The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join and Discover the Best Things to do with your Dog

Welcome to Our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Not sure if I'm looking for help or just reassurance

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Jim_T, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. Jim_T

    Jim_T New Member Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    This is going to be long. Here's the TL;DR version.
    Wife and I have wanted a dog. Her first, my first alone but I've grown up with them. We adopted from a shelter earlier this year. Very scared one year old. Wife couldn't cope. Dog was returned. My heart broke.
    Several months later a colleague of my wife's tells us her family dog has been mated with another, puppies are expected at the start of summer holidays. Wife pushes me to think about it. Says she's in a much better space and we'll have time over summer. Reluctantly at first I agree but fall in love with the photos.
    Puppy has been with us now for 10 days. Wife hasn't stopped crying since day 4. Neither of us have slept. Both have puppy blues. Crate training is a disaster.


    Long version - thanks for your patience!
    So in march this year we endured a 5 week 'test' at a horrible shelter here in Germany before being 'allowed' to rescue a very scared, 1 year old. She was lovely, was learning quickly, but the whole experience overwhelmed my wife totally and in tears she apologised and said she couldn't do it and we returned the shelter dog after 4 days.

    That broke my heart but my wife is priority number one and if we weren't going to do this as a team, we weren't going to do it at all. Several months later a colleague of hers announces her family dog (the most wonderful dog in the world) has been mated with another dog and the puppies would be ready to bring home by the start of the summer vacation (we're both teachers). Wife is convinced without the stress of the animal shelter and bringing a dog who's past traumas we know nothing of home with us, that she'll be better. She's processed things, is in a much better space, already has glowing reports on the temperament of one parent and the other also sounds lovely...and the timing is perfect. We have the whole summer to devote to the pup without worrying about work schedules.

    I was initially hesitant because I didn't want to risk losing another dog, but her arguments were persuasive. We'd know the puppy from the beginning, we had time, we could bond much better with it...so, ok. I'd love a dog.

    We both had a lot of work stress in the weeks leading to pickup and then four days out the breeder swapped pups on us - giving us the one she was planning to keep and keeping the one we'd chosen instead. That was annoying but no worries - all pups are beautiful.

    It's day 11 now. Pup is beautiful but my wife is looking more and more depressed each day. She's completely overwhelmed and out of her element (she likes to have control over the situation and as much as she understands this isn't always going to be easy with a pup, reality is hitting hard). She read books, listened to podcasts, spoke to people...and nothing is what we have here.

    And we don't have a bad pup. She's gorgeous, but she's a pup. She's biting. She follows us everywhere. She gets very wound up.... all these things are improving quickly but my wife says she has no feeling for her at all. We're both exhausted and have had very little sleep since she got back.

    I'm not sure how it is elsewhere, but here in germany, crate or box training is the be all and end all. And it makes sense. We want to go on holidays together and she'll need a box. There'll be days where she'll be alone for a couple of hours while we're both at work, and a box would be good. But our box training hasn't been going well at all. Part of the issue I think, is that our house is too big.

    We've partitioned off the house into sections. First night we spent in the lounge room before i carried pup up to our bedroom where her box was. She pitched such a fit we took it in turns sleeping on the couch with her.

    After three nights of this, we tried the box again, this time in another room (which has since become the puppy room) while we slept on the floor in an adjoining room within sight (behind a baby fence/gate). We got such a panicked and distressed response that after 30 minutes we dragged the mattress into the puppy room and spent the next 4 nights alternating sleeping in there next to her box with her.

    The last 3-4 nights we've been taking turns again sleeping in the adjoining room behind the baby fence. Pup is accepting this. After a little whining she calms down.

    The box on the other hand is pure panic and she only winds herself up more. There's an obvious difference (to us at least), between "I want attention" and our pup physically damaging herself because she's panicking.

    What hasn't helped is all the people around us telling us we just need to be tough and ignore it. Germans tend to think in black and white terms, so if they've done it, it's possible. It really feels wrong to me, but we can't continue taking turns sleeping on the floor next to the puppy room forever.

