8 Weeks Old Lab...1st week at home and I am done

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Usman, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Dear Community,

    My wife, daughter and me very excitedly got a lab puppy last Sunday. We did a lot of research did a lot of shopping made room puppy proof, placed a crate and then also placed puppy-pen. I took a week off for hospitation and settling him down, started with vaccination and got tons of toys. We even changed our car to fit him in.

    Its been 7 days and it feels like ages. It feels like I am completely done with him he pees all the time I take him out almost 30 times a day and still I can't avoid 2-4 accidents in a day. He never popped indoors and he sleeps in his crate during the night, but when he is up he needs 100% attention at all time.

    I know he is not at fault and young and probably it is alright if he pees a little 3 times in an hour at this point in his life but it feels like I have no life left. I am a very active sports lover and before this week I spent maybe 12-15 hours training and it all seems like a distant dream now. I have work from tomorrow (home office), but I feel I can't imagine how will I manage him and work together. He sleeps alright at night almost from 10-6 and wakes up 3 times to pee.

    We also have a cat at home very sophisticated cat and he is visibly unhappy, the cat sleeps in our bedroom so it is not possible for us to keep his crate in our bedroom. I sleep in his room, but I am sure it will be alright to let him sleep alone in his crate once we have a schedule for peeing.

    I feel my sentences are disoriented and there is no flow in this writing, but that is the state of my mind. I didn't have the time for a proper shower and shave in the last 7 days and I am tired.

    Please tell me if I am doing something wrong if this is normal to have accidents even after taking care of him almost 24/7 and at some point, he will get accustomed to living with us and there will be time for ourselves. I am seriously thinking about taking the pill and return him to the breeder.

    Please help anything some words or critics to tell me what I am doing wrong?
     
  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

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    Hi Usman,

    Welcome to the forum, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling.

    Take a look at this article about the Puppy Blues on our main site, and also have a read though some of the old puppy threads on this forum if you have time. The good news is - you're not alone in feeling the way you do.

    Puppies are an absolutely massive upheaval. They do demand a lot of attention throughout their first year, and I'm afraid that many of your normal habits are likely to end up on hold for several months. It's a big investment of time and emotions. It is usually extremely rewarding in the end, but it's also ok to realise that it's not for you. Your breeder should have no trouble rehoming him at 9 or 10 weeks old if that's what you decide to do. You might also have a happier experience adopting an older dog in the future, who's already toilet trained and used to spending some time alone.

    But if you do want to persevere, take heart that puppies grow up very quickly! Lots of the stages are just as all consuming and gruelling as when your daughter was a baby, but they're over sooo much quicker!

    And we're always here to listen and offer support whenever you want to reach out :)
     
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  3. Leomag

    Leomag Registered Users

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    Dear Usman. I'm sorry you are not enjoying your experience. It sound about right though. Puppies require A LOT OF TIME! I almost went into depression after a few weeks of having ours because I pretty much had to give up work and despite that, had no time left for anything. Goodbye energy, motivation, showers, sports and more and hello junk food and stress. Our family had to make massive adjustments to cope. We had been told puppies needed a lot of time and work but we did not fully realise. HOWEVER, he is now nearly 6 months old and we would never go back to living without him. We trained him successfully in many many aspects so far and compared to most dogs we see, he is really really doing well BUT that is from CONSTANT work and research. Even teaching him to play requires work and research. We also now consider and see the positive aspects of having him. Calmer, more outdoorsy household. My husband also used to run and bike ride all the time before we had the pup and is now only slowly going back to it but for a while it was practically impossible. I still believe it is possible to continue enjoying a pretty similar life as before but it requires a significant amount of organisation and adjustments. If you are not ready to make the puppy a priority for at least a year or do not have the will or means to modify your family arrangements accordingly, then I feel like you will always feel bitter about this. If you want to rehome you pup, I would get in touch with the breeder where you got him before anything else. They are usually pretty good at helping in those situations and might be able to take him back.
     
  4. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    I echo the above comments and concur with all of your experiences so far. It is hard work and I’ll admit so much harder than we realised.

    We are at the 11 month mark and whilst we have gained some normality back there are still things we simply don’t have time to do now we have an adolescent Labrador on our hands. I seemed to think that a dog would ‘fit into’ our lives and for us that was a complete false reality. Our life is very different now, even at nearly a year old and whilst we are happy with our new world, it isn’t what we thought it would be.

    The puppy stage is hard and exhausting but there are other phases coming up that can be equally frustrating so don’t feel guilty and give yourself the time to think it over fully before you make your next decision.

    There is another good thread about cats and Labs doing the rounds which can give you some insight into how long it can take for them to become accustomed to each other.

    I wish you luck in making the best decision for you and your family.

    Jess
     
  5. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Hi Sarah and thanks a lot for your words and support. I am trying my very best really pushing and I know I love this little guy so much, but somehow my mood and anxieties are above the ceiling. My Wife and Daughter are already so attached to him which results in a more complicated situation for all of us as much as they want me to be happy sending Sheldon away will be even difficult for them.

