“I know everyone on here loves their Doodles, but honestly mine is 22 weeks today, we have had him 12 weeks, he is a VERY good, calm puppy and I work from home and I am struggling. He is our first family dog, my kids are 12 and 16. I signed up for the walking, training, feeding, picking up poo BUT what I didn’t realize was the commitment 24 hrs a day, the worry, the connection, the following me around (which is cute sometimes). Am I honestly the only person who thinks “what have signed up for” or ” have I done the right thing.” when he is ill, or injured, or trying to communicate it reminds me of having a baby, you worry, worry, worry. It’s much more hard work than I realized.”
Got the puppy blues? I feel you. And…know you’re not alone. Raising a Doodle puppy is notoriously difficult. Lots of people struggle. Here’s my story…
When I first brought Chloe home, I had no idea what I was getting into. At 19 years old, I was a sophomore in college and already up to my neck in homework and studying, on top of having a part-time job to support myself.
After she came home, I struggled. As a busy college student, I couldn’t afford to lose more sleep. It was not an easy time for me and it definitely wasn’t an ideal time to be raising a puppy. In fact, those first few days and weeks (and – who am I kidding – years) were more difficult than I care to remember.
By month 3 or 4, I vividly remember thinking “what have I done” and honestly feeling some resentment toward her. Chloe was still a puppy and she was going through – for lack of better words – an annoying AF phase.
She was constantly nipping at me, biting people’s ankles, barked incessantly at anything that moved, shoes got ruined, leashes got chewed up, AND she was a terror to my parents’ little Shih Tzu. My parents openly disliked her, and Chloe’s “dad” was never around to experience any of it. (He probably thought it was all in my head, HA!)
“I can so relate to this, I am exhausted. The constant worry if am just messing her up for life. Constantly worrying about the choices am making for her. I’ve had her since she was 11 weeks old and is been work, work, and work. I keep trying to get her to calm down but she doesn’t listen. She just wants to go crazy and jump on us and play rough. Yesterday my daughter cried because she went crazy after her bath and bite her arm pretty hard. I am honestly exhausted, and am still waiting to feel the way many of you feel and say how worth it all this hard work is.”
I’m here to tell you that “this too shall pass,” it does get better, and the hard work is definitely worth it.
Chloe is now 12 years old and from a young age has been very well-behaved inside the home. She isn’t destructive at all, and over the years has adapted very well to all of the different living situations we’ve been in. She’s never had a potty accident inside the house, and she knows around 20 practical commands and tricks. She doesn’t do well on a leash but she does really well off-leash. We have also done a very good job at keeping her active and well-exercised, which undoubtedly helps to curb destructive behaviors. Our [DIY] grooming routine is on-point, and we’ve heard from multiple groomers that she’s one of the best behaved pups they’ve ever worked with.
She’s by no means a perfect dog, but she’s my imperfect dog. And in exchange for all the early struggles and challenges, I got to watch her learn and grow and have adventures. I have been rewarded with the absolute best friend I’ve ever had, and that has made it all worth it.
In terms of the hardest stage of raising a Doodle puppy, many people seem to agree that the first 6 months or so is the hardest.
For More Words of Encouragement…
Check out what relatable things these Facebook users had to say. (Click the images to enlarge)
As with all things in life, just give it time. Your Doodle will come around. The teething will end. Diligence with training and exercise will do wonders. Things will get easier, and someday very soon you will see a best friend and family member who has changed your life forever.
And even though you may want to, always remember: don’t quit on your hardest day.