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I got a new puppy almost 2 months ago now. She was 7 months old when I brought her home (currently ~9 months). I'm having quite a difficult time adjusting to dog-motherhood...it's been much harder than I had imagined.

She's my first dog and on paper, I feel like I did all that I could to prepare for her arrival. I adore her and am trying so hard but I feel like almost everyday is a new challenge and something new to overcome. Sometimes it feels like there is no end to puppyhood in sight. To be honest, before I got her, I don't think I truly realized the big behavioral difference between puppies and adult dogs. I feel stressed all the time and so overwhelmed. Even little things will feel disproportionately like a big deal.

The worst part is that she's such a sweet dog and I know she's pretty calm on the puppy spectrum (which makes me feel even more guilty for feeling the way I do!)

At what age did things start to "calm down" with your dogs? Or did things start to finally feel natural and not like a constant struggle? Any stories that give me hope would be much appreciated!
 

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Congratulations! You are dealing with an adolescent. I am too and I am too overwhelmed at times with an 8 month old male and I have trained and owned dogs for about 30 years. I too regret the entire decision sometimes and always have while raising from a pup but one day......and that day will come when she is around 2 years old sorry( ;) ) if you are consistent and determined, you won't believe that she turned into the dog you had in mind. It is that same moment when my 17 year old son said to me, "You are right."
So stay the course, take a good class that you both enjoy, stick around here, plenty of exercise and fun training. Follow your gut; if you don't like a class, go elsewhere, ask questions here etc.
 

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What are some of the (example of) things that has made you feel overwhelmed?
Thanks for your responses so far :)

The sum things up: Before I got a puppy, I knew that it would be a BIG commitment timewise and financially, but I didn't realize I would get as emotionally involved as I am now! I feel like every moment I'm not WITH her, I spend thinking about her. So whether it's training, her diet, or if she's getting enough exercise, her pooping/peeing schedule (I have a note in my phone that records everything everyday...), or just her overall happiness, I feel like she has basically taken over my life and I barely have any time to take care of myself. Maybe that sounds very dramatic haha. But I just love her so much and really want the best for her and as a result, I feel like my own life has totally taken a backseat.

On top of that ongoing feeling that I just described, I'm still learning a lot about what makes her happy/tick, etc. and I feel like often, just as we're overcoming one problem/hump, we run into another challenge. For example, first it was crate training, and then it was pulling while walking, and now it's her chasing squirrels/moving bikes/runners, etc. We're tackling each issues one by one but it almost seems like it's never ending.
 

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Congratulations! You are dealing with an adolescent. I am too and I am too overwhelmed at times with an 8 month old male and I have trained and owned dogs for about 30 years. I too regret the entire decision sometimes and always have while raising from a pup but one day......and that day will come when she is around 2 years old sorry( ;) ) if you are consistent and determined, you won't believe that she turned into the dog you had in mind. It is that same moment when my 17 year old son said to me, "You are right."
So stay the course, take a good class that you both enjoy, stick around here, plenty of exercise and fun training. Follow your gut; if you don't like a class, go elsewhere, ask questions here etc.
Thank you! I appreciate that advice very much. It's definitely comforting to hear that no one, no matter the experience, is immune to the puppy blues :wink2:
 

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Well, I think you are doing a great job! You are the opposite of the owners who "put their dog away" in a crate or kennel and then forget about them until they take them out to play with them.

Even though we got an adult dog, our life has changed a lot! I (total night owl who hates mornings) can now be seen every morning around 8am briskly walking the dog. Painful adjustment! And we go out less, and for shorter times, because there is always that feeling that he is waiting for us to come home.


PPS
Dogs is a little like kids. When somebody tells us they are expecting, we say "Wow! Congratulations! So wonderful!" But in the back of our minds there is a bit of, '...welcome to the life of interrupted sleep, poopy diapers, and no personal time...:)' Nobody ever tells new parents about the reality. It is a pact. We don't want to burst their bubble! So with dogs it's always like, "Your New Best Friend!" but not many people talk about the negative aspects.
 

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GSds are an addiction and a way of life. At least for me. Never experienced this with any other dog I owned or fostered.
 

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You Sound like a very caring owner. Maybe cut yourself a break, you sound like you’re trying to be perfect which no one is. Your dog sounds happy, allow yourself to be, you sound like you’re doing GREAT. Sure it’s hard but you’ll get there, you’re miles ahead of someone not trying.
 

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Thank you! I really appreciate that. Totally agree with your PPS! :grin2:

Well, I think you are doing a great job! You are the opposite of the owners who "put their dog away" in a crate or kennel and then forget about them until they take them out to play with them.

Even though we got an adult dog, our life has changed a lot! I (total night owl who hates mornings) can now be seen every morning around 8am briskly walking the dog. Painful adjustment! And we go out less, and for shorter times, because there is always that feeling that he is waiting for us to come home.


