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Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

10602 Views 28 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Cooper&me
Quincy is 8 mnths old and in general he has been an ideal puppy. Expensive because of health concerns but that all seems to be behind us.

I do not know where these feelings are coming from entirely but I am sorry we added Quinn to our family. I feel horribly guilty even typing this but the feelings have been growing over the past month.

Two dogs just seemed so easy. Quincy is very attached to me and slight SA when apart from me. This leaves me traped. The only way my older dog gets a break is to stay away from me.

I do not take them places as three seems like a chore. Quinn is so big and bolts from the car or attempts.

Really the problem is all me as Quincy is very well mannered for his age. I just seem to have little patience for any of his antics.

I feel HORRIBLE especially since he adores me. I even asked in the form of a joke if my husband would ever rehome Quincy. He immediately said no never which made me feel all the worse because the dog all but ignores my husbands exsistance.

Maybe I have done such a good job and spent so much time raising him that I now feel sufficated.

Has anyone else ever wanted to pack it in. I could never imagine life without my other two but I could see life without Quincy. No one who knew me would believe this post.

I want to get rid of this feeling before it starts to affect the way I treat the dog.
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As for packing it in with my dogs, never. Sometimes I get a bit down, because my GSD's require a lot of attention. To add to my concerns my house is surrounded by flood waters, and will be for least another week or so. And one of the dogs does not do well going in and out by boat. He barks, attacks the motor, and simply willnot settle. And I am worried about the damage the flood has caused. Futhermore, they are house broken so Imust take them to dry land at least 2X daily, by a leakly boat.

So I am feeling a bit down.

Then my neighbor stopped over in a canoe this PM. The energy company shut off his power, because they are afraid someone might be electrocuted. His property is lower then mine so no more electricity. He and his wife have three kids and two dogs, yet he is coping.

My point is things could be a lot worse for you, and youneed to get up and take your dogs places. It might seem like a core, but when you do it your feelings will be better.
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Sure I feel overwhelmed too... I have two dogs and two cats... and you might think that "two cats, not a big deal" but YES it is a BIG DEAL. They need love and attention too... so I have four animals to take care of daily. And guess what, they are all attached to me and ignore my DH the same way Quincy ignores your DH..
Regardless of feeling overwhelmed occasionally, I feel very blessed that I have all my babies... they make me so happy every day even if they are a lot of work.
Think about it, what if she was not there? It might make you feel good now, but what if you missed her and then you could not get her back... Did you want another dog or did your DH want one?
I'm not sure what to say. You need to "break" this down for yourself so you can deal with it. Maybe write out on paper exactly what/why you may be feeling this way. Is 3 really that much more work? Maybe when you see it on paper visually, you can then figure out a way to maybe change some things. The SA I'm sure can be dealt with. People on this board can give great advice and ideas to help you get through this. Young pups are a lot of work and sometimes when we have mature dogs we quickly forget what's involved. I know I did. When our 13 yo GSD passed we waited 3 months and got Mojo. Oh was he cute... but..... a few months into it I had major moments of "why did we get a puppy". It does/will get better with time. Continue to bond w/Quincy and get Quincy to bond w/your other dogs, so that he's not so dependent on you. It sounds like you are doing your best and maybe you just need to hang in there. Have you ever owned a GSD before? Quincy sounds like a typical GSD...loving and full of crazy energy. These dogs are smart and you can train them...w/patience to do the things you need them to do. Do you have any friends w/young pups that may want to do "a play date"?

Hang in there!
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I have gone through periods of feeling overwhelmed with my 18 month old male, Tanner. He turned out to be a whole lot more dog than I had wanted. The trainer I work with says that Tanner is like a finely tuned Ferrari, both in his engine and in his body. I say that I wanted the looks of that finely tuned Ferrari, but with the engine of an old station wagon. There have been times when I would have rehomed him if I thought that I could do it safely. That feeling does pass, though, and I am glad that I have stuck it out with him.

I still feel exhausted by my dog at times, but it helps me to acknowledge feeling that way and then moving on.

If there are things about Quincy's behavior that make him difficult to handle, then work on it. Maybe your husband could become the primary trainer for Quincy? It would help improve their bond and take some of the burden off you. And the easier Quincy is to spend time with, and take places, the more likely you'll be to enjoy him.

