Puppy blues - how long does it last?

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by AbbyMom, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. AbbyMom

    AbbyMom Registered Users

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    I feel like a crazy person! My family doesn't understand me and I don't understand myself. I've had my puppy for 7 weeks, she's now 14 weeks old. I didn't want a dog, but my husband and kids have been begging for years. I have been SERIOUSLY depressed every single day since we got her. She's a pretty good dog, seems to be doing good with housetraining, crate trained. I have 4 young kids and work from home. The moment I wake in the morning I am filled with dread and have an upset stomach. I've never had issues with depression/anxiety, but for some reason this has thrown me into a big black hole! I desperately want my prepuppy life back, which was still hectic and chaotic, but I was happy. Now my house doesn't feel like a home at all. I know puppy blues is common, but it seems like it only lasts a couple weeks for everyone else. It doesn't seem to be easing up at all on me. I would give anything to feel better about this, to feel normal and get on with life. She's a nice dog and my kids love her. Rehoming is not an option. If you experienced something like this, what was the turning point?
     
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  2. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    Hi @AbbyMom, you have an incredibly full plate and I know it doesn't seem like it now but in a time sooner than you think your pup is going to be a benefit to you and your family. I think for most of us it is a little different because we chose to get our dogs and so when we had puppy blues we focussed so much of the guilt on ourselves because we wanted them...and then we didnt. So maybe for you it is a bit of resentment too because you now have a pup at home over and above everything else you have going on. And it is a pup you compromised for but wouldn't have chosen at this time in your life.
    Are you not at heart a dog person or is it that you knew your life would be too hectic at the moment to still have a pup?
    Also consider that any person with emotions and skills would be exhausted with everything you have going on - without the pup. So maybe the pup is the straw that broke the camel's back? But perhaps not the singular cause?
    You are already able to identify positive aspects about your pup and I think we have had a couple of people on here that started in a similar (maybe fewer kids but still super busy lifes where the family really wanted a pup) situation and I don't remember anyone regretting their furry family member as the pup grew up a bit.
    Good luck and keep posting.
     
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  3. AbbyMom

    AbbyMom Registered Users

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    Thanks for the response! I thought I was a dog person. I grew up with dogs and even went to dog grooming school to learn how to work with dogs for a living (I didn't end up choosing this path). At this time in my life I knew I was overloaded, but the argument from my spouse was that it's the ideal time to get a puppy because I work from home. Also, he made the point that our kids should be able to grow up with a dog and our oldest is already 9. Honestly, the guilt over not having a dog was better than the depression/anxiety from having one! Ha! Since this is my first puppy, I'm having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't have a bond with her yet and I worry that I'll always feel this way about her. When she's running around the yard eating piles of wild animal poop and then biting at the kids, it's really difficult to like her, if I'm honest. I hope I can laugh about this someday.
     
  4. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    If it helps even when we fully wanted them ourselves we also have had periods when we didn't want them, entirely doubted our sanity and thoughts for getting a puppy and really not liked them very much. But you are in a tough period of the puppy's development at the moment, all teeth, claws and unpredictable energy.
    I also work from home now and yes, it is easier to be at the house but honestly it is still full on work that requires concentration and effort - the location doesn't impact that so I think a bit of reality check is also required for your DH (no offense meant) but you are carrying a huge load of responsibilities and some other chores and duties, in the evening and weekends needs to be his and your children that can, at least until puppy isn't a crocopup anymore. Compromise if a complex thing and it needs to be consistently revisited.
     
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  5. Atemas

    Atemas Registered Users

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    You well might. I had terrible depression last year whilst my 18 month old Lab was a small puppy (it’s all documented on this forum) so I can empathise with you. It’s a horrible feeling. It’s hard to say when things altered but definitely by the time she was 5 - 6 months and she was no longer a crocopup. I did want my puppy but I deeply ‘mourned’ the life I had had before her. This forum was wonderful and really helped me enormously.
    There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang on in there.
     
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  6. shawnlinus

    shawnlinus Registered Users

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    I very recently battled through the puppy blues and, like Atemas, I documented it on this forum. I have had my pup now for nearly 11 wks and I have to admit it has only been in the last 2-3 weeks that the puppy blues went away.
    Every week got easier and easier though and so many of the issues he had at first are very much a distant memory! Believe me I know all too well how awful things are for you just now but it really really does get better :)
     
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  7. Granca

    Granca Registered Users

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    I suspect that even the most 'dog person' of dog people can feel overwhelmed by a puppy at times, if they're honest enough to admit it! By the time you have a puppy it's already at the 'wanting to get into everything' stage, whereas with young children at least least there's the baby phase when they stay where they are when you put them down - for a few weeks, anyway!

