trained? What if he never stops chasing my cats? What if can never have free range of the first floor?, etc.). Once I got a hold of those worries and realized that most of those things weren't going to be a reality, I felt better. I started working with a trainer and hearing him tell me how awesome Jasper is, and what a great job I have done with him so far really helped me feel better. It's sort of like when you are a new mom and you doubt yourself and then the pediatrician tells you at the visit that the baby is gaining weight like a champ and looks like you are doing a great job- it just feels good to have someone reassure you that all the effort, time and work is worth it. I remember when Jasper was 9 weeks old. We had had him for exactly one week and I was a MESS. It had rained non-stop since we brought him home and I was taking him out every 30-45 minutes to make sure he wouldn't have an accident in the house. My dad and mom were visiting and it was 5:00AM and we were up for the day and I was on the couch sobbing b/c I was exhausted and completely overwhelmed. I remember my dad just saying "you realize you will be OK and this will be a beloved family pet at some point right"? That helped me a little for some reason. It didn't happen overnight and truthfully weeks 9-12 were the worst for me. But the rain eventually stopped (after 14 straight days), the sun came out, Jasper stretched his going out to every 1-2 hours and things got better. He is 6 months old now and I honestly can't believe what a difference it is from only 4 months ago when we got him. He is so calm, a total family dog and I finally feel like I am happy we got him. There have been ups and downs, but the last time something "stressful" happened, I reminded myself that everything that had happened that had worried me in the past always got better and that helped. Hang in there. I know how hard it is, and I know some people just don;t get it and think you are crazy. But it IS normal, and it IS OK and it WILL get better :)
 

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I felt the exact same way when I got Enzo, my partner fell in love with him straight away & they bonded almost instantaneously, but with me it was a completely different situation. I understand that it can be a very overwhelming process, but I just kept being persistent and told myself that things would get better, he's just over 18 weeks now & don't get me wrong it's still very overwhelming at times but 100% better than it was at first. He's the first dog I've ever owned & as much as I felt I was prepared I suppose I didn't think about how much it was going to change my life. I contemplated getting rid of him & honestly I'm happy that we haven't because he's came on so much in the past 2 month and I know we'll keep getting better. You've just got to work together with your puppy so that you's both get on the right side of things. It will get better :)
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! Even just a few days later I'm starting to feel so much better. Both Ruby and I are getting into the swing of things and I'm already starting to feel more attached to her. Crossing my fingers that I continue to feel this way :)
It really takes several weeks, as their personality evolves, as they become more comfortable and you do too. Sounds pretty normal, and as Ruby and you establish daily routines, she will become part of the family and fit right in.
 

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Let's Help Others

When I got my first dog—a siberian husky puppy I named Nemy—I was completely overwhelmed. It was SO MUCH WORK!

I couldn't find any resources about others with a similar problem, so I actually ended up researching postpartum depression and how to cope. I used a lot of these strategies myself, as a way to build a relationship with my new dog.

Because I feel like this is a really underserved portion of being a new dog owner, I put up a basic website (Puppy Depression | Combatting the Puppy Blues) which I've paired with some insights and recommendations from my wife, who is a small animal veterinarian in the Chicago area—and who gives "new puppy talks" several times a week.

One thing that I really found helpful, though, was hearing from others who also experienced this—and knowing it gets better. To this effect, I'd love to share the stories of anyone who also was overwhelmed by their new dog and came to love it. If this describes you, I encourage you to send a write-up for puppydepression.com by visiting Share Your Story | Puppy Depression

Thanks for being such a great community, and I'm glad my website has been useful (at least for some of you!).
 
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