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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I'm new to the site and I'm looking for some advice if possible. I'm due to get my puppy in a few days and now my anxiety levels have gone through the roof about if I'm doing the right thing etc etc.

So a bit of background to me. I am a huge dog lover, always have been and we have had a few dogs while i was growing up - I'm 27 now. I've suffered with anxiety on and off over the past few years but not severely. I've always wanted lots of dogs, they are just such a joy and great companion.

I decided on a breed (english bulldog) that my ex boyfriend had, as i completely fell in love with them and i missed the dog so much when we did split up that i decided i wanted my own. They are so lovable, gently and great with kids.

But now that the time has come to get the dog I don't understand my emotions..I should be happy and excited but instead i'm worried and stressed. I'm such a dog lover that this doesn't make sense to me. I obviously would not like to take on a dog if I can't give it 100% as it wouldn't be fair. A part of me thinks this is my anxiety playing up and no matter what stage I am at in life I will feel like this, as I can barely make small decisions at the best of times and this is a huge life changing decision!!

I guess I'm just wondering if there was anybody else in the same position that can offer advice that the anxiety will settle when a bond is made and they become part of your life.
 

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I've had dogs my whole life. I've had multiple dogs almost the entirety of my adult life. I got a puppy in June. The day I committed to taking him I sat in my kitchen floor and cried because of anxiety. I get seriously stressed and freaked out before I bring every puppy home, and that pretty predictably sticks around until they're about 4 months old and I"m no longer sleep deprived and have a routine, and they have a personality and there's a bond.

...So yeah, it's pretty normal.
 

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Just tell yourself.. it's not going to last. I was a crying mess when I got my first puppy, it was awful (I keep joking that my human twin babies were easier)... but it doesn't last. They grow up and calm down and it does get easier (I wouldn't say 4 months LOL but definitely after 6 months). It was a VERY mouthy golden retriever puppy though... the other two have been extremely easy in comparison.

And really, there's nothing wrong with putting your puppy in a crate if you need a break.
 

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Most definitely normal; when I got my puppy after 40years since having a puppy and only older dogs it was anxiety to the max; mine is a Boston Terrier; very difficult as a puppy and still at 17mths she is very much a Diva; has her moments but as noted above a crate is a wonderful thing and a crate cover makes it even better!!
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(I'm a Diva--today I don't want my ears up!!)
 

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Yes, don't feel bad - or worry over your worries! I have been around dogs my whole life, and even owned one (though still lived at home). Went a few years without the responsibility of my own because of living situations, and when we bought our house and I could tell the breeder I was ready for a puppy... Yeah, I had more than a few moments of... Are we ready for one? How much are our lives going to change? (We aren't people that go out a ton, but the thought was still there.) Is he going to be ok being left alone? Am I going to house train him ok? And on and on. Even the day I went to pick Atlas up I was still more nervous than excited. But we survived the 7 hour drive home without any accidents in the car, and there was really no looking back after that.

Of course, there will be moments you look at your puppy and seriously wonder what the heck, but like they've said above - crate time is your friend! Don't panic if you don't immediately 'bond' with the puppy - it takes some time. For me it was after Atlas stopped using me as his favourite chew toy... He was cute, playful, funny, but also a land shark! But it worked out soon enough that he was my dog, and I was his person. You'll get there. :) And remember to take lots of photos because they change/grow SO darn fast!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all your replies and advice about the crate. I still haven?t gone to get the puppy yet, anxiety very high and still wondering if it?s the right thing.

I understand the responsibilities that?s involved. I?ve done my research but still finding it daunting committing.

I?m still living at home with my parents, I work 12 shifts 3 days a week so while I may be gone for a long day there should be always be someone around and il be home more often than not. It would only be the odd day the dog would be left alone for 8 hours. I am worried about this but I know many people work full time and manage pets.

I had considered waiting until I had my own house. While my living circumstances will change in the future, there is no plans at the minute.

I feel no matter what stage of my life I?m at il always feel nervous and anxious as that?s my personality. I?m afraid if I don?t get the puppy il regret it 6 months later.
 

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Can you pinpoint what is stressing you the most about getting this puppy? Potty training? Training in general? Worrying about your work schedule? Worrying about how your parents will or won't help out?

I suffer from clinical anxiety and used to have daily panic attacks (that have subsided since I quit drinking caffeinated beverages). I was also living at home when I added my puppy and I was very worried about how my father was going to accept (or not accept) having a puppy in his house. If that's your concern, I think you should sit down and talk to your parents about how much you want to add this puppy, but also explain to them that you're stressed about the added burden on their lives. It's better to get this conversation out of the way before the puppy comes home and not after.

This sounds like a very good time for you to get a puppy if your parents are on board, honestly. No puppy can hold it for 12 hours straight, so if you were to get a puppy while living on your own with your current work schedule, you'd need to hire a dog walker or have a family member come over and let your puppy out at least once a day, but preferably twice. With your current arrangement, hopefully your parents would be able to help with daily potty breaks during your long shifts.

It can be overwhelming. It's a huge change in routine to have a puppy around. A big mistake I made is that I thought if I was home, I had to be actively engaging with my puppy or I would feel like a bad puppy owner. This is not the case. Take mental breaks for yourself, too. Have an xpen setup, or a crate, and crate your puppy with a stuffed kong or chew for a little while so that you can relax and watch tv, or read, without being interrupted. See if your parents would be okay with watching the puppy for a few hours at least one night a week so you can get out of the house and see your friends and have a social life. Once your puppy has all of its shots, ask your friends to participate in activities that you can bring your puppy along to, like walks in the park or trips to the store.

You can definitely make it work. Eventually the new routine will just become your routine, and you'll wonder how you ever survived WITHOUT your puppy around :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah my parents are on board, initially they didn?t want a dog but they are now okay with it. They have said it is my dog and il be responsible for it but they will definitely help out where they can and would be no issue with me going off for the evening. The dog would become part of the family and I?m sure they will love her as much as I will!

I can?t pinpoint my stress to one particular element! Just such a huge life change!
 
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