    In terms of box training, there is conflicting advice but we've tried to make it a fun safe space. Lots of toys, lots of treats in there, lots of petting...we'd been feeding her in there too on the advice of our trainer but that doesn't feel right to me and we stopped today. Our pup empties her box as soon as she can. Just drags everything out of it and ignores it.

    I don't even know what my question is - I'm so tired. I'm sorry if this isn't making sense.

    I guess, can someone please reassure me it'll get better? And if you have any tips on box training I'm all ears. For now, I'm just seeing the puppy room as a big box. I plan to close the door on it tonight and have us both sleep in our own bed.

    I don't want to traumatise our pup. I don't want her to associate the box with bad things. I want my wife to smile and enjoy our little girl, but I'm really worried about her. I know puppy blues are the very much like post partum depression.

    I'm just reaching out I guess. If you've read this far, thank you very much.
     
  2. Jim_T

    Jim_T New Member Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    our pup, for those who might be interested.. 89A0B192-B43E-4B8B-96AB-83FBDE1CA133_1_201_a.jpeg
     
  3. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    1,051
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi! Uh...where to start? Well, for sure your pup is looking adorable!!
    Yes, puppy blues is a thing that does happen to many for some extend or another. For sure having a puppy is not easy thing and they will test us individually as well as any relationships. Although I don't have any children, I can imagine the same goes with those too.
    On a positive note....puppies don't stay puppies forever, not even that long. They do change a lot in a coming weeks & months and within a year, you pup is starting be more like adult...though dog too can go through some sort of teenage stages.
    Sure it is not easy to made decisions amongst all the advice and recommendations of 'how to do it with pups' and added 'insult to the injury' is that different areas tend to these things slightly differently too.
    But if we can give you some support and help you make your own mind up how to approach things, Id think that is quite good outcome.
    The most difficult thing is down to you...to trust your instincts and go against the 'grain' if necessary. Hopefully we can boost your confidence with your pup as it sounds to me like your challenge is more with yourselves rather than with pup. The fact that you've taken yourself to comfort your pup and move your bed next to his sounds good to me....at this stage they are just 'babies' and they don't know any better but act with their feelings and fears. I don't see any need to drop them into deep by forcing them to deal with sleeping alone...it is scary thing to do. It might take some weeks for you pup to start feeling safe and comfortable in its new surroundings and while it is adjusting to it all, you need to show understanding and adjust accordingly. That is my take of it .....and I let others come up with their thoughts.
     
    Ash2021, Flobo and Hemlock like this.
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

    Messages:
    5,875
    Likes Received:
    7,376
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You absolutely don't have to use a crate/box if it isn't working. And you absolutely can do whatever works for you, regardless of what others say. I wouldn't even worry about setting your dog up for bad habits later - we don't ignore human babies that cry at night just because they'll learn they can get our attention that way.

    I went through a similar thing with my dog when he first arrives, trying to get him to sleep on his own, then taking it in turns to sleep downstairs with him, and finally letting him sleep in our bedroom - which absolutely was the right thing for us, and we were all happy then (he wasn't in a crate and learned quickly that he couldn't join us on the bed). Now your dog has decided she doesn't like the crate, I would drop crate training for a while. Just leave it there, maybe throw the odd treat in there, but don't let her worry she'll get shut in. In the meantime, have a read of this article - you might want to restart crate training from scratch: https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx...935&ithint=file,docx&authkey=!ANNi2t7pvCamCpY

    My dog had a number of issues that I spent ages reading about, asking about, training around, and it was sucking all the joy out of dog ownership. Then one day I thought, 'Sod it - I don't need to "fix" him, I can just manage his issues' and all of a sudden, I could start enjoying him, quirks and all. It's not easy when you want to try to control everything, but it is a good lesson in going with the flow.

    I really hope your wife can get through this - nothing can really prepare you, and like human babies, you can read all the books but the pup has not read the books and doesn't always slot in. In which case, it's by far better to sling the book out the window, or only pay attention to the bits that do work. If you can work out a way to deal with the nights, the days should become so much easier - and it really doesn't matter even if your pup ends up sleeping snuggled up in your bed if it works for you, regardless of what anyone else says. Good luck, and hugs to both of you.
     