    Is there any way you can restrict her freedom by creating a pen in part of the yard? That would be easier to keep clear of wild animal poo and allow your children to play separately from the puppy for a while.

    It will get better, but give it time. It will be different for each puppy/owner, so it's impossible to suggest that maybe it will be better in a month... It sounds as if you're being too hard on yourself, though, by thinking that you don't have a bond with her yet, as you say that
    and
    You've made the decision to have a puppy at this point for very good reasons, but just try not to bear all the responsibility - and, when you have time, read some of the other 'puppy blues' posts on here - you're not alone!

    I hope all works out well for you and you can share some photos and stories about her soon.
     
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  8. HAH

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    I reckon you're in the hardest place right now; you've had her long enough to be drained of sleep and energy, she's a little dynamo of biting energy that wants to be in everything and needs lots of attention and it sounds like you're carrying a lot of the load. @Harley Quinn says it well, and maybe if you can wave a flag and tell your family you need help they might step up a bit more. It's a dark place to be and do keep sharing and reading others' experiences here on the forum.

    On a practical level @Granca 's suggestion of a pen in the garden is a really good one, it introduces a level of control and we found it was a godsend for early days when you're popping into the garden for last wees, as well as when you have deliveries etc. and you need her in a safe place out of the way for a few minutes. Maybe you can buy a bit of breathing space with puppy day care for a few hours or so if that's an option? It'll be fun to socialise with other pups, she'll be tired from playing and while she's there you can grab a bit of space for yourself. Let us know how you get on, and know that you are not alone and It Will Get Better!
     
  9. KirbyHawk75

    KirbyHawk75 Registered Users

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    My puppy is 19 weeks now and while I still have the puppy blues, it is not as bad as it was. It is getting better. When my 13 year old lab Shaye was a puppy I had no puppy blues. I was 28 then. I just dont think I have the same patience and energy that I once had. I am now 42 and have had a much harder time with Rory. Shaye also did not bark, chew, or bite like Rory does either. Saying all of that, the puppy blues are getting better though.
     
  10. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Registered Users

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    Aww bless you Abbymom, it really does get better, my pup is now 16 weeks but when we got her at 8 weeks i felt exactly as you do and I desperately wanted a dog!!

    When you can build up slowly times of leaving her(in a safe place, we have a crate) you can get out for short time,coffee shop, friends ect and feel normal again.

    My girl is already so much better,although we do have crazy days still and do get your husband to take over when he's home, I want off and had a long soak and left him to it!!

    Hope you feel better soon☺
     
  11. Beezette

    Beezette Registered Users

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    I had puppy blues that seemed to last longer than average. I’d gone from a nearly 15year old angelic crossbreed to being a first time lab puppy owner. I felt like the worst person who ever owned a dog, that I wasn’t doing a thing right for him and he should be with someone who knew what they were doing.
    He’s 10 months old now and a boisterous lunatic. But he’s my lunatic and I wouldn’t be without him. I still have moments where I think there’s somethings we will never get right. Like walking nicely on his lead. But we’ll keep trying. He’s currently wedged himself on the chair with me and having a snooze. I love moments like this. He has all the room downstairs but he’s chosen to be here with me. I need a wee and I can’t reach my drink but I’m not going to disturb the peace haha.
    Hope you feel better soon
     
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  12. AbbyMom

    AbbyMom Registered Users

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    Thank you all! I’m really hoping this turns around soon. The mornings are the worst. I SOOO miss my prepuppy life where I could live without CONSTANTLY having to think about the dog.
     
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  13. Stew

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    I had always thought of myself as a dog person despite never owning one but the first 6-8 weeks of the Ziggy adventure were very hard, sometimes hellish. I had researched and researched and researched dog training and figured I was on the front foot but within a few days it all fell apart, I hadn't factored that this wee dog had a mind of his own and wasn't like the angels in the Kikopup videos.

    You will read and people will tell you that "Don't worry, it gets better" and guess what, don't worry, it gets better :) Ziggy is 16 weeks now, his toilet training is going great, he's mega-quick to learn (once i'd figured what buttons to push :)) and, as of a few days ago, his biting/mouthing has all but disappeared. I even taught him to retrieve a ball and drop it in my hand!!!