    We are trying for an option of a temporary return to the breeder and get him back before Christmas when he is almost 6 months and I can take almost a month off and find the right mind and commitment. We all know we want a dog and maybe a slightly mature and house trained 6 months old puppy will be better for us.
     
  6. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Hi Leomag yes I can relate exactly to what you are saying and since I live a very very active life this shock took a massive hit on me and my health. I checked today and found that I lost almost a Kg in the last 8 days and skipping meals not feeling hungry and have not slept for more than 3 hours. We are considering a temporary home with the breeder and want to get him back in December when he is almost 6 months old. What do you think about that? My wife wants to make a decision soon before it gets impossible it is not easy now, but every day we spend with him we love him more. I think my mood is also effecting Sheldon as he looks so sad and sleeping a lot today and it makes me feel even worst.
     
  7. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Thank Jess for your good wishes and advice.

    I am trying not to feel guilty, but it is impossible really looking into his eyes. I want the best for the puppy above everything so my priority is to settle him into a good home if I can't give him the love and care he deserves. It is not a problem to find a home for 10 weeks old Labrador and our breeder can do it easily she said. We are considering an option to temporary home him with the breeder as her private puppy and get it back once he is 6 months, let me know what you think about this option?

    I am confused since I have no real experience and unsure about myself and my abilities now.
     
  8. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I commend you for being so honest about how you feel. However I think it would be better to return the puppy to the breeder for permanent rehoming rather than until he is a few months older. At 6 months the puppy will be toilet-trained and have some basic understanding of how to live with humans but will still need lots of time and attention as he will be approaching adolescence - always a trying period and during which you build on the bonds made during puppyhood and call on the history of reinforcement of good behaviours that you have built up so far.
    I'd wait for a bit and get a much older dog, perhaps 4 or 5 years of age, who will fit your lifestyle better.
     
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  9. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Thanks, Joy for your honest advice and suggestion since the decision is not only mine and my wife is very emotional even about sending him away for 3-4 months I will slide in the suggestion and see what she feels about it. I am certain if we don't take him back in a few months we will not get another dog at least not in the new future.
     
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  10. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Hello, this is no criticism at all, but it sounds like your family is not quite ready for a dog, pup or older. As others have said, 6 months is a tough time, they are large dogs then with a puppy mentality. Often there are still problems with biting, pulling in the lead, poor recall at that age.It takes a good year or so, in my opinion for a lab to mature and settle, that is with heaps of patience. Maybe it worth looking at a different breed, but labs are hard work until they mature a bit. Meg was 18 moths really until she started to become the perfect family pet. Now age 6 she is just amazing, but it took a lot of work to get there. Don’t be hard on yourself if you are not ready, it is kinder for the pup.
     
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  11. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Edp no it didn't even sound like a criticism but honest words from your side. I think my family is more committed, but I am the one suffering from serious depression. I am also the one who got more hit by the sudden change and doing most of the work that is needed. In all honesty, my no.1 priority is with the well being of the puppy and when I know I cant provide him with all what he needs in the current situation (no bladder control and sleepless nights). I am sure that we will need a massive adjustment no matter what his age is and somehow it sounds like I am hoping against the hops since I don't want to lose him. It all sounds so unbelievable crazy coming from my side since I wanted a dog for many many years and I was praying to my wife to please adopt a dog.

    I wish I felt good and better about it and this feeling is beyond explanation.
     
  12. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    So we had a talk with the breeder it seems like we can't afford to pay for the costs to give him away temporarily. It will be twice the cost of puppy and with how I am feeling I am not even sure I will be better when he returns in 4 months time.

    The guilt is killing me and I love this little guy so much I don't know how to make this decision. I am sorry I know it is not a Labrador discussion anymore but not sure with whom to discuss this and who will understand it. My wife and daughter will hate me for if I decide to return him and I would have done the same in their position.

    As much as I am trying and painful it is to return him I am not finding the guts to commit and I feel puppy and our life will suffer in long run if we don't.
     
  13. Oatley

    Oatley Registered Users

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    You have received some really good advice.

    Ultimately it is a family decision and if the puppy does need to be rehomed, now is the best time as the breeder can do that easily which you’ve alluded to.

    Every experience is different, from our own personal experience as a family with two young children, the first few weeks were trying and Lulu needed plenty of attention. We found it got easier as time went on. Different challenges present themselves however not as intense as the settling in period.

    It is very brave of you to be so candid. You do need to sit down with everyone and make a decision that’s in the best interest of the puppy and your family as raising one is a huge commitment.

    I can say, if you decide to stick with it, use the wealth of information presented on here including all the articles, you’ll all get a wonderful companion that will enrich your lives.

    Wishing you all the best. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.
     
