Did we make a mistake getting a puppy?
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    Zoas is offline Village Puppy
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    Default Did we make a mistake getting a puppy?

    My wife and I brought our pug puppy home Friday night. He is 9 weeks old and a male. This weekend has been really tough. Although we researched online and read books prior to bringing him home, we still feel very unprepared. We failed to ask some critical common sense questions, and we are doubting our ability to take care of our new puppy well. Both of us feel overwhelmed and unusually sad. I'm not sure where the sadness came from. Is what we are feeling normal? Will we be able to give our pug a good life? Will we be able to maintain our pre-dog life?

    We're really doubting our ability to be good parents and even brought up the idea of returning him. However, we acknowledged that puppy care is supposed to be hard and we're hoping this gets better...(Please tell me it does!).

    Here's what happened so far -

    On Friday night, we brought him home. Prior to bringing him back to our apartment in the city, we stopped by my parents to drop off the car we brought him in. He saw my brother and parents and seemed to get along with them. He had an accident in the house but that was fine. Once we brought him to the apartment, we took him out briefly for a walk. He was terrified due to a driver who honked his horn for an eternity. We also live near a train station (NYC) and several teenage girls rushed up to try to pet him. I eventually brought him in. He was happy in the apartment. We made him sleep in the crate with the door locked and he went to sleep without any issue. As I write this, I am realizing Friday was pretty smooth.

    Saturday was tough. I was home alone. My wife worked. I woke up at 5:30 and took him out. He pooped outside. I went out at 6:30am and he pooped again. He for some reason always pees inside only. I brought him out every hour until noon until I realized he wasn't doing too well with the walks. The day was cold and rainy. We also didn't use the bathroom as fast as we expected after eating or drinking. Books we read said he'll go in 10 minutes but he seems to go way later. Due to the weather, we decided to keep him inside. Plus, at that moment, I realized that he may be unsafe outside without complete vaccinations. We had to decide whether to stick with indoor or outdoor training. We decided indoor for now. He tried to move him to the litter box everytime we felt he had to eliminate. We had accidents but no biggie. He was super hyper too and bit constantly. I tried to tire him out but ended up tiring myself out and passed out when my wife came home lol. By the end of the day, she was exhausted from keeping him active too. We knew puppies were attention seekers but since our dog was a pug, I think we expected him to be a mellow couch potato still. At night, we put him in his crate and he screamed for a bit. We saw there wondering what the hell we got ourselves into. We've both loved pugs from a distance for a very long time. We though we were ready. In reality, we weren't. Whenever he bit, we yelped and then ignored him. When he barked or screamed from being alone or being in the crate we really just ignored him.

    Sunday was a bit better. We got him up and just put him in the litter box asap. He peed and then we played with him and fed him. Then we took him to his vet. After we got home, we left him inside and went out for an hour for dinner. We felt like we didn't even speak to each other except about the puppy so we felt we needed it. The nwe got back in and the usual happened. We played with him. He bit. He whined when we left the room. He tried to make him go in his litter box. We felt Sunday was a bit easier. At night we cried and barked for a good 10 minutes after we crated him and shut the light. FYI, we doesn't cry in the crate when we are around so I think he is more afraid of being alone than the dark.

    Today is better too. I'm working but my wife said today feels better. He is just chilling out and she plays with him here and there. We had to go to a doctor's appointment which took longer than expected so he was alone for 4 hours. We left him in his pen with his crate, food and water, and litter box. When she left, he whined. When she got back, she said he seemed okay and even pooped in the litter box. Today is a bit better.

    Someone will be home with him until next Tuesday. We used some vacation days to keep him company.

    I suppose this is the puppy blues. I actually hope so because that means our feelings are normal. Nevertheless, we have a lot of questions and concerns and are looking for any encouragement (or maybe we're not fit to be pug parents yet).

    1. Can we take our puppy outdoors? There are a lot of people and dogs in the streets of NYC. We took him out because the books we've read said to starting on day 1 to make housebreaking easy. There was no mention of vaccinations being an issue. Our vet told us to keep him indoors until we finishes his series of shots. If we keep him indoors, how do we socialize him? How hard will transitioning him from going indoors to outdoors be? Should we at least carry him in his transport bag and walk around the block so he gets accustomed to the outside?

