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Three weeks ago I excitedly went with my dad to pick up my new Brittany Spaniel puppy from the breeder and now three weeks later, I am in a constant state of anxiety and crying at the drop of a hat. I waited for years for the timing to be right to get a dog and this year the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a bit of a blessing because I could get him and work with him over the summer. The first three weeks of having him have been a roller coaster of emotions from elation of finally getting him, to fear when he needed surgery at the ripe age of 8 weeks old to remove a chew toy that he sword swallowed. Add all of that onto potty training and the accidents that happen, crate training/play pen whining and woes, trying to establish a daily routine, the futile attempts to get him to stop biting me and chewing on anything he can reach, constantly trying to stop him from eating every little thing outside, and also trying to take care of myself at the same time.
I am a single puppy-parent and don't have a second set of hands to help me out. I do get help from my parents from time to time but they live out of town and I feel like such a burden asking them to drive into the city to help me out. I have booked some in-home training sessions but they aren't for a couple of weeks from now, so time cannot move fast enough.
I have read a bunch of other posts about this very issue and everyone says that it does get better, but right at this moment I am second guessing my decision to get a dog. I miss my old ho-hum life on my own - being able to get up when I wanted, do what I wanted when I wanted, and not having my days and nights revolve around a 11 week old puppy. I know that what I am feeling is quite normal and quite common, but how do you get over that feeling of resentment and frustration? How do you stop the thought of returning him to the breeder? Is anyone else a single puppy-parent? How did you get through it?
I do love this little guy but I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now. I guess I am just looking for some words of encouragement to help me through this time. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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What you're feeling is totally normal! Puppies are overwhelming, especially if you are a first time owner. And Brittanys are high energy dogs! One thing that might help is enrolling in some virtual classes or schedule a virtual consultation with a trainer. Because of the pandemic, there are so many trainers offering this right now and it could help to have a professional to talk to immediately.
Puppies tend to feel like they take over your life. But it doesn't have to be that way. They do require a lot. But with the right in-home setup and training/exercise routine, you can have your life too. For example, when I was raising my puppy I was hands-on with him for 15-30 minute chunks scheduled throughout my day. I pretty much scheduled in these times because I had to juggle a full-time working schedule too. But outside of those moments, he wasn't driving me crazy by peeing everywhere or tearing at my legs... He was sleeping or self-entertaining in his crate or pen. A trainer can help you establish that balance in life and help you feel like you can walk away from your puppy for hours at a time. Even if your local trainers aren't offering virtual services, shop around! Local is best since you can follow up with your trainer in-person when it is safe to do so. But an out of state trainer would gladly have you drop into a virtual class/consult too!
 

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The only puppy that had the overwhelming effect on me was the one I raised while still working. Since I've been retired, I've raised 3 and it's been much easier - still requires the dedication of I really want to do this, but not overwhelming.

I don't know OP's circumstances, but one thing that made it easier for me was using baby gates to always confine the puppy to the room I was in. That meant they never got out of sight and into trouble. If my house were open design and I couldn't do that I think I'd have sprung for a lightweight ex-pen.

At night I crate beside my bed and sleep in my clothes. That means when fidgety puppy behavior in the crate wakes me, I can slip into shoes, get puppy from crate and outside fast and easy. (My bedroom is on the 2d floor, so I'd scoop the puppy up and carry her outside cradled in my arms, giving no chance for a quick squat.)

The biting thing does get old. With my last one I always had bandaids on my hands, not that she was any worse than the earlier puppies, but I now have old lady skin and it doesn't take much to start me bleeding. At least the really pesty puppy stage doesn't last that long, and everything seems to get better right about when they're reliably housebroken.

If serious consideration doesn't change the idea that the puppy is a mistake, give him back to the breeder ASAP. It's much easier to place a baby puppy than one that's edging into adolescence.
 

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I'm no expert by any imagination. This all sounds like normal puppy behavior.

For your peace of mind. Learn to handle one thing at a time. Be flexible and adaptable. Take time to begin training the pup. Establish a regular feeding, walking, play, training, grooming, potty routine. Be consistent.

Realize that accidents will happen.

Pups are a bit like a toddler. Into everything while exploring the world. Dogs and kids need to learn what is acceptable behavior.
 

