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There's a bit of backstory here, so please read. Also, I've read a number of threads here and I see a trend from this community to blindly say "just keep the dog and get used to it" which I don't see as particularly useful given the nuances of individual situations. Please read my description before just blindly saying that we should keep our dog.

In my household are two adults and my 7yo daughter. We have a large (3400 sqft) house and a reasonably sized fenced yard for where we live (~1/8 of an acre).

I had several dogs growing up -- one was a cocker spaniel who was my best buddy and later a german shepherd. My wife never had dogs -- only cats. Since we've been married (10 years) we had a pair of cats but no other pets. We have toyed with the idea of adopting a dog before but knew that one of our cats would have a problem with it so we waited until after he died to seriously consider it. He died in early January. My wife's general disposition ran from ambivalent about a dog to not wanting one. I was very eager to adopt a dog and have one in my life again.

Early last week we saw a 3mo lab come up for adoption at our local humane society. We went to visit him and my wife was smitten at once. I was on the fence but didn't consider anything "negative" about him. He's a very sweet dog with no negative backstory that we have to undo. He has also taken very rapidly to training in the crate as well as commands.

the problem has turned out to be me. I guess in my 10 years of being a cat owner my internal politics have shifted without me being aware of it. I am no longer as tolerant as I used to be (or ought to be for a puppy) and I don't appear to have the patience to do *PROPER* puppy training and housebreaking. I admit that this is a personal thing and is not reflective of the puppy at all.

I am finding myself stressed out all the time about all of the work that is involved and the amount of patience I need in order to be a proper dog parent. Quite honestly, I don't feel like I want to put in the work.

I want to do right by this dog. He is a young puppy and deserves a loving carefree life with a family that adores him -- something that I personally don't feel like I'm capable of giving to him. I am wracked with self-loathing and guilt for feeling this way -- like I'm a despicable human being for not being a "dog person" anymore.

I would like to return him to our local humane society before he gets too attached to us so that he can find a proper forever home. My wife is still totally taken with the dog and is doing everything she can to convince me that he should stay.

Like I stated above, I admit fully that this is a personal problem. I really thought that I was ready to have a dog in my life again. I was totally unaware of how things had changed in my head/personality until he was at home with us. I wasn't even aware of these feelings when we met with him at the shelter.

Given our situation, I'd appreciate some *thoughtful* commentary on this. My hope is that by starting this conversation in this way other dog parents will see my description and identify with it and not feel so isolated (like I do currently). Perhaps with some insight from this community I (and future readers as well) will be able to make some sense of it all.
 

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So first off, If you spent any real time on this forum you would realize that the people here want what's best for the dog. Usually, because of the amount of dogs in shelters that get surrendered because they are not cute puppies anymore or never get trained because most people don't understand the work that's involved in a dog, it's advised that the people that can care for a dog honor their initial commitment and make life with the pup work. To come on to a form and ask for some advice/help/discussion and bash everyone before even getting on here rubs me the wrong way.

On to the reason you're here. Puppies are a lot of work, and putting in that work will get you a well adjusted calm dog and relationship dog that in a couple years you'll be glad you stuck with. I would suggest taking 1 month putting in the work and seeing how you feel after that. There is a fairly large adjustment period for both dog and owner. A lot of what you're feeling might be the 'puppy blues' or it might just be the way you're always going to feel. But in my opinion to do what's best for the dog you need to give this a fair shake. Commit to the pup for a while and then reevaluate.
 

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I agree, it sounds like puppy blues. There's a subforum here with posts on the topic - that's how prevalent it is.

Have you considered taking a puppy class? It will be good for socialization and having a training support system may take some of the burden off of you.
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Well, I definitely think you're not alone, everyone experiences some form of puppy-blues, so you're not alone. My Aussie was a year old when I got my BC puppy, and I thought I was well prepared for a puppy, but Heidi completely floored me, and I was way less patient than I thought I would be.
I understand they are a ton of work, and I also understand feeling overwhelmed by it. How is the workload split between your wife and you currently? Could she and your daughter take over the majority?
Personally my husband does not have the patience to deal with puppy antics. He doesn't get how long it takes to potty train, or chewing on stuff they shouldn't, or most importantly how they have to be watched ALL THE TIME. As a result, he does very little with the puppies until they are older. Don't get me wrong, he plays with them, and loves them, but I do almost all the training, house-breaking, etc. Once they get out of their terrible stage, he enjoys them so much more.