    2. Are we doing the right thing by ignoring him when he barks and screams? We don't want to encourage this behavior but seeing him upset hurts.

    3. Both of us work full-time. We did our best to stagger schedules but there are still gaps where our puppy will need to be left alone for long periods of time. For 3 days, someone will be home. For the other 4, he will be home for 8 hours. We are not comfortable with a walker. We do not want a stranger in our apartment. We are okay with a day care once or twice a week but the cost is high. Plus, we can't bring him to a day care until he is older. Most require complete vaccinations and neutering. If we use a pen, will our puppy be okay during the day? The pen will have his crate, food and water, toys, and his litter box.

    4. I am also afraid that my wife and I may lose the life we had prior to having a dog. Every was great. In the past few days, she had to put aside time she planned to use to study (doing a career change). We realized vacation may be impossible. We hoped to go to at least one 2 week vacation and a few long weekend vacations in the coming year. We realized that if we want to have dinner Friday night before heading home, we need to go home to check up on our puppy and then head back out. Will free time to work on our careers or hobbies be available? How hard are vactions? Will we be able to have a social life like before?

  2. #2
    HeidiHoog's Avatar
    HeidiHoog is offline Village Admiral
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    This is just my opinion but I think you just need to give yourself and the puppy time to adjust and get use to your schedule and your new lives.
    When my husband and I brought our Otis home 3 months ago, we went through the same thing. We thought we had done the wrong thing and thought about not keeping him as well. The first few days of bringing him home were very rough! There were alot of sleepless nights and tears lol
    Now he has had time to adjust to his new life and get use to us and the same with him for us. I wouldn't have it any other way and am so happy we decided to keep him and give it a chance.
    Otis is 1 so I'm sure a puppy is alot more challenging but I think you just need to give it some time. It seems like the days are getting easier/better now?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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    LilyFayre is offline Village Tea Pug
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    Hi!

    Yes it does get much easier - you will learn how to manage a puppy better and he will be growing up. Whilst socialising him is important, that gets over ruled by being fully protected by his vaccinations. Many puppies aren't at all keen on going outside for walks initially, so you will need to take your time and be very patient with this. Even at this young age, if your pug decides he doesn't like something or is afraid it can take forever to change their mind. Ask your vet for a recommended puppy training class that uses positive reinforcement methods and do not let anyone bully you into training him on a collar and lead. Insist that your pug wears a well fitting harness so no damage is done to his neck area from pulling on a collar.

    And yes, I too was somewhat taken aback with just how energetic a baby pug can be with my first one, wondering what the heck I'd gotten myself into - and I've owned and trained dogs for over forty years!!

    Basically the rule is constantly distract them from biting you by waving a toy in their face whilst praising them, if they grab hold of your feet or pant legs whilst walking immediately freeze - don't make it a game, detach him whilst saying no and again distract with a toy. Try to always avoid chasing after him, make him come to you with treats or a squeaky toy or he'll have you playing that game his entire life!

    Oh yes, and if you're really lucky, you won't have to give up watching any TV that has animals in it (even cartoon ones) - if you haven't already got a wall mounted TV you may want to consider it as many of them will take flying leaps at the screen. I've trained mine to muffle their barking so they just grumble (adverts can be really annoying as they recognise the music even before the dog/cat/rabbit/horse etc appears on the screen!)

    Anyway, good luck - you will have lots of fun and the little fella will shower you in love!
    Suzie
    Bree, Xanthe and Darwin

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  5. #4
    GordonBrunoPugMom's Avatar
    GordonBrunoPugMom is offline Village Royalty
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    Default Did we make a mistake getting a puppy?

    Oh where to start.
    I had puppy blues with my last puppy Bruno while everything was fine and dandy with my other pug Gordon.
    Let me start with social live .
    No problem after your pup getís a little older you will figure out how to adjust your schedule.
    Your social live might change a little. New friends are made perhaps at dog school or the park.
    NYC is so dog friendly anyway check out this place
    https://borisandhorton.com

    Where did the puppy grow up at in the city ?
    Itís time now to do short trips ( you got a carrier ? You need it for subway anyway) . There is so much this puppy has to learn , sounds , people , lights this will also tire the pup. Take some of his kibble and feed him especially if he getís nervous. Make it a good thing.
    I usually agree with the vet and but very short trips in the carrier twill be enough to start socializing.

