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Discussion Starter #1
I am supposed to be bringing home my standard soon. He sounds like he is the perfect dog for me personality wise, have seen the parents health checks, and all seems good. But I am starting to feel scared and like bailing. Puppy's are so much work. I live in a condo ( ground floor though and everyone has dogs here). I keep reading horror stories about having a puppy, and maybe I should stop. I have my own horror story as well, adopted an older rescue standard years ago, he was about 8 or 9 months when I got him, and he was a total nightmare. He had the worst separation anxiety I have been witness too, aggression to strangers, anxious all the time destruction when left alone even for 5 minutes. I lived in a house at that time, otherwise I would have had to rehome him due to the separation anxiety.

I keep thinking what if all that happens again and I am in a condo. Am I good enough to raise a new puppy. Am I young enough (I am 50). I have lots of experience with dogs as I do dog rescue for small dogs. I currently have an older toy poodle cross and an older cat. And a 16 year old at home. He will help, but it will mostly be up to me.

I have been wanting a standard for a while now, and have been looking and planning for that. Not sure if this anxiety is normal, if I am crazy, or if I need to just suck it up and hope for the best. Not even really sure why I am posting this.
 

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I think it's good you're posting this. I also think it's good you're taking this decision so seriously. A puppy is a lot of work and, as you know, a dog is a 15-year commitment.

You need to make sure you're in the right headspace, especially for a spoo as they're so sensitive and tuned into their humans.

A bit of anxiety is normal. But it should be tempered with the confidence that comes from choosing a solid breeder who will provide you with lifetime support. And, more than anything, you should be feeling excited about this next adventure.

Because the truth is, that puppy's going to rock your boat! Especially with an older toy and cat at home. You need to want to shake things up a bit.

Do you?

We'll support you every step of the way, but only you can answer that question. :)
 

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Of course you are young enough (assuming you are not seriously disabled)!

Here is a suggestion: invest in an 4 foot by 4 foot wire exercise pen that has a top (2 clip-on 2' x 4' hinged panels for a 4' x 4' pen) and a tarp that is at least 6 inches longer and wider than the exercise pen. Note: exercise pens do not come with snap clips so you'll need to buy those at a hardware store. You will need 2 to keep the "door" closed and 12 to 20 to secure the top. There are two reasons for a top: 1) many puppies are escape artists and can climb quite well, 2) a top keeps the pen square and makes it nearly impossible for the puppy to push part of it off the tarp.

Set the pen up in an area in the house where someone is around most of the time. The pen rests on the tarp. Put your puppy's crate in one corner of the exercise pen (this can be a small crate - maybe you have one for your toy poodle that would work). Use a clip-on bucket for water. Put water and the food dish close to the crate. Put several layers of newspaper in the corner opposite the crate. (Note: if your puppy is white you might want to obtain white (unprinted) newsprint paper to keep that puppy white.)

Here is a picture from Amazon that shows a pen they sell. My exercise pens do not have doors - I just open one panel out.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do feel totally confident with the breeder, we haven't met but she observed her puppies and picked one out for me that she thought would best suit what I was looking for, and sent over the health certs. We have been talking every few days about how my little guy is doing and have been arranging how I will come and pick him up. I was super excited up until a day or so again when I started looking up puppy things online and all these horror stories came up. And then I just remember how stressful it was dealing with my former standard, we went through so much with him medications, and trainers and nothing ever ended up helping him so we just lived with it and he basically could never be left alone or be around strangers( and that definitely isn't a possibility these days) My son is keen and wants to help, but he will be gone in a few years and then it will just be me. I know it is different getting a young puppy that it is getting one that already had issues as well.
 

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Being anxious is normal, especially since you had a rescue spoo who was everything you don't want in your new dog. Tame that anxiety though and it will help you do all the right things with your pup to shape the baby dog into the adult you want. One reason I don't want to deal with a rescue is I know I want to do sports with my dogs and I don't want to invest a huge amount of time in a dog that will never get there with me. I think there are other people who are better suited to that work than I am anyway.

The person who I do my private training with has an older retired Pomeranian who has an OTCh. That dog is a rescue, but she had the right core attributes to do great work. My trainer got another rescue Pom, nice sweet dog, but after two years of tons of work with her she remained too afraid of shiny floors and a number of other similar issues thatshe ended up being rehomed as the family pet for the daughter of another friend. She lives in the lap of luxury and is adored beyond belief. After doing all of the work with no hope of really making progress my trainer got a Pom puppy. She was extremely worried about puppy raising, doing something wrong to make the puppy afraid of obedience sport and the like. Well that puppy has turned out beautifully and has her beginner novice title and is working on novice trials, knows everything through utility and is all that her handler/owner/mom could want. The moral of the story is sometimes you just need to start from scratch.

You will be fine.
 
