I already feel like a POS so please dont go hard on me telling me how awful I am. Trust me I know.
I got a new puppy two weeks ago and I cant feel anything other than resentment towards her. The other day I burst into tears for the first time in years because she was being so aggressive and naughty. Seriously, before then I cant even remember the last time I cried, it’s just not something I really do.
My partner adores her and is very upset that I cant bring myself to feel anything other than annoyance, at best, with her. I’m with the puppy all day while my partner is at work.
I know its not the puppy’s fault and I’d never be mean to any animal but I’m really struggling to cope with it. My anxiety is sky high because of her biting and growling and usually I’d just drink to smooth the edges of it. I’m not going to drink and from what I’ve read online what I’m feeling now is quite common. It’s even got a name ‘puppy blues’.
Anyone else experienced this? I feel awful for having any negative feelings towards this sweet innocent puppy. I want her to have her best life but I’m feeling completely overwhelmed.
I share the puppy frustration with you, which is why I have gotten my last two dogs when they were above the age of 3.
Puppies are usually always stressful and they are a full time job, sometimes on top of an actual full time job.
Training a puppy is time consuming and often feels like you’re not making any progress and it can be very frustrating.
On the other hand it can be a very rewarding experience if you’re able to commit yourself to the training process and you have the opportunity to build a great, trusting and loyal companion.
I’m sorry that you also seem to feel like you’re carrying the majority of this shared responsibility between you and your partner. Have you vocalized this to your partner?
Also if the funds are available to you there are many great puppy training classes you can go to or even have a trainer come to your home.
Wish you the best of luck and make sure you choose the best outcome for yourself and for the puppy.
Puppies can be really tough, it requires a great deal of patience.
When I first got Chief, I remember being frustrated at times. But, he learned as time went on and he became an absolutely outstanding dog. I get compliments regularly about how loving and well-behaved he is. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
What worked for me in the early stages is constantly reminding myself – he/she’s just a baby! Plus, its only been two weeks. Remember this is all new for her. She wants to do the right thing, I believe dogs naturally want to please their humans, she just needs time to learn. You are her world, she is relying on you to teach and show the way.
Be patient, use positive reinforcement, and show the way. She will get there, promise! Also, getting puppy regular play/exercise helps.
There is plenty of information on the internet about training puppies.
Please don’t take your frustration out on the pup they will pick up on it and it will just make it harder to train.
I share your frustration as I got one 2 months ago and she spends the day at work with me.
The one thing that we are not agreeing on at the moment is when she decides to go for a walk. It’s usually not when I want to take her.
Yesterday I left her in the field. 2 minutes later she came looking for me.
Try and ignore the negative things she is doing reward the good things with treats. And this does work. I was against more than just praise, but have found that praise and a treat really do work.
Have plenty of chew toys and when she is chewing something she is not supposed to exchange it.
I’m no expert, and I am learning as we go. Our dogs in the past have always been at home with my wife so this is the first one that I have actual responsibility for
I’ve embraced it as part of my recovery!
Hell yes, I totally get what you’re feeling! I love my Wheaton terrier (she is 5 now). But good lord, when she was a puppy, I thought she was going to break me! Lol I resorted to going to a dog park every morning (I can work from home) as my “lunch break”. I’d sit or walk while other dogs wore her the F out. Then go home & work & I’d get a good 3-4 hours peace out of that. I felt/looked just like an exhausted new mom, just like I did when my son was a toddler. I also did some puppy classes on the weekend that were fairly inexpensive through Petsmart. P.S. she is the best, sweetest dog I’ve ever had now. But definitely the most work upfront. Don’t even get me started on the house training (took 9 months). So hang in there! I highly recommend the dog park thing if you’ve got any of those. Or anywhere that you can safely let her off the leash to run. They have to get that energy out. Plus it’s secretly satisfying to watch them get a bit of their own medicine from other dogs. Lol
Thank you so much for being understanding everyone. It feels like the most heinous thing imaginable to say you dont like your puppy!
