Almost every new puppy owner has reached a point where he desperately wonders, “What on earth have I done?” And maybe even thinks “this is all a big mistake”.
Are you familiar with these puppy problems? When you are there, don’t worry. Practically everyone feels that way – and that’s actually a very good sign. This means that you take responsibility for puppy ownership seriously and do everything possible to ensure that your dog has the best start in life. But the journey can be exhausting and is certainly life-changing.
Some psychologists believe that new dog owners go through a similar phase to new parents when it comes to the “baby blues”. Although there is not the enormous hormonal shift that a baby brings, all new owners have a vision in their heads of what it will be like to have a puppy and imagine the joys of their new arrival with anticipation. When your puppy arrives, the reality is often not like a dream. and suddenly you are 100% responsible for this unexpectedly demanding new family member who needs you 24 hours a day without a break. Then the puppy blues occurs so often.
You are not alone with this feeling. We at Purina understand these puppy problems and the associated stress. We asked members of our team what the biggest challenges were during puppy age, from toilet training to separation anxiety. Read on to find out how they felt when raising a puppy.
Difficulty handling sth
“After about a week, I just felt like a complete failure. I was so tired that I couldn’t think clearly and everything seemed to go wrong. Monty was still peeing and shitting in the house, chewing everything he could find, and every time I turned around he did something he shouldn’t. This caused conflict in the family and I couldn’t even let him go to the shops to escape everyday life. I hadn’t noticed that it was so difficult to have a puppy, and twenty times a day I almost took off his breeder’s phone to ask her to take him back because I couldn’t handle it. I’m so glad I didn’t because he is my best friend now and I can never imagine life without him. “
– Lindsey, owner of Monty, now a 14-month-old golden retriever.
The challenges of toilet training
“My biggest challenge was toilet training – especially with a miniature dachshund! I don’t think I expected how difficult, frustrating or time consuming it would be and how much patience it would take to get it right! I felt completely helpless and sometimes lost my temper and just felt overwhelmed as if we were taking one step forward and two steps back. Lots of time and patience, and in the end we finally made it … and I have to say, when we really cracked it, I was more excited that my puppy was going outside than I ever thought possible! ‘
– Ellie, Purina Vet and owner of Evie, now a 1 year old miniature dachshund.
Separation fear fights
“Separation anxiety was the most difficult for me. I was very concerned and concerned, not only about how the puppy felt alone and how guilty I felt, but also about the possible barking and howling that disturbed the neighbors and Pickle and possibly destroyed the house. I now feel so much better and less worried; Even though she is still a puppy, she is used to the environment (my home) and knows how to relax until I come back. It’s all about time. “
– Haelee, Purina Brand Manager and owner of Pickle, now a 10 month old Cockerpoo.
The first week with a new puppy
These feelings usually appear in the first week of a new puppy if the owners are Toilet training and therefore not get enough sleep. They spend all of their waking hours watching their puppy make sure they don’t have toilet accidents, chew anything they shouldn’t, or get into trouble, and that they can’t go anywhere or do anything (including going to the bathroom), without considering their new dog.
“Lily had a habit of finding the strange table leg or flip-flop to chew on when left alone for a short time! This meant that when we returned home we were concerned about what she might have chewed next, and then dealt with the stress of cleaning up the mess she had caused when we returned, instead of enjoying the game and cuddling! “
– Becky, Purina Brand Manager and owner of Lily, a 13 month old Yorkiepoo
This is a time when the owners strive to do everything right for their puppy, but it can be overwhelming at times and not what they expected. For some, this can be combined with a feeling of sadness for their old, carefree days before the puppy!
The good news is that these feelings and puppy problems are temporary. Soon the puppy begins to settle, life becomes much more relaxed (though never again as it was) and the relationship you build with your new dog and the unconditional love you get back replaces the previous feelings of panic and Worry. You can’t imagine life without your dog – and you don’t want to either.
Time and endurance are key
“I wasn’t prepared to feel so out of control or to take the emotional toll it can mean – worrying that she’s not okay, not happy, not eating, not drinking, not sleeping is so normal, is so normal am i a terrible dog owner? Worries can get out of hand pretty quickly. The lack of sleep is grueling and sometimes you step back and it feels like everything we’ve worked on has been undone. In essence – lots of increased emotions! Fortunately, time and perseverance are really the answer. As soon as she slept through the night, everything calmed down. Now I can’t imagine my life without her. “
– Martina, Purina Experience Lead and owner of Luna, now a 1 year old miniature dachshund.
How to deal with the initial puppy problems:
Here are some things to consider when dealing with puppy problems.
- It will pass. Your puppy will settle down, he will get the hang of toilet training, you will get the hang of dog ownership and your world will be (new!) Normal again.
- It’s okay to be afraid – everyone does it. New owners are concerned about whether their puppy is healthy and happy, whether they are doing things right, and whether they are ultimately good at being dog owners. You are outside your comfort zone and everything is new, so these feelings are completely natural.
- Ask for help. If you are concerned about your puppy’s health, speak to a veterinarian and if you are concerned about their behavior, training, or getting used to it, find a qualified behavioral researcher to help you address your concerns. All good Puppy breeders I will be very willing to give you some support too. Sometimes it just helps to talk to friends who have dogs. They will tell you their own stories, calm you down, give you a new perspective – and remind you of the joys of dog ownership.
- Take your time. Try the puppy daycare for a few hours and run away and have some time for me. You will be refreshed and come back full of love for your puppy.
- Never forget that your new dog is just a baby. They are not naughty or difficult – they are just trying to fit into this new life and will take time to learn how to do it. You need your patience and your love. They are not toilet trained and pre-programmed to do what you ask them to do. You need to spend time teaching them and building your relationship.
- However, what you are doing now is investing in your new dog. All this work, time, and energy form the basis of your life together so that you can build your relationship and have the dog you always dreamed of.
See how new puppy parents in Purina survived their puppy’s acclimatization phase.
The puppy age is really a joy and it passes so quickly – but it can be a challenge. Expect that, plan it – and enjoy it!