    I would say a pen is better for you at this time since your pup is alone some days. I use a dog door and porch potty.

    Start looking on rover for a sitter / walker it can take a while to find the right person. Trust issues can be fixed with a camera. I use a furbo camera . It will benefit you and your pup.

    Routine routine and consistency is key for a pug puppy.

    Play time lol my Bruno would not stop and wear himself out . We had to teach him to stop . Chews are good pacifiers ask your vet what he recommends.
    Establish a calm down spot not his bed . Also make it a routine . Get a schedule going for everything from food to sleep to play to get a chew bone.
    That way your puppy learns what is expected when.
    Unfortunately dogs do not know weekend and until he is solid I would not change the routine.

    It will get better and all pugs love to be with people and sitting on their lap. After all that is what they are bred for.
    I never thought Bruno would but he is now at 1 year old. He actually demands to sit on moms lap .

    As for vacation our guys come with us . But if that is not possible I say start interviewing now .
    We take our dogs with us they are our family we find places .
    You found PV and this is a great place to ask questions and get support. There is always someone who has a similar experience.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by GordonBrunoPugMom; 01-07-2019 at 10:17 PM.

  6. #5
    Tex's Avatar
    Tex
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    I will keep this very short. I have been in the business of homeing and rehoming pups for years and years. I can tell you with the utmost confidence what you are feeling is so normal for pup owners! Please do not give up! The fact that you cared enough to search out advice and help tells me you are up to the "task" of puppies. Please hang in there for a few months. Keep the same routine yuo plan on having in life. Do not adjust it if you do not have to. I will give you and example of mine here in a bit. I just wanted to let you know you are doing great and i promise if you get on a routine, the little one will fit in!

    schedule example:
    615am out side to potty.
    630 am food water time
    645 wife takes puppy i go to work.
    745 wife plays with little guy and lets him run (incli=uding potty time) till 750 when she kennels the bugger and takes kids to school
    so from roughly 8am till 1130 in kennel with kong with "tasks" see below.
    1130 Wife home to let pup out for hour to potty snack and play
    1230 kennel time with chew toy.
    230 my oldest gets home. Let little guy out to potty and play time.
    530pm i get home and its party time! We play hard. I wear his little butt out till almost 10 pm
    730 is i pull water and any food.
    10 pm is last potty time and bed with us.


    Tasks are kongs with little surprise wedged in them. This occupies the little guy for hours. It helps so i dont feel so bad about kennel time. I always command "kennel up" when i put in kennel. Every pup i have ever trained i used this command so when the time came for visitors or anything else i need a clear door for, they followed command readily.
    As for the biting. Bit back :) I have never honestly had much success with ignore and yelp. When momma is mad at pup she will nip ears or nudge them over. SOmetimes scruff of the neck will be utilized if momma really wants to redirect. So mimic this:) its kinda fun too :)
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  7. #6
    Zoas is offline Village Puppy
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    Thank you everyone. Your experiences are reassuring. Yesterday went well so we are hoping each passing day will get better and better. We woke him up at 5:30, made him potty, tired him out, and he slept alot. We left him alone for 4 hours and he was just fine. He actually sat on our lap for 10 seconds lol. He went back to going insane right after lol. At night, he still whined when we shut the lights and crated him but that lasted like 10 minutes again.

    After he goes to sleep should we be waking him up every 3 hours (he's 2 months old) and putting him in the litter box? Do we crate him up right after or play with him before crating him again? After crating him at night (around 11), we've just been waking him up at 5:30 but that may be too long?