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You learned so much from your rescue! That knowledge is going to serve you well. So release the anxiety and hold tight to that.

You'll have your son to help you through the trickiest bits, and then a lovely companion to lean on when he leaves the nest.

Just remember: This puppy is new, not just to you but to the world. He deserves to be treated as an individual, without the burden of fearful expectations. Might sound silly, but I would consider doing a symbolic reset. Do you have a memento from your rescue that you could set free? Or that you can thank for all you learned and then place out of sight?

Then sit quietly with all the reasons you want this puppy.

Whatever you do, DON'T read online horror stories. You can literally find something online to fuel any fear you have, rational or otherwise. It's not helpful. The only exception to this is reading about puppy blues, which I found very supportive.

There is a grieving that sometimes takes place when we make a big commitment, and puppies are a big commitment! It's not helpful to fight those particular feelings. Just gotta feel 'em and move through 'em! And never lose sight of why you made that big commitment in the first place.
 

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You already have hard-won poodle experience. Piece of cake. Puppy times are going to be fun for the most part. You get to cuddle angel hair, before it gets crispy and show them everything. Change your anxiety into excitement. All best wishes for your new puppy!
 

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It sounds like you’re buying your puppy from a supportive, knowledgeable breeder. You have a wealth of experience. Presumably you are committed to doing the work of puppy raising which is different from the work of rehabbing a rescue dog. Training your dog will build your relationship with your dog.

If you don’t have some kind of xpen set up like Johanna recommended, get one ASAP. Part of successfully raising a puppy is having a good containment area where the dog can see everyone, but you can get something else done without the puppy “getting into trouble” aka doing what puppies do.

You probably have lots of great resources already, but here are two of my favorites that are very positive focused in case you need more direction. The canine enrichment page on Facebook and Sophia Yin’s poorly titled but excellent for visual learners book: The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days.

You have a grand adventure ahead!
 

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Definitely stop reading the horror stories! Just like with training your pup, set yourself up for success by focusing on positive reinforcement for yourself first. And, yes, you can do this. I admit to questioning my sanity after I got my boys home, but what a way to go! Your adventure is waiting for you!

Along with recommended training materials such as above, and also frequently recommended around PF, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dog Star Daily I'll suggest some light reading.

You may be too young to recognize the author's name. It's about her quest for a toy poodle and the abundance of love that dropped into all their lives when they found each other. The book is "Every Night, Josephine!" by Jacqueline Susann. It was published in 1963, which just occurs to me was the same year my family got out first poodle.

I only just now wonder if the book caused the poodle in our house or if the poodle caused the book in our house :).
 

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I think you are stacking your odds in your favor by getting a puppy from a decent breeder. Good genes and good early socialization will help prevent a lot of the issues you saw with your rescue.

I won't lie. There were many times between 3 and 6 months that I really wondered why I had inflicted a puppy on myself. The peeing, the crying, the biting. However, the 8 month old puppy he has turned into is my reward for all that lost sleep and ruined clothes.
 

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I've had a lot of anxiety about this too. What helped was to understand where it was coming from. My brain would try to rationalise the anxiety by finding 'logical' reasons for it. Like 'oh I am going to have to find/pay for a petsitter sometimes' or 'what if it has problems' and some of those things are genuine logistical questions to ask before getting a dog but considering my personal and financial circumstances my anxiety about these things were very disproportional.

For the record I don't think 50 is too old for a puppy.

For me it was recognising the muliple factors that were fueling the anxiety. On one hand its just good old fear of change (be it good or bad). But it was also because like you I have experienced and witnessed the heartbreak and stress when things don't go to plan and there are problems. In my case I was a child and didn't have any control over the situation. My family ended up rehoming several dogs that I was very attached to. Naturally I am terrified of being in that situation again, it will be even worse now that I am the adult who would have to make that decision.

So yeah when you have experienced how things can go wrong its very scary but I also don't want to let that dictate my life.

I'm getting my puppy next spring. It has taken a while and I think I was actually kinda lucky to end up on a waiting list for over a year. It has given me time to process things, get used to the pending change, prepare without it being driven by anxiety and now I am starting to feel the energy of anticipation.
 

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I just got a new spoo puppy a week ago. My first spoo--my only other dog was a mini. I have to say that my biggest surprise has been her size (LOL)--of course I knew she was going to be bigger than our mini but what I hadn't thought about was the puppy biting--it's way worse than what we had with our mini. He did play biting too but he was about 1/3 the size when we brought him home so it didn't really hurt when he bit you, more funny. This one really hurts and I am already covered with bite marks! I try to divert her with toys but sometimes I am too late and she has already bit me. I am so glad I took a week of work when we got her because she gets up early and needs a lot of activity early in the morning --she is sleeping all night in her pen, which is great. She definitely is a lot more work so far than our mini as a puppy. I am told that as an adult she will be calmer and more cuddly than the mini, but for the moment it is fun but honestly also exhausting. I am 59 by the way!
 