I dont take anything out on her - I know this is all on me. I play with her and walk her twice a day and am actively training her with positive reinforcement. Shes a smart dog and has just this week learned some new commands really well and loves her treats.
Its just that I dont feel anything for her. Nothing positive anyway. It’s a horrible feeling, like theres something broken in me.
Puppies are annoying little f*****s at times, mine certainly is! Are you staying home with the puppy all day or is it going to work with you? Is there anyway you could have a day or two away from her, get a friend to puppy sit, maybe a little distance would help your relationship with her?
Sometimes feelings come with time, especially as she settles down more. And frankly, nothing says you passionately love every animal you adopt …sometimes they take a smaller place in our hearts. There is no shame in that.
Puppies are stressful and hard work, so it is understandable. It is okay to not be gaga. Be sure your partner is taking over when they are around so you don’t resent the puppy more. You need breaks if you can get them.
Puppies are a big disruption to life and take a lot of adjusting to if we are in a semi fragile place to begin with. So remember to also take care of yourself and your relationship.
If I remember correctly you are back in super early recover, right? For me, EVERYTHING was pretty damn awful! I know all the sobriety related stress you are under, all the emotional changes, all the frustration and doubt. I think you need to put this problem under that light and look at it anew. I’m sure you feel resentment towards yourself. You probably resent your partner for not having to do this, resent people who don’t have this problem, you probably resent me for having 2 years clean. And guess what? All normal!
Focus on yourself my friend. For me, resentment was everywhere at first. I found my way out of it (not really sure how) with time. Maybe explain to your partner how early recover messes with every single emotion and interaction. Maybe explain to the puppy. Speaking the words out loud has a lot of power. Trust me, I do it to my cats all day long. It just releases something inside me and I feel a lot better.
Keep your eye on the prize and everything else will get better.
Right on the nose!
Scolding will often get you nowhere. When pup misbehaves, withold the thing they want most: attention. Just ignore, which can actually be quite difficult – but in my experience, they learn quickly this way. Then when they act right and do what they should do, then you give them encouragement, affection, and praise.
An example of how I used this tactic was with Pearl when my GF and I first moved in together. When you’d get home from work, Pearl would bark like crazy, tug at your shoestrings, jump, scratch, and sometimes nip. I know she’s just excited, but its not the behavior you want.
So when I would get home, I would pay her no attention until she calmed down. Then she would get plenty of pets, cuddles, and encouragement. Now, she greets at the door calmly and nicely…most of the time
I do this all the time. Sometimes she just sits there looking at me with a blank expression!
When we first got our older dog I found I didn’t feel the same as the rest of the family did about her. It wasn’t the sort of dog I wanted. Now I love her to bits, she is such a character.
The youngster was my choice, because we were going to be spending so much time together. Yes she is a pain sometimes, but she’s worth all the hassle.
The first dog we had my wife spoke to all the time. Made it cups of tea and sandwiches. They did spend a lot of time together. I was working 12 hours shifts
My ex and I got a Husky together from 8 weeks old. He was absolutely fine with me, albeit it a little boisterous but he bit and scratched and drove her to insanity; plus she’d never had a dog before whereas I grew up with them.
We had him for about 3 weeks before we decided to have him professionally trained. The teething stage was pretty full on for both of us but by that time, she’d gotten used to him and learned how to stop his biting and his persistence.
It’ll take a little time with a puppy; they don’t just immediately love you and it’ll be pretty stressful for the first few weeks if not months. Also remember they are the bottom of the pecking order - they think they are top; treat them like they are bottom, thats what I did anyway!
There is a lot of truth here. Thank you.
Thank you everyone for sharing how difficult your puppies were. It’s made me feel better that I’m not just some failure who cant do it knowing that this is just how puppies are.
My partner and I researched and researched and still this is all come as such a shock.
It is kind of like having children, but way way way way way easier!
Hey @Kipper. We want proof. Show us a picture of your puppy. Please?
Don’t feel bad. Next time I get a cat I’m getting one that isn’t a kitten because I have the mothering instincts of a rock😃
Heh. There are days my sobriety identifies with all these puppy stories.