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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying that I've always loved dogs and wanted to have as much interaction with them as possible in my daily life. I have a 3 year old Springer Spaniel. As a puppy, he was very challenging, but I've loved him from the start. Everyone complements me on how well taken care of he is. I'm extremely committed to him. I walk him two hours each day and he is raw fed. We also attend weekly rally obedience classes, which he really enjoys. We even competed a couple of times, and won first place.

I've always hoped to one day get a second dog, and 3.5 months ago I purchased a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder. I've been regretting it since about the 3rd day.

The new puppy has been through puppy classes and was at the top of his class, and we have already attended a couple of rally obedience classes. I also take him to weekly puppy play sessions. I try my best, and I really don't know what it is about him, but I just feel alienated from him; he irritates me no matter what he does. Nearly every single day I want to drive him back to the breeder, and sometimes I get so frustrated I want to send both my dogs back (but not really my Springer). Overall, I would rate the Aussie less challenging as a puppy than my Springer was. I really don't know why I can't get attached to him. Has anyone experienced this? When will it get better? We are past the typical puppy blues stage. I don't want to be unhappy during his entire life. I also believe it is unfair for him to live in a house where he isn't loved. I treat him well, but I think he can sense how I truly feel about him.

I think a lot of my frustration comes from the fact that my Springer is still holding the addition of this puppy against me. He acts up, he's back to some of his old puppy behaviours, and that doesn't help the situation. I give him a lot of one on one attention and walks, but whenever the puppy is around he seems less upbeat.. This isn't surprising considering how mean the puppy is. I'm convinced he is evil. My Springer doesn't really correct him. I consistently scold the pup, try to redirect, remove him, but he is so persistent he hasn't been improving.

The puppy is also obsessed with food, and acts like a vacuum cleaner when I walk him. He puts literally everything in his way in his mouth and eats most of it - grass, sand, bunny droppings, leaves, sticks, paper, fur, his own poop, cardboard, strings, etc. He throws up once every other week; I'm surprised it's not more frequent. I've tried multiple techniques, including teaching 'drop it', spraying poop with deterrents, using 'Forbid', teaching not to eat food unless specifically handed... nothing helped. We walk out the door and there he goes picking up every single thing on the way. Puppies 3 months old do this, but he is 5.5 months now. He poops so much because of all the eating, sometimes I feel like all I do is pick up. I feel like I'm a slave to these dogs now and it's draining... Having one dog was so great... having 2 is none of the fun. I don't know what the right decision is here... If it doesn't get better, I wouldn't want to remain in this situation. I've always thought it would be irresponsible to give up on a dog, and I don't want to lose control over his fate, that's why I'm still "fighting" this.

Any insight or similar experiences would be appreciated.
 

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I try my best, and I really don't know what it is about him, but I just feel alienated from him; he irritates me no matter what he does. Nearly every single day I want to drive him back to the breeder
He deserves a good home where he is loved.
Could you work through his issues? Yes. (With help) Will a lot of the problems go away as he moves through and out of puppyhood? Yes.
But if you are truly miserable, take him back to the breeder while he still has his puppy cuteness.
 

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I agree, if you are going to take him back, take him while he is still young for the best shot at rehoming.
3.5 months is a decent amount of time and if it's still not working for you, he might be better off in a different home
 

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Figured I'd provide an update... I can't bring myself to take him back, even though it would make everything so much easier. I spoke to a dog trainer and she suggested increasing the level of stimulation he receives on a daily basis in order to reduce negative behaviours. This past week I've been walking him for longer, training him more, and providing more long-lasting chews. I'm also looking into dog-daycare. Can't say there is really any improvement yet, but hopefully with time.
 

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I think that daycare would be a great idea. You need the respite from him, and he needs to go to a place where everybody is ga-ga for him. Dogs have an immense talent for reading human emotions, even when we try to hide them. I don't doubt that this puppy is subtly pursued by the feeling that he makes mom angry, stressed and impatient. I made the mistake of adopting an extremely sensitive dog days before a brutal breakup and during a month where I was busier than ever with work. For her first month with me I was constantly teetering on the verge of coming apart at the seams. I can't say that I ever regretted getting her, but I was constantly stressing over her fears, running around like a maniac with work and grieving my dead relationship with my girlfriend. There were definitely times when I didn't notice that I had dragged her too far into an uncomfortable situation, or just didn't have time to give her the patience she needed. I don't doubt that her first month in her new home was rocky, and made adjusting tough. I was in a constant state of anxiety, frustration and loss.

While dogs can't process emotions like jealousy, I'm sure that your Springer is going a bit off the rails now with only half of the attention he used to get. It's likely that the puppy is reminding him how fun it is to get into mischief.

Give daycare a whirl. Take care of yourself and your other dog. Capitalize on the times that your MAS comes home all pooped out to work on training and impulse control. You can do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Kelly :)
I just got the number of a more reasonably priced daycare so will be calling them tomorrow. If that doesn't work out I'll probably just have a dog walker come for longer. Can't wait for him to be 2 years old!
 

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Thank you Kelly :)
I just got the number of a more reasonably priced daycare so will be calling them tomorrow. If that doesn't work out I'll probably just have a dog walker come for longer. Can't wait for him to be 2 years old!
Hey. There is a reason that, after working with dogs for a few years, I knew I didn't want to get a puppy. LOL. I'd rather get paid to play with them. They are a handful... Two hands full. Give me a mature basket case with a dozen issues to solve any day over a puppy to housebreak :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep, I'm kicking myself for not getting an adult dog instead of a puppy. An adult would have been easier to evaluate for compatibility with my Springer!
 

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Here’s an update, for those struggling with the same experience. This puppy just turned 2 years old a couple of days ago and of course I never actually returned him. I love him to pieces now, but it took a while to get here. I’d say that I started loving him when he was about 7 or 8 months old, so 5 or 6 months after I got him. He still has minor traces of all his previous issues, but not a big deal. He’s the biggest love bug in the world and anyone who meets him wants to take him home! He has an obedience title and won first place, passed his herding instinct test, and now we’re training in agility (he’s really good at it!).
I’m not saying that keeping a puppy that doesn’t seem to fit at first is always the right choice, but it definitely can be! It can take longer for some than others to get attached to the new pup.
 
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