It’s normal to second guess yourself after adding a new puppy or dog to the family. It’s a lot of change!
The initial excitement wears off after a few days and you’re like … what the hell have I done? I can’t do this!
I went through those emotions with our puppy Remy. He was a very good puppy but it’s just the stress of normal puppy training + lack of sleep + loss of freedom + trying to manage my senior dog’s health issues & some resource guarding. Plus Remy can be a very wild puppy!
Second thoughts about getting a puppy
I told Josh I wouldn’t get a second dog if I could go back in time. That’s an awful thing to say but I underestimated the amount of work and stress a puppy and a senior dog would be. It’s nothing to do with Remy, really, it’s about having a second dog in general right now. (And right now a dozen people are thinking, yeah, coulda told you so!)
But … as with most people I’m 100 percent committed to both dogs and making this work. I wanted a running buddy. I wanted a dog who can go hiking and to the beach and to training classes. Remy is exactly what I wanted. He’s an awesome dog!
It’s just that life never goes as smoothly as you imagine.
If you’re second guessing yourself about your new dog …
These are normal feelings.
If you’ve recently added a new dog or puppy to your family and you’re wondering if you’ve made a mistake, just know that others go through the same feelings. At least I have and I’m an experienced dog person whose life pretty much revolves around dogs.
You make adjustments. You get creative. You work through the problems.
- You make sure to set aside time for yourself away from the puppy for a few hours a day
- Get help with dog care whether it’s hiring a dog walker, hiring a dog trainer or taking the pup to dog daycare a few times a week
- Recruit other family members to take on more puppy tasks or ask friends for help at times
- Get control of serious problems early
- Invest in dog training. Invest in dog training. Invest in dog training!
What else would you add to this list?
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If you’ve truly made a mistake and regret getting a dog …
It happens. See my post on Returning a rescue or shelter dog for some support. You are not alone. That post gets new comments every week.
The bottom line: Only you know if it is truly in the best interest to re-home or return the dog.
Sometimes it’s just the wrong match. This particular dog is not right for you, and that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with the dog and there’s nothing wrong with you.
Sometimes the dog has issues you just can’t deal with. It’s not your fault. Maybe the dog has some serious separation anxiety and can’t be left alone. Maybe he’s aggressive to your other dog or to your kids.
And probably the hardest of all …
Sometimes it really is YOU. You made the mistake of getting a dog when you truly weren’t ready.
I can’t tell anyone what to do, but despite the stigma out there with returning or “giving up” a dog, it’s not smart to just put up with a dog for the next 10+ years if he’s causing you, your family or your other pets that much stress or even danger.
This is not a good situation for you or your family, and it’s not a good situation for the dog either.
What I’m trying to say is second guessing yourself about adding a new dog is normal. Usually any “doubts” are just growing pains you can work through.
Will breeders take the puppy back?
With a few exceptions, most responsible breeders will almost always take a puppy back if it’s not working out. In fact, you probably signed a contract saying you WOULD return the puppy to the breeder vs. taking the puppy to a shelter or rescue group.
So, if you’re sure you’ve made a mistake, the first step is to contact the breeder, rescue or shelter where you originally got the puppy and talk to them about your options.
If you adopted your puppy directly from their original owner, and it was not a good situation for the puppy, then you’ll have to take some steps to find the puppy a new home.
Have any of you experienced “puppy blues”?
Let us know in the comments!
For puppy and dog training tips, see my ebook, “50 Dog Training Tips: Your Training Problems Solved Now.”