5 1/2 months - lost sanity. Just venting a little. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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5 1/2 months - lost sanity. Just venting a little.

Ever get to the point where you pause in the middle of another crazy day and take a 5 second break, look around and wonder "What the hell did I get myself into?!" I remember feeling this exact feeling when my daughter was about 3 years old. She was no longer easy to take places, she had opinions that could not be changed, she was very vocal about what she wanted and when things didn't go her way and I just stood there and looked at the front door wondering how far away I could get. Obviously I didn't leave and Zoe is the best thing that's ever happened to me and my husband but being a parent is hard. I think I've hit that point with Indy. Six months in puppy years = three years for toddlers.

My house is ignored most days because he has serious separation issues (not to the point of hurting himself or excessive drooling but the pacing and whimpering and if I actually leave the house he'll start howling after about thirty minutes). I don't think I've been in the upstairs floor in as long as we've had him. The living room and kitchen are constantly decorated with bits of sticks, grass or whatever he's brought in from the backyard so even though I sweep daily it never looks clean. I miss the area rug that was moved out of the living room when Indy moved in. I used to go to the gym for classes daily and now I'm lucky if I get there once every two weeks (and I'm sure the lack of exercise doesn't help with my mental state).

The couple of times Indy has gotten free reign of the house (I thought he was downstairs with my visiting Dad) he went all the way upstairs and shredded an entire roll of toilet paper. He doesn't walk on a leash well and wants to play with every dog and kid that walks by so he's pulling on the leash when we walk past anyone so walking really isn't very enjoyable. He's mastered Sit, Lay down, Shake, Dance, Off and will Go Potty on command but Stay, Here, Out (from one room to another) and Drop It are all struggles. I don't enjoy training like I know so many people do and at this point I'm sure my frustration is showing through.

The past few days his poop has gotten softer and softer which means a half bath at least once a day (he HATES being combed out so that's always fun). He's been on the same food for almost exactly a month now but I'm wondering if it's a little too high in protein (http://www.platinum.com/index.php/en...y-chicken.html). They just recently started carrying Blue Buffalo at the PX so I'm contemplating switching him to that to see if it helps. It just feels like every time I turn around we're taking him to the vet (ear infection followed by kennel cough = 3am vet visit and the three visits for antibiotics).

I just need a place to vent where people will understand that I'm frustrated but that I don't want to "get rid of him" (I was complaining to a friend and that was the advice I was given - mental note to not complain about my kid or husband to this person). Kind of like when the toddler has pulled all the books off the bookshelf for the 324237th time and you need to complain to another Mom who will smile, tell you it does get easier and remind you to take pictures anyway. I love my dog, he's just making me bat****crazy at this particular point.

It's a real good thing these fur balls are so cute.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 05:29 AM
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welcome to puppy adolescence! this is why god my puppies so cute! When Gemma was this age i think i said out loud about 10 times a day "it's a good thing you're cute"... They start testing their limits at this age and starting trying to see what they can get away with. You need to be firm with them and let them know what is allowed and what isn't. Lots and lots of positive reinforcement for good behaviours. Don't be afraid to use a "time out". The howling may be separation anxiety, but it might just be a learned behaviour that the puppy has used to get your attention that he wants. he has learned that he howls and you come running back to him. You might have to ignore the howling and the second he stops run back and give him lots of love. He will learn that howling doesn't get him attention but quiet does! you might also need to just put him in the x-pen/crate for an hour, put in some ear plugs, put the radio on loud on a talk-radio station so he doesn't feel all alone and then get your housework done. don't feel guilty about it. You can't let him totally take over your life. he has to fit into your world somewhat!

I also did obedience training and started around that age. These dogs are extremely intelligent and really want to please their human. Obedience (or agility or any sort of training) is mentally very stimulating to them and a great bonding experience for both of you. It exercises their brain and tires them out (and keeps them out of mischief). After a training session my puppy is completely exhausted and just collapses for a long nap.

Also, lots of exercise will help, a tired puppy is a happy owner. While your puppy is napping you will get a break to get some much needed work done!

it will get better, but you have to train him and don't let him totally train you. I'm sure Dave will chime in with better advise and an appropriate article for you like he always does. Soon he will be all grown up and you will wonder where your cute little puppy went!



