My Reality Check after 4 Wks of Being a Puppy Mom

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Annamarie Gebar, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. Annamarie Gebar

    Annamarie Gebar Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Messages:
    103
    This week Sophie is 11 weeks and I've had her for 4 weeks. Getting a puppy after being recently single, in a brand new town 2 hours from my family and friends has been very difficult since it's just me with no help. Sophie is progressing in many areas (self occupying and being mostly calm in her playpen while I work (I work from home right now) and at night time she bolts straight to her crate when I tell her it's bedtime. She's slowly learning leave it, but is only about 20% where I need her to be with that and I still have to reel her in and pry items out of her mouth (treats do nothing to make her drop it). The biting in some areas is getting better, she doesn't go for my legs, pant legs, shoes and feet anymore when I'm sitting in a chair except for a few times (and usually "leave it" will stop her). She also is getting better with not attacking my legs outside in the yard except for her hyper periods which are first thing in the morning and her Zoomies time between 7-9 pm.

    She is, however, starting some new stuff, like biting me when I go to attach her leash or remove it during the crazy times, and sometimes when I go to take her out of the crate in my car when I bring her with me places. I've been trying new things - using a snuffle mat and treat dispensing toys for part of her meals, it does help calm her down a bit. I've been using a very long lead and playing catch with her favorite stuffed duck toy in the yard 2 times a day. I've given her a large stick to carry on walks and it does help keep her occupied and she's cute and looks proud like she's doing a job she's meant to do. All of these things are thanks to the many wonderful and encouraging puppy owners on here who have given me tips.

    She's also starting to park more, leash pulling, wants to paw and jump at other dogs she's introduced to, and just has horrible manners when we meet people out and about or passers by in my yard who stop to say hi to her. I dislike the dog trainer who is leading our puppy classes who keeps telling me she's dominant and I need to get her neutered as soon as I can or she's going to give me problems. Sophie is a crazy misbehaving nut job in puppy class, but that's why I'm there - to learn. I've scheduled some 1:1 time with another trainer who will come to my home.

    I love her to death but feel guilty that I actually have a count down calendar to when I can start having her go to doggy daycare 1-2 days a week to have some time to myself. I still find myself getting frustrated particularly about the biting because it truly does hurt and its very hard to redirect her or leave the room when a dog has her teeth dug into your arm. But then I remind myself how many band aids I needed 2 weeks ago and this week, I've used none. I remind myself that "leave it" actually is working sometimes and I keep training her. I remind myself she is a baby. I remind myself that these new "problems" will work themselves out with proper training which I must learn to do.

    Thank you to everyone who contributes your truth to this forum. This is the best resource I found for support and I visit here daily. It's nice to know I'm not alone with the struggles. I'm looking forward to the day I can post on here and tell you Sophie has grown into the most well behaved, gentle black lab, which I know she will be in the future. :)
     
  2. Mikkel

    Mikkel Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2021
    Messages:
    11
    Have had ours for 2 weeks and lucky that my partner is not working for 3 months and i had the first week off work and now working from home.
    Anyone managing a puppy on their own is impressive in my book, so give youself some credit for that :)
     
    Lollee likes this.
  3. Annamarie Gebar

    Annamarie Gebar Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Messages:
    103
    Thank you. It’s been exhausting i won’t lie and I’ve had several meltdowns. Lol but slowly getting better!
    Enjoy your new pup!
     
  4. StephanieandSonny

    StephanieandSonny Registered Users

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    It is exhausting! My lab Sonny is 10 months old now and still a handful but my goodness am I glad to be through the early days! And I have always been honest about my experience, even if people do think I am a horrible person for it but....I hated him in the first few months of being at home with us. It is HARD work especially when they are so full of energy and you're a nervous wreck worrying about the next bite. BUT is does get easier and more enjoyable. Everyone loves Sonny now (including me, he won me over).
    P.S try time outs for the biting, worked for us!
     
    NancyB likes this.
  5. Annamarie Gebar

    Annamarie Gebar Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Messages:
    103
    Thank you. My sister got a puppy last year and her experience was the same as yours so I was a bit prepared for this. All the craziness and biting kept her from really bonding with their pup at first but after 6-8 months she calmed down and now she loves her to death. I do love Sophie, and I know she will become my best friend but right now I feel guilty because I really don't enjoy interacting with her. It's all hard work, exhausting and very little "fun" Play time is more keep myself from getting attacked time. I'm seeing small improvements and just counting the days till a sweet non-biting puppy appears. :)
     
  6. NancyB

    NancyB Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2021
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    I really appreciate your honesty! Makes me feel much better about feeling like this was a huge mistake! Buster is 15 weeks and there has been some improvement in the last few days, hoping it continues. Looking forward to a time when I can just enjoy bring with him!
     
  7. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,685
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon & Mt Hood Oregon
    It gets better pretty quickly. Puppies grow up so fast that you don't want to miss any of it, but is challenging some times.
     
  8. ChewyNev

    ChewyNev Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Messages:
    7
    Thank you so much for saying this and being honest. I feel like everywhere I look people have puppies and dogs and are so relaxed and happy and I am so anxious and feel really down about the fact that we have this pup (who is really good in so many ways!) and I feel trapped and so worried that I won’t bond with him. It’s just so exhausting and I feel such a lot of pressure to ensure he is well trained.

