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Rehoming my dog, too much stress

1470 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Buzzu2
Hi everyone,

I just want to start out with some background information to better understand my situation.

So, I recently got out of the military under a medical, honorable discharge. I got out because I was unfit because of my mental health. I have major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, other reactions to severe stress/PTSD.

As I was getting out of the service, I started to think about finally getting myself a puppy. I used to have an American Eskimo (standard size) when I was a kid, but long story short. Dog ran out as my family was about to drive to my grandparents, mom didn't want us to chase our dog, dog chased our car and pretty never found our home again. It really sucked.

So, because of this experience I kept researching the breed. I know they are great companions, good watch dogs, and it's in their genes to bark and they can bark loud and excessively.

Because of this transition of my life of military service to veteran/civilian. I kept fantasizing of getting my american eskimo puppy (miniature size). I've been reflecting on my decision and I know I made my decision to buy my puppy from an emotional mindset (I fell in love of the idea of having my puppy).

As of now, I have been engaged with my health care team with the Veterans Affairs (VA) and I've been put on multiple medications to help me regulate my stress and anxiety/depression. Also, my puppy is now 8 months old and I've had him for about 6 months (I picked him up from the breeder when he was 9 weeks old).

Side note, before getting my puppy, I watched a lot of Zak George videos of inertia on YouTube. I also watched training with kikopup and how to train your dream dog.

Long story short, I was living In a studio apartment and my neighbor had a significant other who would harass/antagonize my puppy by always barking through the door, window, or our shared wall, since we were neighbors.

Basically, because my puppy is still a puppy who is still learning to socialize (long story short, Rimuru, my puppy didn't start socializing until 16 weeks. He got sick once and I was terrified of him getting parvo and dying on me). So, on top of him learning to socialize as a puppy, he is a watch dog who barks excessively.

Over time, I had a conversation with my neighbor, I tried empathizing with them about the barking, they told me they didn't mind it. They stop harassing us for a short period but ended up doing it again.

When my puppy would bark, he would bark under distress of trying to protect himself and me. I would become distress because Rimuru was under distress. I started becoming paranoid/anxious. I felt like multiple people are trying to antagonize my pup and I felt like I had a target on my back because Rimuru is an excessive Barker and he barks loud. (But it makes sense why he barks, but my emotional mind and anxiety is telling me I'm targeted).

I ended up getting hospitalized because of the harassment from my neighbor. It got bad to where I would just focused on Rimuru not barking (I wasn't working and I was recieving disability pay).

My training mindset was compromised and the stress would get me to get frustrated with Rimuru and my neighbor. After my hospitalization, I moved to another apartment (same apartment complex, but different side/unit).

I have good neighbors who understand about my dog's situation. However, I still feel stress with my Rimuru's barking, and sometimes I become overly stress from it or even if I take him out to the dog park, I become overly stressed (especially if I forget to take my medication).

I currently have him in doggy day care on Monday, Wednesdays and Friday's. I get him on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. He isn't neuter yet. Next week in May 6th, 2022 he will be.

However, whenever he is gone I feel relief and there was a time when he was with a foster parent because I got hospitalized a 2nd time and I also felt relief. He's suppose to be my service dog and his training is suppose to start when he's 1 year old (that's in August 23rd, his B-day).

But because of this stress that I still feel and the relief I also feel when he's gone. It makes me think that it would be better to rehome him via the breeder (the breeder is genuine of their care for her dogs/pups, she does dog shows).

I don't think I will necessary miss my puppy too. Sometimes I contemplate of. What if he was with someone who can actually appreciate his qualities or better meet his needs and train him better than I can? I feel like the breeder would be able to give him a good, loving home.

Side note, he was the calmest pup in his litter. I've been contemplating this for a month or two now. Its been helpful for me to write everything out. I'm really just looking for some support and constructive feedback.
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I feel for you, I have an 18 month old standard Eskie who was raised in an apartment. Adolescence is the hardest part - I felt like returning him a few times around 6-8 months. We worked through it, and at around a year old he calmed down a lot. The Eskie group I'm in says that they can be difficult puppies, but at around 2 they tend to mellow out. My pup wasn't very affectionate until around 9 months or so, his version of cuddling involved chewing on my hand when I tried to pet him, and everything in the world was more interesting than me. You've had some great advice from others already, just wanted to chime in as a fellow Eskie owner.

I've had somewhat success with barking by telling mine "Quiet" and immediately rewarding while he's not barking. He's starting to pick up on the word now, but it's definitely a process with these guys. Calming dog music can help with the anxiety, as well as drowning out some of the background noises of apartment life. iCalmDog on Spotify or Youtube has some good music specially designed for dogs. Also running a fan or air filter can be helpful.

One of the trainers I really like is Michael Ellis, look up his "food chase games" on YouTube. They're really useful for engaging the chase drive in my pup, who wasn't very food motivated at first. These games and playing with toys (he loves to tug and fetch) are something that really helped us bond.

This is my little terror floof:
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Picture frame Companion dog
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