Last edited by Tuss; 05-15-2013 at 05:33 AM.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:25 AM
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As my mother used to say to me ALL the time - and I found to be so true

"this too, will pass"

No one can ever tell me that dogs are not like kids! They go thru the same phases!!

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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To clarify on the howling, the reason I think it's a separation issue is because he ONLY howls when he's alone. My computer has been moved into the living room/kitchen area so there's something else to do while keeping an eye on Indy and we use a sound/motion activated camera to keep an eye on him while he is alone. If we didn't have that set up we'd have no idea he has such a hard time when we're gone. He's always excited to see his people again but there's never a mess and he isn't wet with drool. Because of the camera we know about the whimpering and random howling. Without that proof we'd never even know he was capable of making that sound.


I use the "this too shall pass" saying with my daughter all the time (yea for 11 year old emotional time bombs?) and have started using it a lot more often since bringing Indy home


Indy also goes to a puppy kindergarten once a week (although last weeks was canceled) but it's more free play with other puppies. We also have a trainer that comes to work with us but after our last lesson we were supposed to get a hold of her after Indy was reliably walking on a leash so we could move on to riding trains (it's a German thing, dogs on trains all the time) and we haven't gotten to that place yet. I'm thinking of getting a hold of her anyway just to see if there's anything else I can or should be doing with the leash work.

Last edited by m0rg4n; 05-15-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:08 AM
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Yes getting the leash work down will help a lot. In my experience many dog issues can be solved with exercise and it's hard to get exercise with out good walks! At home on rainy days I did lots of ball throwing. It is so hard and frustrating but you will get through it!!!! He is adorable!!! Hang in there!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Yes getting the leash work down will help a lot. In my experience many dog issues can be solved with exercise and it's hard to get exercise with out good walks! At home on rainy days I did lots of ball throwing. It is so hard and frustrating but you will get through it!!!! He is adorable!!! Hang in there!
We have some amazing paths to walk around here. We are right off the vineyards so it is possible to walk for a mile or so without running into anyone. However, it is (finally) spring so it's constantly raining and it's too cold to walk around in the wet (but man does this dog LOVE mud puddles!) so we've been stuck inside a lot the past few days. Fetch is only so amusing after an hour...
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:25 AM
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Indy is adorable! I have only had Piper for 2 weeks so I have absolutely no advice to offer, but fwiw, I know exactly how you feel. We planned like crazy before we decided to get a puppy and I thought I knew what I was getting myself into...but nope. It still hit me like a ton of bricks. I definitely am not a fan of the puppy stage. I don't want to give my dog away, but I am definitely counting down the days until she's older.

I hope whatever phase Indy is in that it passes quickly for you!

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:26 AM
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Been there done that it does get better.

Keep working on leash skills. I was very persistent with Tim learning how to walk nicely on a leash. Exercise is key in getting this age dog to expend energy and get some mental stimulation. One of the reasons I got a dog was to get my rear off the couch but I wanted to keep my gym schedule as well. If you know Indy isn't upset when you leave why don't you turn off the camera when you're gone? I used to use a camera but found that I was obsessing over every little thing and worrying unnecessarily so I scaled back, which helps. You need your time alone and Indy needs to learn you can't be around all the time. I know Tim complains but he eventually calms down, sometimes I come home and he's in such a deep sleep he doesn't even wake up, but that's because I'll usually take him for a brisk walk before I go out. I'm sure you're trainer has given you some good advice about leash walking, and I know it's pain to have to go through these steps when all you want to do is go outside and just walk, but in the long run if you keep up with this training Indy will learn to walk on a leash. I dreaded having to bring treats, target sticks or whatever else was needed in the beginning training Tim to walk nicely on a leash, but now he's a gem and it's one of my favorite things to do.

Keep your chin up. We're here to listen to "venters" trust me I've vented here plenty of times.