    Recently (he has just turned 4 months old) Neville will chew something he shouldn’t and I’ll say ‘leave it’ and he will look at me and go right back to chewing it. I’ll say it again and then he will try to bite me. Is this still excited play? It’s so hard not to interpret it as aggression!!

    He can be so gentle and sweet and then I feel so guilty. Hearing other people say they felt the same is so helpful. I feel like a bad dog mum and worried and anxious about the future.

    Liz
     
    Lollee and Annamarie Gebar like this.
  9. Annamarie Gebar

    Annamarie Gebar Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Messages:
    103
    I had a dog behaviorist over because I had similar issues. She comforted me and told me it’s true puppy behavior. The Fay I called her, Sophie lunged at me so many times snd I was bitten like 7 times all drawing blood. I was devastated and exhausted.

    I will say, it’s 3 weeks later snd Sophie is 17 weeks going on 18 right now. People are right when they say at 4 months the biting gets better. Keep with the “leave it”. It will stick eventually. I think one they mature more they get it quicker. Now that Sophie is older she got “off” in 3 days. Her biting started to get better but she was still biting my feet in the chair. I managed to calmly pick her up and put her in her pen without being bitten and after doing that 4 times, she’s never done it again, I tried this before for weeks on end and it never worked, so either my energy was showing to her (fear and frustration) or she was too young to get it. She hasn't bitten me in 2 weeks! I am also actually able to pet her and cuddle with her, something I could never do until now. It’s like someone flipped a switch but honestly I think it’s something about maturity level at 4 months. She’s not perfect, still can’t Leah walk, still have to use “leave it” on everything new she experiences, but she’s a different dog. Hang in there. Stay calm, try different tactics, and give yourself mental breaths with crate or pen time. Otherwise it’s too much and will wear on you!
     
  10. Michelle V

    Michelle V Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    I joined this forum because we are first time dog owners and I so wanted to make sure we were doing things right. Hearing other people are or have had the same emotions I am going through right now is so good.

    Our pup is nearly 13 weeks. She is getting better slowly with the nipping but I'm still very anxious, which I think she can tell.

    Our main problem at the mo is the constant mud eating. It's all the time! Mainly when she is in the garden. She will fig up a patch or jump into the flower bed and will not drop it.

    I have tried " leave it" " drop it" or substituted with a toy. I try to play with her but all she wants is the mud. Goodness knows how much she eats. She is never in the garden unsupervised and it's starting to get very unenjoyable to be out with her.

    I've even said to my husband " can we take her back to the breeder" which makes me feel like the worst person ever!

    I'm looking forward to a time when I can enjoy her

    M



    Going for walks are better, she doesn't tend to try to eat stuff then, although she does not like her harness. That's another battle!

    And like others I have cried a lot since getting her and font ferl the same bond as my husband has with her.
     
  11. ChewyNev

    ChewyNev Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Messages:
    7
    Thanks so much to both of you. I was hoping to feel less anxious by now. He’s 19 weeks tomorrow. Praying the 6 month mark brings some peace.
     
  12. leeloo66

    leeloo66 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Thank you for this thread. I feel like I'm not alone. We got our pup at 6 weeks old. He's now 9 weeks and I go from absolutely loving him for his sweetness, to wanting to return him to the breeder because this furry crocodile is making me really hate him with all his painful biting. He draws blood. We use the "ouch" method, "no", redirection, and ignore, but he takes it as a challenge and ramps up his landshark attacks. He is not the cute cuddle bug I thought he'd be (our previous Lab was, and he came to us with a soft mouth). I'm glad there should be a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully in a couple of months our piranha on legs will settle down with the biting and I can start truly bonding with him. Until then, I'll stock up on bandaids.
     
  13. AnnaC

    AnnaC Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2021
    Messages:
    8
    My girl is 4 months this coming weekend and its definitely getting easier. She became very bites around 13 weeks but has greatly improved since then. Apart from when my husband comes home from work that is. I think she just gets super excited to see him. She can still wake during the night and early mornings but in general its getting better. She does pretty good when out and about and loves meeting people and dogs. Apart from the waking, the only other problem we have is her tendancy to eat her own poo at times. We're fairly watchful but sometimes we miss one and she gets to it before us. Hopefully more training will help combat this. Shes just very funny at times and is such a lovely addition to our family. But I too had so much regret and anxiety in the first 4 or 5 weeks. So its good to know We're not alone.
     
  14. Annamarie Gebar

    Annamarie Gebar Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Messages:
    103
    I had bloody hands and arms daily for a few weeks! But she hasn’t drawn blood now for almost 3 weeks in fact, even the few times she does bite she doesn’t really even put her teeth on me...she just opens her mouth and aims it at me.

    The instructions from most say to ignore when they bite. I could never do that. You can’t walk away when a labs teeth are dug into your leg. What I did do, was find a way to calmly pick her up while putting something in her mouth so she couldn’t bite as I picked her up, and I put her in her playpen. I let her out after 30 seconds...she’d bite again, and I repeat. I think the repetition helped her “get it”. I did that for 2 days and that was the turning point. But it took a month for me to be brave enough to pick her up and also figure out a way to prevent her from biting as I picked her up! Hang in there!!
     

Share This Page