Having dogs and doing it responsibly can be hard at times. It is just like any other long term relationship! Cut yourself some slack, and then move on. And know that at least some of us have been there and understand.
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I had a lot of regrets when we added Rocky, Jessie's littermate, to the mix esp. after they started fighting. I have MS and after breaking up a fight with those two trying to kill each other, I'd have to spend 3 days in bed just recuperating, after taking one of them to ER first though. Yea everything had been perfect before he came, but we love him so much, even though now we have to keep them separate all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME, we are in a routine and actually, it's been a year now and Jessie is slowly accepting him, has made a million baby steps.

I remember the time I told her, "Jess, just accept it, Rocky is going to stay here...forever." She looked panicky back at him and then me a couple times but at that minute she knew this is the way it is going to be and over the months has gradually accepted it.

Someday we'll do that new CAT stuff to try and reintroduce them but just with the rest of life, management is enough for now.

At the time, two 22 month old GSDs who have a death wish for each other was a lot to bear. Then we did stuff to make ourselves feel better, like buy them nice kennels for outside, really nice, and just spoiling them made us feel better about the forced situation.

It felt good back then to talk about our mistake. A couple of times DH said 'we shouldnt' have gotten Rocky!' and I agreed but we had him and he needed us, had nowhere else to go, was full of emotional issues (as was Jess and still is). I think what really helped was the other two dogs stepping and a helping shape the pack. We depended on them to really make it all bearable. They stepped right up to the plate, helping each GSD find their place, taking the alpha role and making them feel more secure. What a funny alpha and beta they are, little Schip and cute little Collie commanding two huge GSDs.

Jess had terrible SA when she first came here, would pee every time I looked at her cross eyed, we were her fourth home and she was only 15 months. That was the quickest thing to go too once she took cues from the other dogs and realized there was nothing to worry about. Also, she realized she got her certain amount of time every day that was her attention from me and then I had to move on and spread myself everywhere else which is a lot with all the other critters here.

You don't realize it now but your animals can turn to each other for comfort and create their own community. It doesn't always have to be you. Older dogs will become the Uncle or Aunt, or so forth and then you've got another to shoulder to lean on as well.
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Of course it gets hard at times. Brenna came to me with a lot of behavior issues at just 9 months old. She is fearful of strangers, extremely so with men and loud children. I remember taking her to petsmart once (stupidly on a busy Sunday) and she was in such a panic I could hardly hold onto her leash. I took her out to the car and just burst into tears. It is very overwhelming and often times I have felt in over my head but I've never considered quitting on her.

At 8 months old, your dog is still a baby and has a lot of learning to do. If he bolts from the car, teach him not to. I taught my dogs 'wait' by giving the command as I very slowly opened the door, any movement towards it resulted in me shutting (not slamming) it. Now I can open the back and fiddle with leashes, get myself situated, etc. then I say "OK" and they know they can jump down. I also use the command at doorways they are not to cross for whatever reason. They are pretty good at this point I just say "ah ah!" if they start to cross the doorway.

I believe the most common age for dogs to be turned into shelters is probably between 6 months and 2 years because that is the age they are getting large but are still hyper and playful puppies. They are also learning about the pack structure and will question authority.
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I can definitely relate. We got Heidi in October 2007 and by January, 2008, we were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into and had some major regrets. We had originally wanted to get an older, calm dog with little to no prey drive that got along well with other dogs. Well, we got the opposite of that!

On January 1st, we were taking her on a hike and she was doing her usual pulling, lunging and growling at other dogs we passed (and this was AFTER her "grumpy pup" class and a lot of other expenses and training). And she was extremely attached to me (still is!), had major separation anxiety, and wouldn't give my husband the time of day. I think my husband would have returned her to rescue at that point, but I just couldn't do it. I told him, give me a month and I'll get her in shape. And so I was really firm and did some major NILF work with her, and she seemed to know that she needed to shape up. Well, after a week, he said, there's no way we can let her go.

It hasn't been easy, but she's improved a LOT, and she's much better with obeying us, not lunging, getting along better with other dogs, and liking my husband more and more all the time. She's an important part of our lives and we take her all over the place.

So, I hope you hang in there--especially since he loves you so much! I think that was a good idea to have your husband more involved in training classes, etc.

