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Old August 31st, 2013, 12:00 PM
renkma renkma is offline
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New Puppy - I'm Overwhelmed and Overtired

I have come to post basically desperately needing some positive support, stories of positive experiences, and to be talked down ... I'm a wreck these days.

This will be a long post - be forewarned and forgive me.

First some history.

June of this year I lost the love of my life Honey - a 12 year old Brittany Spaniel. Sudden liver failure, possibly due to the ingestion of a toxic mushroom. My heart is still severely broken and will probably never heal. I've accepted that I have to live with this horrible pain and lonliness without her.

We have a remaining dog Daisy, who has been a great comfort to me in the last several weeks. We have bonded and I've fallen in love with her. she will never be Honey - no one will - but she is a great friend to me and is unbelievably dear to me.

We brought home a new puppy two weeks ago at the age of 8 weeks. She is a Chihuahua (larger type) that will grow to be about 9 to 10 lbs. It took two weeks for Daisy to be OK with her being here, but they reached a milestone yesterday and Daisy let the pup lounge in the crook of her belly. She still shows a little concern and jealousy, but all in all, is doing extremely well.

The main problem is me. I am completely overwhelmed by looking after this puppy. I have read so many books and articles, blogs and forum posts, and so many of them tell me to do different things - so I'm totally confused - what is the proper information?? I am overtired from getting up every 2 hours every night to pee the pup. And now I'm freaking out from all the horror stories I read online in regards to raising a puppy. Back in 2001 when I brought Honey home, I don't remember doing any of these things. I remember she had a few accidents, but I just cleaned them up with regular cleaners and we moved on with life. I never took her out every two hours during the night. Suffice it to say, she was completely housebroken by the age of 3.5 months. I recall being able to leave her on her own - WITH MY 2 CATS - at the age of 4 months - I remember it so clearly because it was 9/11 and I had to go to my mothers home. The weather that day was gorgeous - the mood - solemn.

So why is it I am reading all these things i'm supposed to be doing, that I didn't back then because I just didn't know any better - and back then, I ended up with an incredible, wonderful, gentle, housebroken and super loving little dog?

Do I really have to get up 3 times a night for the next 6 months?? How is it my Honey was completely trained at 4 months without all that, but now, every trainer, book, blog, article, and forum post says it is needed? I'm not opposed to getting up in the night to help my little pup out, but honestly, for half a year??? I'll die without sleep. I'm already feeling ill everyday and feeling like a zombie.

I also remember crate training Honey ... but not for long. She was sleeping up in my bed with me by 4 months. I'm not sure why these days, everyone says that crate training has to go on until complete potty training at around 8 months old. Was Honey really that much of an exceptional dog, or are there just way too many "internet dog experts" out there? I certainly don't think Honey was THAT exceptional. She was a puppy like any other puppy.

And lastly, I haven't left my house for two weeks because every one out in cyber space says that my puppy has to go out every hour to pee - no exceptions - because each accident further promises housetraining failure. I was going out shopping for food when Honey was 3 months old and she was fine for 2 hours on her own. Why is it now ... that is a huge faux pas?

I've also tried posting questions in Chihuahua forums because I was reading in many specialty forums that Chis are different. All I got from all the Chi owners is that Chis should be able to relieve themselves inside on pads. Chis need constant 24/7 attention and doting - that they need to be carried everywhere. I have to work and can't have a Chi clinging to my shirt snarling at ever customer that comes into my studio - I have to work to feed them and myself. And I've seen countless videos of vicious Chis that are ready to rip people's throats out. I am now terrified that I made a huge mistake in getting a Chi. Please - anyone - tell me those people are wrong; that Chis can be good dogs; and that it is not OK to let them pee and poo all over the house just because there is a little rain or snow outside.

OK, I've vented. I'm in tears by being so overwhelmed with everything I'm supposed to do so religiously. Can any of you out there please tell me your positive stories of raising puppies? Can any of you agree with me that there are a lot of "know-it'alls" out there that give almost impossible training guidelines? Can any of you tell me that Chihuahua's are dogs, just like any other dog, and capable of being wonderful, friendly, trained dogs, just like many other dogs?