    Ash2021, Flobo, RGC and 2 others like this.
  5. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    883
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Great advice from the others, so I am simply saying - it DOES get better, it WILL all be in the past one day, hang on in there, ignore "advice" that doesn't sit well with you, and if in doubt, mentally think yourself into the puppy's point of view. She's very much a baby, so it's all about making her world a place where she can feel safe. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed (lack of sleep does not help) and you can always come to us for support.
     
    Ash2021, Finsky and Flobo like this.
  6. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    28
    People train differently and that goes for people in the same country let alone the differences in other countries, all dogs are different and all 'house rules' what we allow and what we don't are also individual. So think bare basics of what you want and it also will make it easy for the pup to understand/learn

    I personally don't use a crate, however ALWAYS crate train, as it is the first place a vet puts the dog into when it has to go in for nuetering or if it has to say in for an operation, so my thoughts are the dog is or can be in pain, anxious, so additionally being put into a crate can make that a whole lot worse...so my thoughts are crate training is a priority if only for that reason, so the dog sees it as a safe secure den. It also makes toilet training much easier and if you need to leave a young pup while you shop or are at work you know it is safe/secure.
    I cover the crate with a blanket( that makes it more den like and it asbsorbs noises , clip the door open put its bed, water and feed every meal in the crate, if you buy a new toy it is 'found' in the crate by the dog, but with the door clipped open the dog knows it can go in and out as it pleases, when my young pups fell asleep I would lift them and pop them into the crate, so that is where they always woke up. I do most of this training in silence, so the pup uses it nose ( its first and priority sense) to smell its food, it sees ( its second sense) 'goodies' in the crate, its water is in there so it goes in to drink, a 'new' toy is 'found' in the crate so the crate is only associated with positives, no door being closed on it to lock it in and no talking so it doesn't have to use its ears and it is less confusing for the pup for most pups it takes days before you can close the door while eating or chewing a raw bone, just for a second or two so it doesn't feel trapped and increasing those seconds to minutes and so on while I am just sitting there my back facing the pup so I am am giving a nuetral response, some pups I have found I have to clip a puppy pen as an extention to the crate, so crate door clipped open but it can only come out into the puppy pen exclosure.
    With most dogs anxiety happens when they have too much space too soon especially if they can't see you or you have to go out and leave them as in their head they are 'looking after' a huge room or a huge house and it over whelms them, so they chew ( anything) as they know chewing releives anxiety which is when you come home to pee/poo and chewed up furniture, which causes people to be upset/angry/frustrated and that is what the dog takes in, each time my people leave when they come back they are angry, they make lots of noise/chatter which the dog doesn't understand, so it can set up separation anxiety and all the problems that causes.
    A crate once trained is also a great safe den to take your dog anywhere, it is their own portable bedroom, so they always feel secure if you go on holiday or to someone elses house. Some people find leaving a radio on will help and separtion is done early on in the daytime when you can be there, so dog given a raw bone after it has been walked and if it is too young to lead walk, they walk and carry, so the pup gets used to all the sights, sounds and smells, it is a great way to safely socialise a young pup and tires them too.

    My last pup I had planned for and waited for, for 2yrs and yet to my surprise I got puppy blues( first time ever for me), I couldn't even 'name' her, so for two weeks she didn't even have a name however I went into silent auto pilot with regards to training and I think that is what stopped the puppy blues from getting worse and ended up with a pup that learned so quickly.
    So get yourselves into a routine so the pup knows and can learn what you want , when you want it and that alone will make her feel more secure.
    I do lots of silent work/training anyway, so only use a command word, not chatter and so pups/dogs don't get confused by all the talking we do, they concentrate using their first and second sense and are very responsive, so you command based on their action ... they naturally sit or lay down, so when it happens I command sit/down, or silence until they are actually toileting and then I command 'be clean'.
     