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I second (third?) the puppy pen!

With our most recent puppy, I used a puppy pen (exercise pen) for the first time...that was the most helpful thing. I'd never used them with previous puppies, so it was a huge relief when I realized how beneficial it is. I would make sure puppy had pottied outside and had some play or training, then when I knew he should be tired, I'd pop him in there and go about my day. He didn't like it at first, but with some yummy treats/food-filled toys/bully sticks, he learned it was an okay place. It also doubled as a great tool for house training, and our puppy had very few accidents in the house. The pen was right in our kitchen, so he could usually see/hear us, but he learned that he didn't have to always be doing something (getting in trouble) and could just relax with his toys.

Some puppies are not good at napping when they need it (ours wasn't), and it's really important that they get plenty of rest while growing...so knowing when they're overly tired (like a kid!) and putting them in the crate or pen for a rest will help too. Puppies tend to be more bitey and grumpy and naughty when they're not getting enough rest.

It can be extremely overwhelming, and I have gone through the "did I make a huge mistake" phase of puppy rearing. But, in a year or two you'll look back and with he was little again. It really REALLY does get easier! And if you put in the work and training/socializing from the beginning, you'll have a really well-behaved awesome dog soon!!
 

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Hi,
I wanted to write it because I had the same reaction -- not just once, but TWICE. And not even to puppies!

I adopted my first dog when I was 24, and it was after months and months of obsessing over finding the right dog. There's nothing I wanted more. After the first day, sheer terror and agony set in. For two weeks I lived in a state of anxiety, I felt like I couldn't keep him, but also couldn't give him up. I should also mention he was potty trained and already a fairly well-behaved adult. It was just the burden I felt was so extreme. It felt like I had given my young life away to this dog.

Things got better as we found our groove and soon he was the love of my life. Flash forward a year, I decided to move to NYC from California. Of course I planned to bring my dog as well. I traveled a bit before I moved and then had to set my life up (while staying with a friend's family), so while doing that, a coworker's family offered to take him for me. After a couple of months, I had found an apartment and was about to go back to get him, when the family who had him guilted and scared me into taking him to NYC. They were right that he was young and energetic, and that I may not be able to give him the wonderful beach life he was used to, so they managed to talk me into leaving him.

I was devastated. Completely devastated.

Anyway, about eight or nine months later, I had finally started my life in NYC and still really missed having a dog. So I started looking to adopt again. After a couple months, I found my current dog, Biff. He was six years old and literally the perfect dog (no behavioral issues, potty-trained, used to the city, never chews/destroys anything, quiet).

Again, I had a full-on two-week-long panic attack where every other minute I went back and forth, stuck and agonizing, feeling like I could neither keep him nor give him up. I honestly hate to even say this, but I remember thinking "well, he's six now, so he will die in a few years anyway." I hope nobody judges me on this, I just felt like I was stuck with him and, like you said, looking for some light at the end of the tunnel.

It's been 6+ years now with Biff, and I don't even know what I'm going to do when he dies. He has become my family. I love him more than anything in this world. He's now 12, has heart and lung disease, and I basically do everything possible to keep him alive and well. While sometimes it can be stressful, it's a stress that I gladly welcome because I honestly don't care about anything else as much as I do him (which is saying a lot from someone who is independent and dislikes anything that's weighing me down or keeping me from living at my own free will).

I wanted to share my story because I felt so alone in it, because everyone I know who gets a dog is just immediately at peace with their decision, and in love with their dog. I always felt so alone in my anxiety about it. But it is a huge adjustment. For an adult dog, I would say give it 2-4 weeks and you find your groove. For a puppy, I'm sure it's a bit longer, but they do grow up quickly.

Live your life as YOU, and your dog will follow. Dogs learn their humans' every routine, quirk, and habit and usually adapt to it. Do the work that it takes to raise your puppy, but live your life and soon your dog will be your right-hand man (or lady). It's a huge adjustment -- and for some of us, it's a lot harder because we are independent people who love these animals a lot and it creates a situation full of stress and anxiety.

These are really tough times anyway. While it's a good time to get a new pet and spend a lot of time with them, it's important to remember that it's also a super stressful time. The world as we knew it has changed forever, and that's really no small thing.