I'm a mess. My husband says I read way too much on the internet, and most people that write all this are out of their minds. We have both raised wonderful dogs in our lifetimes and did it entirely without the internet, or dog whisperers, of blogs and books. Am I sabotaging my own success by trying to follow a million and one training techniques and even more rules that absolutely can't be broken or you will raise a dog from hell?

Please, if there are any reasonable old schoolers out there. Tell me to stop believing everything I read and give me reason to enjoy having this adorable puppy around. As it is now, all I have come to believe is that after this potty and crate training nightmare, I can look forward to a teething dog that will be ill all the time and destroying everything in it's path, and then after that, there will be a full year of a teenage brat that is basically saying UP YERS to me constantly.

I don't remember going through any of that with my Honey. I remember loving her to bits so quickly. If everything I have read is true, then why do people get dogs to begin with? And why wasn't Honey anything like that?

Again ... please help me with positive stories of raising puppies.

Thank you to any of you that can offer me some positive support.
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  #2  
Old August 31st, 2013, 12:41 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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When I had a puppy I never got up in the middle of the night to take her out.
I paper trained her like we did when I was a kid . I set up a place in my house where my puppy could pee on paper , there where no doggie pads at the time. People paper trained all the time when I was growing up and the dog did just fine. You should decide what works best for your dog and you and forget about other people say. I would had been tried too if I woke up every two hours . I think this might get your dog in the habit of wanting to go out in the middle of the night when he get older.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 01:38 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Our first rule was to ignore the rules and see what worked for us. We adjusted everything by what the pup was up to. If pup wanted to sleep through the night, so be it. If pup got cruxy in the middle of the night and wanted out, we'd take pup out, but only to pee/poop, not to play (if they just wanted to play, in they came). Also, keep in mind that one potty accident (or more) does not a tragedy make, nor will it destroy all your good training up to that point. It just means that someone missed some signals and it'll all be okay. Strive to see all the signals and avoid the accidents, but don't fret if you have to clean up a mess or two.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your chi is very little--and I think it might take a while for that little bladder to mature. So it might take a little longer to potty train her. If it's any consolation, it took Cole 8 months before he figured it out (and he weighed 50 lbs by then so his 'accidents' were of considerable size! ). Now he's completely reliable inside. Seems like the ones that take longest to train are the ones that are most religious about keeping the house clean when they finally realize what the game is.

As for sleeping in bed, we've had pups in bed with us at the age of 3 months with no problems. In fact, it's easier to feel them get restless if they do have to go out. With a young chi, though, I guess I'd be worried about rolling over on her accidentally just because of her size...

My suspicion is that the chis that try to take your hands off when you try to say hi are often the ones that have been overcoddled. I know quite a few well-adjusted chis (and other small breeds) who don't get picked up every 2 minutes and actually seem to enjoy a little independent play. These dogs are on the ground a lot, meet other dogs with confidence, but still love to cuddle. Socialization is important--ideally you'll be able to find some other small dogs for her to play with once she's got all her immunizations. But make sure she meets lots of people, too.

And most importantly, relax and try to enjoy the experience!! Puppies are little hellions --but we tend to forget from puppy to puppy just exactly how taxing the lovable little devils can be! Just do the best you can, and one day you'll realize all those puppy shenanigans have stopped and you'll get positively nostalgic...
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Old August 31st, 2013, 03:54 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Our first rule was to ignore the rules and see what worked for us. We adjusted everything by what the pup was up to. If pup wanted to sleep through the night, so be it. If pup got cruxy in the middle of the night and wanted out, we'd take pup out, but only to pee/poop, not to play (if they just wanted to play, in they came). Also, keep in mind that one potty accident (or more) does not a tragedy make, nor will it destroy all your good training up to that point. It just means that someone missed some signals and it'll all be okay. Strive to see all the signals and avoid the accidents, but don't fret if you have to clean up a mess or two.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your chi is very little--and I think it might take a while for that little bladder to mature. So it might take a little longer to potty train her. If it's any consolation, it took Cole 8 months before he figured it out (and he weighed 50 lbs by then so his 'accidents' were of considerable size! ). Now he's completely reliable inside. Seems like the ones that take longest to train are the ones that are most religious about keeping the house clean when they finally realize what the game is.

