Post Puppy Depression HELP.

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Ann88, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Ann88

    Ann88 Registered Users

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    Hello, I literally feel like I am losing my sanity. My family and I got a new puppy on July 8th at the age of 8 weeks which makes him 14 weeks old. My kids really wanted a puppy and I felt like it would be a good time since they were out of school for the summer to help out with him and learn some responsibility. However ever since getting him, I have been living in straight-up fight or flight. I have been depressed and anxious ever since getting him. Some days are better than others but I cannot help to yearn for my pre-puppy days when I only had to deal with the chaos of regular life as a stay at home mom with 3 kids as well as working from home.

    I wake up every single morning in complete anxiety, my heart races as I go to do my morning routine (before the house wakes up, including the puppy) but I am in constant fear that the dog will bark and demand my attention at any moment.

    It is quite literally like impending doom.

    I have done my best to keep him on a scheduled bedtime at 10 with a potty break at midnight and then another at 6:30am and then finally out of his crate by 9am for food, potty etc.

    This dog has been testing these boundaries.

    He barks and yelps at like 8am when I NEED this hour to myself.

    I feel that he does this because he knows he gets fed and is trying to demand the time of his feedings but I feel like this is up to me to decide.

    The reason I feel like he does this because he is demanding to be fed is because when I take him outside in the morning he sits there and tries to come inside instead of using the bathroom (even though he KNOWS that's what he's out there for and believe me, he does know because he is smart enough to potty on command)

    I feel like he is manipulating me and it's very stressful.

    I am crate training so during the day he watches every move I make and proceeds to think that when I am getting up to do normal things that I should be giving him something?

    He gets plenty of exercise as he goes on very long nightly walks and has an opportunity for playtime in the middle of the day in his playpen outside BUT it's never enough.

    I feel like my whole entire world has been taken over by a dog and my once happy self is just a distant memory.

    I tell my husband almost weekly that I am ready to get rid of him but then my daughter begs me to keep him.

    I feel so guilty for wanting to get rid of him but at the same time, I feel like I am losing my freedom and sense of sanity by keeping him.

    I was MUCH HAPPIER without a dog and now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    All I know for sure is that I cannot keep living this way and I am desperate for suggestions and help.

    I feel like this will never get better, that I will be handing over (what little bit of freedom I have) to the dog for life.

    Everyone keeps telling me to be patient and I am trying but I am having a very difficult time.

    I hardly ever reach out for help online because I have feared getting the 3rd degree from people because of how I feel about this whole situation.

    The last thing I need right now is to be shamed for feeling the way I do.

    Have you dealt with this before and if so what is something you have done to make it better?

    I meditate daily, go for walks, journal, take pauses to breathe but I still feel like this is never going to end and that I made a HUGE mistake.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Registered Users

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    First of all - breathe!

    That is a really long time in a crate for a 14 week puppy. My puppy at that age was going to bed about 10, potty break about 2/3am then would have us up at half 5/6am rearing to go.

    Sorry but.. tough ‍♀️ The puppy needs something. He’s only a baby, would you have left one of your children for an hour?


    He’s not manipulating you, dogs don’t have the capacity to do that. They just want what they want. A puppy is definitely not manipulating you.

    So is he in his crate all day apart from those times? A puppy that age should be only having 2 15 minute walks a day at that age to protect their joints. They should have regular playtime and training and be allowed to just interact with the family as normal.

    It’s REALLY hard having a puppy. They’re time consuming, needy, whiny, demanding.

    I think a lot people struggle when they get one, life completely changes. But it does get better and it does get easier. But you have to put the work in when they’re little to make this the case.
     
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  3. lucy@labforumHQ

    lucy@labforumHQ Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I'm really sorry to see you are struggling. It's normal to feel overwhelmed by a puppy, but it sounds as though you might not be in the right place for one at the moment.

    Is your puppy in the crate all the time other than when you've described letting him out to pee and for a walk in the evening? Puppies need lots of time together, crate training is about slowly building up time in there and making it a relaxed place to be incrementally, rather than just containing them in the crate all day.

    You might find these articles helpful, especially the one on working full time which talks about how much time you can expect to need to spend with a young dog:

    https://www.thelabradorsite.com/combining-a-labrador-puppy-with-full-time-work/
    https://www.thelabradorsite.com/crate-training-your-labrador-puppy/
     
  4. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Sorry but it sounds like he is spending far too much time in his crate. Presumably you are up at 6.30 to let him out and then getting on with jobs and he is expected to stay quietly in his crate until 9am when it fits in with your schedule. What time was he fed the night before? If it was around 6pm that’s 15 hours without food so no wonder he is crying and wants your attention.
    Also if children want a puppy they need to be responsible for it too. What are they doing during these hours? Can they not play with him?
     