    As far as routines go, we're a bit stuck. As GordonBrunoPugMom stated, our puggy doesn't know what is a weekend but we will have to give a different routine when someone is home. It's just how it goes since there simply is a difference when someone is home vs when someone is not. We're still worried about when the vacation days run out and he will be alone for 8 hours. Is there anything else we can do besides leaving him in a pen with his toys, crate/bed, litter box, and food and water? We looked into Furbo but reviews are iffy so we are looking at another camera. for the time, we bought a cheap one so we can just keep an eye on him.
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  8. #7
    Zoas is offline Village Puppy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonBrunoPugMom View Post
    Oh where to start.
    I had puppy blues with my last puppy Bruno while everything was fine and dandy with my other pug Gordon.
    Let me start with social live .
    No problem after your pup get’s a little older you will figure out how to adjust your schedule.
    Your social live might change a little. New friends are made perhaps at dog school or the park.
    NYC is so dog friendly anyway check out this place
    https://borisandhorton.com

    Where did the puppy grow up at in the city ?
    It’s time now to do short trips ( you got a carrier ? You need it for subway anyway) . There is so much this puppy has to learn , sounds , people , lights this will also tire the pup. Take some of his kibble and feed him especially if he get’s nervous. Make it a good thing.
    I usually agree with the vet and but very short trips in the carrier twill be enough to start socializing.

    I would say a pen is better for you at this time since your pup is alone some days. I use a dog door and porch potty.

    Start looking on rover for a sitter / walker it can take a while to find the right person. Trust issues can be fixed with a camera. I use a furbo camera . It will benefit you and your pup.

    Routine routine and consistency is key for a pug puppy.

    Play time lol my Bruno would not stop and wear himself out . We had to teach him to stop . Chews are good pacifiers ask your vet what he recommends.
    Establish a calm down spot not his bed . Also make it a routine . Get a schedule going for everything from food to sleep to play to get a chew bone.
    That way your puppy learns what is expected when.
    Unfortunately dogs do not know weekend and until he is solid I would not change the routine.

    It will get better and all pugs love to be with people and sitting on their lap. After all that is what they are bred for.
    I never thought Bruno would but he is now at 1 year old. He actually demands to sit on moms lap .

    As for vacation our guys come with us . But if that is not possible I say start interviewing now .
    We take our dogs with us they are our family we find places .
    You found PV and this is a great place to ask questions and get support. There is always someone who has a similar experience.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    How's your exp with Furbo? I've read some iffy reviews so we're looking at other options too. For vacations, one option is to leave him with a friend who has other dogs. Should we make them meet first to make sure they're not aggressive? I've read stories where other breeds don't get along and the puggy can get an eye injury or something.

  9. #8
    Snifter's Avatar
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    1. Can we take our puppy outdoors? There are a lot of people and dogs in the streets of NYC. We took him out because the books we've read said to starting on day 1 to make housebreaking easy. There was no mention of vaccinations being an issue. Our vet told us to keep him indoors until we finishes his series of shots. If we keep him indoors, how do we socialize him? How hard will transitioning him from going indoors to outdoors be? Should we at least carry him in his transport bag and walk around the block so he gets accustomed to the outside?

    He needs to have his shots - take the vet's advice on this one. Absolutely carry him outside in his transport bag to get him used to the smells and noise outside. Have lots of treats so if something big and scary is coming along (ambulance sirens) you can distract him with kind words and treats BEFORE he gets scared by the noise. You want his excursions to be as happy as possible. Be wary about letting people pet him and make sure he feels safe. Gaggles of young girls screeching all at once is scary for a pup. Petting is great but keep it calm and short and end at once if he seems unhappy with it.

    2. Are we doing the right thing by ignoring him when he barks and screams? We don't want to encourage this behavior but seeing him upset hurts.

    Yes.

    3. Both of us work full-time. We did our best to stagger schedules but there are still gaps where our puppy will need to be left alone for long periods of time. For 3 days, someone will be home. For the other 4, he will be home for 8 hours. We are not comfortable with a walker. We do not want a stranger in our apartment. We are okay with a day care once or twice a week but the cost is high. Plus, we can't bring him to a day care until he is older. Most require complete vaccinations and neutering. If we use a pen, will our puppy be okay during the day? The pen will have his crate, food and water, toys, and his litter box.

    It's not ideal but it is what it is. The house training will likely take a while longer as he will potty during the day and may well not always use the litter box. Day care would be good when he can go. If you can find someone you trust to call in on him during the day it would be good, though.

    4. I am also afraid that my wife and I may lose the life we had prior to having a dog. Every was great. In the past few days, she had to put aside time she planned to use to study (doing a career change). We realized vacation may be impossible. We hoped to go to at least one 2 week vacation and a few long weekend vacations in the coming year. We realized that if we want to have dinner Friday night before heading home, we need to go home to check up on our puppy and then head back out. Will free time to work on our careers or hobbies be available? How hard are vactions? Will we be able to have a social life like before?

