I think just about everyone on PF loves puppies - we love to share the excitement of the search for the perfect puppy, the wait for it to be old enough to come home, photos of babies with their Mum and in their new place, tales of ups and downs, puppy love and puppy naughtiness. But I wonder - especially in the light of recent posts by new owners finding the experience rather overwhelming - if we sometimes help to reinforce the myth of the Perfect Puppy: the one who sleeps happily in a crate all night from the start, is housetrained in a week of easy lessons, never chews anything except puppy toys, loves everyone, plays nicely with the cat and the children, trots beside you on a lead after just a couple of lessons...
I suspect most of us tend to forget just how much work raising a puppy can be (I know there are a number of members who have not forgotten, and only adopt adult dogs as a result!). Sleepless nights, piles of washing, children sobbing over nipped fingers or chewed up cherished toys, precious rugs soaked in urine, favourite plants dug up and scattered... and the unremitting demands of in and out for housetraining in all weathers, walking the tightrope of lots of finding lots of good socialising experiences while avoiding the risks of disease and other dangers, no social life worth talking about, and not even going to the loo alone. There are massive compensations, of course - happiness is a warm puppy, and a happy pup is a joy forever - but sometimes those compensations can seem a long time coming.
Were there times you thought "OMG, what have I done?!" And what helped you make it through?
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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Names of dogs: Princess Beatrice (4/1/14), Miss Pia Maria (10/6/14) Mr. Leonard Pink (8/7/17) Gracie (7/7/05)
Poodle Type: Cafe with white mismark Toy, Silver Toy, White Toy and Pom/chi mix
Location: NY the state
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fjm you posted what's been on my mind. After my first tpoo puppy Baby I never wanted another puppy ever again she was so difficult to train, she shrieked in the crate, she ate and chewed everything, she even gave herself food poisoning once, she was a hard puppy so much so that my next three poodles were all adults. But the flip side with adult dogs,all mine were adopted middle age 6 ,7 and 8, is sadly they didn't live nearly as long as I wanted them to ( do still have my Flower adopted at 6).
I had forgotten some of this when I got Beatrice, I was devastated over the sudden freak loss of 8 year old Baby, but by this time I knew the crate had to be my friend. Trying to get the silly pup to understand what I wanted, I was frustrated with leash walking and her yapping a lot.
What got me through was the thought of the dog she could be and break down my training to address what was most important lessons, safety was first.
Being able to crate or gate off Bea in a safe place while I took beaks away from her.
Realizing that sometimes she would have no idea what I wanted from her, and that it all would take time.
And you would think I would be seasoned after two puppies, nope third puppy Pia had a whole other set of issues that had to be dealt with.
Were there times you thought "OMG, what have I done?!" And what helped you make it through?
When Maisy started doing zoomies around the living room for the first time! I grew up with a small poodle, so the sight of a big one zooming around my newly-renovated house got me pretty wide-eyed and nervous What got me through was remembering all of the amazing moments I had with my heart dog, Missie, and knowing those same moments were just around the corner for me and my new dog, Maisy
Lexi wasn't a hard puppy, or a puppy that pitched a fit in her crate, but she was a puppy. A very busy puppy, so while we had no "on my goodness moment's" she kept us on our toes! Ate her crate pad twice, would carry her leash in her mouth on walks, which I thought was so adorable until I realized that she had chewed it up in the process. Mouthed anything and everything, rubber mulch was like puppy bubble gum, chewed a hole the size of a half dollar in my antique couch when she figured out how to get down the stairs herself(before that, it was "oh how cute!!!! She has figured out stairs!")and dh and ds didn't catch her first. Used to jump on all the cushions for said antique furniture, both chairs as well and push them off and then hop all over them. Used to hide under and in stuff while she was little and we searched high and low, calling her name as she stayed put. She loved her crate and we would cover the three sides to help her sleep. Realized that didn't work when she pulled the sheet in her crate and crewed holes in it. Left the window open in the bedroom for a nice cool breeze. That worked until she got tall enough to pull the tip of the curtain in her crate an chew on it. Ds, who was almost 18 when we brought Lexi home, laughed on day and said "How does it feel to be 48 with a toddler in the house!" Which described it to a tee! Oh, and puppy obedience class? The most exhausting hour of my week!
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Puppies can be crazy! I have a friend that has a baby less than 1 that is a handful and is actively searching for a German Shepard puppy. I've been trying to talk her out of it. Puppies are hard work, even the calmer puppies. They are cute, but behind the cuteness is a whole lot of sweat!
