New Puppy Anxiety’s Please Help

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by AutumnColours, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    Hi,

    I’m the proud owner of a beautiful new Labrador puppy. He’s amazing, and I love him to bits. I didn’t expect to feel this way about him.

    I’d really like a bit of reassurance, I feel like I’m failing at looking after my little friend. I ended up with pneumonia the day after we got him, and I’ve felt lousy ever since.

    We’ve done well at potty training, he asks to go out. We walk every morning and every evening, not too far about 15 minutes each time so his hips aren’t damaged. We will increase distance a little each month. He loves to go in his crate at night, and he settles down well. We play together at lunch time. His nipping and biting is getting slowly better...

    I’m worried life with us is too boring! We both work from home, so he can be with us during the days, but all he wants to do in the afternoon is go outside, which we can’t always do... so he roams around and won’t settle down and I start to get a bit flustered. Not sure what to do about that.

    Also, he gets really agitated when one or other of us leaves. And doesn’t really settle until they come back. Again, not sure what to do to make that better or easier.

    Our house is not enormous, but he has the kitchen, the dining room and the living room to roam, play and nap in but it’s like he needs more people.

    Is this something that will calm over the next few months, or do I need to be seriously worried that we are just too full for a dog?

    Any advice or suggestions is much welcomed! I really want to give this guy a great life with us, and I’m so worried we are getting it all wrong.
     
  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi, it sounds like you are doing a great job with your new puppy. Have you tried giving him a filled frozen kong, antlers chew , yak chew or similar to keep him busy in the afternoon while your working. Some times we fill a cardboard box with paper and hide our dogs toys inside, this keeps her busy too.

    Regarding him getting upset when one of you leaves, it could be the start of separation anxiety. Our girl suffered with this, it can especially happen when your home all day with you puppy.

    We bought a behaviorist trainer in to help us. She came for an afternoon, listened and questioned us and watched our pup in her home environment. She gave us a plan to follow to help, maybe this is something you could consider if it continues.

    It sounds like you're doing great with your puppy though so try not to worry and really enjoy him.
     
  3. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    Thank you for the reassurance, I really appreciate it.

    I try to focus on all the wonderful bits of having the new little guy, I love playing with him and really enjoy walking him. He’s cuddly and lovely too and wants to curl up and sleep with me in the morning.

    The anxiety that I’m feeling is really unexpected. I can’t figure it out. Do other people feel like this? Or am I completely abnormal?

    I really want for him to have a happy life, and to bring up a nice dog and I’m so scared I’m getting everything wrong.

    I’m sorry, I’m going around in circles. I don’t want to be irritating, I’m just trying to express how I feel. I didn’t expect to feel like this.

    Thank you again for the reassurance, it helps a lot.
     
  4. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi, I certainly felt anxious and tearful for a few months when my girl was a young puppy and i had really wanted and planned for her!

    I think a new puppy is exhausting,your sleep deprived usually and realisation dawns that you are responsible for the safety,care and training of this wonderful bundle of love and you want to do it right. It's not surprising we're overwhelmed sometimes.

    Things will get better and quite quickly too. Try to relax and enjoy these early weeks. Isla is 20 months old now and i already miss having a very young puppy.

    Are you going to puppy classes? This really helps as you can check things with your trainer for reassurance and chat with other puppy owners. The fact that you care so much probably means you will have a lovely well behaved and happy adult dog.
     
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  5. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

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    I have felt that I was failing our puppy, I struggled to get on top of her biting and she really challenged me emotionally and in my skills. Trying to do what’s best for her has been the priority for me and at times felt like I wasn’t right for this little dog. She deserves the best and I have felt at times the pressure of getting things right. This forum has helped me both in reading posts and in replying as most people struggle with their pup at some point I think. Plus from reading things on this forum I think that a calm house is a good house for many puppies , so perhaps you need not worry so much in that point.
     
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  6. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    I’m so, so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who feels like this! I am totally overwhelmed by this little thing that I have to care for. He’s 18 weeks old now, and I can see how much things have changed already, and I don’t want to wish the little puppy away... but even though I thought I was prepared - this is HARD.

