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Hi all, I recently adopted a 13 week old mix. I’ve wanted a dog for years. I knew raising a puppy was going to be hard and time consuming but it’s even harder than I thought. I’ve only had her for 1 week but I’m having some regrets and thinking I should have gotten an adult that’s more calm for my lifestyle. She’s doing well at night but still having accidents in the house and is biting me in moments of hyperness during walks which is very frustrating. I’m starting puppy classes at petsmart in 2 weeks and know when she is older I will be happy to have her but right now I go day by day questioning if I can do this. I do have family support at home and im embarrassed to admit I’ve thought about bringing her back to the rescue I got her from. I’ve read online it’s common and giving it a couple weeks will change my mind but I’m not sure. I am attached to her and so is my family but I’m just not sure what to do. Any words of encouragement or advise would be appreciated.
 

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First dog, first puppy, first GSD, eh?



If I were in your position and could afford it, I'd look for a trainer that wasn't Petsmart or Petco or any other "big box" type store. Check with the rescue as to who they recommend, check with vets as to who they would take their puppy to (they might not be able to give an answer to "who do you recommend" but they could tell you who they would take their puppy to). Petsmart and Petco vary a lot in their trainers -- the person that trained two weeks ago, might not be the person holding your class or in any way affiliated with them now.



I'd get a book like Sheila Booth's "Purely Positive: Companion to Competition" I'd look at videos --- (names are failing me right now) I know this group can recommend many. And I would take several deep breaths, invest in a crate & teach "crate games". learn how to reward and what to reward and when to reward good behavior. Just start by googling "crate games".
 

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You can also look at The Collared Scholar. She has free videos on her website and on YouTube. She also has online classes. They are a little expensive but worth it. Finding someone who understands German Shepherd Dogs and uses a good balance of teaching with rewards and correcting when appropriate is important. Another set of eyes seeing how you interact with your pup is invaluable.
 

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I was in your shoes around 7 months ago. My first dog and first gsd. Was way more work than anticipated

My advice is think long and hard. Are you willing to be there for this dog every single day until it dies? If not give it to someone who will. Think of the dog. It didn’t ask for this, but YOU did. YOU chose to get a puppy. YOU chose to get a gsd. YOU didn’t do enough research or are now choosing to quit. I’m not trying to guilt trip you I’m just saying the responsibility falls on you. I went through all this and ultimately decided I loved my dog too much to quit on him. It will get better trust me

So if you can give this puppy the love, guidance, time, and forgiveness for being a puppy sometimes.. keep it. But it will get worse before it gets better. My puppy started biting a LOT around 7 months. So be prepared going forward. That’s why I say. Sit down. Think long and hard and either dig in and suck it up and work with the puppy or give it to someone who will! Good luck honestly I know how it feels
 

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Hi all, I recently adopted a 13 week old mix. I’ve wanted a dog for years. I knew raising a puppy was going to be hard and time consuming but it’s even harder than I thought. I’ve only had her for 1 week but I’m having some regrets and thinking I should have gotten an adult that’s more calm for my lifestyle. She’s doing well at night but still having accidents in the house and is biting me in moments of hyperness during walks which is very frustrating. I’m starting puppy classes at petsmart in 2 weeks and know when she is older I will be happy to have her but right now I go day by day questioning if I can do this. I do have family support at home and im embarrassed to admit I’ve thought about bringing her back to the rescue I got her from. I’ve read online it’s common and giving it a couple weeks will change my mind but I’m not sure. I am attached to her and so is my family but I’m just not sure what to do. Any words of encouragement or advise would be appreciated.
If she is having accidents in the house, you are not following through on house training. It is not possible for a puppy to have an accident if you are doing your part.
When she is biting you give her something she can bite. I like big floppy stuffed toys at this age, but you need to make them more appealing then your very animated self.
She does not know what is expected on walks yet so you need to show her.
Puppies at this age respond well to luring and shaping behaviors, so if you want her to do something coax her into it with a treat or toy. Training should be mostly play and shaping behaviors at this age, anything very structured should be a few minutes.

This stage passes, but you are either in it or you aren't and there is no shame in admitting you made a mistake.
 