With all that in mind, he still wants the dog and can't imagine not having it. Could you imagine your life with the puppy as a wonderful adolescent dog?
 
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So first off, If you spent any real time on this forum you would realize that the people here want what's best for the dog. Usually, because of the amount of dogs in shelters that get surrendered because they are not cute puppies anymore or never get trained because most people don't understand the work that's involved in a dog, it's advised that the people that can care for a dog honor their initial commitment and make life with the pup work. To come on to a form and ask for some advice/help/discussion and bash everyone before even getting on here rubs me the wrong way.
This goes entirely to my point. I read a LOT of threads about this before deciding to register and post my own. From what I've read, almost 100% of the time the first response is exactly like this one -- keep the dog for a while and "get used to it." To me, that sounds counter to the message that you're trying to convey about "what's best for the dog." If the human doesn't want the dog around then how is keeping the dog around in the best interests of the dog? Why don't you advocate for assisting in finding a more suitable situation?

I understand what you're saying about giving it more time but in that time I see him getting so attached to our family that it would be detrimental to him (and my wife) to take him back (at that point). Also, he'll be older which would also reduce the likelihood of him being adopted back out. From your post (and all of the other similar ones) all I hear is a lecture about how I *should* be feeling rather than actual acknowledgement of my point of view.

I saw the sub-thread about puppy blues and while there may be some small component of that I don't think it's the entire picture. I cannot look forward in my imagination and see myself being happy with a dog around (like I initially thought I would) of any age. As I posted above, I admit fully that this is a human issue and not a canine one. I don't blame him for anything -- he just does his best to be cute and take instruction. I just want to make sure I give him the best chance at finding the home I don't think I can provide for him.

My wife is being a champ and she's taken on the majority of the work. She's doing most of the training and socialization work and we're splitting the middle-of-the-night potty breaks such that she takes the "rough" ones in the middle of the night so that I can get a lot of sleep. Like I said, she's doing everything "right" to convince me to keep him. I just don't feel attached to canines as I used to.

Quite honestly, I don't even think I'd want to bring home a beta fish as a pet.
 

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@sveticus - Do you think you could give it a little while longer to see? A week isn't a huge length of time, and they do kind of turn your whole life upside down. I also wonder if maybe you if you took on some of the work would you feel more of a connection?
I know you don't want this guy to get too attached if you do decide to re-home him, and I don't want you to think we're trying to force you into keeping this dog, I just want you to be sure. It would be heartbreaking to see him go only to realize you miss him.
 
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This goes entirely to my point. I read a LOT of threads about this before deciding to register and post my own. From what I've read, almost 100% of the time the first response is exactly like this one -- keep the dog for a while and "get used to it." To me, that sounds counter to the message that you're trying to convey about "what's best for the dog." If the human doesn't want the dog around then how is keeping the dog around in the best interests of the dog? Why don't you advocate for assisting in finding a more suitable situation?

I understand what you're saying about giving it more time but in that time I see him getting so attached to our family that it would be detrimental to him (and my wife) to take him back (at that point). Also, he'll be older which would also reduce the likelihood of him being adopted back out. From your post (and all of the other similar ones) all I hear is a lecture about how I *should* be feeling rather than actual acknowledgement of my point of view.

I saw the sub-thread about puppy blues and while there may be some small component of that I don't think it's the entire picture. I cannot look forward in my imagination and see myself being happy with a dog around (like I initially thought I would) of any age. As I posted above, I admit fully that this is a human issue and not a canine one. I don't blame him for anything -- he just does his best to be cute and take instruction. I just want to make sure I give him the best chance at finding the home I don't think I can provide for him.

My wife is being a champ and she's taken on the majority of the work. She's doing most of the training and socialization work and we're splitting the middle-of-the-night potty breaks such that she takes the "rough" ones in the middle of the night so that I can get a lot of sleep. Like I said, she's doing everything "right" to convince me to keep him. I just don't feel attached to canines as I used to.

Quite honestly, I don't even think I'd want to bring home a beta fish as a pet.
If that's how you honestly feel, then to me it sounds like you've already made up your mind.

What I was trying to get across is that it takes time for both the pup and your life to settle. Yes, you are creating more attachment by keeping the pup and giving it a trial period. Yes, it will be tougher to let the pup go in 1 month. That's kind of the point. Attachment isn't something that just happens, it takes time on both sides.

In terms of finding the pup a good home, a 4 month old puppy isn't going to be any less 'adoptable' than a 3 month old puppy. So I personally see no harm in giving the dog an honest effort for 1 month, and then seeing if you still feel the same way.

