Feeling guilty and finding it hard to cope - advice??

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#1
Hi all,

Recently I brought home a new puppy (9 week old Cocker Spaniel) and initially I thought everything was going okay - she had a long journey home (breeder was 2 and a half hours away) but she was very good, no pining and she used her puppy pad to go to the toilet in the car (she hasn’t had her second jabs yet so we couldn’t let her go out at the services)

However I’m finding now that she’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety; I’ll watch her like a hawk even while she sleeps because I’m scared she’ll find something to chew on (like wiring - we have puppy proofed the house but she somehow finds wires I didn’t know existed) or have an accident - I can’t sleep and I haven’t eaten for at least 2 days. My mum does help me look after her but she’s getting stressed too, she works during the day (I’m normally at home, if I’m out I’m normally out for 2 hours max) and it’s a mad house when she gets back, I feel so guilty about it!

My other dog (10 year old black lab) gets on with the puppy okay, however I feel terrible for him when she pines at night - I try to give him space so he can sleep without her pining and trying to play with him but sometimes it’s hard (I think he knows that he’s too big to play with her right now)

The worst part has to be training - I knew what I was getting myself into in terms of ‘I’ll have to potty train her, teach her her name and commands’ but I completely forgot the supervision she needs and the amount of times we need to go outside - my anxiety doesn’t help, puppies need supervision but I’m probably giving her twice what she needs
I’m just scared she won’t ever get trained, I don’t want her to end up like that, I really want the best for her and I don’t know if I can do it

I’m also guilty about my changing moods, it must be so confusing for her - one minute I’ll be holding it together, and the other I’ll be bursting into tears - sometimes she cries out with me and I’m scared it’ll negatively impact her in the future. I thought I could look after her, but I realise now maybe circumstances aren’t right and i feel completely foolish, irresponsible and selfish for even bringing her home.

I’ve always dealt with anxiety/depression and my older dog has always helped me with that - the reason I got a puppy in the first place was to provide company for him because he does get a bit lonely if I have days when I can’t get myself out of bed; I completely failed to realise that I can’t do that with a puppy and it isn’t fair on her, but I can’t seem to help it - I thought I could channel my anxieties into a positive with training her and seeing her progress but every time I see her I worry and think “will she hurt herself? Will she cause other people stress? Can I cope if she does something or if Shadow (my other dog) has had enough?” - I can’t ever relax anymore and I’m so exhausted

I need some advice on what to do next - my mum says she wants me to stick through with it till she grows up, but I don’t want to keep her here if it’ll negatively impact her in the future - I won’t be able to take her back to the breeder (it’s far and I’d feel ashamed even showing my face to them) but I know some families who could take her. It really saddens me because shes a lovely pup and she’s just being a pup and the fault is all mine....

(I’ll attach a photo of her too)

Sorry for the long post and thank you all x
8A6D0EA8-91F3-4622-B08D-8E19C6696B32.jpeg
 

TheDeena

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#2
First off if i might ask, what is “pining”. I have raised several dogs during my lifetime and my most recent endeavor is my 14 month old shi/mal that i got a 8 weeks old. I can understand your confusion and anxiety, once you get a puppy or even have a new baby it is overwhelming because you realize “this is the real thing”. First off, i would strongly urge you to get a crate. One that can be adjusted by size. The space should only be slightly bigger then herself so she will not soil in the area. My dog is 14 months and i taught her from the gecko not to go in her crate. She sleeps in there at night and it keeps her cozy and secure. During the day if I go out she stays in a gated area with my 10 year old birchon/poodle. It is important to limit the areas and places your new puppy can go. If you are training your puppy to go outside, you should be taking him/or her out as many times as possible and give the dog a treat every time they urinate and/or poop outside. Raising a puppy is like having a newborn baby. It requires, total devotion, consistency and selflessness. You must decide if you really can do that, if not, i would speak with the breeder and see if you can return the puppy and get your money.
 
Joined
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#3
First off if i might ask, what is “pining”. I have raised several dogs during my lifetime and my most recent endeavor is my 14 month old shi/mal that i got a 8 weeks old. I can understand your confusion and anxiety, once you get a puppy or even have a new baby it is overwhelming because you realize “this is the real thing”. First off, i would strongly urge you to get a crate. One that can be adjusted by size. The space should only be slightly bigger then herself so she will not soil in the area. My dog is 14 months and i taught her from the gecko not to go in her crate. She sleeps in there at night and it keeps her cozy and secure. During the day if I go out she stays in a gated area with my 10 year old birchon/poodle. It is important to limit the areas and places your new puppy can go. If you are training your puppy to go outside, you should be taking him/or her out as many times as possible and give the dog a treat every time they urinate and/or poop outside. Raising a puppy is like having a newborn baby. It requires, total devotion, consistency and selflessness. You must decide if you really can do that, if not, i would speak with the breeder and see if you can return the puppy and get your money.
Hi Deena,

With the pining, I mean her crying whenever she’s separated from us (whether we’re out or just in a different room) -she can get quite loud and she also gets quite distressed, normally in the morning she has defecated all over the room (we keep her in the kitchen because dogs aren’t allowed upstairs in our house). My older dog does seem to get stressed by her whining, although she is getting better and not annoying him as much (my older lab does give her warning growls when she steps over the line)

I’m not sure what to do about the crying situation, as the mess and smell is unbearable, and I don’t want my older dog to get unnecessarily anxious!

I’m considering a crate, however it’s definitely a new thing for me - our other dog hated his crate so much he would hurt himself so I suppose we never considered it again...but that was 10 years ago and another dog so I suppose that was pretty naïve!

My cocker puppy is definitely getting better with her toilet training - she’s asking to go out and I’m finding it easier to tell the signs when she wants to go, and even though she’s only been with us 5 days she’s really getting the idea already! I’m also in a better state of mind, I still have my breakdowns occasionally when I feel she goes backwards with her training, but then I keep her in the kitchen for five minutes and give myself a “time out” to calm down (a crate would probably help with this?)

Thanks for your advice, and I’m glad I didn’t break down completely and return her to the breeder - she’s coming on leaps and bounds and next week she’ll be able to go on walks which I’m really excited for (should wear her out too) - she’ll be 11 weeks when she starts to go for walks, how long would you recommend I take her out for? I’ve read that a rule of thumb is 5 minutes per month of age, is that a good idea?

Thanks x
 

TheDeena

Passionate About My Animals
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#4
So, just to talk a little bit more about crating: Buy a crate with a divider. The crate should only be big enough for them to reposition themselves. It sounds cruel, but they view it as their special “den”. When you go out and/or go to sleep at night this is the one and only place he/she should be put into. Also, at night I would put a blanket over the crate so the dog knows it is night time. It is imperative when the dog is not crated during the day to make sure you are taking them out every 15-30 min. And to praise them with a treat after they do their business outside. If you work, the dog needs to be kept in the crate but can only stay in their a certain amount of time depending on his age (it pretty much correlates with their age). I will guarantee you if you are consistent with this training the dog will learn to be calm and quiet in His crate and will learn NOT to potty in his crate as this is his “domain”. Exercise is KEY in wearing out a puppy. Walks around the block several times a day until i think they are like 8 months old before you can do anything extensive. Make sure you take treats with you and when his potties, you give him a treat. As the dog gets bigger, make the crate area bigger. If he dirties in the crate, make it smaller. They will learn that this is their special place and will not dirty in the crate. If you need any other information, please dont hesitate to reach out. Good luck!!
 
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