Best of luck to you! I really hope that you get over this hurdle like we did. I can't imagine life without Heidi at this point and neither can my husband.
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We have 5 cats and 2 dogs, if it was up to me I would have more dogs.

Everyones situation is very different, money, time, patience, etc.

However when I think about adding another member, it's not taking lightly, it can't, it just doesn't effect you, it effects the pack, your significant other, the pocket book, etc.

Since I don't work, my schedule is very flexible, and I know that dogs like to have a schedule, so I created a schedule, and I stick with it (even though there is flexibility).

Jasper has also saved me from lots of negative aspects that I have had in my life, it's a fact that animals add years to your life, however it's sad to me to see you feel this way.

Your feelings will project onto Quincy, no matter how you look at it, he is also at a tough age, everything seems difficult during this time period.

Jasper has Elbow dysplasia, I have spent over $10,000 on him (surgery, rehab, meds, shots 2x a month, training, etc), but money is no object when it comes to certain things.

We don't have children, and if we did, I would be the same way.

Never make a rush decision, think things out, do things the proper way, everyone makes a mistake, we are human, we aren't perfect.

It's nice to see that you have shared this, because some people could easily want to flame you for your feelings, but that's their opinion (because they care about the Quincy's well being. It shows you can take the heat, but you want to do whats best for all involved.

If you do decide to give him up, try friends or family, rescue, just someone you can trust.

Please take no offense to this, but sometimes people just don't know what they are getting themselves into, until they do something, then it backfires (example, family gets puppy at christmas, then 4 months later its in the pound
(that's a big problem I have).

No one said it's easy to raise a puppy, or a child, but responsibility and owning up to your actions is what it sounds like what you want to do.

If you got Quincy from breeder, call breeder and see if they would take him back (it happens).

Just make sure whateveer you do, it's what is best for Quincy, he deserves at least that.

You have started the process of in right manner, putting it into words, and on this forum.

Just make sure you finish the job, and either he gets the love he deserves from you, or he goes to a loving home.

The ball is in your court, now lets see how you handle it, IMO it will telll me alot about your charactor.

Good luck to you, and for now on, be patient, loving (not say you not), give some time, he is only 8months old, you are his guide, his leader), he looks for guidance from you, so make it happen, one way or another.

Just don't banish him, dogs have a pack mentality, and they don't like to be banished from the pack.

PM me if I can help further.
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I think everyone has given you very good advice. I think it is great you have been honest with your feelings and members here have answered honestly and not in an inflammatory way.

Jasper was right on in his post.

I think we all feel overwhelmed somedays with everything..and also with our dogs at times. We all want them to be balanced, have fun and for most they are a big part of our lives.

8 months is a hard age, lots of testing and different needs from what I have experienced from pup to adult. Just keep at it, your dog is so young, and they give us so much in return really.

We have only had 2 at a time, but for the few months we had just one, I found it harder than having two. The balance just did not seem to be there. I , however, have never had three at a time, I am sure there is many that have..but it just depends on what works for you.

When I have a 12-14 hour day at work I know that our dogs will still be waiting for us to give them exercise/play and training when we get home. So maybe you can make your husband more part of that, if one of us is having an "off" day the other will take the time with the dogs so the other can go to bed early or what not.

It really is just striking an ebb and flow of things..

Don't give up! Like said, you have a young pup and things should get better with exercise and training..and I really think they are forgiving of "off" days ..and we have 2 GSDS under the age of 2 right now
they are really great dogs, they just like to be a part of everything, which leads to a great training opportunity around every corner

Maybe try some classes where you can spend some alone time with Quincy, I like to take each of ours to their different things as they have different personalities. And then when when we have people over/ go somewhere with them we can all have fun hanging out.

