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I don't know what to do at this point.

1462 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Marsh Muppet
Hello, so some of you might remember my post last month. I received a puppy as a suprise pet,and have never owned a puppy before. I got some advice, decided to keep her, and now, a month later I'm kind of freaking out about it.

1) She screams and cries when left in her crate at night. I know you're supposed to ignore it but it goes on for hours sometimes. I need to sleep at some point. She has currently been screaming off and on for like an hour and a half. She only stopped because I came into the living room and turned on the tv and laptop and stay here. But I can't do this every night. I am dealing with some serious sleep deprivation. I haven't slept normally since I got her. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can restrain her at night so she doesn't harm herself or other things, but isn't so distressed that she screams incessantly? I can't handle it anymore. I'm done.

2) I feel extremely guilty about leaving her home alone all day while I'm at work. I have a long commute so she's out there in the yard alone for a really long time. I leave toys, water, and bought her a dog house (which she won't use) to make her as comfortable as possible, but realistically, I don't know how much time a puppy should be spending alone, period. I don't do long drawn out goodbyes, nor do I greet her with excitement - I know that's bad - but she doesn't seem happy about being alone. Ever. And by the time I'm home I'm so tired, it's all I can do to just feed her, walk her, and work on commands for a bit.

3) She is crazy hyper. I don't have any idea what to do about this. Whenever we go places I always feel like the worst dog owner in the world. All the other dogs are so well behaved, but Molly just jumps around and runs and freaks out because she wants to meet everyone she sees, at the expense of my arm health and her dignity. I keep doing the "off" thing when she jumps on things, but it doesn't work. She jumps and jumps. Which is apparantly bad for her because she's long and skinny, but I can't seem to make her stop.

4) Walks are less than fun with her at this point. She either wants to race ahead at lightning speed or stop and smell everything. EVERYTHING. And she weaves all about like she's a drunk driver. I can sometimes make her walk in a straight line, but only if I dangle treats above her head. And that doesn't work all the time.

I'm just crazy super frustrated. Any advice/solutions would be most helpful. I'm considering giving her to a stay-at-home-mom-type family so she'll have the attention she deserves, even though it would break my heart. She really is an adorable, friendly, awesome little puppy, and I feel like a total failure as a puppy owner. My biggest concern is that she's not getting enough attention, but I can't quit my job, you know?
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I can relate to your situation somewhat. I got my puppy when he was 3 months old (hes now 4 months so we are just past the 1 month point). He's not quite as hyper as your dog but hes very much a puppy. He cries for around 10-15 min when I first put him in the crate but after that hes quiet. I learned that any type of toys/treats that "buy you time" are worth their weight in gold. Obviously the KONG is the end all be all. Put some fat free plain yogurt in there with some of his food morsels, a few treats and freeze it...give that to her when shes in the crate and she will be so busy with it she will either tire herself out to the point of passing out or she will just be used to being in the crate by the time she realizes it that hopefully there is less or no crying. Also - if you want some time to yourself - give the frozen KONG to her and you just bought yourself about 30-60 minutes. My dog is relentless with the KONG and he goes after the treats inside with reckless abandon and it takes him about 45 min to clean it out. Those moments are priceless. Also - "busy bones" or any type of hard chewable treat with a stuffing in the middle will also prove very useful i nthe same was as the KONG.

Don't feel bad about leaving her alone for the day - I do the same thing. Hes in the crate while my wife and I are at work. I do have a dog walker that comes about 12-15 days a month in the middle of the day to give him a potty break and a leg stretch which is something maybe you can look into as well but dont feel bad - as time goes on she will get used to the routine and you can feel less guilt. Shes a puppy right now and with you never having owned a puppy before there are a lot of things that both you and her need to get used to about each other. It just takes time but you will find that the time you put in now is VERY much worth it and will make things all the more better in the years to come.

As for the walking situation - you just need to have some patience with her. My dog wants to go up every single driveway we walk by, literally. He too stops to smell and/or lick anything he can. The world is new to them. That object that they see/smell is totally new and they want very much to know what it is. I usually let him explore within appropriate limits for a few seconds/minutes then I break his attention and continue on our way. I bring treats with me and when he gets a little stubborn I show it to him and let him smell it and follow it which will usually get him back on track - you do have to give him the treat every so often though otherwise he will learn that hes not going to get it and to just not follow it.

Don't give up. Believe me I know what your going through at this point. This is my first dog too and we got him at 3 months. It is a learning process with its ups and downs but I believe very strongly that getting them at this age and going through these things will only improve your lives together exponentially in the future.

Hope this helps - sorry for the novel of a post, feel free to email/message me anytime

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