    Ash2021, Flobo and Hemlock like this.
  7. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Really hope you find some comfort and reassurance with all the great advice and information above. Your pup is beautiful, hang on in there, take a deep breath and find time to enjoy her company and just be silly with her, laughing and playing with your pup is a great remedy too! What is her name?
     
    Finsky likes this.
  8. Jim_T

    Jim_T New Member Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate them.
    Still not sure what to do but just focussing on getting one foot in front of the other. Wife has gone off to see a therapist this morning. Her biggest issue I think is that she's a perfectionist and likes to be prepared as much as possible, so things not working as expected coupled with what she sees is a complete loss of her old life has hit her hard. She wasn't even this stressed when her mother was dying.

    Everyone is telling is this phase will pass, and I know it will, but it's tough when my wife is demanding information from everyone in an effort to 'get on top' of the situation and is just winding herself in knots. She's not at a point where she can recognise that she's doing this though. I'm hoping her appointment this morning will help her start this.

    The pup's name is Yuki. She's a great little girl and she's trying her best. We all are. Thanks again everyone.
     
    Flobo, Hemlock and JudyN like this.
  9. Ash2021

    Ash2021 Member Registered

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Wow what a gorgeous girl.

    You have received lots of great advice and information and I am sorry to say it does get easier even though it doesn’t feel like it at the moment

    my pup is 6 months now. But the first 4 weeks I felt as though I would never get my sleep back

    wishing you all the best with your adorable little girl Yuki
     
  10. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

    Messages:
    5,875
    Likes Received:
    7,376
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This may be stating the obvious, but if your wife can let go of her perfectionism and need to control her environment, and embrace the fact that life is sometimes chaotic and plans don't always work out, she will be so much happier in general. I became much more Zen and hippy when I got old enough to get rid of those pesky hormones, and I've possibly never been happier. (I'm not suggesting that hormones are connected to your wife's difficulties, this is just my personal experience.)

    But - having a dog often does involve unplanned sacrifices. Hopefully in time Yuki will be able to travel with you (or be happy to stay with a dog sitter), but life doesn't always work out that way.
     
    RGC, Hemlock and Finsky like this.
  11. lovelydais

    lovelydais New Member Registered

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello! Just wanted to say I'm on week 3 and felt exactly the same. The care and nurture that they need is constant and the worries never stops... however, one thing that I'm trying to remember is energy. Just by reading your post I can sense the stress and uptight energy. Animals, just like us, will pick up on this. I know it feels impossible when things don't work and you feel like you've tried it all... but maybe you're doing too much? Keep it simple. If you keep trying new things how will your pup know what they have to get used to? I started day one with a bed in the crate... toys, a fan next to it, a blanket, food, stroking her in it, leaving it open, trying it shut.... it was only when I put down a folded towel and kept it simple that she took to it. Of course she cried for a few nights, but if they know you're going to rush to them and start changing things again, they will continue to do this. I would say focus on you and your wife and how you are both feeling. Support each other and try to calm your energy. As much as we think and feel they do... dogs don't feel emotions the way we do and they aren't logical in the way we think they are. You will all be fine, more than fine, once your energy is settled and you've kept it simple. Get a good night's sleep by setting your alarm once in the night for toilet duty and I promise things will get easier. You must look after yourself first and foremost, so your adorable puppy knows who is in charge.
     
  12. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    4,552
    Likes Received:
    4,124
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Flobo, Ash2021 and JudyN like this.
  13. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
     
  14. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hello! So sorry you have had some challenges! That’s life fir you! . I’m living with a beautiful dog who has brought some interesting events to the table and these wonderful people here have given me exponential support.
    I don’t think this is so much a ‘puppy’ problem so much as a person problem! We are all under considerable strain currently all over the world! Only takes one thing to push us too far! I’m thinking some form of emotional support for you guys perhaps doing something you live but is no strain on you emotionally? There are loads of therapeutics around, to give us the guidance and support our lives are currently a little drained of! Puppy will be a great source of support once all have adjusted to sharing their lives !
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.