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Old 08-06-2016, 04:33 PM
2 posts, read 4,088 times
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My dog of 13 years passed in February. She was a wonderful dog that I had since he was 7 weeks old. Her passing has been pretty devastating for me and my husband. We thought we were ready for another dog so I filled out an application for a puppy and was accepted. I picked him up last weekend and the first day was good and I was excited but as the week went on I realized this puppy needs much more then I was ready to give. I grew up with a beagle my family got as a puppy and as an adult I had my corgi dog for 11 years that I got as a puppy so I have had much experience training puppies. I just didn't remember it being this hard. I was unfairly comparing the new puppy to my dog that passed in March when he was a puppy. This new dog didn't seem very interested in snuggling and being held for very long. He was sweet but I had hoped he would be a little more "loveable" I guess is the word. And then there was the biting. I understand puppies chew on anything and everything but this dog would bite me when I go to pet him and he had no interest in sleeping in our bed, as my other dogs did as puppies. My husband works full time and I work 30 hours a week so I was crating him for 6 hours a day (I realized isn't fair) and I was coming home to him messing in his crate - just another thing that made me feel GUILTY.

So I contacted the rescue I adopted this puppy from and expressed my concerns. She asked me if I wanted to adopt a different dog she had and maybe it just wasn't the best fit. I initially said yes but then changed my mind when I drove to the rescue center to return the puppy. It was very hard to say goodbye to him even though I had all these concerns and anxiety. He has the sweetest little face and I probably could have fallen in love with him if I waited a little longer. When I was at work all I felt was guilt about leaving him in a crate and I felt guilty about comparing him to my last dog. The man that runs the rescue is was so nice and understanding and he told me that when I was ready for a dog to come back and he would work with me again. My husband made a point that maybe I'm just not ready emotionally. Maybe he was right. He was really excited about getting a dog and now I have disappointed him. I just feel awful about everything.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:33 AM
Location: Canada
1,401 posts, read 839,439 times
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Well, (imo) you did the right thing in returning the pup, as it wasn't working out. Young pups (not sure of the age of yours) can't be caged for long periods of time without bathroom breaks / leg stretch times, so his soiling the cage would be understandable. And expecting him to be like your last dog is a fairly common mistake with pet owners.

I think you'll be ready for another dog once you've been through the grieving process fully, and once you can set up something to accommodate the pup - someone coming to the home to let him/her out for breaks and playtime; or, adopting an older dog may be the way to go. It's always best to recognize when something isn't working out and return the dog so he has an excellent chance with another family, than hanging on and exacerbating problems for all involved.

P.S. Talk to your husband about how you're feeling. Have you truly disappointed him, or is this simply what you feel, even though he may be understanding what happened? And work with him to decide when the time will be right to introduce another dog into both of your lives.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:22 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,050 posts, read 371,592 times
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You didn't say what breed the puppy was. Some breeds, like Scotties for example, aren't much for cuddling. And in any one breed each dog has its own personality. Some like attention more than others; some like to explore; some are high energy.

The biting thing is normal and very important to work with. A dog as a "window" in which to be socialized to people and to other dogs. Puppies in particular need to learn bite inhibition. They will learn this quite naturally without you trying to "instruct" them, but they do need your help with it. When they bite you should whine in a raised and a bit louder voice "ow! ow! ouch! ow!" Carry on like that until the pup pauses and does something else or until he eases up and his bite doesn't hurt. With time the pup will learn to bite more and more gently. The dog has from about his 8th week until he is a year old to learn this. Without such training he will play-bite people inappropriately hard.

To socialize him to people, a pup should meet many, many different people every day. Otherwise he is likely to develop fear and fear often results in bites.

To socialize him to other dogs, he should meet many different dogs. Most other dogs when meeting a puppy are good with them. Their nurturing instinct kicks in as they recognize it is a puppy and they won't usually cause any harm, so this can be a safe time for meetings. Without it the pup is likely to develop dog intolerance.

Years ago when my wife and I acquired to Scottish Terrier pups, she took a week off work to be with them and get them into a routine. Meanwhile I installed a pet door from the house to the garage, and another from the garage to the enclosed side yard.

For the next two weeks she worked half days so the pups were alone only 4 hours per day monday thru friday.

They took to the puppy doors well and we both resumed our 40-hour-per-week jobs. We may have limited them to the kitchen where the dog door to the garage was located for a while too. I just don't remember. But it all went well.

A pup may prefer sleeping in a crate on the floor for a while. Next time try putting a ticking clock in the crate under the blankets.

Hoping this will help next time.
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:36 PM
1,567 posts, read 801,181 times
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Wow - it sounds like this pup was VERY different from the experience you had with your previous pups! It can be so hard trying to find the right puppy personality to fit with your family!

Ok - this puppy didn't work out. And don't worry - the rescue agency will find him a good home! But you've learned something about dog personalities. Some dogs are confident socially, and some are not. Some dogs are born being not as confident socially, and not as friendly. Some get it because they have not been raised right. (Sounds like kids, right?)

Dogs are like human kids - they go through stages as they grow up. What you are seeing sounds like it was the pup's personality - but it could be a stage the pup was going thru.

But I would say, don't sweat the details. You did good - a lot of people - when the dog is not working out - do nothing - and delay - and the dog's problems become quite large, and even unrecoverable. But you did good - you realized the pup was not working out - and you acted. Good.

Next time, add some criteria to your "pup list". If the pup doesn't fit - don't take it home. Make sure you have looked at the pup's personality before you take it home. Work to YOUR criteria - not the rescue agency's!!!! (VERY important!)