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Check this guy out. Didn't stop the biting, but definitely brought under tolerable control. Also helped me understood puppy biting.

 

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Check this guy out. Didn't stop the biting, but definitely brought under tolerable control. Also helped me understood puppy biting.

Thanks! I have watched a bunch of videos about it from different dog trainers, but I will check this one out too! I see he has a bit of a different approach from other trainers, who say to substitute toys, which is what I've been doing, i.e. taking away my body and giving a toy.
 

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I'm partial to the toy method because it teaches an acceptable alternative that is applicable beyond the teething phase. Squealing or verbally correcting her in any way just riled Peggy up further, whereas being consistent with the toys taught her (with time and patience) to run grab a toy to occupy her mouth when she was over-aroused. When she first started seeking mouth-occupiers on her own, we were overjoyed. It was like we'd given her a tool for self-soothing and she'd finally figured out how to use it unprompted. Hooray!

The trick with toys, I find, is to have more than you could possibly think you need—all sizes, shapes, textures, in every corner of the house, always within reach. Peggy only needed a few high-quality toys for extended chewing. The rest could be just about anything. I found them in discount bins, made them myself, used everyday objects (a favourite was an old spatula), etc.

And I totally know what you mean about size. Puppy Peggy was the size of my last girl full-grown. She was intimidating!! But I quickly grew to love her solidness. She's such an awesome cuddle buddy.

Jenna, how are you feeling now about your decision? Is there anything specific we can help you with?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just got a new spoo puppy a week ago. My first spoo--my only other dog was a mini. I have to say that my biggest surprise has been her size (LOL)--of course I knew she was going to be bigger than our mini but what I hadn't thought about was the puppy biting--it's way worse than what we had with our mini. He did play biting too but he was about 1/3 the size when we brought him home so it didn't really hurt when he bit you, more funny. This one really hurts and I am already covered with bite marks! I try to divert her with toys but sometimes I am too late and she has already bit me. I am so glad I took a week of work when we got her because she gets up early and needs a lot of activity early in the morning --she is sleeping all night in her pen, which is great. She definitely is a lot more work so far than our mini as a puppy. I am told that as an adult she will be calmer and more cuddly than the mini, but for the moment it is fun but honestly also exhausting. I am 59 by the way!
hi ,I can totally relate to this, other than my nightmare standard poodle I have always had smaller dogs, and my current dog is a smaller poodle cross who is a rescue. I am sure the size will be a shock to me too at first, haha. How is your house training going? I work from home but am also taking a week off of work.
 

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I'm partial to the toy method because it teaches an acceptable alternative that is applicable beyond the teething phase. Squealing or verbally correcting her in any way just riled Peggy up further, whereas being consistent with the toys taught her (with time and patience) to run grab a toy to occupy her mouth when she was over-aroused. When she first started seeking mouth-occupiers on her own, we were overjoyed. It was like we'd given her a tool for self-soothing and she'd finally figured out how to use it unprompted. Hooray!

The trick with toys, I find, is to have more than you could possibly think you need—all sizes, shapes, textures, in every corner of the house, always within reach. Peggy only needed a few high-quality toys for extended chewing. The rest could be just about anything. I found them in discount bins, made them myself, used everyday objects (a favourite was an old spatula), etc.

And I totally know what you mean about size. Puppy Peggy was the size of my last girl full-grown. She was intimidating!! But I quickly grew to love her solidness. She's such an awesome cuddle buddy.

Jenna, how are you feeling now about your decision? Is there anything specific we can help you with?
I am feeling pretty good actually. I spent most of the weekend watching training videos and getting ready. The only issue now is there is an issue with getting him to me. I am supposed to be meeting the breeder this weekend. But it is becoming a bit of an issue because of smoke in the area and very few days to meet each other ( it involves flights to smaller communities that have very few flights).
 

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hi ,I can totally relate to this, other than my nightmare standard poodle I have always had smaller dogs, and my current dog is a smaller poodle cross who is a rescue. I am sure the size will be a shock to me too at first, haha. How is your house training going? I work from home but am also taking a week off of work.
hi ,I can totally relate to this, other than my nightmare standard poodle I have always had smaller dogs, and my current dog is a smaller poodle cross who is a rescue. I am sure the size will be a shock to me too at first, haha. How is your house training going? I work from home but am also taking a week off of work.
Housetraining is going well. She sleeps through the night in her pen with no accidents, which is a big deal! During the day she has had some pee accidents (no poops in the house) but in general if I remember to take her out about every hour while she's awake and then as soon as she wakes up from a nap she doesn't pee in the house. She goes right to pee when she goes outside, which is great!
 
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