PPS
Dogs is a little like kids. When somebody tells us they are expecting, we say "Wow! Congratulations! So wonderful!" But in the back of our minds there is a bit of, '...welcome to the life of interrupted sleep, poopy diapers, and no personal time...:)' Nobody ever tells new parents about the reality. It is a pact. We don't want to burst their bubble! So with dogs it's always like, "Your New Best Friend!" but not many people talk about the negative aspects.
 

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To the OP, I've had 5 dogs before and this is my first GSD (13 months, male) I've had him since he was a tiny 7 1/2 week pup.

Trust me, I understand your worry and you being overwhelmed. GSDs are A LOT of work. But I believe almost everyone here in the forum will agree with me when I say that they are WORTH IT.

It is normal to feel overwhelmed. You havr to juggle her needs with your timetable and probably plan out your week in advance every week. There was a time when I felt like my dog was too much, but I never regret it.

He went through a period of pooping 5-6 times a day for 3 months. He had diarrhea twice. I woke up at 6am, he had bad diarrhea in the crate. I was late for something. But I had to clean everything out, not to mention now he smelt like pee and poo. Had to bathe him, had to groom him. When you're late and stuff and your dog is ill, it's the worst. He once nipped at someone, caused me trouble. He peed at Petsmart, cool. Brought him on a short getaway, he threw up all over the cabin floor, which was carpet. Yes, he had 2 accidents IN my room when he had diarrhea, my room is CARPET, I had to bring him out at 3am, clean out my carpet, clean him out, that took me until 5am.

He doesn't want to eat, had to change the food formula. He lunges at people and dogs, had to get training in order. His sheds all over my car and house, I had to buy one expensive vacuum and another vacuum for my car. He cried all week all night when I brought him home, drew concerns from my neighbour. I asked my other neighbour who has a big mutt when they are ever gonna calm down, she says she thought it was gonna be when he was 2 years old, but didn't happen until he was 4.

I don't care. He 'saved' my life twice already. Once when I was drunk, and once when I pretended to be drowning. He plays hide and seek with me. His smile is always there when I wake up. He's good with kids. He's always right there next to me wherever I am. He's the best dog I ever had.

You sound like a caring owner. Don't worry, you're not the only one who's had puppy blues. But trust us, they're worth it. Don't beat yourself up.
 

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I got a new puppy almost 2 months ago now. She was 7 months old when I brought her home (currently ~9 months). I'm having quite a difficult time adjusting to dog-motherhood...it's been much harder than I had imagined.

She's my first dog and on paper, I feel like I did all that I could to prepare for her arrival. I adore her and am trying so hard but I feel like almost everyday is a new challenge and something new to overcome. Sometimes it feels like there is no end to puppyhood in sight. To be honest, before I got her, I don't think I truly realized the big behavioral difference between puppies and adult dogs. I feel stressed all the time and so overwhelmed. Even little things will feel disproportionately like a big deal.

The worst part is that she's such a sweet dog and I know she's pretty calm on the puppy spectrum (which makes me feel even more guilty for feeling the way I do!)

At what age did things start to "calm down" with your dogs? Or did things start to finally feel natural and not like a constant struggle? Any stories that give me hope would be much appreciated!
Hang in there, cxcx. I'm on my 2nd dog/GSD. With the first GSD 12 years ago, I seriously wanted to return the dog after the 1st week. I expected a lot of work...I just wasn't prepared for how much. It was overwhelming. No one tells you what kind of life changes you will go through when you go see the puppies for the first time. When he grew out of the adolescent stage, things changed. My life became more stress free. He became more of a partner than a dependent (although he was a dependent his whole life). With this current 7 months old pup, I knew what I was getting myself into, but I was still stressed and overwhelmed. I wanted to return him every day, and trade him in for his mother (who was available for adoption). The first 3 months of owning him have stressed me out so much that I was snapping at the people around me. Now, he's in adolescence and with that comes a whole new bunch of problems....the defiance, the testing me, etc. But I know it'll get better. People are the same way...when they get in their teens, they don't listen, they lie, they're always getting themselves into trouble. So I know this will pass. Right now, it's a battle of wills. I can't let myself be beat by an animal. You just have to power through it. If you get down, come to the forums and talk to people here. Most of us here are very understanding. If you want, you can pm me any time to chat. I went through it once and I'm going through it again. When will things calm down, you ask? Most people will say around 2 years to 3 years when the dogs fully mature. I know, it seems like a long long time from now. But before you know it, you'll be looking back and wishing you enjoyed those puppy days more. I certainly did with the first dog.

