New Labrador pup and I’m completely overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Introductions & Saying Hello' started by David Poole, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    Hello,

    I brought home our new lab puppy on January 1st. He was born on November 4 so he is almost 9 weeks. I have to admit I’m completely overwhelmed. I love him but am super stressed out to the point of tears at times. I took some time off from work and I am supposed to be returning to work tomorrow. I haven’t yelled or done a (conscious) negative behavior towards Sam but he doesn’t seem joyous around me. He wags when other people are around and approach him but not me.

    I’ve been militant about taking him out to pee all the time to limit the accidents inside. He loves outside which seems to be hindering his house breaking because he gets distracted by everything.

    The wife is stressing about me going to work tomorrow. She seems overwhelmed by the idea of having him all day while I’m at work.

    I don’t want to stress the dog but I really didn’t know how much I didn’t know.
     
  2. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi David,

    This is very normal to be feeling overwhelmed. I put a post up a while back about 17 weeks with my pup and there is loads of challenges and obstacles to overcome, you just need to find out how best to distract and re-direct your pup to help eliminate the unwanted behaviour.
     
  3. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    I took 5 days off from work and was doing pretty well with him. Up until this morning at 4:00 there were no poop accidents in the house, just a couple pee accidents. An hour after I get to work the wife said he pooped on the floor. Sigh.

    I’m worried about her ability to put up with the pup. He’s really good but he doesn’t quite respect her the way he does me. I tried to do pretty much all the work this past 5 days so she could rest before I returned to work.
     
  4. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Hi David, and welcome to the forum. As Christina says, it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Your life has changed dramatically, but things will improve.

    The good news is, your puppy doesn't need to 'respect' you (in the sense of being wary, or submissive, or subdued around you), or anyone else in order to be well-trained and well-behaved. Modern training is all done using positive reinforcement. You do need to work on getting that tail wagging joy back around you though. Try hand feeding your puppy for a few days. You should be using most of his food ration up reinforcing nice behaviors such as looking at you, and paying attention to you. It helps if you and other family members have some food in your pocket or in a handy pot in each room so that you can reinforce great behaviors all day long.

    Here's some articles that may help,

    https://www.thelabradorsite.com/labrador-puppy-first-days-at-home/
    https://www.thelabradorsite.com/how-to-beat-the-labrador-puppy-blues/
    https://thehappypuppysite.com/positive-dog-training/
     
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  5. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    I’ve been doing the food in the pocket thing as of yesterday. Wish I had started it Wednesday when we got him. What a difference it made.
     
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  6. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi David
    Welcome to the world of being a labrador owner. It’s sounds a bit like having a baby and the mother panics when paternity leave is over and the father goes back to work. Presumably you both wanted a puppy in the first place. Things will settle down. He is still very young and there will be many more accidents before he is housetrained. Ask your wife to read all the articles too so you are following the same guidelines and can work together.
     
  7. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    I just heard from her and it’s not quite as bad as she was thinking, just a lot of work. She also takes care of a little 7 month old (that’s a whole other story) so her priorities are rightfully on the human baby. Apart from the one accident she said Sam (puppy) is doing well at communicating his bathroom needs. He isn’t going to the door yet but his cries are beginning to become distinguished.
     
  8. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ah that makes more sense now! Both very hard work but it will get easier.
    There are a few trainers on here that will give you lots of good advice when you need it.
     
  9. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Luna listens to my husband more than she does me. I think it could be due to the deeper voice or because he is with her during the day.
    When she sees me she thinks its play time as I take her out for a walk and it can take me a couple of times to say something to get her attention. Once I have it she is great.

    It is persistence and your wife has her hands full, it will get easier and Sam will learn what behaviour is expected of him.
     
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  10. lucy@labforumHQ

    lucy@labforumHQ Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hi David, Welcome to the forum!

    You've had some great advice above, and as everyone has said it's really normal to feel this way in the early days. Puppies turn your life upside down for a while :)

    I wanted to add some resources you might find helpful:
    Let us know how you and Sam get along!
     
