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Hi to everyone.

Does anyone feel like me? I love my puppy so much so don't take my words wrong. But, he's 4 months old and into everything. I have to watch him every second. And, he back talks me. When I say "NO", he barks back at me. He's been trying to take food from my kids at the kitchen table. He also is trying to get under my couch because he wants to eat the fabric. So, everything is sprayed with bitter apple in my house. I always wondered who would need the large size Bitter Apple bottle!

Plus, he goes potty great. But, every now and then he just potty's on the floor right in front of me. I say "Phooie" and rush him outside. Last night, he did it twice right by my couch :x :x ! I was not happy!

We have to watch him every second. When we can't watch him, he's in his kennel. We exercise daily, play, go to training and all the puppy stuff. But, he just wants more, more, more attention. I don't remember my kids taking this much work.

I am exhausted. I need puppy respite. Anyone feel the same way?
 

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Oh yeah! I've got two of the little buggers and I either think they're wonderful or terrible. No in between. Yesterday I ran into a neighbor who said she had a 6 mo. old lab. She said the same thing you just did!

Every other day I threaten to find one or the other a new home. Then I get a puppy kiss and I'm melted again. Last night my husband looked at George and Gracie, who were fighting with each other, and he said, "You guys are supposed to make us WANT you!" Just then, George put his chin down on the ottoman and looked up with those puppy eyes all sweet and sad and we were done for.

Truth is, they ARE a ton of work. Not much different than a baby, except your baby never ate your sofa. But it will get better. I just know it will.

It will, won't it?
 

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It does :) My two LD's are just over 1 year old now... They just take some time to learn what exactly is expected from them... the main point is to stay consistent and they'll get there...
 

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I sure hope so guys! I am in the same boat as y'all and this is my first puppy. I don't think I was aware of just how much work they are either. We love our little Coal but somedays I am exhausted between him (he's 16 weeks now) and my son who will be 3 in April. The two of them together (without STRICT supervision) is a no no. Either Coal is jumping on my son and pinning him down or my son is grabbing Coal's feet or leaning on him. I am lucky to be able to be home with them both but some days they make me crazy. That said, I know the day will come when we have sweet well behaved dogs. Anyone care to tell us exactly WHEN we can expect that??
 

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We have the same problem with 3 month old Dakota. He's either an angel or a terror. He can wind himself into a playing frenzy without too much help from us. He's better about the biting (I haven't had bleeding forarms for a couple of days!) but if I'm sitting on the floor during one of his frenzies, he will run, jump and lunge at me with his front paws. What works somewhat for me is a game we call hall ball. We have a long hallway and I will throw the ball over and over in an attempt to have Dakota run his energy off, but sometimes the energy seems never ending. Do any of you watch the Dog Wisperer? Cesar Millan claims the very best thing you can do is a 45 minute power walk in the morning and again in the evening. I'll start that as soon as it starts getting lighter. We're also starting pupping training on Feb 21.
 

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Hey everybody... the insanity will end soon! Summer has calmed down a lot... she is 10 months old now. It flies by so fast! She is really mellow and calm in the house now, but she also gets tons of exercise. I think that exercise is really important- a tired dog is a good dog. We just started leaving Summer out of the crate while we make quick trips to the store... she was alone for 2 hours yesterday and didn't chew anything or pee in the house! YAY! But I was in the same boat all of you were in a few months ago. I used to yell at Summer all the time saying "I should have bought a cat!". I think the dog park has been very important- she comes home and sleeps for hours! Doggie daycare could also work well for some of you... if you just need a day off! We used it when we were really busy and knew that we wouldn't be able to give Summer any time or exercise. Cesar Millan is GREAT- I apply all of his theories... His DVD is also a great tool. It says every day you need to give them exercise, discipline, then affection... in that order, to have a balanced dog. Also, their energy builds, so if they don't get exercise one day, they will have double the next day! Good luck, keep 'em busy, and know that someday you won't need to constantly watch them!

Bridget and Summer
 

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Bellas now just over nine months old and has always been hard work, it's own own fault for picking the brightest in the litter :lol:

We've battled long and hard over her illness, she's now stable and doing all the things a naughty pup should do :roll:

some days she has us pulling our hair out but then she gives us a hug and a lick and like everyone else we melt :oops:

She's turning out to be a great dog, our best mate has a baby a month younger than Bella and they love each other, she's great with kids and people, doesn't have a nasty bone in her.

Couldn't ask for a better puppy but yes they do seem every bit as hard work as kids!
 

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Hi Everyone,

Sometimes I don't know which is harder and more labor intensive: raising children or puppies! Puppyhood is probably more intense, but then does not last as long as chilhood. Right now I have a house full of teenagers! Yikes!

Our last dog, Ollie (Lab/Shepherd mix) was the most hyper dog I ever met! It took him 2 years to settle down! So by comparison Sawyer is already impressing us with how cool tempered he is. Even so, what alot of work!
 

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I love these boards! You all make me feel so normal. Gunner had his best week yet...poor baby, he had his surgery and he spent a great deal of time in his crate, LOL!
 

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Hi, boy do I relate!

Let me remind you (voice of experience here) keep the training up. Work on training every single day, do not let one day pass without it.

We had 2 puppies, siblings, and together they ate one thing after another. We have had every possible experience, so I am telling you this for your own sanity...training!