You will be okay. You will be a great human for your dog. It's okay to feel anxious or frustrated or overwhelmed. It's okay to feel like you made the wrong decision in getting a dog (it doesn't mean you did). It will get easier -- way, way easier. And sooner than you think!
 

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The only good part about puppies is that they grow up to be dogs. I swear if they weren’t so cute they’d all be dead. You’re definitely not alone and it does get 1000000x better when they get older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone,
I thought I would give you an update to my situation. I am still overwhelmed and I still cry a lot, but things are getting better. I do notice a few changes in my pup as the days go by. He still bites and nips, but we’re working on it. We’re also still working on potty training. It‘s now only a week away until I get to work with the trainer. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to work on some things that we need to and that I can get some good tips for future work with him.
I still miss my life before getting my puppy but I know that in a few short months he’ll grow even more and I can begin to see a small glimmer of light. I constantly remind myself of the plans and ideas I have for our life together when he’s a little older.
Thank-you to all of you for your words of encouragement. They have helped me when I have had those low moments and I re-read them whenever I need a pep talk. Between this forum and my mom giving words of hope and reassurance, I am managing to take things one day at a time.
Thanks again! You all have been inspiring and it’s such a comfort to know that I’m not the only one out there going through this.
 

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Three weeks ago I excitedly went with my dad to pick up my new Brittany Spaniel puppy from the breeder and now three weeks later, I am in a constant state of anxiety and crying at the drop of a hat. I waited for years for the timing to be right to get a dog and this year the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a bit of a blessing because I could get him and work with him over the summer. The first three weeks of having him have been a roller coaster of emotions from elation of finally getting him, to fear when he needed surgery at the ripe age of 8 weeks old to remove a chew toy that he sword swallowed. Add all of that onto potty training and the accidents that happen, crate training/play pen whining and woes, trying to establish a daily routine, the futile attempts to get him to stop biting me and chewing on anything he can reach, constantly trying to stop him from eating every little thing outside, and also trying to take care of myself at the same time.
I am a single puppy-parent and don't have a second set of hands to help me out. I do get help from my parents from time to time but they live out of town and I feel like such a burden asking them to drive into the city to help me out. I have booked some in-home training sessions but they aren't for a couple of weeks from now, so time cannot move fast enough.
I have read a bunch of other posts about this very issue and everyone says that it does get better, but right at this moment I am second guessing my decision to get a dog. I miss my old ho-hum life on my own - being able to get up when I wanted, do what I wanted when I wanted, and not having my days and nights revolve around a 11 week old puppy. I know that what I am feeling is quite normal and quite common, but how do you get over that feeling of resentment and frustration? How do you stop the thought of returning him to the breeder? Is anyone else a single puppy-parent? How did you get through it?
I do love this little guy but I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now. I guess I am just looking for some words of encouragement to help me through this time. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hello! I have never posted anything in a forum before but I just had to when I read your post because I am currently going through the EXACT SAME THING. I am a new single puppy parent, and I was so excited to bring my Cavapoo puppy home last weekend and I have been a complete emotional basket case since the car ride home with her. She is so sweet and is learning so fast but I am riddled with anxiety, exhausted, and feeling like I am incapable of doing this by myself. I also have some help from my parents but they live an hour away so it’s not easy. I miss my ho-hum life too!! Knowing that this is normal makes me feel a little better because I have been feeling so guilty. I just hope I can get past this soon and stop wishing time away.
Anyway, thank you for posting, and I would love any updates on how you are doing!
 

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Its terrible but puppy blues are normal..Its like post natal depression for dog owners.


Murphy was a perfect pup by most standards, housetrained when we got him at 8 weeks..(yes really) he listened really well and he was a happy little thing sleeping in his bed and not getting us up every 5 minutes so we had no sleepless nights just one toilet break at 3am until he was about 12 weeks.
even though Ive had dogs all my life most have been a year old when we adopted them so when Murphy was little and those needle teeth found me to be the best bitey toy ever, I had serious puppy blues.

