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I feel like the worst person in the entire world. I love my dog, I really do, but she is draining so much of me. I am her sole owner with nobody to back me up or pick up my slack, I don't get a break, and I'm in a really big transitionary period that's been extremely hard for me. I feel like the world's worst human for having thoughts of rehoming her, but sometimes the longer I have her, the less I feel I can handle her. I've had her two months now and she's my first dog ever. What do you do when you just want to give up? I know in my heart things will get better, easier, but I am having such a hard time. How do you remind yourself why you put in all this effort when your dog is sick, making a huge poop mess of the carpet in your rental apartment, when you're exhausted beyond belief but you have to walk her because she's relying on you and nobody else? How do I keep going when I feel so unworthy and incapable of taking care of her? Please don't tell me to just take her back. This though plagues me every day but I've made the commitment to take care of her. Tell me it gets easier? A little? Maybe?
 

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Hmmmmm......tough question. Only you can determine the outcome.

You haven't stated if you have a pup or a rescue or breed. I can say, I had the similar situation living in a foreign country as an ex-patriot with an full time job and an active Mini Schnauzer pup. Endured many trials in training, socialization, bad food, diarrhea.....the whole gamut of trouble. Now, my Shadow is 3 years old and is a joy to me. We are welcome in many local bars, restaurants and food stores. I never wasted time to teach Shadow tricks, only focused on good behavior and important commands. It does get easier, but it is a trial by fire.

When you are gone try using a gate to quarantine the dog in a tiled area like the kitchen. Yes, the mess will still happen, but it will be easier to clean up. Work with the dog every minute you can. It doesn't matter what activity, grooming, walking, playing, training, lounging/petting....... Establish a routine with the dog.

I am still working in a foreign country and I'm away from my home for 10-12 hours for work. Each day I come home to a little mess. I am not able to get home during lunch. I don't expect him to hold for that amount of time. Fortunately, he only relieves in 1 location and the home is all tile, so clean up is less than a 5 minute task. We have a routine that developed over several months and continues to evolve. Adjustments as life dictates, so both our lives are more easy or simple.

Good Luck, have heart. It does get better, but you must commit to the time for training, socialization, grooming, walking.......... Soon, you will realize these task do not take much time each day.
 

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Sorry to hear that you're in this situation. It's hard to address 'all of it' without specifics, but for some folks... tackling one problem at a time or creating a schedule can help. I'm going to use very general examples here.

For example, we can break "it's all too much" into tangible problems:
-dog is not house trained
-dog has a lot of energy
-dog is very needy when I come home and am tired
-dog is chewing up shoes
-dog is an anxious mess

Each problem also has a tangible solution. A trainer could tell you that there are MANY different ways to see a problem and find a solution, but it may be less overwhelming to focus on just one:
-dog is not house trained - I will put down more potty pads
-dog has a lot of energy - I will go to X park at Y time 5 days a week for 15 minutes to play fetch. (create a specific plan! generalizations like "exercise more" are often overwhelming!)
-dog is very needy when I come and am tired - I will save most of my dog's food for when I come home, and the moment I come home I will fill a food toy for her
-dog is chewing up shoes - I will put the shoes away or invest in a pen to keep the dog away from the shoes.
-dog is an anxious mess - I will schedule a vet appointment and see if anti-anxiety drugs can help my dog in the short or long term.

And really, it's not like you need to fix everything all at once. But even addressing just one problem with a tangible solution might help you feel like you have control over the bigger picture. The good news is, most common problem behaviors have easy and realistic management solutions, at least, so that you can work on actual training over the long term.

I think investing in a good, positive reinforcement based trainer can be beneficial. It might help you feel like a real life person has your back, and you'd have someone to turn to for the long run.

I also don't think returning a dog is a bad idea. I say this as a professional trainer working in a shelter and seeing dogs returned often enough. Neither I nor staff feel any animosity towards (most) people who surrender animals (okay, we might be judging the folks who literally threw their dog onto the weighing scale). But common reasons for surrender - moving, owner health problems, 'too much', too busy, etc... I mean, my heart goes out for the people who not only are facing hardships in life but also need to make the hard decision of bringing their pet in. I truly mean that. In fact, one thing we always say to people is, "I'm sorry this didn't work out. If and when you are ready, we would love to find you another cat/dog in the future". There is nothing ethically wrong with matches that weren't meant to be, expectations that don't end up aligning with reality, or just... having a hard time. Self care, and knowing your limits, is really important!

Anyways, I hope this helps. Best of luck!
 

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IT DOES GET BETTER! She's still adjusting and will eventually settle in. If she's a puppy you're in luck! Keep up the good work and she will develop and mature and settle down. It will take time though as well as patience and consistency.

Lots of people get puppy blues. You're not alone. I remember many tears of frustration when Pepper was a puppy. We got through it and she is an amazing dog now :)

Try to keep to a schedule. This will help both of you.

