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I have a 3.5 month old shepherd, and I've had really bad puppy blues since day 1. I’m just having a hard time bonding with her and fully seeing her as mine - I always feel one foot in the door, one foot out. I’ve been crying every single day since I got her, definitely lost weight, and wakeup every morning almost regretting my decision - Which I hate myself for doing. In the beginning I thought it was because it was hard crate training her, but the more I get to know her, I think the reason why is that I was originally going to get a golden retriever pup, but I couldn’t find any good breeders I trusted at the time, so I ended up with a german shepherd - I know, completely different breeds.

I fostered a german shepherd a couple years back and he was super skittish and anxious and that helped me decide the best fit for me would be a more social/easy-going dog.

My pup is sweet, she's pretty social (for a shepherd), independent, so she is that typical-standard shepherd. I already met with a personal trainer, who helped evaluate her and said she’s social, already very protective, alert, indifferent to people, and would be a great guard dog, and would be great at bite work (if that was what I wanted to do).

So for me, it’s not about the hard work (potty training, having to come home early, the attention, etc - I actually love taking care of her and training her, I love having to come home early to take her out etc). I just don’t feel like she’s the dog for me, no matter how many people tell me she’s a really sweet/smart/perfect dog and that she’ll grow up to be great. I want to either be fully committed/love her COMPLETELY or make a decision to give her back to the breeder (which I keep telling myself won’t be the WORST thing in the world. I really love the breeder, she’s so communicative and I know she tried really hard to pair me with the right pup, so I absolutely and completely trust her to find her another loving home, if it ever came to that). It’s to the point where, when I see other Goldens, my heart sinks and hurts a little. I don’t want to be that kind of owner to my pup. I know that physically I'm doing my very best to raise her in the best environment and socializing her, but want her to be with someone who will be fully committed, mentally and physically.

I'm rambling at this point, but please refrain from any mean comments - I'm already hard on my self as it is.
 

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Sometimes we find out that a dog just isn't the right fit for us, and that's okay. A GSD and a Golden are vastly different dogs, and you want what you want. You deserve to have the type of temperament you want, and your pup deserves an owner who wants her for what she is, too. If you're feeling so strongly about this, you should go ahead and return the pup to the breeder. I'm sure there are other people on the breeder's waiting list.

Next time, go with your gut and get what you want! You likely will have to wait for a year or two for a reputable breeder, but I think you've found out the wait is so worth it! Even for people who are experienced dog owners, getting a dog that doesn't mesh with your lifestyle can be miserable.
 

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How long have you had the puppy? Is your disappointment because you would be much happier with a dog who was really friendly with other people, instead of being aloof with strangers, or is it more than you don't feel like you really love her? I ask because each of the last two times I've gotten puppies (one a former dog I had her whole life) and the more recent now 6 years old, I was very happy and excited to get a puppy, but my actual relationship with each puppy developed over much more time. I didn't LOVE them initially, for some months. My former dog was a super friendly, outgoing personality who loved all people. My current dog is social but aloof with strangers. I love her just as much as the former dog, and she's very cuddly with me and my boyfriend. So a dog that is aloof with strangers may still be a lovable dog with you. So possibly the relationship just needs more time, but if it's important to you to have a dog who is more outgoing with lots of people, then she probably never will be what you want.
 

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Take the dog back to the breeder and get on a waiting list for a Golden Retriever. It is not fair to the dog (and she spunds like a good dog) and not fair to you. You are just going to have to find a Golden breeder and get on a waiting list.
 

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I agree get breed you want. Not fair to that pup to have an owner that really doesn’t want that. No offense to to you. It would be terrible for me to try to take care of a St. Bernard. I couldn’t do it physically. Care.
 

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I don’t know I fell in love with the dogs right away. Feel in love with an Irish Setter pup, then a Cocker, and then a Teddy Bear. They were spaced out and really did another until I lost one which created an empty space in my life.
 
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