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  14. mom2labs

    mom2labs Registered Users

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    I have to weigh in here because I felt this way when we got our puppy who is now almost 2 1/2. See we had our 11 year old lab already when we got Oakley, boy was Oakley different than Harley, it was constant nipping, biting, jumping I felt like you that we were never going to be or feel normal again. However and this is just me, I pushed through and we did puppy training which helped a lot, one thing that helped us a lot as well was getting him on a better schedule. We both work from home as well and it seemed that until he was about 7 months old potty training went MUCH better with a schedule. We put gates up and confined him to our living room and kitchen only, we also since they do need a lot of sleep we would take his water away at 7 PM and take him out just before bed which was about 10pm, he would wake one -2 times then he would get up around 6:30 am, potty, eat and then I would play with him for about 30 - 45 min or walk him before work. Then he would go back in the crate about 7:45 and sleep until around 10:30, he would go out immediately potty and we would play and hang out for a bit then back in the crate until 1:00, we would have a full hour so he would potty, eat lunch, play, my point is having him more on a schedule reduced so much of the anxiety and he seemed so much more happy and we were more happy, potty training went so much better but we didn't figure this out until he was almost 4 months and we struggled with potty accidents until this. We all as a family would take turns taking him out ect and doing the puppy classes helped, it tired him out and was good for all of us. Anyways this is our story and now Oakley who we thought could and would never get through this and now being over 2 is a wonderful boy, he is gentle and full of energy but knows to quiet and rest when we need him too. It took until about 18 mo. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Leomag

    Leomag Registered Users

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    Hi again. It is a very difficult situation and I feel for you because we also did think of giving him back but because the decision was so hard to make looking into his puppy eyes and our kids eyes and because we actually had the organisational and financial means to keep him if we really wanted to, we pushed through. However, our puppy is particularly good. He was fully potty trained at 9 weeks and his barking, jumping, nipping phase was very short and easy to manage. The vet had commented he was by far the callers puppy lab he had ever seen. I also agree with the other answers you received that a temporary rehoming is not a solution. At 6 months you will face adolescence who cc h is also a challenging time and also, most 6 months old labs still have not generalised their training to everywhere, meaning, what obedience he would have learned during his time away from you, it is unlikely he will apply it to you house initially so you would still have to invest a lot of time and energy into his training. I'm afraid the only reality to raising a lab puppy is that you have no life for at least 12 months....
     
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  16. Leomag

    Leomag Registered Users

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    Hi again. It is a very difficult situation and I feel for you because we also did think of giving him back but because the decision was so hard to make looking into his puppy eyes and our kids eyes and because we actually had the organisational and financial means to keep him if we really wanted to, we pushed through. However, our puppy is particularly good. He was fully potty trained at 9 weeks and his barking, jumping, nipping phase was very short and easy to manage. The vet had commented he was by far the calmest puppy lab he had ever seen. I also agree with the other answers you received that a temporary rehoming is not a solution. At 6 months you will face adolescence which is also a challenging time and also, most 6 months old labs still have not generalised their training to everywhere, meaning, what obedience he would have learned during his time away from you, it us unlikely he will apply it to you house initially so you would still have to invest a lot of time and energy. I'm afraid the only answer to raising a lab puppy is you have no life for at least 12 months....
     
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  17. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Thanks to everyone for kind words and taking time to bring so much helpful advice. After a lot of deliberation and discussion, we concluded it is best for the puppy and us that we return him to the breeder at 8 weeks she will have no problem finding a more suitable family for him. I think above everything our decision to adopt a puppy was ill-researched. We watch a lot of youtube videos of how to train and live with a puppy but simply failed to read how much work it will be to take care of him. It all came to us as a shock and I completely break down under the pressure.

    I know the phase of taking him back and returning back home will be even tougher than whatever we experienced but this is something we have to experience. I am not sure if I will ever mentally be able to adopt another dog, but this guilt is killing me. Only thing is that I am sure our puppy will find a better home with people who are more positive to keep him and give me everything he needs.
     
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  18. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    @Usman You certainly shouldn't feel guilty. You are being responsible and doing the best for the puppy and your own mental health. A person who kept but neglected/ mistreated the puppy or one who abandoned him would be guilty, not someone like you who has made a genuine mistake and has taken steps to put things right. Best wishes.
     
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  19. Usman

    Usman Registered Users

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    Thanks, Joy for the kind words we will return him today with all his toys, stuff and bed so he gets some good memories from us. There is some positive that it is expected he will be adopted by a family friend of my wife. I feel it is best for the puppy and it better that he will find a more loving home with a better situation to take care of him.
     
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  20. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    I hope today goes as well as it can for you and your family. You’ve made a responsible decision as an pet owner, and these are often the most difficult decisions. Please feel proud that you’ve done this, despite it being unbelievably hard.

    Remember there are are lots of ways to have a dog in your life without a permanent commitment which might help you gain some four legged joy which suits your current world more - I’m sure local shelters would appreciate the help walking/playing/socialising with their long term stays. Perhaps even Borrow My Doggie which is a UK dog walking site.

    Take care and we hope to see you again in the future, when ready, with perhaps an older dog.
     
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