If she's old enough, see if you can find a good doggy daycare where she can go - even once a week or bi-weekly. This will give you a nice break and she can have some fun. Plus dogs are usually exhausted after daycare so they sleep a lot when they get home. If daycare is not an option, try to find a pet-sitter who can look after her from time to time when you really just need a break.

Good luck :)
 

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I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time but I can certainly relate. I have an 11 month old bichon that we got at 11 weeks old who is a handful to say the least. Fortunately for me I am retired and have plenty of time to deal with her. I also have a husband that is wonderful at helping. I don't know what I would have done without him. He seems to be much more patient than me and there have been times when this sweet little pup has frustrated me to no end. All that being said she has slowly shown improvement.
I would suggest if you can afford it that you hire a trainer. Or if she is very young enroll her in puppy classes. Also maybe get a dog walker that can walk the dog when you are too tired. Maybe there is a kid in your apartment building that would be old enough to take on the dog walking task. I have found with mine that the more exercise she gets daily the better she is because it wears her out. Wishing you much luck. Hang in there.
 

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Sam was my first dog. We'd had him a few months when a lot of things happened at once and my then-fiancee had to leave the country and move back home to Norway. I had to stay behind until my Visa application was approved.

Sam was just hitting teenage-dom. I was working retail full-time, struggling with untreated (at the time) anxiety and depression, and I had to move back in with my parents because no retail job pays enough to keep a roof over your head in the Eastern US no matter how many hours you work. My parents and I have a decently good relationship, but they're not dog people at all and they had two non-dog-savvy cats who Sam chased constantly, meaning he wound up on a leash indoors a lot and-

Let's just say it was a pretty miserable time, I was exhausted almost all the time, and for a while there I absolutely didn't like Sam much. The thing that helped the most was actually signing up for classes. It wasn't anything fancy, but it gave us specific time to work on our communication and bond, and to remind me I love training, even if I sometimes need a little extra motivation to actually do it. Looking back, I don't know how I'd have gotten through those nearly two years without Sam (he, of course, came with me when I finally got to move here and marry my wife).

It might not be training classes for you. Maybe it's hiking, or play, or something else. But finding that thing that you love best about having a dog and setting aside time to specifically do that thing together might help you feel less disconnected from your pup. It did me. A class or walking group or the like may help just to have that extra accountability with making sure you actually do it. But on the other hand, I absolutely agree with Canyx here. Sometimes the fit just isn't right, or the timing, or the living situation. So if you feel like this dog isn't right for you, like one or both of your quality of life is suffering in a way that you don't have the resources to fix right now, rehoming is absolutely an option and should not (imo) be considered bad or shameful in situations like this.
 

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I feel like the worst person in the entire world. I love my dog, I really do, but she is draining so much of me. I am her sole owner with nobody to back me up or pick up my slack, I don't get a break, and I'm in a really big transitionary period that's been extremely hard for me. I feel like the world's worst human for having thoughts of rehoming her, but sometimes the longer I have her, the less I feel I can handle her. I've had her two months now and she's my first dog ever. What do you do when you just want to give up? I know in my heart things will get better, easier, but I am having such a hard time. How do you remind yourself why you put in all this effort when your dog is sick, making a huge poop mess of the carpet in your rental apartment, when you're exhausted beyond belief but you have to walk her because she's relying on you and nobody else? How do I keep going when I feel so unworthy and incapable of taking care of her? Please don't tell me to just take her back. This though plagues me every day but I've made the commitment to take care of her. Tell me it gets easier? A little? Maybe?
I lived alone for years and had dogs and trained them with tremendous dedication for a sport which requires a ton of time and money and travel. I worked a lot too.. often leaving at 6AM and coming home at 6PM. The BIG difference was I owned my house. I set up outdoor kennels and indoor kennels in a basement with a concrete floor. Nice days the dogs were out with no bark collars on so the neighbors would not complain. Hot or cold days.. forecast of storms.. the dogs were indoors in regular kennels.

Everything was mine to do. I just did it. Left off social media (giant time waster) cleaned the house, mowed the grass (an acre PUSH MOWED!), took car in for repairs, got groceries and trained my dog every Sunday driving 2.5 hours one way, did home repairs and so forth.

Prior to all this I was a full time dairy farmer and trained horses. In that the animals came first. I was USED to that.. and to this day that is how it is. So maybe that is the difference.

I am now two weeks retired. Everything is still mine to do and I live alone but not working it is easier.

I cannot tell you it will get easier. I do not know what your day job is. If it is 6 days a week, 12 hours a day and very physically demanding then you will be tired and it will be difficult.
 

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honesty and reality is a good thing.. it means your normal :) :) :) And the only way to find solutions or resolutions to the situation is to be realistic and honest about it. I have had dogs, that were hot messes that needed my extra time, extra protection, extra consideration and accommodations. And I always took in the reality 'what if' they will always be this way (am I ok with that)? For me those "hot messes" have long term been my most cherish individuals in my life time. <3. In hard times, no one has your back better then your dog, no one accepts you more as you are then your dog.. Easy to have their back too and enjoy who they are.
 

