Raising a puppy alone: advice to make ANY of it easier??

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by jessica c., Aug 17, 2019.

  1. jessica c.

    jessica c. Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Hi all,

    I am on week two with my 10 week old lab pup and I am curious to know if anyone has any do-or-die advice to make this any easier. I spent 6 months reading about how to raise a pup and watching testimonials from other dog owners, and we start training classes at the end of the month.
    The big thing that I’m struggling with is that I’m doing this alone. I’m 23 and I live with two of my friends, who I swore up and down I wouldn’t rely on after a previous roommate/dog nightmare, and their idea of help anyways is watching him potty on the floor and then telling me about it.
    I knew going in that this would be an incredible task, as I’ve had dogs in the past but still lived with my parents and had the support that came with that.
    I have permission from my supervisor to bring my puppy into work with me when need be, which I’ve done twice and he behaved himself both times.
    At home however he’s a typical lab puppy and like a few of you I find myself crying multiple times a day, although it is getting easier (or I’m getting more resilient).
    Potty training and not chewing my boxspring to shreds are the two biggest things we’re working on.
    Me getting any sleep is another.
    I have been doing my absolute best to be active on all fronts: potty training, chewing, barking, crate training, not getting overwhelmed or overexcited, scheduled eating, etc. Day 3 of having him he was having health issues and I spent over $1,000 on vet bills and give him 3 sets of medication every 12 hours. We have a nighttime routine, though not perfect yet, and he is only slowly being introduced to new areas in the house.

    I am so exhausted from this and work (I never leave him for more than 3 hours every few days) that I feel like I’m hindering our success. We still haven’t done a full night with him in the crate because I am so insanely desperate for sleep that I can’t handle the 5am meltdown he has.
    I haven’t had the energy to go to the grocery store so most days I’ve gone without eating altogether.
    I’m still 100% committed to him and won’t give up on any of his training, but is there anything I could be doing to make this process any easier??
    On Monday’s I pay for a sitter, but can’t do this regularly throughout the week because the $6000 I saved to help us through this process is gone after his vet bills this month and my car troubles. We’re living off of a credit card right now so I’m struggling to decide what is important to spend the money on and what isn’t. Right now the only things I’m spending on are for his benefit and well-being.

    Does anyone have a secret to not crashing and burning during this process? Or advice for someone doing it alone?
     
  2. Emma W.

    Emma W. Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Messages:
    27
    Hi there. I'm afraid I don't have any secrets to this process but I just wanted to show you some support. The early days are so, so hard. I was exhausted just like you and had a hard time doing things for myself. The only thing I would say is to develop a schedule for the pup and do as many socializing trips as possible to tire him out. I literally would write out a schedule for my pup as well as myself and that really helped give me some peace of mind. The schedule should be things like training, napping, socializing, etc. Make sure to include time for yourself in that schedule. Yes, he may cry when you pop him in the crate even if he is exhausted but you have to ignore it. The only other thing I would say is it takes time. A lot of time. Eventually they get into a bit of a routine and one day it will feel a bit easier than the one before and so on. I felt extremely burnt out in the early days and I think part of it is just raising a puppy and the other part is that I didn't have a proper schedule or do nearly as many socialization exercises as I should have. Try to do at least one thing for yourself daily even if it's just going to grab a quick cup of coffee or a bite to eat. Don't feel stressed about making him perfect right away. If you keep up the quick training sessions it will come with time. I do think they ultimately sometimes have to mature a bit to really grasp some of the concepts.
     
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  3. guzcaster

    guzcaster Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Hello! We are at 12 weeks with Arnie and we’ve had him 4 .5 weeks....so I feel your pain....
    At night we have found a puppy pen works better than a crate as ours hates it still at night.....as like you we needed sleep.....but during the day we have use the crate and he’s definitely coming round to it...
    We have found that stuffed Kong’s in his crate and his favourite chew toys (in his case antler bones) are life savers as he’s all about chewing....
    Also we have started puppy daycare once per week which he loves...
    Finally...I highly recommend dog health insurance...with our last lab Jake we more than got our money back...
     
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