  5. Ann88

    Ann88 Registered Users

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    I think there's a huge misunderstanding about how long he's in the crate. He has many many potty breaks throughout the day as well as 2 scheduled 15 minutes of playtime
    outside and an evening walk.
     
  6. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Do you take him out of the house for socialising? New experiences always wear them out and he is more likely to settle when he gets home.
    I followed the 5 minutes per month guideline for walking. So 2 x 15 mins max to protect his joints.
    Unfortunately puppies are hard work and it will be a while yet before you get more free time to yourself. It’s a bit like having another baby but with less reliable nap times!
     
  7. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Hi @Ann88 I can sense the stress seeping out of your post. You poor thing. As @JenBainbridge has already said, first things first, take a deep breath. This WILL get easier, it just might get a bit harder before it gets better.

    There is absolutely no shame in it and from the sounds of a lot of posts on this forum your feelings will be mirrored by many. I can relate to all of the feelings you've mentioned in your post. It's like some sort of terrible panic takes over you. I knew how irrational it was and how ridiculous it sounded to anyone I spoke to, but it was so unbelievably real. It felt like what I was experiencing was the worst thing in the world, even though my brain knew full well it was only a puppy. But I may as well have had a full grown elephant in my kitchen for all the disruption it felt like it had caused to my life.

    It WILL get better, but it won't ever be the same as the life you had before. I guess that's the reality is that you've not just added a puppy to your family, you've invited a whole other being into your family - with needs, personality, and probably a whole lot of enthusiasm. It's those things that I'm sure you wanted when you decided to get a dog - otherwise you'd have got a hamster or a guinea pig that would have made less impact. Somewhere along the lines you wanted something "extra". Well, I guess now you've got it. I've spent the last year adjusting to what "getting a dog" actually meant in reality. I felt like every remaining second of my day was taken up by a very demanding puppy. It wasn't until I stopped resenting that and started accepting it as being part of the process of being a dog owner, that I started to feel better.

    However much it feels like this (and believe me I remember how much frustration I used to feel) remember that he's not capable of manipulating you any more than a new born baby is. It's likely he doesn't even know what it is that he needs - he just needs something. In time, and with work, you and he will find a way of communicating with one another so that you can muddle through more easily. This didn't happen for us until she was about 8 months old, but it did happen and boy is life easier as a result.

    Amazing! This is great, keep this self-care as a vital part of your routine and this will get easier, quicker.

    The others have given more practical advice on some of your other points, so I don't have anything further to add. I just wanted you to know that these feelings are indeed crap, normal but they won't last forever.
     
  8. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    As others have said it’s hard having a puppy. They are super busy animals that need and deserve your full attention, kindness and understanding that the time you dedicate to them it worth the effort. They are exhausting, but it’s time limited as they grow and mature fast. You have to put lots of hard work and effort in though to get the family pet you want. It sounds like you need to revisit why you wanted a puppy and what you understand about how life would be with a dog, as they will always have to have their needs prioritised to some degree. If you can’t shift your thinking away from thinking so negatively about him, it would be kinder to think about rehoming him. Have an honest talk with your family and do what’s right for you all, including the puppy.
     
  9. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Goodness me, you can't crate a puppy all day except for toilet breaks and 2x 15 minutes (and an evening 'walk' around the same route!!!).

    This is pure torture for a puppy, it's a form of abuse and neglect. Please, please rehome this puppy now so he can get the home he needs whilst he is still young enough.

    Breeders have a lot to answer for, in these situations. FAR too many breeders will sell a pup to almost anyone who enquires, without attempting to figure out if the home is going to be able to meet the puppy's needs. And far too many owners dislike being 'vetted' by breeders and having their decision to own a puppy doubted sometimes. This is the inevitable outcome if the vetting process doesn't take place or fails, though...

    I have a bitch due to whelp this coming week and I'm going through all the 'checking new homes' at the moment, and there's no way I would home to people who have young kids - whether or not they are at home as a stay at home parent - unless they are already experienced dog folks.

    Every pup deserves to be owned by someone who essentially wants and welcomes the pup (even if there are tough times), and it really doesn't sound like you do - and if the puppy is crated that much, this is a form of abuse.
     
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  10. Poppy2606

    Poppy2606 Registered Users

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    Your puppy should really only be crated at night or when you go out in my opinion and then the door should be left open all day when you’re home so they can go in if they want

    Poppy was crated until 3 months old and now she sleeps in a bed next to our bed and I only lock her in her crate when I go out (which is maximum 1 hour and that’s rare to be that long) I only do this because she will rip up the carpet otherwise.

    Your puppy is meant to be loved and a part of your family but locking them in a crate all day with just a few toilet breaks makes them feel isolated!!! Dogs are social animals and just want to be with their “pack” which is you and your family.

    Also only 15 minutes scheduled playtime twice a day, they’re a dog not a robot ! You should play with your puppy more then that inside, it’s how you bond with them !!
     

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