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Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Dominic Bulpitt, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Hey, so long story short a little while ago I spoke to my parents about a dog to help my anxiety, depression and stress. So we tried to find the perfect one. We ended up getting a little Black Lab called Tobi. For the first two days he wasn’t very active and a little quiet. We are now one week in(we brought him home last Monday evening)... anyways here we are now he’s opened up fully.
    So the idea of Tobi was for him to be my dog, always going to be there for me. at least that was the hope when my parents and I looked at him.
    Let’s just say... I honestly think I was out of my league. Now this wasn’t our first dog. We also have a 8 year old Male dog... who is a little scared of the new pup. But we are slowly letting them get to see each other more.
    Anyways the reason I say I am out of my league is due to the fact, as Tobi is meant to be my dog I am the primary responsibility of him, in other words 99% I have to look after him, feed him, etc, etc. So recently he has began to teeth... a lot... on everything... even my clothes... skin... hair... everything. So my biggest question is how do I not get annoyed at him and shout at him without thinking, and how do I stop him biting cause he must be in pain surely?!
    Along with that do you think it’s unfair that my parents are putting all of this on me and not breaking the responsibilities 50 - 50... you have to remember I’m 17... I have college... I do have a life. Like I’m happy to put my life on hold for Tobi. But honestly this last week I must have had maybe 24 hours sleep? Maybe not even?

    Any comment is helpful
     
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  3. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Sorry for how long the thread is, hope it all makes sense
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    First up: You can do this, and it gets so, so much better. Hold on to that ;)

    I was in a similar position when we got our dog, but on the opposite side - my son was 17 and suffering with anxiety (general and social) and depression. The idea was that the dog would help him.... The dog turned out to be the pup from hell, plus my son realised that if you go out with a puppy people want to talk to you, which isn't great when you have social anxiety.

    However, beforehand my son said he was 80% sure he could cope with taking responsibility for Jasper and I agreed to take up the other 20%. So I ended up doing everything and basically, Jasper is mine.

    This was almost 10 years ago and I'm happy to say that my son got through his issues, now has a good job, lives with his fiancee and is getting married next year :)

    So - back to Tobi. Puppies can be overwhelming, and what you describe is absolutely normal. You can expect to be covered in scratches, and maybe bruises, for a while ('a while' is as long as a piece of string). Any form of 'correction', shouting, etc., won't help, but will simply arouse him more. Imagine shouting at a crying baby or a toddler having a tantrum... It really won't help. Being calm will.

    What you want to do is, every time he puts a tooth on you, make the fun stop. Walk away, detatching him from your ankle if needs be, and shut him the other side of a stairgate or similar (less scary for a dog than shutting the door on him). You only need to give him a 'timeout' of 5-10 seconds, then you can go back in. Yes, he'll go straight back to your ankles... remove yourself from him again. And again... and again... and again... Don't say anything at all, even just 'no'. Eventually, you should see him come at you with gaping jaws and then think twice. Now, the temptation might be too much and he might still latch on, but at least you've seen a glimmer that he's making a connection.

    Also, carry a toy with you at all times, and stuff it in his mouth whenever he has that look. Give him lots of alternative activities - wrap up tiny treats in bits of paper and put them in boxes, or put smaller boxes/bags with treats in in bigger boxes, in bigger boxes, and let him shred the lot.

    Like human children, even when he knows what you want him to do/not do, he won't have the self-control to stop himself. Check out a video called 'It's Yer Choice' on Youtube on impulse training.

    How to keep your temper? It's not easy. I was perimenopausal when Jasper was a puppy and I could have wrung his neck at times. I lot my temper several times. But to be fair, I lost my temper with all the family members back then many times! Now, for the first time since I was a teenager, my hormones allow me to have a zen-like calm month in, month out, and it is the most useful 'training tool' I have. To be able to keep a calm head when your dog is throwing a complete wobbly because he's seen a cat or because you won't let him drag you over to grab the discarded sandwich he's spotted is truly a blessing. I hope that reading this, knowing that your dog is normal and needs understanding and a calm attitude, will help you manage both him and your emotions. No, it won't be easy and you'll mess up at times, but don't beat yourself up when you do.

    As for whether your parents should do more... personally I think it would be best if they could give you a break from all this on occasion because you have a lot to cope with. Be honest with them, tell them you're struggling and just need a breathing space now and again. Tell them that this isn't failure on your part, it's you trying to prevent failure. If they still won't help, try to accept that they think that this is what they think is for the best - you don't want this to be something else to add to 'stuff to worry about'.

    Hope some of that helps:)
     
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  5. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Thank you for the helpful and detailed response. This has put my mind at ease, and I can’t wait to get home from college and put this into action right away.
    I hope to sit down with my parents and see if I can have a few hours break. Thank you so much for the reply. It has been a big help!
     