Just an FYI though Timmy is now about a year and a half, my house is still trashed, my area rugs are not back down (I just found them the other day ), Tim's toys are everywhere etc... I just changed my priorities which in some ways has made me appreciate a lot more of the little things.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:09 AM
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Our Sofie is 4 1/2 months and she tests us already. We all have our mental, physical, geographical,and financial limitations. It seems most have to through these trying and testy times. I would be at a lost without walking. FETCH is good for maybe 10 minutes and then she loses interest. She knows all of the basic commands and tricks (still go through them daily although it is mundane). She knows and does leave it command, but Hastert do it outside of training session. Drop it she does sometimes we have those yet to master. I was wondering what kind of harness you were using for walks Krandall advised me to get a Sensi-ble or Easy Walk harness to minimize pulling. What a difference!! Walks are improving daily. She still gets very excited and loses all focus if she sees people or another dog. Most times when I turn het around and stop and she will get refocused and we can continue. I too think you should get to your gym gym class. Howling is distressing to hear, but isn't hurting her. We had a German Shepherd that bent her crate with her teeth and broke part of her tooth. She had severe separation anxiety and we had to give meds in addition to desensitization training. Good luck.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by m0rg4n View Post
Ever get to the point where you pause in the middle of another crazy day and take a 5 second break, look around and wonder "What the hell did I get myself into?!" I remember feeling this exact feeling when my daughter was about 3 years old. She was no longer easy to take places, she had opinions that could not be changed, she was very vocal about what she wanted and when things didn't go her way and I just stood there and looked at the front door wondering how far away I could get. Obviously I didn't leave and Zoe is the best thing that's ever happened to me and my husband but being a parent is hard. I think I've hit that point with Indy. Six months in puppy years = three years for toddlers.

My house is ignored most days because he has serious separation issues (not to the point of hurting himself or excessive drooling but the pacing and whimpering and if I actually leave the house he'll start howling after about thirty minutes). I don't think I've been in the upstairs floor in as long as we've had him. The living room and kitchen are constantly decorated with bits of sticks, grass or whatever he's brought in from the backyard so even though I sweep daily it never looks clean. I miss the area rug that was moved out of the living room when Indy moved in. I used to go to the gym for classes daily and now I'm lucky if I get there once every two weeks (and I'm sure the lack of exercise doesn't help with my mental state).

The couple of times Indy has gotten free reign of the house (I thought he was downstairs with my visiting Dad) he went all the way upstairs and shredded an entire roll of toilet paper. He doesn't walk on a leash well and wants to play with every dog and kid that walks by so he's pulling on the leash when we walk past anyone so walking really isn't very enjoyable. He's mastered Sit, Lay down, Shake, Dance, Off and will Go Potty on command but Stay, Here, Out (from one room to another) and Drop It are all struggles. I don't enjoy training like I know so many people do and at this point I'm sure my frustration is showing through.

The past few days his poop has gotten softer and softer which means a half bath at least once a day (he HATES being combed out so that's always fun). He's been on the same food for almost exactly a month now but I'm wondering if it's a little too high in protein (http://www.platinum.com/index.php/en...y-chicken.html). They just recently started carrying Blue Buffalo at the PX so I'm contemplating switching him to that to see if it helps. It just feels like every time I turn around we're taking him to the vet (ear infection followed by kennel cough = 3am vet visit and the three visits for antibiotics).

I just need a place to vent where people will understand that I'm frustrated but that I don't want to "get rid of him" (I was complaining to a friend and that was the advice I was given - mental note to not complain about my kid or husband to this person). Kind of like when the toddler has pulled all the books off the bookshelf for the 324237th time and you need to complain to another Mom who will smile, tell you it does get easier and remind you to take pictures anyway. I love my dog, he's just making me bat****crazy at this particular point.

It's a real good thing these fur balls are so cute.
I understand your frustration, and I am not faulting you for being impatient. But your post made me think that perhaps a full grown, already trained dog would have worked better for you. I only say this because I do think ALL people seem to want a puppy, but then realize a puppy is a lot of work. And true, some of the things you are talking about will not change with age...the sticks on the floor (he has to walk somewhere there are not sticks for this to change)..mine still bring in all kinds of trash on their feet. There are certain things which come with a dog or puppy, food and water bowls, paw prints on floors and sliding glass doors, gates to keep them in range so you can watch them...on and on...
Yes, this too shall pass, but also the cute things puppies do will pass too, try to enjoy those more and concentrate on some age appropriate training which will make these next few months easier and more rewarding for you both...i.e, "go to mat"...

Sir Winston sez "Non Basta Una Vita.

Flynn, lady-in-waiting to Sir Winston and Lady Mia
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