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I went through this twice. You aren't alone. This is quite common. For the first month or two or three, I wanted to return my pup every day. It is HARD. You're constantly sleep deprived, stressed from cleaning up its messes, annoyed by the biting, constantly worried about the pup when you're out, etc. etc. etc. We get it...sincerely. Your story is not a unique story. You have to power through these times because we promise you, it will be well worth it. It'll take some time but you'll get there. Here's what I tell myself after every time I think of giving up..."You, a human, are letting a baby animal beat you. Man up and deal with it." Another saying I keep telling myself is "no pain, no gain." It's stupid but it's true. It's like investing in a stock...put in the time now, and it'll pay off later on. Some people are ok with giving up. Nothing wrong with that. My pride and ego wouldn't let the dog win. So, if you want to give up, now's the time to do it...when you and the pup haven't fully bonded with each other. But, I hope you stick with it. Because the first time you get your dog to obey a command, or it finally doesn't pee in the house, or the pup sleeps through the whole night without wanting to go out, or whatever, you'll really feel good about yourself and you'll see all the work and time you've put in is finally starting to pay off.

Ask your family to help you with the workload of the puppy. For example, someone else feeds the dog at dinner. Someone else walks the dog at noon. Or you need a nap in the afternoon....ask someone else to watch the puppy for an hour. And so on. This way everyone's involved with the puppy...and you won't feel so overwhelmed.

If you haven't yet, start crate training. A crate can be your new best friend. If no one can watch the dog for a short while, put it in the crate. My dog loves his crate. He goes in there on his own to sleep or relax. If I leave the house and no one can watch him, he's in the crate. When I use the bathroom, crate. When I'm vacuuming, crate. When I'm eating a meal, crate. You get the picture. Now when I eat, he goes automatically in his crate by himself and waits until I'm done.

And oh yeah...ditto on the puppy training at PetSmart. Save your money and put it into a good obedience school or a private trainer.
 

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I felt the same way for a little while, in that I too had regrets about my first GSD. I knew it would be a lot of work and these dogs are known to be stubborn but I was surprised how stubborn he is.

At the 6 month mark he is started to listen much more. Things are getting better but a long road ahead. Many fights with my wife over the pup because she is not as understanding of him as I am.
 

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Thanks for facing this and being honest about it. If you have regrets and don't want her, bring her back before you get attached and create a miserable life for both of you. Don't cave into pressure from a forum. They may be right but I sense that it's better to give her back.
 

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It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s stressful, it’s never ending, but it’s all worth it when they click. Sometimes that’s early, sometimes it’s when they are 2. Each dog is different, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I get back what I put into them.

My husband loves playing with the dogs, and it ends there. I’m responsible for all the training, the feeding, the vet appointments, treatments, and classes. And the one thing I hear him complain about daily is that all our dogs are mama’s dogs, and he doesn’t get it because he loves them and plays with them. They respect rules and boundaries and instructions. They are just like children, they need someone to be there to tell them what correct behavior is, and what incorrect behavior is. And that is the person they bond with the most. They need more than love and play time to be happy, they need rules and guidance.

I have an 11 week old that sustained an injury when we had her for a week. She fractured her jaw. We have weekly vet visits, she had to be fed via tube for two weeks, and now I have to blend her food at every meal. I also have 2 other dogs, one that is declining in health, and is the love of my life. She requires a lot of time and attention, and can not control her bladder, so it’s constant clean up from her as well. But when I took her in, I did it with the promise of never letting her go. The same with our puppy. It would have been MUCH cheaper to have her euthanized, which is one of the options the vet gave us. The breeder was also willing to take her back and carry the vet bills. But I made her the same promise when I got her. It was only a week, and bonding was just starting, and my life would be so much easier without her in it, but it wouldn’t be the same. Every stare, every lick, every pounce, every cuddle makes it worth all the work 10 times over.

If you can’t commit like that, your pup may be better off with someone that can. Check out your local shelters for a more mature dog that has less needs than a puppy. Or buckle down and take the time and energy necessary to create a life long bond with an amazing breed.
 
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