The reason most of us say to stick with it, is because we've all been through it. It's a big change and a lot of responsibility, and most of the time when you stick it through it works out best for the person and pup. Sometimes it doesn't and it's best to rehome. It might seem like I'm discounting your view but I'm not, I'm giving you my opinion on what I think would work for both you and the pup going forward. Will your feelings change? maybe, maybe not. What I can say is that countless people come here with the same worries and fears and 90% of the time keeping the pup is what's best.

Additionally, the pup currently gets food, companionship, a warm place to sleep and roughly a million other bonus living with a family that he won't get in a shelter. That's why I'm saying it's no harm to him staying with you for a few weeks.
 

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Hello, self confessed Cat Person here. I love cats, self-cleaning, intelligent, affectionate, beautiful, soft, and they PURR!!!! Love em.
Dogs, on the other hand, bark and bounce and lunge and you have to bend over and pick up their poop in public no matter who is watching you. Ugh! AND, if it rains, they get dirty and muddy and then want in the house. Not a dog person.
But I love my dog, and all my previous dogs. I deliberately have never raised a puppy, but....
I'm with the others about 'give it a month or two', and here's why.
I too freak, just freak (and am freaking) whenever a new dog comes into my home. All those things they do or might do, all the watching, training, work, etc. etc. but it's happened enough that at least I know it's temporary, and things will settle, and I will settle and all is good.
2. Sounds like your wife is on board to do all that annoying puppy stuff. Yay!
3. Back to being not a dog person, I will make a yuck face if someone elses dog comes up to me, jumps on me, or ugh, drools (I'll run from drool) so, nope, I'm not a dog person, but MY DOGS are stars.
About giving it time: if you can just manage to not upset your pup, or interfere with your wife's training, an older 'started' (half-trained socialized) puppy is a plus. People like me look for 'started puppies' and I was the happy recipient of one such beast (lovely dearly missed Dynamo was a 6 month started puppy). At nine months I nearly gave her away (cat aggression) and I had 3 serious phone calls (in the pre-internet days) in 3 days from posting a flyer at the vets and petstore. So, yep, a nice started puppy is in demand. So waiting will not diminish his chances of finding a good home if he's being treated right and trained (it would be much like what fosters do).
So, maybe chill for a bit. If your wife is willing, take a back seat, see what happens.

Now, what's best for this dog: if your wife IS willing, she continues taking care of HER puppy. You leave the puppy alone (at worst) or pitch when you are cheerfully able. Do not take the puppy back to the pound, not ever.
If you never 'warm up' to having a dog and want to rehome, you and your wife keep the pup and look for a new home. Dogs that have a good start, like yours, can move from one good home to another without too much upset, in the same way that folks can leave their dogs with friends or at a socialized kennel for a few weeks and come back to a happy sane dog that is happy to see them.
 

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@Shandula, @Thisisme19 :

Your two most recent responses are probably the most thoughtful and balanced that I've seen in any of the many tens of threads I've seen on this forum (and others) about this topic. So, "Thank You!"

I wish that all initial responses to these kinds of threads were so balanced rather than immediately launching into scolding of the dog parent for even considering re-homing. It's a shameful thing to adopt a pet and then realize you made a mistake. It reinforces that shame for strangers on the Internet to judge you and make you feel bad about it in their first response to your story.

I guess the overall point that I was trying to make by sharing my story and starting this thread is that not everyone who feels that it's not a good fit and that they should re-home the dog was unthoughtful, negligent, or ill-prepared before hand. I don't think adopters who find themselves feeling this way are "bad people." Not everyone is cut out to be a dog people and some people change over time. This seems to be the case with me....

Some, like me, were really eager and believed with all of their heart and mind that they were prepared only for the reality to be much different. I wonder how many people with these feelings got the advice of "stick it out" and did so only to find that months or years later they still resent the dog. Perhaps this thread will give people an avenue to share those kinds of feelings honestly.
 

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@Shandula, @Thisisme19 :

Your two most recent responses are probably the most thoughtful and balanced that I've seen in any of the many tens of threads I've seen on this forum (and others) about this topic. So, "Thank You!"

I wish that all initial responses to these kinds of threads were so balanced rather than immediately launching into scolding of the dog parent for even considering re-homing. It's a shameful thing to adopt a pet and then realize you made a mistake. It reinforces that shame for strangers on the Internet to judge you and make you feel bad about it in their first response to your story.

