It’s been a few weeks since I updated the world on my biggest mistake in the last few years – bringing a puppy into our family with a 2 year old. Honest to god, what was I thinking?? And why was I so stubborn in not listening to everyone who told me not to get a puppy with a 2 year old??
Doodle MPB is now 6 months old. She was spayed, tattood, and micro-chipped lat week. I don’t think she loved the surgery, but who would? And we are now struggling to keep her from jumping and running. She has a lot of energy, so being kept in a crate for the weekend and now being on a schedule of short walks a few times a day is not going well for her (or us).
But spay recovery aside, Doodle MPB is still neurotic. Honestly, I think she always will be a bit neurotic, that’s just who she is. And maybe to other she wouldn’t be considered neurotic, but compared to our last dog who was calm and generally well behaved, she is really truly just completely insane.
But, we are learning to cope with her insanity. Or maybe I should say, we are adapting to her personality….slowly.
It’s almost sad how much she annoys us, when the reality is she is just desperate to be with us. We had a strict no couch rule, and had been working on training her to sit on the floor in the evenings after Little MPB goes to bed and we just want to relax and watch brainless TV. But, no matter how hard we’ve tried, she just wont settle on the ground or on any type of dog mat/be. Which has meant in the evenings when we are done for the day, she ends up in her crate. I want her to be part of the family so clearly this just wasn’t working. So, last week her post-surgery sad puppy eyes, finally made me cave. It only took 4 months, but I started letting her on the couch with me at night and she is settling down better then she ever has! She seriously just wants to be with me, and she thinks she should be a lap dog.
I do have to admit I’m starting to like her a lot more then I used to. Although she still can be very annoying, especially with her jumping and her whining when she’s away from us. But her snuggling is adorable and I do love that she makes me go for a walk almost everyday. She’s actually pretty darn good on her leash already, so I mostly enjoy our walks together. And, after visiting with friends kids who are petrified of dogs, I am reminded of why I wanted a dog and why I am so committed to Doodle MPB – I want Little MPB to grow up knowing animals and having a special bond with his own dog. Of course, because of Doodle MPB’s love of playfully jumping on Little MPB and Little MPBs ability to be knocked over, they only spend limited supervised time together. But, I know that relationship will continue to grow and develop as they both grow and develop. In fact, after she came home from her spay, he lied down outside of her x-pen and pet her nose telling her you’ll be okay Doodle MPB. And she is stinkin’ cute, so that helps too.
As for Mr. MPB and Doodle MPB, in my opinion, Mr. MPB still doesn’t really like her. He used to hate her barking, but when her barking became more like normal dog barking thanks to puppy bootcamp, he moved on to hating her nipping. And once her nipping was no-longer occurring again thanks to our trainer, he moved onto hating her jumping. We’ve made zero progress on her jumping, so he still hates that behaviour (and I’m not particularly fond of it either). I’m pretty sure if we ever tame her kangaroo like behavious, Mr. MPB will just move onto disliking another puppy mannerism. While he doesn’t love me pointing this out (and probably wont love me sharing it with the world), he basically hates her puppy-ness and just wants her to behave like a 2+ year old dog. Which of course she wont be for another 1.5 years. So I think their relationship is a little more strained and needs some work. But that’s not my problem to fix so they’ll have to work it out together. (To be fair to Mr. MPB, he never wanted another dog, I basically forced this onto him. I’m just hoping he’ll eventually come around to her.)
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Pets and young kids are so, so hard. Even if the pet is super well-behaved, it’s just really hard to divide attention and feel like you’re satisfying everyone’s needs. And young kids seem to bring the worst out in a lot of pets…especially young pets. I always plead with friends and family who either have young kids or plan to have kids NOT to get a new pet. Most of them have not listened, and we’re all in the same boat!
I am particularly interested in your doodle-related posts now because we are strongly considering bringing a golden doodle into our family after the passing of our beloved 14-year-old golden retriever a few weeks ago. (We all love the GR breed, and we have had goldens for all the years of our marriage, but my husband is actually allergic to dogs and is hoping to get a dog who sheds less and will be easier on his allergies.)