But, as overwhelming as it can get I can say that I never have wanted, ever, to pack it in. The first thing that makes me grin every day is seeing my awkward teenage dogs bopping around our house
I could not see my life right now without either of them.
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I am sorry for the way you feel. I think everyone has off day but if this has been going on for some time then mayby you need to talk to your husband about the way you feel. If taking 3 dogs out is a chore then you and your husband both take them out, so he can see what you go through or he can start taking Quincy out on his own. Once you have got these feelings and for how long you have had them they will not go away. If you love your dogs and husband then you realy need to talk to him about the way you feel.
and please do not feel bad, you are not the first and will not be the last to feel like this. Oh and stop feeling guity and talk to your husband. Hugs from me and a big wet sloppy kiss from Ty
I know the feelings of being overwhelmed - when I got Tazer I immediately got sick, spent several days in bed vomiting, and still had to get up and get that puppy (and the other four dogs) outside to potty. It was awful. And then Tazer has been a kind of puppy I've never had before. She chews EVERYTHING and can't even have bedding anymore. I have tons of dog bedding with holes chewed in it now. She's destroyed all the "undestructible" toys I've gotten, and is down to two toys that seem to last more than a few minutes with her.

And then the energy .. whew! On a good day, I can get her out several times and throw a ball or stick or frisbee until her tongue is hanging out the side of her mouth and she's looking like she's ready to take a break. On a bad day, my fingers and wrists are so bad that I can't hold a leash let alone throw a stick. I still try so that she gets exercise, but the sessions are not long and I'm in much pain by the time we stop.

And then the vocalizatoin .. I've never had a dog so vocal. She grumbles and groans and moans and barks and complains. She now has a kennel out in the shop and that's where she sleeps at night and during daytime naps so that I can rest without her constant noise. She doesn't seem to mind being separated from the other dogs - she's kind of an independent gal - and she's taken to her new kennel really well.

She turned a year old today and I'm starting to see the change from puppyhood to adulthood (finally!!!). She's settling down easier. She's listening better. She can finally CATCH the frisbee .. *L*. And she's much more accepting of me brushing her now that her puppy undercoat is starting to come off. She is going to be almost bald by the time it's gone, but she should look a lot nicer.

I will enjoy her much more as a settled adult than I have as a puppy. She's smart, she's athletic, she's funny and she likes me. We just have a bit more bonding to do, a lot more training to do, and then she will hopefully be ready to step into the very big shoes that Trick will be leaving behind one of these days.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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First I think you have to realize that GSD's are different from you other breeds you own. The enjoy spending time with their human pack and want to be with you and interact with you.

I have 4 GSD's and I can honestly say that there are few times I feel over whelmed. I always look at having 3 or 4 dogs has done for me, I am a better trainer, I see each dog as an individual, I feel happy that they want to spend time with ma and enjoy my company, they have taught me how to be more patient. If all that fails to make me feel better then just sit down and have a good cry and get it out of your system.

The thing we do and the paths we take don't always make life easy for us, but having challenges makes life more rewarding.

I have my DeeDee who has weak nerves and it is expressed as sound sensitivity. That has been a big challenge for me to learn how to deal with her, but 100% worth the effort.
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I have four dogs and I am the only one taking care of them - yes, I understand that overwhelming feeling. I get it sometime and my oldest dog is 7 years old. It's hard for me to just take off and go, I'm unable just to go anywhere after work without coming home first letting them out to potty. You know the story. In addition, the backyard that I thought would be the answer to my problems with having four dogs has turned out to be a nightmare. They bring in DIRT on them and of course it falls on the floor and I am constantly cleaning and scrubbing - there is dust everywhere.

But I could never give up my gang. I love them so much and they love me. And when I'm feeling overwhelmed, somehow I manage to hear or read about some poor creature being abused and lost or unwanted, and I have to gather my gang around me and give them big HUGS.

I wish I could remember which book I was reading by Pat McConnell, but she writes of having to rehome one of her dogs. I think Jon Katz writes of having to rehome one of his dogs as well.

Chin up. I hope things get better for you. Will keep you in my thoughts. Good luck.
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We all feel overwhelmed at times, and mostly it goes away. Dogs ARE alot of work and huge responsiblity. If you have a feeling this may get worse not better, I agree that you may want to continue to send out feelers to prepare your husband, and calling the breeder would be a good start for ideas/hint/suggestions.

That said, you may be able to turn this around with a good 'PLAN'. And your husband brushing you off when you tell him how you feel isn't quite as helpful as it could be in this situation (can we say not at all?). Just cause he doesn't understand, shouldn't mean he can't be an active part in helping.

How about him taking Quincy out for the day? To visit friends go for a hike and a playdate? To give you a break in the week.