Now, I can also tell you that out of these wild and destructive puppies grew the most loving and calm adult dogs. The are the best companions ever!

So, hang in there, it does get better...and some day you will be laughing about these things...honestly, you will.
 

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I am so happy that I came across this topic. My husband and I have no children and our puppy is 3 months old. We have been so exhausted! I never grew up with pets and could never have imagined the work we would put into our dog. I heard from friends who have had children and puppies that puppies can be more work because everything happens at once. Loss of sleep, potty training, biting, discipline, crying/barking. They say atleast with babies you get to ease into it. Well we figure this might be the best way to prepare us!
 

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I, too, have felt the same exhaustion with our 4-month old Max. I'm glad I can come here and see that I'm not alone. Thanks all for sharing.
 

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Hi,
My husband sent this to me in an email and I felt that it was especially right for this forum topic!

Enjoy!

Dear Dogs and Cats,
>
>
> The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The
other dishes are mine and contain my food.
>
>
> Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food
does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
>
>
> The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
>
>
> I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very sorry
about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure
your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they
sleep.

> It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and
having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
>
>
> For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If
by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered.
> I have been using the bathroom for years--canine or feline attendance
is not mandatory.
>
> The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's
butt. I cannot stress this enough!
>
> To pacify you my dear pets, I have posted the following message on
our front door:
>
> Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Like to Complain About Our
Pets:
>
>
> 1. They live here. You don't.
>
> 2. If you don't want hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
(That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
>
> 3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
>
> 4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter
who is short, hairy, walks on all fours, and does not speak clearly.
>
>
> Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they: eat less,
> don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when
called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't
smoke or drink, don't worry about having to buy the latest fashions, don't
wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.
 

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The first year with a dog is a lot of work, but most will calm down and stop most of the behavior that is annoying, so long as you are consistent in training. Fred is now 17 months and he just seems to become a better dog every day. He is great company, very funny and well behaved. He is the 3rd dog i have had, and every one of them had become almost pure pleasure by the time they were 2. Of course, dogs will be dogs, and given the chance, most will steal food or drink your coffee when you look away.
Ronnie
 

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Jac - Thanks for adding your hubby's two-cents. I'm still laughing about "when they get pregnant, you can sell their children!"

When you say training, training, training...can you be specific about what you did? Are you talking about going to classes or a specific set of commands?
 

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Jacque, I love the e-mail. Especially the last paragraph. I can assure you that it means a lot to me as I have one soph in college, one shopping for his college of choice and one high school junior (female) who spends way more than the boys ever dreamed of.....with that said, Stacy I have a bit of good/bad news...though puppy-hood is exhausting, you will have a very welll-behaved dog longgggggggggg before you will have your children under control. 8) Hang in there, that pup will be your solace before you know it. p/s Toby ate a plexiglass clipboard through a kennel panel while at the vet last week. Who would a thunk that coulda been done :?:
 

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I personally like the "they live here, you don't."
:lol:

Training, well, we did it all. We took our dogs to puppy kindergarten, and we didn't keep working with them...time passed quickly and the poor dogs were getting pretty much, well, at home. (Their house, not ours.)

Then we hired an expensive trainer to come to our house, one on one training. We didn't follow through and so it didn't work either.

It dawned on me that we were really bad parents. Our intentions, as good as they were, didn't cut it. We needed to get them trained AND FOLLOW THROUGH! (But we wanted them to feel at home and comfortable, not restrained and forbidden.)

We finally sent them to what we called "doggie boot camp" and they stayed (all 3 of them) for a week. When we picked them up, they were absolutely perfect! The training worked wonders, they had so many good manners it was scary.

This time, we try to follow through. Sure, sometimes we don't...but when our dogs misbehave (which they don't really, not any more) it is because they are doing what dogs do.

Dogs are not human, they don't do things for spite or because they are mad at us...the do things because they LIKE what they are doing! Pleasure. It's that simple. Dogs like to chew, bark, dig, tear fluff out of sofas, jump on their people, nip and play, roll around on the ground, chew up favorite shoes, shred papers, discover stashes of forbidden things...and they like to be loved.

They will do just about anything we want them to do, as long as they know what that is. They need short, quick commands that they hear often and ones that they learn the meanings to. And they need to know that if they don't do it, there will be consequences (whether it is not getting a treat, a click, a love, or whether it is a quick tug on a prong collar.) I don't believe in being mean. I think that dogs learn love and kindness by the way we treat them...they also learn aggression and fear by the way they are treated.

They rely on us to be consistent. We can't let them chew on old shoes if we don't want them to chew on new ones. They don't know the difference...so, what I have learned is that the training needs to come FROM us...and WE need to be trained to do it. Most importantly, WE need to keep it in mind 24/7 until it is automatic for us and for our pets.

So, I can't say what type of training works best (although for us a prong collar does the trick). I have seen some wonderful dogs (well behaved, gentle, quiet) living with old ladies who give them treats from the kitchen table and I have seen really bad dogs living with aggressive and restrictive people...I think that it boils down to...you have to learn how to communicate with your dog, then let your dog know that you will be consistent. That you are the top dog, but you love them very much.
 

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Jac, That is wonderful advice. So true: Sawyer's trainer is really our people trainer, because he (Sawyer) will usually do exactly what he is trained to do! We just need to get with the program!
 
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