You WILL find another great dog to join your family. They will never replace the old one - they can't - they are a different dog. But they can be your buddy and your friend.

Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:43 PM
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,936 posts, read 3,417,634 times
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Have you thought about an older dog? Sometimes they are more receptive to a new family.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:05 PM
11,256 posts, read 43,191,290 times
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Where your situation and the puppy didn't work out was best resolved by you by returning the dog to the adoption group.

He'll have a another chance at being placed in a home where he may work out than by staying with you.

Expecting him to be like your previous pups is unfair to the pup ... and expecting a pup to be able to not mess when crated for so many hours was totally unreasonable on your part. Doesn't sound to me like you're really ready to deal with a young puppy; that's not a criticism, that's simply a reality.

PS: we just adopted a 2-yr old large LGD breed dog that had been abandoned and repeatedly placed out in totally inappropriate circumstances. She had horrible behavior, separation anxiety destruction when left alone in an apartment, and other reports of being a difficult dog. The head of the rescue group made a point of bringing her out to see our place which we described as an appropriate "working dog" situation for her. She got to meet our other LGD's (same breed), was walked several miles around our perimeter with our sheep, and was introduced to our working herd dogs. Got along well with everybody and the rescue group was willing to "take a chance" on her working out at our ranch. She's not an indoor dog, she is bred to and instinctively lives with her flock of sheep 24/7/365. You wouldn't believe the difference in this dog ... within two days of living with her sheep, she is quiet, attentive, alerts to possible danger (such as the coyotes that are around here), and has totally mellowed out already. Appears to be happy to have a job and the small amount of attention she gets through the day. No separation anxiety behaviors, no tearing up the place anymore. She's taken for a couple mile walk every morning to show her the territory she is to patrol. I've taken her for some of the shorter walks and she behaves on a 5' leash as if she'd been training for show for years, minds and heels very well for me. For the moment, she is on a long lead in the corrals with her sheep; in time, she will be allowed to roam freely with them as our older trained LGD's do. Likely will take a year of training to be able to keep her as a fully independent LGD. While it was a shame to try to keep her as a housepet, at least the prior adopters recognized that she was inappropriate for their pet needs and returned her to the rescue so that a more suitable adoption could be found.

Again, thank you for returning the dog to the rescue group so that he may have another more appropriate opportunity. Perhaps in time you'll have a better situation for you and a puppy ... or maybe an opportunity to adopt a slightly older dog which needs a forever home, too.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:31 AM
Location: Canada
5,706 posts, read 4,122,391 times
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Don't beat yourself up for returning the pup. Keeping him when you didn't feel it was going to work out was the right choice. You admit that you made a mistake and it wouldn't be fair to keep the puppy when you had misgivings about him right from the start. He'll probably do great with the right owners and you've given him a chance for that. You might have all been miserable if you'd kept him out of guilt.

But: I have to add that I think this mistake you made is fine as a one time thing. I'd think otherwise if someone kept returning puppies because they weren't suitable for whatever reasons. In that case, nothing will please them and I'd say get a stuffed toy instead.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:45 PM
5,703 posts, read 16,127,345 times
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Puppies are a lot of work and you forget how much work they are until you get a puppy again. I think emotionally you were not ready and sounds like the dog was not a good fit. Give yourself more time to recover emotionally and where you can really think about a schedule that would fit for training in the beginning.

I think breed type is important. Of course dog personality has a huge factor but I learned to really understand the traits of a breed if it fits my personality. If a corgi is what you had last time and enjoyed how your last dog trained, temperament and social factor you may want to look at Corgi's. If I am understanding right, sounds like you got a beagle pup this go around. Beagles are stinking adorable but I found with that breed, they were the hardest for me to train and adapt to.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:08 AM
Location: Kansas
19,187 posts, read 14,947,409 times
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I would never crate a puppy for 6 hours a day. I am surprised the rescue was OK with this. Making a puppy stay in their own waste is unfair and will make housebreaking difficult.

Also, the age of the person needs to be taken into account especially when that person works outside the home. Not a lot of people have the same energy level they had 13 years ago.

It is a big transition from a favorite senior dog that one spent 13 years with to a blank slate where you begin again. I did it 11 years ago.

Also, if it were here, I missed how long it had been since the elder dog passed on which makes a big difference. I heard that you are ready for a new dog when you miss not having a dog in general, not miss the dog that has passed on. I think there is often a feeling of betraying the dog that passed on by loving the new family member.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:54 AM
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,654 posts, read 15,737,854 times
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Having worked with animals most of my life and nearly a third of it in rescue, I commend you on your decision to return the pup.

When you're ready to try again, maybe a go with a slightly older dog might be the best path for you and your husband? Most of mine that I've rescued have been anywhere from 1.5 years to 7 years old. Only last Summer did I finally rescue a puppy, I had not done puppyhood in 30 years! My husband and I are nowhere near conventional and we adopted The Munch the very day we put The Old Man Dog down. For us? No!! For our female dog's companionship. Miss Carly had never not had a brother in her life. She looked at me like I had 8 heads when we brought him home. Now? They are inseparable

I too work out of the house and part time, however during housebreaking I was fortunate enough to have a trusted friend close by who came over to let him out while I was at work.

Don't beat yourself up over the non snuggling aspect. The only rescue I've had in adulthood that was a snuggle bunny was The Old Man Dog and he spent the first year of his life on a chain outside his "home". In fact, the day he was discovered, he was frozen to the ground So, it blew me away that he wanted to snuggle, he of all my dogs had every reason to not even want to be close to humans.
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