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Hello everyone,

I am a new puppy owner who is feeling way in over her head and came across this forum and thought I would join.

Piper is my 11 week old chocolate labradoodle. I've had her for a week now and absolutely love her, but I'm almost sick with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed most of the time with her.

I am a single woman with no kids who has wanted a dog her entire life. I have put a lot of time and effort into research and was SURE I had everything covered and considered when I got her. A week in, I find myself second guessing if I can even do this.

I am crate training, and she sleeps in it through the night without any problems, I let her out twice during the night and put her right back in and she never makes a fuss until about 630 when she's ready to get up. She's never messed in her crate and she's having very few accidents in the house. All in all, I think she's a great puppy, I know I'm the issue here.

I don't have a fenced in yard, so it's been a challenge to tire her out on a leash until she's old enough to have all of her vaccinations and go to the park.

I also have some weird hours at work and will sometimes work from 8pm - 6am. I go home twice to let her out, but I feel guilty putting her in her crate in the mornings so I can sleep after my shift. I feel like I'm worrying about her constantly, I want her to be happy and a well adjusted dog and I feel like I may mess that up.

We've signed up for Puppy pre-school socialization classes and attended our first one yesterday. She did really well and I felt good about it.

Intellectually, I know she's a good dog and that she'll be fine crated. Emotionally, I'm a wreck thinking I'm not doing things right and that I'm not following all of the things i've seen on the dog whisperer and that I'm going to ruin my dog.

This will get better right? Any advice would be appreciate it.
 

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Personally, I think you're just overreacting. It sounds as if you're doing a fine job with your pup. For tiring her out, try playing ball or tug-of-war, or hide and seek the treat. Try to train her yourself as well before you go to classes, come up with anything to play with her before she can go to the park or long walks. I did this with Luke for hours on end and eventually he got tired.

I'm not a fan of Cesar Millan as his methods are a bit too harsh in my opinion. I would never hurt a dog because s/he did something wrong, just do a firm "no" and you should be fine. But make sure you catch the dog in the act otherwise your pup will have no idea as to why you are telling her "no". But yes, all will be fine in the end. Enjoy your pup and take lots of pictures because soon she'll be a full grown dog and you won't remember how small she was! :)
 

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Emotionally, I'm a wreck thinking I'm not doing things right and that I'm not following all of the things i've seen on the dog whisperer and that I'm going to ruin my dog.
I strongly believe that if you follow the things you see on the Dog Whisperer, you probably will 'ruin' your dog.
He's pretty much a quack.

However, I, too, believe you seem to be doing fine by your dog. She's not in her crate any longer than most dogs and if she's doing well so far you must be doing something right.
 
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