Or how about making plans for the weekend that are PRO-active to include the dogs in fun activites that are so needy and one-on-one with you? Camping? Hiking? Canoeing? Visiting relatives WITH the dog? Playdates at friends with dogs.

Have you been attending dog classes? They are NOT about the perfect 'sit' or 'down'. Classes are about WAY more. Relationship building. Leadership building (for you). CONFIDENCE building for our dogs so they aren't so clingy and needy. Meeting other crazy dog people so you can meet and have playdates. Get ideas for other dog activities. New friends and their dogs you may have for a lifetime.

And these 'new' friends with their dogs can also be a huge help. If they know you and your great dog they can TAKE Quincy into their house if you have a vacation! And Quincy won't even miss you cause it will be like summer camp!

Agility, herding, flyball, rally obedience, regular obedience......
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Oh Michelle I feel so bad for you. Having a GSD is like having a constant shadow, they want to be by your side at all times. I pee and have two noses on my butt!!!

Are you really mad at Quincy or are you mad at your DH who does not help you out? If your DH is the problem please don't project it on poor Quincy, he is just being a GSD. You are his world and he wants to be near you.

Sit back and take stock, make the right decision for you and your family. Talk to your DH, it's not weak to ask for help. We all feel overwhelmed at times, if you need a break ask for it, men need to be pointed in the right direction (no offense to all you guys!!).

Hope you find your answers.
wow I almost cried. I was sure when I logged in that the replies would be harsh. Rightfully so I thought.
I have no children and definately give my dogs my attention, energy, time and money. I kind of am amazed myself at these feelings. I felt like he was such a blessing at first. Prehaps it is because my life isn't where I want it. Marraige is n a rocky spot and Quincy needs me and I resent it because it requires me to step out of myself which is a good thing.

I will continue to work on him but really when he is alone with me he is easy. Just tough with all three. I know I am a wimp compared to many. I so appreciate the respondses and the kind tone of the responces.

I am not looking to rehome Quincy but want to bring the joy back into it. I am just in a funk that poor Quincy is paying for.
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Sounds like it's time for a vacation. At least a long weekend away somewhere. If that is not possible, maybe a vacation at home. Board the dogs and have a few date nights in a row with your DH without any responsibility. If that will just be more stressful get away yourself and focus on laying by some water somewhere with a book or whatever relaxes you.

Then take a deep breath and try to spend some individual time with each dog so you can enjoy them.

It does get overwhelming at times. I have a wife, daughter (who does not live with me full time but lives an hour away which results about 8 hours of windshield time per week) and two dogs that need training and exercise along with a house and yard that require a lot of work to upkeep.

Vacation is the answer (at least it is for me).
I have 5 permanent pets and I always get "buyer's remorse" with each one. It always happens around the same time, but it always passes as things work themselves out. Now I couldn't give up any one of them.

Kenya, my GSD, was my first dog ever. Truth is, before I got her I OVER prepared and I think that's really helped. I had enough dog supplies for three dogs, I had thought through every aspect of training, how I would introduce the cats, what the "rules" would be and how I would teach her the boundaries....and then when I got her she was a total dream and I didn't have to use anything I'd prepared. Adding Coke was much the same, since we specifically chose a dog we thought would work with Kenya, rather than choosing a dog we liked and then trying to get them to put up with each other. Now I'm thinking about adding a puppy so I will start the process all over again since it will be my first puppy...
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Quote:I will continue to work on him but really when he is alone with me he is easy. Just tough with all three. I know I am a wimp compared to many. I so appreciate the respondses and the kind tone of the responces.
You are NOT a wimp! It is what is it and life can be overwhelming anyways, let alone when we add the responsiblity of a dog. I'm impressed you even posted cause you recognized what's happening.

I will say, that for me, if I am having problems in my life, but make NO CHANGES, then the problems continue. Sitting back and hoping everything else will change and get better around me rarely works.

Instead, I have to make changes. Posting here is a great start so hopefully we can help with ideas to help. Join dog classes. Take the dog out of the house. EXERCISE in general always helps with those happy endorphines, so if you exercise with the dog just think how great it will be!!! Meet new people. Go to new places. Take a weekend off from the house. You have relatives you can drive to for a few days for a break? Friends? Just getting away can help me put things into perspective so I can make clearer decisions and focus.

Good luck!
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