As for sleeping in bed, we've had pups in bed with us at the age of 3 months with no problems. In fact, it's easier to feel them get restless if they do have to go out. With a young chi, though, I guess I'd be worried about rolling over on her accidentally just because of her size...

My suspicion is that the chis that try to take your hands off when you try to say hi are often the ones that have been overcoddled. I know quite a few well-adjusted chis (and other small breeds) who don't get picked up every 2 minutes and actually seem to enjoy a little independent play. These dogs are on the ground a lot, meet other dogs with confidence, but still love to cuddle. Socialization is important--ideally you'll be able to find some other small dogs for her to play with once she's got all her immunizations. But make sure she meets lots of people, too.

And most importantly, relax and try to enjoy the experience!! Puppies are little hellions --but we tend to forget from puppy to puppy just exactly how taxing the lovable little devils can be! Just do the best you can, and one day you'll realize all those puppy shenanigans have stopped and you'll get positively nostalgic...
I have Marty sleep in my bed for same reason , if he really needs to go out in the middle of night I can feel bouncing around on my bed . Marty did this a one time, he bounce all over my bed to wake me up.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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renkma, so sorry to hear about Honey, I'm sure she was a beautiful girl. You may be happy to know that I have owned a Chi in the past, she matured at only 5 lb, and I did none of this that you've mentioned. I always have youngsters in a puppy pen on 3 full layers of unfolded newspapers, so that when they toilet you can quickly just remove soiled paper. I do not believe in puppy pads, I mean to say, how unnatural is that for a dog?? As they get old enough to toilet outside some papers may be put closer to the door they'll be going out, to show them the way. It's a fact that dogs don't like to toilet close to or in the bed they sleep in, so they virtually train themselves. No way known did I ruin my sleep for Roo, my current pup. (an Australian Cattle Dog). He was put out very last thing at night, also first thing every morning, and went from toileting in his pen, to being house trained fairly fast. One thing I have to stress though, is that your Chi' may not be safe up on the bed because they are usually fearless and could take a flying leap to get down and badly injure itself. I had mine take off from chest height in a hurry to get back into her pen and luckily caught her in mid air, but her breeder lost one after someone picked it up and it went over their shoulder onto the ground. Don't know if it broke it's neck or smashed its skull. As for carrying them around, well, mine happily played with my cattle dogs and gave them Hell actually. If they teased her she'd leap up and latch onto their face. LOL. They are in some ways incredibly delicate, and in other ways as tough as an old boot. I love them. I think you should try carefully to start lead training her as soon as you can because some Chi's never accept it . When the breeder of mine told me that I thought 'Yeah, sure' but a brother to mine proved her right, she tried at a show one day and just being pulled on the grass made skin come off his pads. Stubborn as any donkey. Plenty of titbits and praise, just let it drag the lead around without holding onto it, then when you do, don't fight with her, give her plenty of time. They are a delightful breed and hey, don't forget she is YOUR dog, rear her how you like, and enjoy her. For advice on how to cope with her in the snow the rest will have to help you, I live in Australia and don't have that problem to contend with. We would love to see photo's of her. This was my little darling, Jedda, sorry it's a bit fuzzy.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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ownedbycats ownedbycats is offline
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Honestly, dogs are dogs. They want and NEED to be treated like dogs. That means being allowed to use their legs, to meet other dogs (of the appropriate temperament and size, a Saint Bernard might squish a Chi without ever meaning to.) And of course the usual training (Sit, come, No, Quiet, Etc.) We have lots of dogs on our street. A few of them are toy breeds, Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. The nicest, politest ones are the ones that get regular walks and training. The nastiest one got no training, few walks, and little socialization. The only difference I can see is that the smaller dogs have smaller bladders and can't wait as long, but that doesn't mean they can't wait at all, just not as long as bigger dogs.
Our current dog had lots of accidents as a puppy. We put it down at first to the number of weird things she kept swallowing before we could stop her (paper, bugs, grass, etc.) We finally had the vet do some tests, discovered a bug picked up from water. And got her fixed. The Point: despite all those early accidents where she didn't get outside in time, she is now perfectly house trained. Things get better. Start looking for things about your pup you enjoy. The puppy energy is a bit shocking when you've been used to an older, slower dog. Start enjoying the fact that you have a dog who WANTS to and can play.
Oh, puppies are cute. Can we pleeease have pictures?
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