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Old 04-13-2014, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Cautionary Tale

I'm sitting here, watching my 12 week old puppy for the last time before I take her back to the breeder. It breaks my heart to do it, she's an adorable dog, incredibly smart, and hasn't been a hassle at all compared to the horror stories I've heard (not a single accident housebreaking, took less than 36 hours I kid you not). I'm returning her for largely selfish reasons and because it's what I think will be best for the dog in the end. I don't want to get six months down the road and have to do the same after we've already bonded or even worse give her a terrible life because I can't dedicate the time necessary for her exercise and training. I wanted to post something here before leaving the site in hopes that my story might prevent a repeat with someone else. All the information here has been an incredible help and resource. I wish I could've seen through my own cloud of excitement to heed some of the advice posted by you wise owners.

For the last several years I've wanted a GSD. I love dogs, I love playing with dogs, I love walking dogs, I always had dogs growing up. I did all my research, found a great breeder, moved to a house with a big yard, and got an absolutely beautiful puppy. The problem: I'd convinced myself of a lifestyle I'd fulfill with my dog instead of realizing the life I actually lead. My desire had clouded my better judgement and I really, really want to encourage any of you looking to examine yourself as objectively and fully as you can before leaping into adoption -- I don't want you to go through this inner turmoil of feeling like you're betraying a dog, knowing what you're doing will be best for the animal even though it's torture for you both.

I work from home, have expendable income, a big yard, and abundant free time. It'd appear, on the surface, that I have everything in alignment for raising a dog. In reality my work requires long stints (4-10hrs) of concentration, my yard is only good if I can spend time with the dog in it, and my free time is so sporadic that setting up a schedule for the dog is impossible (they need that structure). I'd convinced myself I could rearrange and juggle all of this to make it work because I wanted a dog so bad and I thought my desire could shine through all of that. It doesn't work that way. Don't be heartbroken like me. Be brutally honest with yourself.

Please, take a step back and really think again before you adopt. You might be like me and need to realize that being an owner isn't a good thing for you and it may never be. I'll continue to march through life alone, but at least I can do that knowing I won't be leaving a loving animal unfulfilled.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have to say that at 12 weeks old, you're not going to find anything more demanding than that. I know my puppy was non-stop at that age. I know why you feel this way. I'm not trying to talk you out of returning the puppy, but I did talk a friend out of returning hers. I told her that if she stuck it out, she'd be happier in the long run. With her, I wanted her to keep the dog because of security reasons - a single woman living alone. She's thanked me a million times for doing this - once her puppy grew up to be the wonderful companion he is today.

Introducing structure and down time to a puppy's daily routine is what it takes. Exercising them so that this down time is quality sleep time is how to make it work. Letting them know that the down time is non-negotiable is necessary. So put a nice bed beside you, with a tired puppy on it, and teach 'relax' and ignore the puppy until it falls asleep. I think you might be being too hard on yourself. Puppies might want constant entertainment, but that's not realistic.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
I have to say that at 12 weeks old, you're not going to find anything more demanding than that. I know my puppy was non-stop at that age. I know why you feel this way. I'm not trying to talk you out of returning the puppy, but I did talk a friend out of returning hers. I told her that if she stuck it out, she'd be happier in the long run. With her, I wanted her to keep the dog because of security reasons - a single woman living alone. She's thanked me a million times for doing this - once her puppy grew up to be the wonderful companion he is today.

Introducing structure and down time to a puppy's daily routine is what it takes. Exercising them so that this down time is quality sleep time is how to make it work. Letting them know that the down time is non-negotiable is necessary. So put a nice bed beside you, with a tired puppy on it, and teach 'relax' and ignore the puppy until it falls asleep. I think you might be being too hard on yourself. Puppies might want constant entertainment, but that's not realistic.


I say don't give up yet, at least try for a couple more weeks, in the end it will be so worth it. I can't imagine life without a dog, I never want to be without a dog. They give you so much love, joy and companionship.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I think you should rethink your decision. You sound better set up than my husband and I, who don't work from home or have much discretionary income, and have two dogs. You sound like you really secretly want to keep this pup. Why not tough it out, you sound like you have researched and would be a great owner. Or, you could adopt a young adult as we did.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You are never really ready to raise a dog or child for that matter. You just do it. I think you are overthinking it and being hard on yourself.

I telecommute and have a complex technical job but it has been so much better than having to work a regular job and raise a dog. Dogs are a lot more adaptable than perhaps you give them credit for.

But, yes, better to back out now, than when you have an older more bonded dog.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with the others..give yourself a few more weeks. You are in the middle of the hardest phase now. Your pup wont always demand this much energy from you, and working from home you might find the quiet companionship really nice.

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Old 04-13-2014, 03:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We raised dex in the middle of my bf's mother living with us, constant meddling from his ex wife and he would yell and lose his mind when dex peed on the floor, plus we were on the verge of breaking up every week and I was accidentally pregnant with a baby I lost. You hang in there dexter is a happy healthy 3 yr old border collie that makes up happy everyday.

Not to mention we worked full time jobs. On opposite shifts. Lol very hot mess' s

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Old 04-13-2014, 04:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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After losing my 2 gsds in the past year and a half now I have gone back and forth on getting another pup. I do have a non gsd still. At first I really wanted to get a pup or rescue right away, I like watching the play, but then think to wait till I retire and am able to stay home to work with the pup better, plus I always hated that they were waiting on me always to get home. But on the other hand, they were well house trained, I could trust to leave them for long periods of time, working, shopping trips, short day trips because they were used to that. They had full reign of the house, not crated. So I wonder too if best that they grow up learning to stay in the house the way I described. They were very loving and the greetings I received each day, well, that is sorely missed. I guess it's like a lot of us humans, might not always get to go where you want or do all you'd like to, but the times you do are much more valued! As they say, dogs live in the moment.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have always had employment dealing with dogs and even I was overwhelmed by my GSD when I got her at 10 weeks. They can be exhausting! When I feel stuck on something or overwhelmed, I try to imagine if I will care at all about the difficulties in a year. If it's not something I can imagine being as upset or lost about in the moment, I think of it as "this too shall pass" and struggle on. I feel it's a small price to pay for a great companion. I hope you reconsider and keep in mind puppyhood is short in the scheme of things.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Next time....get a rough coated Collie....auto pilot dogs.


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