  11. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    Today was day 7 with Sam and I think things are going well. It is exhausting. Getting him house broken and walking down the porch stairs will be huge. I was so worried the first three days that nearly had a stroke. Sam never wagged his tail when he came to me. My expectations were through the roof. Everyone was telling me that labs are easy to train and that you can train them right away. This wasn’t my perception (granted, my perception was skewed).

    starting this past Sunday I just started giving him a piece of kibble when he gave me his attention. Now he’s all smiles when he sees me, it really helped us bond.

    He sleeps in his crate well. We get up only once in the night to pee and then he goes right back to sleep. We haven’t left him alone yet or let him “cry it out”. Everyone tells me to do it but the wife can’t stand it.
     
  12. EyeoftheStorm

    EyeoftheStorm Registered Users

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    Hi I’m new on the forum too and have had our black lab puppy for a week now. She’s 10 weeks old and the last week has been pretty challenging although she’s doing great. It’s lovely to hear how you have created a bond with your puppy now and this can only bring you both confidence. Best of luck with Sam
     
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  13. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    Thanks, I need it. It’s so confusing knowing how to train, when to train, what to ignore, etc. Sam is great and we are glad we have him, it’s just so exhausting. I know things will improve. He slept all
    Through the night last night, 8:00 pm to 4:00 am (that’s when I get up for work).
     
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  14. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Can you get to some obedience classes ? They were brilliant for us. Gave a structure, some goals and sensible advice. Also, made great contact with others in the same boat. There were 4 bouncy labs plus another 4 or 5 less bouncy dogs. It was challenging but after a year we had Meg shaped into the most wonderfully behaved pet.
     
  15. MontesMum

    MontesMum Registered Users

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    Hi David, just want to say it sounds like you’re doing great. You care, and that’s what they need. It is a huge shock to the system how difficult it is. I was in complete shock when we got our boy (he’s almost 7 months now) it does get easier. Hang in there and trust your instincts. I found I got more overwhelmed reading all the training books and thinking what should I do when this happens, then blaming myself when I felt I did it wrong. Really, you both just have to find your way, get to know your pup which takes longer than you think. Great advice to go to classes as it helps to socialise and does mean you can see others in the same boat! Don’t be surprised if you cant listen to a word the trainer says though because you’re too busy trying to control/calm/distract/ mop up after your puppy! I think I had ideals that my pup would walk into class and actually pay attention to me... no chance. He still terrorises the class but he is getting much better. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  16. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    How expensive were the classes?
     
  17. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    How was your guy with the hand chewing and mouth play? When did he put grow it?
     
  18. MontesMum

    MontesMum Registered Users

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    If you look back at some of my posts you’ll see that I almost rehomed him because of his uncontrollable biting and the fact that I’m pregnant, I just couldn’t cope.. although I’m happy to say he has now learned that human skin is a no no. It was when he stopped teething (so recently, at about 6 months) that we really noticed a difference. He now is very soft mouthed if he does get your hand in play, and knows it’s not acceptable. But he did get over that initial bad biting phase that is so hard to deal with after about 3 months I think. We found keeping excitement levels as low as possible and keeping your voice soft and calm helps a lot. Slow movements. He still leaps and bites my arms if he’s playing and gets too over excited. He’s 26kg of muscle which isn’t fun but it’s easier once you’ve dealt with it numerous times. Ignore ignore and do something calm. I think that goes on quite a while reading some posts on here.
     
  19. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    If you haven’t had a dog before or attended any positive reinforcement classes you really should no matter what the cost is. It is a small outlay compared with the cost of a dog over it’s lifetime. You can usually start attending after the first injections. Also make sure you are socialising your puppy as much as possible.
     
  20. David Poole

    David Poole Registered Users

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    We are looking for some classes. We have vet appointment on Tuesday and I’ll be asking him for done recommendations. I know the local pet store in town (Petco) offers some classes, 6 weeks for $129.
     

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