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  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yay! Do let us know how it goes - and if possible, we'd love to see photos of your pup:)
     
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  7. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    I’ll be sure to keep this updated ☺️

    Hope the pictures are clear enough.
     

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  8. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh, butter wouldn't melt...!

    One other thing I forgot. Wear your oldest, thickest clothes. Stock up at a charity shop if necessary, but only wear stuff that you don't mind getting torn, because it's not possible to stay calm when your dog is hanging off your new designer jeans! I wore a charity-shop denim jacket all through the summer the first year with Jasper - it was hot, but as well as protecting my arms (he would jump up and bite) it hid the bruises:D You could even wear clean wellies indoors.
     
  9. DixieD

    DixieD Member Registered

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    When we bring a dog into our family, we usually have a pup, to start with a clean slate, so to speak, although we have had adult rescues. Hugo, in the profile picture, was a rescue pup, But pups are very hard work, and quite exhausting. It is a big challenge for the puppy too, who has been separated from the environment it has been used to, and from its mum and siblings. The world is quite scary for it, in its new surroundings and relationships, and it is good if you can provide a consistency for it, where it can feel safe and secure, as dogs, even pups, pick up on emotions and energies very quickly.

    Although the following isn’t about a dog or puppy, I think it explains quite well how animals can feel, after major changes in their lives. We have a pony that spent her first five years on an island, with very little handling. People who knew her said what a sweet natured and placid pony she was. When she came to the mainland , she found the environment and being handled overwhelming, and she either wouldn’t move at all, keep turning you round in circles, or charge off dragging you with her. I felt quite intimidated I had to give up my plan of backing her for another couple of years, and do lots of groundwork and bonding with her. We clicker train, which she loves. I ensured she always had consistency and gentle interaction. We took everything in baby steps, and she got lots of verbal and food rewards for her efforts. Now, you can see her thinking “What can I do that might get me a reward”, and you use this keenness to teach lots of positive things. And she is, once again, the sweet natured, easygoing pony that everyone said she was.

    You do get through it, and, hopefully, with a stable, confidence inspiring evironment, you end up with a confident, friendly, stable dog! :)
     
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  10. DixieD

    DixieD Member Registered

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    He is lovely, he has such trusting eyes. ❤️❤️
     
  11. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Cant really add to this except to say people a lot older and wiser than yourself have had puppy blues including myself. Murphy chose me as chew toy of choice and I bled regularly as a result.
    It does pass..

    Pushing bounderies is also normal think about it how often did you perser your parents for something you wanted or stay out longer than they said or eat and extra biscuit or sweet even though they said no? Its normal for children and its normal for pups..
    As for responsibilty, you said the dog was going to be your dog and this exhaustion and end of the teather feeling you have.....thats what it costs . However, as JudyN has said it would be great if you could talk with your parents and maybe ask if they could babysit now and then to give you the chance to gather yourself and succeed in your responsibilty as a new parent... But you have to ask them in a reasoned and adult way not as a petulant child complaining about it all being too much..
     
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  12. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I would add that once he is old enough, try to get to a good training class. Even if you have had dogs before it's a great way of fine tuning your training skills, including timing which can make all the difference. If you can find one, the Dogs Trust classes are getting a great reputation.
     
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  13. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Thank you for everyone ones replies. I didn’t think I’d get this many replies haha! It has honestly been a good help and I’m going to put everything that people have mentioned into action ASAP. Thank you again.
     
  14. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    I notice that your puppies bed is in a cage / crate, with the door open, this can sometimes offer a place of security and comfort. Please lay an old blanket over the top, this can make the cage more "den like" and private.
    How much of his time is he actually shut up in the cage during a 24 hr period?

    For daily amusement when you are not around for him.
    Toys that are good for boredom busting that he can kill as much as he likes, are cardboard boxes and plastic bottles. They cost nothing and are easily replaced.
     
  15. DixieD

    DixieD Member Registered

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    My little dog loves his crate. He looks upon it as a place of sanctuary, and I always try to associate it with good things!
     
  16. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Just wanted to let you all know. So far just putting what I have been told into action. It’s slowly, very slowly. He is learning and have improvements
     
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  17. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's brilliant news :) Yes, it will take a long time, and you (as well as everyone else in the house) need to be very consistent. Expect him to regress a bit when he starts teething (give him loads of alternatives to chew), and also when he hits adolescence - like humans, that can give him a rush of blood to the head and even a bit of attitude ;-)
     
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  18. Dominic Bulpitt

    Dominic Bulpitt New Member Registered

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    Thank you all again. You’ve all been a big help!
     

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