    Vacations should be easy enough once you find a suitable solution for looking after the pug. We used an agency and had someone live in our house during longer trips. That may not be an option for you as you don't want people in your house. But there are agencies here (UK) where you take the pup to the other person's house to stay. You asked in a later post about leaving him with a friend and that is fine so long as the dogs meet up first and seem to get on OK. I would leave him with the friend for a night or two at a time when you are not going anywhere, so if there is a problem you are on hand to collect him. Once you know all seems fine then a longer vacation is OK. Your social life will change because you cannot do things on the spur of the moment, and always have to consider the dog. It's like having a child in that respect. But so long as the dog's needs are properly met of course you can have meals out, time for hobbies or whatever.


    Bella, mummy to Snifter and Toddy!

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  10. #9
    freak's Avatar
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    Having dog is a life altering thing and you need to be ready for that, you have to be home to feed and let the puppy out at regular times, getting them used to a schedule is the only way in my opinion to get the pup to learn. puppies in general are crazy ( but very fun) we have 3 pugs and one lab so my wife and I rarely vacation together. my son will take care of them while we are gone , but I hate leaving them alone that long. honestly we probably have more stress about it than they do :)

    good luck and if you decide to give up the puppy I can give him a wonderful home :)

    seriously though, unless you think you are not ready to commit , you will do fine as things settle down. everything is new to them at that age.
    remember they are just babies and need to be treated as such.

  11. #10
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    Firstly, I agree with everything that Freak said above. When you said something along the lines of will we able to continue our old lives ..... Well, not really because you now have a puppy! :) Puppies take a lot of time to train, settle in and get used to your lifestyle. Having said that they give back a lot more than they take and they are so worth it. Trained in the right way, they become wonderful best friends forever.

    FWIW, I have two pugs now (Will and Charlie). Since Will came home (Charlie is a new addition), 6 years ago, we've never been away without him (he joins us!). That's just me though, there's nothing at all wrong with leaving your dog with someone you trust.

    Both of mine were puppies when they came home and the experiences were Totally different. When Will came home, I fell in love instantly. When he was a tiny pup, he was a little tinker! Pinching socks, every pair of tights I owned had holes in, trying to eat stones, etc etc. However he's a quick learner. Very stubborn mind you but quickly clicked onto things. Took him to classes, we were pretty much top of the class straight away and flew through all the Kennel Club awards. Now, he is literally my best friend in the world. He is the best dog in the world, he reads my mind in what I want him to do, he takes food so gently, he's very patient, fun to train with and everyone absolutely adores him. He barks far too much but I'll let him off with that one!lol.

    Charlie (now 8 months) is a different story and I had major major puppy blues when he came home. He is so different, still puppy like of course but just so utterly crazy. He just doesn't seem to listen at all. He is a liability to himself and others sometimes and it's so frustrating. We go to class and are in a different (MUCH lower) league to the rest of the dogs! It's like he's never heard me say "sit" before!!

    So, I do get your frustration believe me! If you are prepared to adapt and persevere, you will not regret it. You will do just fine with giving puppy a good life / home.

    Now, Charlie and I are just getting to the point where he's starting to realise as much as tries to persuade me, I am not giving up on him and I can be more stubborn in that than he would imagine!lol. He obeys his dad pretty much but with me, I've seen a slight change in his approach. It's more of a "oh, you're still trying to train me? Well, top marks for effort. I guess maybe I could look like I'm interested in you once in a while!" Whereas before it was just "no, mum".
    We walk through the house, me trying to train him on the lead and Will following us heel walking off lead, me looking very daft but hey ho! :) Charlie is still so much more on his own agenda though than Will ever was.

    But, do you know what? Those nights where Will is cuddled on my lap and Charlie hops up with sleepy eyes and looks at me asking if he can cuddle too?? They make all the stress / tears / worry more than worth it.

    They do take ages to settle! You are not alone!lol.

    Long post but hopefully of some help / reassurance :)
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    Amy
    ~ Will's mum and servant!
    And now mummy to puppy Charlie too! Who said pugs are addictive?! :)

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