I guess the overall point that I was trying to make by sharing my story and starting this thread is that not everyone who feels that it's not a good fit and that they should re-home the dog was unthoughtful, negligent, or ill-prepared before hand. I don't think adopters who find themselves feeling this way are "bad people." Not everyone is cut out to be a dog people and some people change over time. This seems to be the case with me....

Some, like me, were really eager and believed with all of their heart and mind that they were prepared only for the reality to be much different. I wonder how many people with these feelings got the advice of "stick it out" and did so only to find that months or years later they still resent the dog. Perhaps this thread will give people an avenue to share those kinds of feelings honestly.
Unfortunately I'm not sure people who tried the whole dog thing and ended up not being dog people, or rehoming for whatever reason are going to frequent a forum about dogs. :) You will find some people around here that had dogs that weren't good fits and ended up rehoming, but any of the ones I can think of currently have pups that they adore....
 

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Hello, self confessed Cat Person here. I love cats, self-cleaning, intelligent, affectionate, beautiful, soft, and they PURR!!!! Love em.
Dogs, on the other hand, bark and bounce and lunge and you have to bend over and pick up their poop in public no matter who is watching you. Ugh! AND, if it rains, they get dirty and muddy and then want in the house. Not a dog person.
But I love my dog, and all my previous dogs. I deliberately have never raised a puppy, but....
I'm with the others about 'give it a month or two', and here's why.
I too freak, just freak (and am freaking) whenever a new dog comes into my home. All those things they do or might do, all the watching, training, work, etc. etc. but it's happened enough that at least I know it's temporary, and things will settle, and I will settle and all is good.
2. Sounds like your wife is on board to do all that annoying puppy stuff. Yay!
3. Back to being not a dog person, I will make a yuck face if someone elses dog comes up to me, jumps on me, or ugh, drools (I'll run from drool) so, nope, I'm not a dog person, but MY DOGS are stars.
About giving it time: if you can just manage to not upset your pup, or interfere with your wife's training, an older 'started' (half-trained socialized) puppy is a plus. People like me look for 'started puppies' and I was the happy recipient of one such beast (lovely dearly missed Dynamo was a 6 month started puppy). At nine months I nearly gave her away (cat aggression) and I had 3 serious phone calls (in the pre-internet days) in 3 days from posting a flyer at the vets and petstore. So, yep, a nice started puppy is in demand. So waiting will not diminish his chances of finding a good home if he's being treated right and trained (it would be much like what fosters do).
So, maybe chill for a bit. If your wife is willing, take a back seat, see what happens.

Now, what's best for this dog: if your wife IS willing, she continues taking care of HER puppy. You leave the puppy alone (at worst) or pitch when you are cheerfully able. Do not take the puppy back to the pound, not ever.
If you never 'warm up' to having a dog and want to rehome, you and your wife keep the pup and look for a new home. Dogs that have a good start, like yours, can move from one good home to another without too much upset, in the same way that folks can leave their dogs with friends or at a socialized kennel for a few weeks and come back to a happy sane dog that is happy to see them.
Thank you for another thoughtful and balanced post on this topic. I will discuss this approach with my wife this evening. I don't know if it will take me off edge but it might.

On the topic of "started puppies," what is the best way to find a new home for someone who would like a started puppy. I think I understand the opinion and concerns about NOT taking him back to the shelter but how do I make sure that he's going to go to a loving home other than just gut feeling? I guess I was assuming that back taking him back to the humane society that they have ways of doing that (we had to do a background check) that I just cannot do as a private citizen.
 

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@sveticus - There are a couple users on here that have recently rehomed a dog. One was an English Bulldog puppy that just wasn't a good fit.

Ultimately, it's a choice only you can make, and in conjunction with your wife. I wish you luck, it's not an easy choice to have to make.
 
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Thank you for another thoughtful and balanced post on this topic. I will discuss this approach with my wife this evening. I don't know if it will take me off edge but it might.