    We are doing puppy school - but the trainer doesn’t have much time to talk and give advice. I’ve decided to use a local dog walker one day a week - so that he gets used to someone else looking after him. Feels like a very extravagant thing to do, but I’d like to know there’s someone who he knows if I need them. She’s lovely, and said she can come out on walks with us, and I think she can give some good advice too!

    Thank you! I really do want what’s best for him. I want him to have a wonderful life with us.

    Perhaps a calm house is best. I hope we are giving him enough mental stimulation. We are giving good walks, not too long to protect his young joints, and we started this week to let him run a bit off the lead.

    I’m struggling a bit in the afternoons - he has these long periods where he just won’t settle, win amuse himself just wants us us us to play with. And I just can’t! I have a full time job which has a lot of flexibility, but there’s still commitment to be made.

    I can’t stand the thought of shutting him in a crate during the day when I’m up and about, so he gets to roam the house. I’m working on getting him to settle next to me and snuggle or self entertain, but I have to resort to ignoring him to achieve it, which feels mean.

    I talk to him a lot, and pet him and we play training games and brain games for short periods.

    Sorry, here I go again with splurging my thoughts.

    I’m glad I’ve found people who understand! I’m sure he’ll be big and grown up before I know it, but right now I still feel completely overwhelmed and like I’m doing everything wrong for him.
     
  7. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

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    I work and leave our girl 6 hours a day in our kitchen, I built up to this and she has been like this since 4 months. Now that must be boring for her, so I don’t think you need to feel guilty! I guess it would be helpful for you to leave your pup sometimes to get him used to it as you can’t be with him always perhaps? build it up slowly and I make sure that good things happen when I leave her , so she has food in 3 or 4 food dispensers, licki mat, toys , etc. She’s pretty good fair play to her. I understand how overwhelming it can be and for quite a while! You’ll do it , if like me though it will be life interrupted big time!
     
  8. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    Did I think it would be life interrupted big time? Yes! And I many ways it feels like life started.

    We need to work on his being left alone and self entertaining I think. Once we get that mastered, things will be easier. I’m going to try over the next few weeks to give him a bit of alone time and see what happens.

    Thanks real much for your support. I really appreciate it!

    If a dog can be left alone for a few hours and they are fine, it should be ok in our house. Perhaps I’m worrying too much.
     
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  9. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi, it really helps once you can leave them for a bit. I did it quite slowly, going round the block for 5 mins, then 10 until I'd built up to an hour, then I went to a local cafe for a coffee. This really helped me feel a bit"normal" and have time away just for myself for a bit.

    Have you tried him with chews and frozen Kong so that he can be occupied while you work?

    We used to hide bits of kibble for Isla to seek out. It will get easier I promise
     
  10. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    We are working on having him be alone in the house while we are still here. Popping upstairs and things. Once we are sure he won’t destroy the house or get himself into trouble then we will try leaving him while we go out. We have left him in his crate for a couple of hours when we needed to go in the hospital, and he was fine. He sleeps well in his crate so I’m sure that he would be ok left in his crate.

    We are doing better this week - I’ve been making regular breaks to play with him, and then letting him settle. Seems to have helped a bit.

    I think I am more relaxed this week which must help him too.

    I can’t stomach the thought of putting gooey stuff inside a Kong and freezing it, but I might try with some dry food and see how he takes to that. Everything is worth considering
     
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  11. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Dry food is ok but it falls out really quickly. You also don’t have to freeze the kong. Push a piece of banana into it or smear the inside with some peanut butter(suitable for dogs) The longer they spend getting the food out the better.
     
  12. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi pleased to hear your having a better time.

    We fill Isla's Kong with her kibble and fat free bio yoghurt or banana, it's not too messy. You can get a spray from Kong themselves which just squirts into the top of the Kong with no mess at all, but buy it on the internet as it's much cheaper
     
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  13. AutumnColours

    AutumnColours Registered Users

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    I was thinking about trying peanut butter... I can see how that would be engaging to get out!

    Today was a pretty good day, nice and relaxed and little guy was really nice company. I hope for many many more days like this!
     
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