This is how I look at it...I see it as an investment, just like investing in the stock market. You've got to give a little to get a lot. I'm giving a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, work, etc. now to get about 10 years of joy and fun with him. Also a little bit of advice, if you have family members or friends who have been dog owners who can help out from time to time, it won't be so bad. Ask someone you trust to watch your dog for a few hours. Go out to eat, catch a movie or do something where you don't have to worry about the dog. You'll feel refreshed when you get home. Every break helps. Even putting it in the crate so you can take a 30 minute nap helps a lot. If you're not at your best, it'll be more stressful for you.
 

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To the OP, I've had 5 dogs before and this is my first GSD (13 months, male) I've had him since he was a tiny 7 1/2 week pup.

Trust me, I understand your worry and you being overwhelmed. GSDs are A LOT of work. But I believe almost everyone here in the forum will agree with me when I say that they are WORTH IT.

It is normal to feel overwhelmed. You havr to juggle her needs with your timetable and probably plan out your week in advance every week. There was a time when I felt like my dog was too much, but I never regret it.

He went through a period of pooping 5-6 times a day for 3 months. He had diarrhea twice. I woke up at 6am, he had bad diarrhea in the crate. I was late for something. But I had to clean everything out, not to mention now he smelt like pee and poo. Had to bathe him, had to groom him. When you're late and stuff and your dog is ill, it's the worst. He once nipped at someone, caused me trouble. He peed at Petsmart, cool. Brought him on a short getaway, he threw up all over the cabin floor, which was carpet. Yes, he had 2 accidents IN my room when he had diarrhea, my room is CARPET, I had to bring him out at 3am, clean out my carpet, clean him out, that took me until 5am.

He doesn't want to eat, had to change the food formula. He lunges at people and dogs, had to get training in order. His sheds all over my car and house, I had to buy one expensive vacuum and another vacuum for my car. He cried all week all night when I brought him home, drew concerns from my neighbour. I asked my other neighbour who has a big mutt when they are ever gonna calm down, she says she thought it was gonna be when he was 2 years old, but didn't happen until he was 4.

I don't care. He 'saved' my life twice already. Once when I was drunk, and once when I pretended to be drowning. He plays hide and seek with me. His smile is always there when I wake up. He's good with kids. He's always right there next to me wherever I am. He's the best dog I ever had.

You sound like a caring owner. Don't worry, you're not the only one who's had puppy blues. But trust us, they're worth it. Don't beat yourself up.
Yeah, that's why I didn't allow my pup to go into rooms that had carpets before he was housetrained. He was limited to the kitchen and the adjoining breakfast room. Once he no longer peed/pood in the house, he was then allowed into other rooms. I know this isn't feasible for many people. I'm embarrassed to say...the first 2 months I slept on the kitchen floor with him every night...just so I wouldn't have to clean up his mess on carpets.
 

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Forgot 1 more thing. I also keep a poop/pee log. It helps me remember and predict when he needs to go out again especially when his schedule was erratic. As things are now getting into a regular schedule, I probably don't need to do that anymore. So cxcx, you're not the only one.
 

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That’s very nice to know, thanks for sharing it.
It's only because the carpeted bedroom floors are harder to clean than the tiled kitchen floors. And the kitchen is only a few steps from the front door where as the bedroom is down the hallway, down the stairs and down the hallway....by the time, I got the puppy out, he'd already peed all over the carpeted hallways and staircase. So I sacrificed to sleep on the hard kitchen floor for the ease of cleaning. On a good note, he was crate trained much faster...I slept right next to the crate and the kitchen floor was never cleaner (I had to clean it every night so that I could sleep on it).
 

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@tc68 thnx for sharing! Mine had those 2 accidents because he was having bad diarrhea, wasn't a lack of potty training. And I live in an apartment where every room is carpeted except the toilet and the kitchen
 

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Thank you! I appreciate that advice very much. It's definitely comforting to hear that no one, no matter the experience, is immune to the puppy blues :wink2:
You are on the right track. Keep it up! Thats the good stuff. hmm.... tying shoe strings, putting on socks and pants. Always having to go outside at a key part in a movie or not being able to tolerate you talking on the phone... Just always remember with a GSD that energy spent on a pup IS NOT energy wasted. They are just so excited about life its hard to enjoy their enthusiasm some days. But this is the time when they really are easily taught so much. I kinda miss those days. Enjoy them because you will look back with fondness and make bunches of pictures and post em here.
 

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Simon came to me just over a year ago. He spent his first year in a 10 x 10 run, with the exception of the 5 weeks he was put on a chain with a new owner, who subsequently put him on the internet 'free to good home'. The dog was out of his mind and completely unmanageable. My intention was to find rescue for him. My fear for him being chained in the woods was a bear attack, so I brought him home while searching for a rescue to help. The 'light at the end of the tunnel' is what got me through the first month or so. If someone told me that he would be with me forever, I would have thrown my hands up and asked the universe what I had done in a previous life to deserve such a punishment.