Especially if you're like me and it's just you and you alone. No one else to depend on to share the load. I don't recommend it unless you're seriously committed. And for those that have done 2 puppies at once...God bless you!
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As a mom to a 10.5 week old spoo, I ask myself what did I sign myself up for every day. While Addie is adorable, and loves to cuddle on the couch, she can be an absolute terror. And I don't actually regret adopting her, boy is she more work that I thought and we are only 10 days in. While she can be sweet and mild during her off hours, when she turns on, there is no stopping her. Zoomies in the house, land shark to the extreme, inside or outside, jumping, chewing, puppy exuberance to the max. Her short attention span, in addition to her curiosity and energy make a wonderful puppy into a monster at times. On top of the energy, both my husband and I have a ton of the anxiety over trying to socialize, train, and protect her.
If I was raising her myself, I'm not sure I could do it. I am saved by a husband who is committed to not only helping pick up poo and feed her, but who can actually keep up with her energy. The amount of puppy energy that we expend every morning and night during our puppy romps takes both of us. I also thank all the advice I have found here, online and in books to help keep active and engaged.
But most importantly, I make an effort to remind myself during the cute puppies moments how much I do actually love the little ball of fur. When she is asleep on her bed, on top of her favorite toy of the hour, passed out, I actively note the good moment, rewarding myself silently (shhhhh don't wake the puppy) how much I anticipated getting a dog for the last 7 years. Both puppy and humans need positive reinforcement when it comes to surviving puppyhood ;-)
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Names of dogs: Dalin Teaka, Dalin Timi, Dalin Trulee
Poodle Type: Small Toys
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I don't know what it is. For the first 3 or 4 months with Timi I muttered "never again, this is my last puppy" over and over every day. But by the time she was a year old I started thinking maybe just one more time.
I guess that my efforts and misery were amply rewarded?
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Mira is my first dog, I also haven't had a "baby" animal since I was a child. Mira came out to be a typically easy puppy, but even easy puppies have their difficulties. She was not used to a leash, and I remember waking up at 3AM waiting outside for her to go potty. She used to thrash around, growl and play tug o war with that leash for up 15 minutes and I could not get her to stop! I thought dogs only growled if they were about to attack, so imagine my surprise when she growled at her toys, growled when she ran, growled when she was happy.. I foolishly thought she was dangerous but that is just how she communicates.
Nevertheless, she also growled at other dogs and people, including children. She was afraid of them and would try to hide. I sometimes wish I had gotten her from a "better" breeder because I felt that she was under-socialized. It makes you think if you get a perfect breeder, you have a perfect puppy. But in reality, like you said, there are no perfect puppies.
So I took her to training classes, I socialized her, I reconditioned her. I trained and trained because no matter what puppy you get, it is up to you to ultimately shape your life long companion. Mira is now 6 months and is now so excited around other people and dogs, she completely forgets about me now! Talk about a complete turn around.
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Willow was a great puppy. I went in understanding that I was the one that wanted her and I would be the one to do EVERYTHING with/for her. I made sure that we had plenty of stuff for her to chew on... around where she could get it. Set up a schedule in my head of how often I'd need to get up at night and worked very hard the first day(week) to get her accustomed to the crate. (I actually put her in the crate and sat it on the ottoman...put my foot on the side and read a book). Or working at my desk, with her in the crate beside me. After getting her to settle in the crate, it was easy. I also am VERY structured in my own life... so it was easy to put her on a schedule. Which I think helped. I also spent time sleeping on the sofa wholding onto her collar while she chewed. (As a result, she is a GREAT napper!!)
I kept telling myself... you are doing this for the DOG she will be, not the puppy she is. But, I have to be honest... I never asked what have I done. I was more stressed with my newborn skin babies... than I ever was with Willow.
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I had several "what have I done!?!" moments when Cooper was a puppy, especially in the first six weeks he was home. He is my first dog, so I was SUPER naive about the amount of work that goes into raising a puppy correctly. It is work. Every. Single. Day. Not for a week. Not for a month. Not for a season. Forever. But boy does all that work pay off when you see your puppy grow into such a wonderful companion.
After about 6 weeks with Cooper, I had a bit of a breakdown with my girlfriend over my "terror" of a pup. She laughed and said - he's a totally normal puppy. She went on to add - don't forget! All puppies are selfish @ssholes! They're cute, but total @ssholes.
It made me laugh because it's sort of true. There are these moments of sheer joy with puppies, but also moments of wanting to pull your hair out. You have to stick with it because all the patience, persistence and love you put into a puppy really does get returned 100 fold when they mature. That makes it all worthwhile.
Life's better with poodle!
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