First dog 10th dog and anything inberween puppy blues can hit you. Dont feel bad about it. But it will pass one day you wake up and that monster with the mouth full of needles and the bladder like a leaky tap will have changed into a wonderful canine companion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi all!
Well, it's been a while and I thought I would offer another update. I still have days when I miss my old life (probably more than I should) but I have come to realize that this is a phase of his life and it will pass. Not fast enough for me but we're muddling through. We have good days and bad days and I still call my mom on a daily basis often crying, but she reminds me that I have to take it day by day.
He is now almost 4 months old (September 1st in fact) and soon he will be going for his first away training session and after that one day a week for three weeks and then a month off (well, just training with me at home). We have worked on crate training and he now doesn't whine or yelp as much as he did before when he's in there (I'm trying covering it now and that seems to help him relax a bit more). I still feel guilty for putting him in there, but I know that in the long run, it is for his own good and my sanity. With that in mind, I am now fearing teething and seeing him increase his chewing on toys and less on my hands. He has stopped chewing on the sofa and chair covers from he most part. Then the next hurdle will be neutering in November hopefully.
We're trying to sleep through the night and getting better. Last night he went to bed at 9:30pm and got up at 4am. The night before we went to bed at 9:30pm and slept until 5:30am, so here's hoping that it will get longer and longer.
Potty training is going well. He now indicates when he has to go outside and hasn't had an accident in the house for a while (fingers crossed I didn't just jinx myself here).
I wish I could say that everything will be what I hope it will, but for now, I am trying my best and really trying to take it day by day. I have learned to find solace in moments of time that I get, be it him napping in his kennel as I write this or other small moments throughout the day when I can take a bit of a break.
Thank you once again to everyone who has offered word of encouragement. They have helped, and it is always a comfort to know that this is a phase and that there are others out there that have experienced the same feelings I have.
 

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Thanks for the update. It sounds like you are on your way to a happy relationship.
He will get used to your routine and it will get better. Our pooch used to get all nervous and anxious wheneven I left, but now she knnows the pattern and just continues napping in her bed upstairs when I leave (most of the time).
 

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I'm not an expert, but I do know that puppies are almost always overwhelming. They're like babies!! The only thing you can really do is keep trying your best, take a breath, and know that things will calm down. The dog will start to lose it's "puppy energy" and as you establish more training, the behavior will start to smooth out. I have a border collie mix, and we got her when she was just out of puppyhood. It definitely felt crazy for awhile before we started to chill out, and we figured out how to keep her under control. Just try to find the happy moments with your pup, keep working with them, and know that it will get better!!
 

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Hello! I have never posted anything in a forum before but I just had to when I read your post because I am currently going through the EXACT SAME THING. I am a new single puppy parent, and I was so excited to bring my Cavapoo puppy home last weekend and I have been a complete emotional basket case since the car ride home with her. She is so sweet and is learning so fast but I am riddled with anxiety, exhausted, and feeling like I am incapable of doing this by myself. I also have some help from my parents but they live an hour away so it’s not easy. I miss my ho-hum life too!! Knowing that this is normal makes me feel a little better because I have been feeling so guilty. I just hope I can get past this soon and stop wishing time away.
Anyway, thank you for posting, and I would love any updates on how you are doing!
I just recently brought a cavapoo as well- shes now 3 months old. How is ur puppy doing now?
 

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I just recently brought a cavapoo as well- shes now 3 months old. How is ur puppy doing now?
Hi! She’s so good. She’ll be 4 months this week and she’s really settled into a routine now. She’s super snuggly and has been really easy to train. She seems to have a really great disposition - loves everyone and plays well with other dogs. I hope yours is settling in now too!
 

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I completely understand how you feel. Having a puppy to handle all by yourself is complicated and frustrating. I had the same exact thoughts you have now! I bought a Golden Retriever pup last year and within a month of having him I was ready for all of the puppy stage to be over with. I seriously considered giving him back to the breeder. Then once he hit about 5 months he was an angel. Then everything went down hill once he turned 6 months... I was so ready just to find the right person to give him to!!!! But once he hit a year in July he has matured more that I could have ever imagined. He is an amazing dog and I am so glad I kept him through all of it. This is called the puppy stage for a reason. They are not adults lol. It’s like mini parenting for a year or two. Trust me it will get better and when it does your gonna be glad you kept your pup. Because he will be your best friend. Patriot ( my Golden Retriever ) was not my first pup alone and he was a lot to handle. He was and still is very high energy, that is where a lot of his training helped. I train my dogs myself without the help of a trainer. It can be difficult but you’re getting help from someone who knows what they are doing. You WILL SEE RESULTS!! It just takes time. Trust me I trained my first dog by myself and it was rough. I have learned more with every dog I have trained and it gets easier every time I purchase a dog because I am familiar with the behaviors and what to do. Once you and your pup go through some training I think will be easier to handle and control him. Hang in there😉
 