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Is this dog a puppy ? Or an older dog? If a puppy, and you're not able to train it and exercise it, it might be better to take it back and get an older dog that's already potty trained and who knows some commands.
If you feel you aren't going to be able to handle such an active puppy, it would be kinder to take it back now...puppies are much more likely to be adopted quickly.
 

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I feel like the worst person in the entire world. I love my dog, I really do, but she is draining so much of me. I am her sole owner with nobody to back me up or pick up my slack, I don't get a break, and I'm in a really big transitionary period that's been extremely hard for me. I feel like the world's worst human for having thoughts of rehoming her, but sometimes the longer I have her, the less I feel I can handle her. I've had her two months now and she's my first dog ever. What do you do when you just want to give up? I know in my heart things will get better, easier, but I am having such a hard time. How do you remind yourself why you put in all this effort when your dog is sick, making a huge poop mess of the carpet in your rental apartment, when you're exhausted beyond belief but you have to walk her because she's relying on you and nobody else? How do I keep going when I feel so unworthy and incapable of taking care of her? Please don't tell me to just take her back. This though plagues me every day but I've made the commitment to take care of her. Tell me it gets easier? A little? Maybe?
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For the kind of question you have, this is an "interesting" kind of place to ask. The obvious reason would seem to be, “oh these people have lots of experience and have gone through what I have. So they'll know how to answer my question.”

I think it’s possible to describe the stages of training. How it progresses. Like potty and family obedience. Also, the developmental stages of a dog. They go through major changes at different intervals. 8 weeks to 3 mos. Up to a year. And then 2 year old’s can change again. Sometimes training has to be reinforced. Some of that is based on breed, gender, size, what kind of interaction it has with an owner, and what it's being trained for.

But most of it is like going through the stages of raising a baby, through childhood, into adolescence. And so the question becomes, with any ongoing responsibility “does it ever become easier?” “Or does it just change in nature?” And parents would say, the circumstances and situations change. But the relationship never does. Nor the need for attention and effort. And navigating ever evolving challenges!

To me, it sounds like you would be (or would’ve been) more comforted by sharing the responsibility with someone. But in this case, you feel alone. Overburdened. Maybe discouraged. And tired. These are NOT criticisms! And I don’t think you need to defend your intentions or your state of heart. You are doing the best you can … or you wouldn’t be writing and asking your question here.

I also don’t think it’s anyone's place to judge you. Though I would guess you’re just being hard on yourself. But who’s to say anybody is “unworthy” or that they are some kind of a “saint” either? That’s being emotional, while the need here, is for concrete support.

If a lack of time is the biggest issue at hand, then options are also going to be limited. But if priorities can be adjusted, then that’s another kind of a decision.

I found a lot of support by going to endless training classes. And associating with fanciers. All kinds of events. I loved it. And my dog loved going. I learned so much from trainers and the people around me. And the exposure my dog had to other dogs was invaluable. He became a better dog because of that. Compatible. Flexible. Patient. Curiously "happy" and enthusiastic! But I also had the support of breeders. And experienced handlers.

In your case I would say just talking to other people is vital. Asking them how situations were best resolved. Even simple puppy classes. But try different ones. And get a cross-section of experience.

You also have to think about long term. Most people don’t realize (or understand) that getting a dog is a lifetime commitment. Meaning, the lifetime of the dog. Which is only a 10th of your own! It’s not like any other “optional” acquisition, that can be returned. Oh ... it can be returned alright. But at what price your heart? Because it won't happen in some kind of detached manner. Like taking back a sweater! (Obviously!). Because the relationship we have with another creature IS tied to our heart. And only the person involved can understand how much value (or not) there is in having that kind of a bond.

I had a problematic dog. That I don’t think other people would’ve put up with. But we made it work. I was also a caregiver (of a human too), full time hobbyist, and had a full-time job too. Not a lot of money. So my connection with other people, meaning dog people, was a life saver. And those years, with that particular dog, was the best time in my life. We had a special bond. And a particular understanding. And I wouldn’t have traded him for the most perfect dog on earth. He would've given his life to protect me.

He did (however) make me appreciate the next one, who turned out to be the polar opposite! Fluffy puppy that he is. LOL!

But the first experience just made me a better dog owner in the long run!

I am sorry for your state of discouragement, at this point. And can understand all those frustrations! Especially being tired. (Don't worry, your dog understands you better, than you understand him/her). Before I got him, my dog was returned to the breeder because someone else couldn’t handle all the work. Probably his personality too. But look how all that turned out … the right solution came about anyway!

I hope that is of some encouragement! And comfort. That most things just work out for the better.
 

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I looked at your profile and see that the dog you adopted is a 2 yr old Border Collie. This bed is VERY high energy and needs a lot of training and exercise. If that's not you, please do find him a home where he can get what he needs.
 
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