Post # 1
I have always had dogs, I love dogs, and I don’t take owning a dog lightly. All of that being said, my dogs are wearing me out. They are the most high maintenance dogs that I have ever had. I feel like I spend soo much time cleaning up after them and maintaining them that I don’t even enjoy their company. I feel so guilty even saying that but I am at my wits end.
We have a 65 lb labradoodle, a little over a year old, and a 16 lb bischon-shih tzu mix, just under a year old. They are both housebroken, very sweet, and absolutely adorable. But it is really like having children. Every time I turn around I am filling water bowls, cleaning up throw up, opening the door for them, tripping over them, wiping up water that they splash all over the floors, mopping up mud they drug in, and vacuuming hair. I feel like a maid!
In addition to this they pace all the time. Even after they have had a long walk or worn them out playing catch, they pace the wood floors with their nails clicking on the hardwoods. They very rarely just relax. They are also incredibly dependent dogs. They won’t go play outside by themselves. They want to be right on top of us all the time.
I am currently 8 1/2 months pregnant and I just can’t imagine handling both of them while dealing with a newborn also. I am not one of those people that is thinking I don’t need them now bc I have a child. I am really trying to figure out some way to have them and them not be so much work. I’ve never had dogs that wear me out the way that they do. I think some of it could be cured with additional training but I don’t know exactly what to work on with them to fix some of these things.
If anyone has any advice I am willing to listen. I really don’t know what to do at this point. If you are going to attack me or lecture me about the whole getting rid of my dogs bc I am having a baby then please save your breath. I have enough guilt for even thinking about it.
I’m really hoping that some of this is just pregnancy hormones and maybe it will get better. Lord knows I am an emotional mess at this point.
Thanks for listening. I really needed to get some of this off my chest. Its really been upsetting me for a while.
Post # 3
Not a doggy owner currently or by any means knowledgeable on the subject, but I would try some tough love. How can two dogs not entertain themselves sometime? I mean, yes dogs require work and attention, but you shouldn’t have to have them right on your heels all the time. I would shut them off in part of the house or outside, weather permitting, for a couple hours for a break.
I’m interested to see other people’s suggestions because like I said, I have no clue.
Post # 4
I would definitely look in to other options before giving them up. Fiance and I have 2 dogs, a cat, around 70ish fish, and 2 birds. The small animals I love, but could give to a loving home if I needed to, but I could never give away our three babies.
If your doggies are aggressive or territorial when you have the baby, that is different. Your baby definitely comes first. My mom has two labs, one of which is particularly high-strung and sometimes when they are wearing her out or she has alot to do, she takes them to a doggie day-care where they can wear themselves out playing with other doggies. Swimming is also a tiring exercise for most dogs (just make sure they don’t over-do it and get cold tail!). If either of these aren’t available to you, is there a neighborhood kid or young family member who would like to make some extra cash by taking your dogs for walks or to a dog park to play?
Dogs can stay puppy-like until they are 2-4 years old. If you have access to these options, I would definitely try these out. Your dogs are both still puppies. They may be bigger, but they still have puppy tendencies. With my mom’s younger, more excitable lab, his owners turned him into a rescue for that exact reason. He was cute when he was little, but all of a sudden, he was big but still acted like a puppy. My mom took him (and her other lab) to loads of obedience classes and also did agility classes with them. If anyone in your family has time, these types of classes can sometimes instill a little focus and discipline in your dogs that will take a bit of the edge off. Her lab is about three now and starting to show signs of settling down, but she has worked very hard to get him where he is.
As far as being their maid, it kind of comes with the territory of caring for any pet. They can’t do it themselves! Whatever you decide, good luck, and please make sure they go to good homes if you have to give them up! Maybe make sure their nails are trimmed and put some rugs down on the hardwood to help your sanity in the meantime? 🙂
Post # 5
Lady, I am right there with you! Of course, we aren’t going to get rid of the dogs, but I am also not pregnant. I keep telling my husband I won’t be having any children until these dogs are dead. I don’t know how people do it with children and I’ve had dogs all my life! I am constantly sweeping hair, cleaning up puke, putting the rugs back where they are supposed to be (my English setter likes to slide them around the house), feeding, walking, vets, etc., etc. And my setter is deaf, as well, and has major psychological issues that arose after her spaying which make her virtually impossible to train. She never rests and RUNS everywhere through the house. There is no walking, or sleeping, or sitting. I hate it about 90% of the time. The labrador is much better, but sheds like the dickens. It’s gross.
So, basically I have no advice, but I just wanted you to know you’re not alone! If you feel like you really want to get rid of them, then do it, but if you think it’s just a pregnancy thing, maybe wait it out a bit. Good luck!!
Post # 6
A physical solution may be in order. Have you guys considered building them a dog run and keeping them outside for a chunk of time each day? It wouldn’t be an easy transition at first, but they’ll get used to it and be okay as long as they have adequate shelter and it isn’t 24/7. That would at least give you a safe alternative for them for a few hours while you care for the baby.
