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

1464 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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1. Try the crate next to your bed. If she still howls then move the crate into a garage that is cool enough with our summer heat, or somewhere to the other end of the house where you can't hear her.

2. Doggy daycare or a young teenager / tween (too young to have a real job yet but old enough to be responsible to come in for a few hours each day) are wonderful things. Doggy daycare could be a couple of days each week just to take the boredom factor out of things. And a repsonsible young person who maybe can't have a dog of their own would probably work for very little $$$ and still be thrilled to have the job. You might try checking with friends that have children who use babysitters. They are often some of the best dogsitters. Ask what your friends pay per hour for a babysitter and offer that as an hourly wage for dogsitting.

3. Crazy hyper...she's a puppy. They have endless energy after they've had hours upon hours of downtime while you're at work. And she loves you, spending time with you, being your buddy. More exercise would be the key. And there will come a day when you wonder what happened to that "crazy hyper dog."

4. Walking nicely on a leash is just a matter of practice and training. And getting that initial burst of energy out. I usually play with my dogs in the backyard for a bit before we go on a walk. Seriously, if the dog has been alone all day sleeping then a walk is like taking a hungry child into a candy shop. I totally believe in taking my dogs out of the yard and house every day for mental and physical stimulation. The same 4 walls and the same squirrels in the yard get old after a day or two. Think of this as money you are saving since you don't need to go to the gym. Your dog's needs can be your own exercise as well as hers. We get up at 5AM in the summer so that we can take our little dogs on a 3-mile hike into the foothills around our house. But any walk would do. If the weather is cool enough in the evening we walk them again, trying to stay off pavement heated by the heat of the day...look for grassy areas to walk or try finding the local dog parks. And really, the fresh air and sunshine is good for us as well as the dog. I think you might even feel increased energy if you got out and walked / played with your dog. Try just sitting in a lawn chair at first and throwing a ball or playing withwater from a hose...before going on a walk.

I hope you keep the pup if she makes your heart happy and provides you companionship. But shelters and breeders actively discourage "gifts" of dogs for the very reasons you are expressing. Often the "giftee" does not have the time or energy in their lives at the time to feel good about owning a dog. Use your judgement. But think of this as a benefit to your own health. It is very true that owning a dog adds years to our lives and life to our years.
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