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Three weeks ago I excitedly went with my dad to pick up my new Brittany Spaniel puppy from the breeder and now three weeks later, I am in a constant state of anxiety and crying at the drop of a hat. I waited for years for the timing to be right to get a dog and this year the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a bit of a blessing because I could get him and work with him over the summer. The first three weeks of having him have been a roller coaster of emotions from elation of finally getting him, to fear when he needed surgery at the ripe age of 8 weeks old to remove a chew toy that he sword swallowed. Add all of that onto potty training and the accidents that happen, crate training/play pen whining and woes, trying to establish a daily routine, the futile attempts to get him to stop biting me and chewing on anything he can reach, constantly trying to stop him from eating every little thing outside, and also trying to take care of myself at the same time.
I am a single puppy-parent and don't have a second set of hands to help me out. I do get help from my parents from time to time but they live out of town and I feel like such a burden asking them to drive into the city to help me out. I have booked some in-home training sessions but they aren't for a couple of weeks from now, so time cannot move fast enough.
I have read a bunch of other posts about this very issue and everyone says that it does get better, but right at this moment I am second guessing my decision to get a dog. I miss my old ho-hum life on my own - being able to get up when I wanted, do what I wanted when I wanted, and not having my days and nights revolve around a 11 week old puppy. I know that what I am feeling is quite normal and quite common, but how do you get over that feeling of resentment and frustration? How do you stop the thought of returning him to the breeder? Is anyone else a single puppy-parent? How did you get through it?
I do love this little guy but I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now. I guess I am just looking for some words of encouragement to help me through this time. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Tell me this got better for you? I’m going into my second week with an 11 week old pup and I hate my life. I cry and am exhausted and sad. Please tell me you feel better now?
 

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Tell me this got better for you? I’m going into my second week with an 11 week old pup and I hate my life. I cry and am exhausted and sad. Please tell me you feel better now?
It will get better!!! I cried every day for about 3 weeks and then it started getting better. Do you have anyone who could help by giving you a night off? That makes a huge difference. And also puppy class helped me a lot. But honestly, the puppies get so much easier after the first few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tell me this got better for you? I’m going into my second week with an 11 week old pup and I hate my life. I cry and am exhausted and sad. Please tell me you feel better now?
Yes, it does get better! I’m not going to sugar coat things though. It can be hard but with some help and training my boy is now 7 months old and I am really starting to see what kind of dog he will be in the future with a little more maturing and training.
I used to stay up crying and then worried about leaving him alone, now it seems like we’ve really come a long way. Is he perfect? Nope. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a perfect dog, but he’s getting much better and I’m actually enjoying seeing him progress. I found finding a good trainer and even a dog daycare helped to give me a couple of hours off and to give me the basis for what I need to do as a puppy parent so that my pup can flourish.
There are still days when I do miss'y old life or when I just need a break, but that’s when I take him to daycare or my parents come in and give me a couple of hours off. I have also found that it really helps that I have gone back to work part-time and can now get out of the house daily.
What also helped me was to remind myself to take it one day at a time. Every day will be different and in time it does get way better.
Good luck!
 

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@Alikhi I does get better trusts me!! I never stayed up cyring lol. My emotions during puppy stage as normally frustration. Like when you leave them alone for five minutes and they destroy the couch pillows. Or when you show them where to use the bathroom and they still go pee in the middle of the Kitchen floor. I get very frustrated. BUT... with time and training things get better. Now I am not saying it gets better over night with a trainer but it does et better. Focus on why you got the pup instead of where you can get rid of the pup. If you focus on that you will find your self becoming more and more determined to start and watch his progress. You can't expect to have a puppy without bad behavior with no training. Thats like a kid who has bad behavior because there aren't rules or and consequences for bad actions. Hope this helps!!!

@petrygs I am glad to see that you kept your pup and are satisfied with him now!! Hope it continues to go well!!!
 
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