Encouragement needed from single puppy parents

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by MillieMix23, May 17, 2024.

  1. MillieMix23

    MillieMix23 Registered Users

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    Looking for advice and encouragement from single puppy parents who work full time. I've been at this three months and every day is....well...pure torture. How did you survive? Was it worth it? When did it get better?

    My lab mix puppy just turned 5mo. She's sweet, oh so smart, protective and totally dedicated to me to fault. She's pretty much housebroken, doesn't chew my stuff, and loves to please me. We're working on separation training as she seemingly can't function or even sleep without me.

    So why do I still have a horrible case of the puppy blues after three months of such progress? I'm completely exhausted raising my first puppy by myself while working full time. Crate training turned out to be so much worse than I thought It'd be. I CAN go to church Sunday mornings with her crated but otherwise haven't accomplished a healthy life balance along with some "me" time. My house, yard, vehicles, and even I am in shambles, the cat begs to get near me, and I haven't been to visit family in nursing homes or hospice because it takes time to wear her out before crating her and I can't leave her long at this point. This leaves no time to actually do what I need to do. The puppy gets more time with me than I do (a little scarcasm there) and is still jealous when the cat gets near me.

    Maybe most of this is desperate venting but how long do the puppy blues actually last? When can I expect to get some control back after three months of neglecting everything but the puppy? People say "they're just like kids". Well, I don't have kids either so that doesn't help much lol.

    Leak of sleep and energy affects my mood which she picks up on, and it's hard to keep making progress when you just can't find the strength or motivation. Please help me if you can. Thanks!
     
  2. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear you're struggling. New puppies are SUCH hard work. It really will get easier! By this age we would hope you'd be getting a pretty good night's sleep though... and being short on sleep makes everything else SO much harder - so perhaps that would be a good goal to focus on?

    If you'd like to talk us through what's happening overnight and what you've tried so far, we'd be happy to make some suggestions for you :)

    The other thing that might help is just to book her a few hours a week of doggy daycare, or with a dog walker, just to give you chance to recharge. It sounds like you would really benefit from a few hours of space from her, during the week. And that's entirely reasonable! xx
     
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  3. MillieMix23

    MillieMix23 Registered Users

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    As there is only one reply to this post, I'm assuming there aren't a lot of people crazy enough to try raising a first time puppy on their own while working full time. I was hoping to hear some success stories to be encouraged by.

    My pup already goes to daycare three days a week. She actually recently surprised me by letting me out of the house without coming unglued so her separation anxiety is improving slowly. I hope it continues and I hope it eventuality won't be so much work to exercise her before and after crating her.

    Sleeping is still a challenge. I need 8-9 solid hours of sleep to recharge and I'm a light sleeper. She shifts in the crate and her feet hit the sides of the crate when she flips over (no, the crate isn't to small). She yawns loud and paws the door when she stretches. This wakes me up throughout the night as it is. I hope someday she'll sleep in my room without a crate so that's why I haven't moved her out. The BIGGEST issue is getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Because I know it's unfair to ask a puppy to hold it for 8-9 hours I usually take her outside at around 3 or 4 AM when I get up for me. Then by the time I've gotten dressed for going outside, wrestling her to get her harness on and waited while she sniffs around for the right spot to go, I'm wide awake and can't get back to sleep.
     
  4. Monty's human

    Monty's human Registered Users

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    Hi, so I'm not single but I did have a massive case of the puppy blues last year. The world revolved around the dog & it was really tough. Going to training classes every week helped a lot - it provided some support for us and helped us not to feel alone. From memory by 5 months Monty was sleeping from 10pm to 6:45am - perhaps you could work towards this by putting the night time trip back by half an hour each night? Also is there somewhere else the crate could go that's further from where you sleep? Or wear earplugs so you don't get woken so often?
    Things got easier for us at around 12 months, which I know seems a long time but it did go by really quickly. Best of luck.
     
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  5. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    I would expect her to be able to sleep through the night at 5 months without having to go out. Tilly, Cooper and Jenny all normally slept through the night at 3 months. I dont think any were crated at night after 3 months, and if I recall correctly they all slept on our bed. I know Cooper and Jenny did. Leaving them alone in the house was a bit of a challenge, but it got better as we got better at puppy proofing the house.

    One thing that was a huge help is having a fenced yard and a dog door.
     
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