    We still have issues to work on, he's very jumpy around new people, can counter-surf like a pro, wakes up at ungodly hours and a million other things but we're working on it and he comes on a little bit each day. He's gotten into the habit of curling up next to me on the couch in the evenings and having a snooze which is just awesome. Watching him grow and learn is just a joy, it's hard but that means it's worthwhile in my book.

    Best of luck and keep posting!
     
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  14. jacquelina

    jacquelina Registered Users

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    its normal, my house has become a mess I need to wash my hair, iron, cook without pup by my legs ...its hard work but everyday my sweet dog it adapting too he is getting into routine and I wouldn't swap him for anything … it will pass as the pup gets older.
     
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  15. LoraFlora

    LoraFlora Registered Users

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    I know exactly how you feel. We've had our lab puppy for nearly two weeks now, she's 10 weeks old. I find myself in tears almost every day trying to wrangle her or my toddler into doing as they're told. She jumps, bites and mouths at everything and everyone, regardless of what i try to discourage her. She hates being shut in her crate and whines and howls, so I haven't felt able to go out of the house with my toddler since we had her. My laundry basket is out of control, the dishwasher has gone on strike. My husband and I have even talked about taking her back, I'm so miserable. Not hijacking your post by any means, just to say I empathise completely, and found it a relief to find someone who feels the same.
     
  16. jbg

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    First of all HUGS!! Second of all, I would say that anyone who ever got a puppy for the first time had moments even if not full blown "puppy blues". I can't stress enough to people who are getting a first dog/puppy, how much work they are....but I stress....FOR A WHILE. So although I can't put a timeframe on it for you I can say that it will get better. We have had 5 Labs over a 28 year marriage and the first 4 were puppies while my children were young and in school. I remember the feelings of being so overwhelmed at times because I felt like I was "working" 24/7. No I can say that I was a stay at home mom and didn't work so I can't really imagine what you are going through putting work in there as well. One thing I learned early was to stop trying to do things only when the puppy was sleeping, or behaving. I know that sounds crazy but you need to teach the puppy to do what you NEED him/her to do. If HE/She needs to sit quietly while you work then you have to teach HIM/her. Put the puppy in the crate in your office at first. I know it will be hard to listen to him/her cry if that is what they are doing, but after a few days of it you will see changes. Iron your clothes when you need to. Everything takes a little longer when you have to correct the puppy, or take it out to potty but you are constantly teaching it to be a part of your life. I am struggling with Vacuuming right now because my baby has decided that she is going to bite the power cord, play tug of war with it and even unplug it from the wall. The easiest thing for me to do would be to just vacuum when she is sleeping or when my husband could watch her but that won't teach her anything and she could keep this habit for her whole life when I try and clean house. Sooooo although It would only take me a few mins to vacuum a room normally I am actually doing it every day, even the floor doesn't need it. It is a training time and with each day it's getting better. so sorry....so long winded, but the point is, just as we had to learn to do normal things in life with a new baby (as a mother) we have to do it with a puppy too. I PROMISE that at some point your Lab will be more of a comfort to you than a chore!! Good luck, hang in there....and make sure you are asking your husband to help once in a while ;)
     
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  17. Ann88

    Ann88 Registered Users

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    Hi, I am going through the exact same thing right now like to a T! I work from home, have 3 kids, puppy is 14 weeks tomorrow and I dread the mornings! I wake up feeling extremely tense and my morning routine that keeps me sane is being highly compromised. I wear headphones in the morning to avoid hearing the dog yelp and demand my attention because I know that he is just fine and can wait for me to get him out after I complete my morning tasks. I am so tired of waking up feeling on edge, I feel like I am constantly living in fight or flight mode and it's exhausting me. I have been taking naps when my daughter does because I am so exhausted from all of this which limits what I am able to get done. I am so sick of this dog but my kids love it. I would love to know how you are doing now and if you ended up keeping the dog or not?
     
  18. Jean Boguszewski

    Jean Boguszewski Registered Users

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    How are you now?
     
  19. Jean Boguszewski

    Jean Boguszewski Registered Users

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    I feel the same way. I would love to hear how you are doing now?
     
  20. lucy@labforumHQ

    lucy@labforumHQ Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hi Jean,

    A very warm welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, but it's so normal to feel that way during the early days.

    You might find starting your own new thread about your experiences gets you some more responses, as this one is rather old now. Very best wishes!
     

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