On the topic of "started puppies," what is the best way to find a new home for someone who would like a started puppy. I think I understand the opinion and concerns about NOT taking him back to the shelter but how do I make sure that he's going to go to a loving home other than just gut feeling? I guess I was assuming that back taking him back to the humane society that they have ways of doing that (we had to do a background check) that I just cannot do as a private citizen.
That's a good question but I think money speaks volumes. I am far from rich (actually, below average income) but paid quite a bit to take in two adult neutured siamese cats. I was thrilled to bits, and the owners were probably pretty sure we really wanted them if we were willing to fork over that kind of cash.
Check out kajiji or rescue organizations and see how much they charge for similar animals. Price yours somewhere between the humane societies and rescue organizations (where I live rescues charge between $250 to $500 for a dog in demand (no issues, young, looks nice, and neutered and up to date shots)). Of course, have adopters visit. They should be asking lots of questions, and they should want to visit the dog in your home, and want to walk your dog, and if you really want to do your stuff, you want to visit with the dog in their home. With all that contact, 'gut feeling' becomes something based on heaps of canine and human body language and expression.
I actually met one of Dynamo's wannabe owners (by accident in a park after I'd changed my mind) and she was really nice and had a happy elderly dog at her side. I felt bad for disappointing her. Somehow having other people want Dynamo made me extra determined to make things work out.
...and, the puppy stage is temporary, and then they are young and rambunctious (and make great fitness trainers), and then they get old and are just like cats, happy to see you and be with you, but needing nothing but food and company.
I'm posting here, because, when Dynamo passed on, I almost didn't want another dog so I kinda sympathize too. I was fully aware that an old dog was indeed like an extra large cat, and a young dog would be something else entirely, and yes, I'm kinda, well, having some mental adjustment issues right now. The difference from you, though, is, I'm ecstatic about my new addition, not indifferent, but feel all anxious and worried and overwhelmed all the same.
Still, you do have time to decide (from a dog welfare point of view). It is the humans who will get emotionally tangled up.
All the best,
 

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If it's helpful, check out a thread I posted when I got my most recent dog:
http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/so-stressed-about-my-new-puppy-153626/


I've always had puppy blues when bringing home a new pup, but had never had it so bad. My youngest, Chisum, had some serious behavioral challenges from day one and has improved in some areas but we're still working on others.

I have found that when you're in the thick of feeling upset about something it can be hard to envision feeling any other way. Sometimes it can go the other way too - when you're happy it can be hard to remember a time when you felt sad or stressed.

There's nothing wrong with feeling upset about the puppy, it's normal. Your life has been completely changed. I really do think that if you're able to get into a puppy class some of the overwhelming feelings will go away. It really does help to have someone knowledgeable to ask if things feel wonky.

I do agree that a 4 month old puppy won't be any harder to rehome, and I think you'd be wise to stick it out another month. Maybe in a month you'll feel much the same way and at that point there's nothing wrong with rehoming. But it's actually more likely that you'll have bonded with your pup and won't be able to imagine life without him.

For the record, there's nothing wrong with rehoming if a dog really is a bad fit or it's a bad situation, but it's really not a good idea to make a major decision when you're feeling stressed - that doesn't just go for dogs. You clearly did research and thought this addition out carefully, so have a little faith in the you of a couple of weeks ago. :)
 

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I think the reason why people often say to give it a try longer with a new pet is because initially the shock is quite strong and once things settle and a new routine starts with the new pet, the person feels capable and willing to share their lives with their chosen pet. If we were to raise our arms up and give up too quickly on a regular basis with anything that stresses us out initially, I would imagine we would be quite miserable with nothing to enhance our lives in the long run. When things get tough in a relationship, usually we try to make things work and after time if it doesn't work, then we end things, but only after giving it a fair shot. I guess we try to do the same with our pets. We give it a fair try, then have an educated opinion on whether things will work or not. It would be sad to see a person regret giving up too soon and feeling worse afterwards. Or it could be the total opposite, by giving it a try for at least a month will give you a better indication of how you really feel in the long run.

I can understand your concern with not wanting the puppy to become too attached to you and your family before being rehomed. All I can say to that is that dogs, and more so puppies, are very resilient and adaptable. I am sure he will be able to readjust just fine with a new family. I say this through experience through my own dogs who some were gotten as adults, as well as the many fosters of various ages that I have had here over the years.

In terms of rehoming if that is the avenue you wish to pursue, perhaps contacting a rescue to foster him or to courtesy post and help screen potential homes could be an option instead of sending him back into a shelter environment.

Do you think that maybe you are still grieving your cats passing? Maybe it's too soon for you to let another pet into your heart after loosing your cat. I know some people take longer to grieve than others. My other half takes much longer as opposed to me who is always looking for many things to love in unison, even during the heartbreak of loosing a pet companion.
 