I have another friend IRL who adopted a labradoodle last year, and their struggles mirror yours in a lot of ways. They had A LOT of trouble training him and ended up sending him away to a doggy boot camp, too. Reportedly he is doing much better now that he has past his first year.
Our twin sons are 6.5, so at least we won’t be dealing with a toddler and a puppy. I am continuing to search for an adult golden doodle who is looking for a home, but they seem to be as rare as hen’s teeth!
Young dogs are freaking HARD! We got told we were crazy for getting a puppy when our son was only 10 months old, but we were stubborn and went with it anyway. We knew we were getting a high energy breed but we didn’t expect that with that came a whole array of other things. Like you, jumping is currently one of our problems even after she spent a month at her bootcamp. She gets so excited she wants to jump, mostly on me. Rarely my husband and never the 3 year old. Always me. One thing our trainer told us to do is basically every time she tries to jump, to turn our bodies away and make ourselves completely uninteresting to her. Don’t look at her, fold arms so they aren’t a moving target and give a firm “Gracie no”. Once she sees that we aren’t engaging in her jumping enthusiasm, she stays down on all fours and will focus on something else. I will admit, that this technique does work, but sometimes I’m so annoyed by her jumping that I will usually shove her down and give a firm “no”, forgetting the ignore method works way better. When does Doodle MPB jump the most? When let out of the crate? When you come home or into a room? Another method the trainer suggested was having little bowls of dog kibble around and before the dog has any opportunity to jump all over us, toss some kibble onto the ground and distract her. Once she’s done finding all of the kibble bits she will be calmed down and forget her original enthusiasm. We haven’t gone this route at all because when she suggested it we were having issues with mice in our house (so gross) and we didn’t want any remnants of food on the ground that the dog missed or slid under the couch.
Anyway, all I can really say is that I feel you. I really do. I miss my super low key, cuddle great dane/black lab dog all the time.
I’m glad things have gotten better, but sorry they still aren’t “perfect”. Of course nothing is ever perfect, but you know what I mean! I do hate to tell you that doodles tend to hang on to their puppy behavior well beyond 2 years. Hopefully she’ll calm down a little bit though! Sometimes the spay can help as well. Good luck with getting her a bit more under control!
She is so cute! Our Dog was already almost 4 when B was born. It means he’s finally calmed down from his puppy stage (it only really happened since B was born, funnily enough) and he is really quite chilled. I don’t know how he’d have coped with B when he was younger, but he’s extraordinarily tolerant now! The love is definitely more on B’s side but Dog quite likes him now he’s eating (and dropping!) food! I hope Doodle calms down a bit and I’m glad she is enjoying snuggling with you on the sofa.
I dont know what it is about the couch, but even with fosters, they bond so much better when they are allowed up. I’m glad she’s progressing!
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I find that fact fascinating, I had no idea!! I honestly think it’s going to help her settle better if she’s next to me. And I also want to try getting her to settle on the floor near my desk so that during the day she can be with me too. I’m thinking I may out a short leash on her and basically ignore her until she lies down next to me and then reward with treats? And work up from short few minute chilling next to me to longer stretches of time.
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Puppies are SO MUCH harder than anyone remembers until they have one…similar to newborns. My first labradoodle had GI problems and had me up every hour for the first couple months – I remember sobbing to my husband that we had to take her back more than once. I thought I was the worst person in the world for being adverse to her – but really, I was just exhausted and stressed. She just turned 5 and I wouldn’t change a thing about her now!
Also for the record – I saw a comment higher up saying doodles hold onto puppy behaviour longer – I have 3 doodles aged 5, 4 and 7. All 3 were fully mature before 2 years old…they still misbehave at times but all of the puppy things – nipping, excessive barking, jumping up, accidents, chewing – were long gone by 2. So hopefully that’s the experience you have too!
Ahhhh man, it’s been such a process! I had a shitzu x poodle back in the day and he was always happiest on the nights I sat outside reading my book with a wine as when I was outside I’d let him on the couch. Inside his life wasn’t as fun ha! I have been seriously considering a dog because Holly LOVES them but Holly reminds me we don’t need to be hasty. We will get one but not for a good year or so I think. I hope Mr MPB and puppy fall in love eventually x
puppies are hard! some of this behavior WILL get better!