By the end of 2 weeks, I had him crate trained, sit, down, wait and come. The lead was a bit more difficult, but I made headway. Then the health problems reared their ugly heads...EPI, demodex, allergies. The EPI had been with him all along, the vets kept treating for parasites, changing his diet and I kept cleaning up the most foul smelling of stool, each. and. every. morning. He was so thin and just wouldn't gain weight. He ate like a horse and just wouldn't gain weight. The exact volume of food that went in, came out, undigested and rotting. The clouds parted and the sun peeked through, bestowing the magical enzymes! Oh happy day! Until we realized he can't have pork (are you kidding me?!) Switched to plant enzymes and all was good with the world.

He started losing coat. A dozen different formulas, with 'unique' protein sources. Still losing coat. He started stinking to high heaven, skin infection. Bathing 2-3 times a week with an expensive medicated shampoo and dipping. Still losing coat. He was naked from the chest down. His ears were naked, he had spots all over his face. And I wept....then wept some more. Turns out it was demodex. (the break seems to coincide with the rabies vax, which he is due for now, so that's my present concern) Turned to Nexgard, which terrified me. Reading the reviews on this drug had me following the dog for the entire day watching for reactions. All the while he's saying 'too much togetherness is not good for our relationship'. I was never so happy to see stubbly hair growth in all my life. Hallelujah!

Meanwhile on the behavioral front....he tried everyday to kill my adult son, who was living with me and his two dogs until 4 months ago. I had taken him to a behaviorist who determined that he was fear and dog aggressive. I will admit that Simon went after me when I retrieved him from the chain, but I'm old and figured I haven't much to lose, so in the cab of the truck he went while I prayed the whole time we where driving back to my place. Turns out he is NOT dog aggressive, but was simply too much dog and played too rough in the yard to be around my son's dogs. Inside, he was fine with them, as well as my cats. I gave thanks for small favors. I went about muzzle training and set out to teach him that the world has wonderful people who drop disgusting tripe treats as they walk by. I hired people from the internet to meet with me to see if I could hand him off. It did not go well and turns out finding people with nerves of steel was not as easy as I thought.

On March 5th I gave up on the hopes of finding rescue for him and officially adopted him. I know I am not in a position to have a young dog, that may outlive me. There is no choice, he simply has too many problems for a rescue to be able to place him reliably. So here we are, with our very tight schedule, potty, feeding, training. He has many flaws, but so do I.
This boy is a godsend to me, he gives me purpose, and I love him for that.

Hang in there, set a schedule, give your girl all you got, because she will repay you 10 fold. This I know.
 

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Yeah, that's why I didn't allow my pup to go into rooms that had carpets before he was housetrained. He was limited to the kitchen and the adjoining breakfast room. Once he no longer peed/pood in the house, he was then allowed into other rooms. I know this isn't feasible for many people. I'm embarrassed to say...the first 2 months I slept on the kitchen floor with him every night...just so I wouldn't have to clean up his mess on carpets.
That is why I put a crate next to the bed and taught my last few puppies to sleep through the night right next to me. I carried them in and outside to pee until they were too heavy. By then they were housetrained.
 

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I got a new puppy almost 2 months ago now. She was 7 months old when I brought her home (currently ~9 months). I'm having quite a difficult time adjusting to dog-motherhood...it's been much harder than I had imagined.

She's my first dog and on paper, I feel like I did all that I could to prepare for her arrival. I adore her and am trying so hard but I feel like almost everyday is a new challenge and something new to overcome. Sometimes it feels like there is no end to puppyhood in sight. To be honest, before I got her, I don't think I truly realized the big behavioral difference between puppies and adult dogs. I feel stressed all the time and so overwhelmed. Even little things will feel disproportionately like a big deal.

The worst part is that she's such a sweet dog and I know she's pretty calm on the puppy spectrum (which makes me feel even more guilty for feeling the way I do!)

At what age did things start to "calm down" with your dogs? Or did things start to finally feel natural and not like a constant struggle? Any stories that give me hope would be much appreciated!
It depends on the dog. At 7 months your dog was already much easier than a 2 month old. My first GSD settled in at age 3. My others at varied ages. My WL who will be 3 started to mellow a bit at 18 months and more at 2 1/2. He is a very quiet dog unless he has a reason not to be, so he’s not typical of most of my German Shepherds. Our trainer said he might not be completely over his intensity until age 5 due to his high drive. Although my first one was a high drive WGSL who was intense at times her whole life. She was still turning “on” at age 13 if her drive kicked in.

As you become more confident, you will worry less. Are you doing any training? Who trained the dog before you got her? Was she trained? Why was she given up at 7 months?
 
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