Also, regular nail trims will really cut down on the sound of their pacing. I had a pacer, so it was something I had to do. Hated clipping his nails, but my Fiance hated hearing him even more.
@ bree: Fiance and I are English setter people. They calm down indoors BIG time. At about 6, my Trane pretty much just laid around all the time. At 12, he is still healthy and sprite outdoors, but never runs in the house. It gets better.
Post # 7
I think they should calm down a bit soon, they are still puppies, and I know they say that Labs are usually a 2 year puppy. I would try to send them outside on their own more and maybe they can wear themselves out. I know you say they are dependent dogs, my dog is the same way, and doesn’t like being outside alone, but sometimes I just let her be out there. Eventually she gets tired of staring at the door, and she’ll explore the yard and start to run around. You just have to leave them long enough so they get bored, and they will find a way to entertain themselves.
Post # 8
I don’t know if this is an option for you – geographically or financially, but you might just need to hire a dog walker. I say this because I actually own a dog walking business (in Los Angeles) and one of my clients was in a similar situation. I took her dog off her hands for 3 hours a day (we hike the dogs for a loooong time) and we return them back home pretty exhausted. She just needed a break. And she found that the farther along she was in her pregnancy, the more clingy and protective the dogs got, because they sensed the baby.
Also, you might consider getting them some IQ toys – my dog has them, and she loves them. She is also, like your dogs, not much of an independent player.
She likes the plushy hide a toy ones, the puzzle pieces didn’t go over as well.
Mostly, don’t beat yourself up. Just do the best you can for them, a little bit each day.
Post # 9
Honestly I think you’re just overwhelmed. I was ill for a couple of years while the dogs were puppies — and yours are still puppies. There were days where I wasn’t sure if we were all going to survive!
You can have their nails trimmed at the vet or one of those types of pet stores for a nominal fee. However if they play outdoors a lot you may find you don’t need them trimmed as they will wear down.
What saved my sanity was a invisible fence and investment in a few kongs and nylabones. Now they go to the door when the want to run around and pace, instead of doing it indoors!
By the time the dogs were all about 2.5 things settled down a lot. The mess is still there, but your SO can also run the vac right? But if you don’t want to wait that long, please take them to a no-kill rescue 🙂 Also several companies make great rubber mats to put under he bowls. They have raised sides, so the water at least stays near the bowl.
Post # 10
Honestly? Those sound like normal dog problems and behaviors for dogs that age. As Shiner said, you have two puppies—and puppies are definitely like children in that they need to get their energy out and be occupied mentally. They will probably mellow as they get older, and not need so much from you then—so it’s just a matter of getting to that point (usually 2-3 with most dogs).
I’d do a couple of things in the short term:
– Hire a dog walker to take the dogs and run them a couple times a week until you feel comfortable out and about with them and a stroller (and consider taking one dog at a time—they don’t necessarily need to be walked together). Alternatively, have your husband make some time just for the dogs where he takes them out (or some time just for the baby while you go out with the dogs for a bit!)
– Hire a housecleaner, even if it’s just once or twice a month, while your baby is young so that you don’t need to stress about the fur.
Post # 11
I’m adopting a dog tomorrow and this post is scaring the crap outta me.
Post # 12
@VirginiaMarie: No!! You are going to be fine! Every dog is different – and so is every owner. Don’t worry! If you have any question, ever – please PM me. I work with dogs professionally and my SO is in school to be a dog trainer. We’re dog people!!
Post # 13
I know how you feel (sort of)
We’re the crazy cat people. I’d hire a dogwalker and maybe put them outside if that’s possible for a period of the day. Possibly invest in some sturdy water bowls? As for your hardwood floors I feel your pain. Our cats love to rip up our sofa and carpet. We got them nail covers – I’m pretty sure they make them for dogs as well.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the helpful comments. I do think that I am feeling very overwhelmed lately. We just moved into a new house also and there just isn’t enough time to get everything done.
@Virginiamarie…Don’t let me scare you away from getting a dog. I’ve always had dogs and enjoyed having them.
I think part of our issue is also just the combination of these two dogs. Their like twins bc that are really similar and get each other into trouble.
I think I will look into either getting a dog walker or someone to help around the house. The first few months with the baby might just be too much to handle on my own without some extra help.
Post # 15
They are puppies, they will mellow out as they get older.
Have you taken them to obedience class? That would be a good place to start; it’s much easier to deal with a trained dog than an untrained dog.
Post # 16
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I would absolutely look into dog training classes. We took our 4 month old lab/shepherd puppy to the puppy class at Petsmart and it has made a world of difference – we’ve enrolled him in the intermediate class too, and I can’t wait to see the results! It may be hard to handle the classes with a newborn as well, but if you can juggle it, I would definitely recommend it.