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Do you think that maybe you are still grieving your cats passing? Maybe it's too soon for you to let another pet into your heart after loosing your cat. I know some people take longer to grieve than others. My other half takes much longer as opposed to me who is always looking for many things to love in unison, even during the heartbreak of loosing a pet companion.
this is possible. I have thought a little bit about it but I keep coming back to tangible things that I am finding myself uncomfortable with rather than sentimental ones.
 

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this is possible. I have thought a little bit about it but I keep coming back to tangible things that I am finding myself uncomfortable with rather than sentimental ones.
What sort of tangible things make you uncomfortable? Maybe we can help.
 

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What sort of tangible things make you uncomfortable? Maybe we can help.
I'm being very honest here and many of these things will probably make me seem vain or self-absorbed. Again, I'm learning a lot about myself that I was previously unaware of.

I don't like having the crate around for training. I don't like poop patrol in my yard or on walks. I don't like all of the extra chew toys and dog beds. I don't like needing to constantly monitor for accidents. I don't like that I need to install a larger pet door for him to use while we're away. I don't like that I need to escape-proof the fence of my yard. I don't like smelling like dog. I don't like needing to wash my hands every time he licks me. I don't like barking. I don't like that I can no longer just put out some food and go away on a day trip (like I can with my cat).

Most of those things I was even already aware of BEFORE we adopted him. I knew about them and thought I was prepared for them. Then, the reality set in and I apparently was NOT prepared for them. Again, a human defect not a canine one.
 

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I'm being very honest here and many of these things will probably make me seem vain or self-absorbed. Again, I'm learning a lot about myself that I was previously unaware of.

I don't like having the crate around for training. I don't like poop patrol in my yard or on walks. I don't like all of the extra chew toys and dog beds. I don't like needing to constantly monitor for accidents. I don't like that I need to install a larger pet door for him to use while we're away. I don't like that I need to escape-proof the fence of my yard. I don't like smelling like dog. I don't like needing to wash my hands every time he licks me. I don't like barking. I don't like that I can no longer just put out some food and go away on a day trip (like I can with my cat).

Most of those things I was even already aware of BEFORE we adopted him. I knew about them and thought I was prepared for them. Then, the reality set in and I apparently was NOT prepared for them. Again, a human defect not a canine one.
Refreshingly honest. Don't worry about it. It still does really sound like it could be 'new puppy blues'. Most of it is temporary anyway, you get it done, and it's done. The puppy grows up and it's over. You find an alternative for day trips (pay for dog boarding or drop him off with a friend) and do your thing.

You sound a lot like me in my secret moments. I have these thoughts, and they go round and round. I mean I just about panicked about one of my favourite outings, bike touring the city and swim at the beach (not a dog friendly activity) until I realized I do this max 4 times a year, and if I still want to, we drop said dog off for boarding that day.
Of course, if you're still feeling all of this in a month or two, then, yep, think of it as fostering and find a home for him. People foster dogs all the time to get them into a better situation so I don't see how rehoming him after a month of care would be worse than that.
But there is something about the over-whelmingness (okay, not a proper word) of things you don't like that make it seem quite possible that it's a reaction to change in life, rather than actually disliking dogs (I'm just going by me, and the things I start thinking/worrying about/ when I go through a change--very very familiar pattern for me). So I'm still going with 'the hang in there crowd'.
 

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I'm being very honest here and many of these things will probably make me seem vain or self-absorbed. Again, I'm learning a lot about myself that I was previously unaware of.

I don't like having the crate around for training. I don't like poop patrol in my yard or on walks. I don't like all of the extra chew toys and dog beds. I don't like needing to constantly monitor for accidents. I don't like that I need to install a larger pet door for him to use while we're away. I don't like that I need to escape-proof the fence of my yard. I don't like smelling like dog. I don't like needing to wash my hands every time he licks me. I don't like barking. I don't like that I can no longer just put out some food and go away on a day trip (like I can with my cat).

Most of those things I was even already aware of BEFORE we adopted him. I knew about them and thought I was prepared for them. Then, the reality set in and I apparently was NOT prepared for them. Again, a human defect not a canine one.
The loss of freedom was a big thing for me after getting my pup. For a few days I thought my social life was over and I'd never be able to do anything outside of the house again. Now while he does sometimes prevent me from doing some things, it's not the imposition I once thought it would be. It takes a bit more forethought and planning that before but I still do many of the things I did before getting a pup. For stuff like day trips, you can get an on demand dog walker that can come and let the pup out, and feed them while your away. Neighbors or family members can also help with this.
 
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