If you are a new puppy parent, congratulations! This is the beginning of a marvelous and unforgettable journey. Your new puppy will grow up to be your best friend. However, at times you will find the relationship a bit challenging.
Puppy driving me crazy – is this normal? Many new puppy owners are asking the same questions. As comforting as it sounds, yes, it is completely normal. Learning how to live with a puppy can be hard at times so, it is normal to feel like your puppy is making you go crazy. It is even more comforting to know that this is just a transient phase.
In this article, we will talk about why puppies make their owners go crazy. We will also talk about the issues that stem from feeling overwhelmed with new puppies. Finally, we will give helpful tips on what to do when your puppy is making you crazy.
Why Does My Puppy Drive Me Crazy?
There are many reasons why puppies make their owners crazy. Some reasons are objective and easy to understand, while others are only understandable from a dog’s point of view.
The important thing is to come to terms with the fact that your puppy is acting the way it is acting in order to communicate something – it is not doing it on purpose and is not acting out of spite.
We love puppies and want you to have the best relationship possible. Therefore, we will describe the most common reasons puppies drive their owners crazy.
Reason Number 1: Unrealistic Expectations
Owners feel overwhelmed with puppies because they have unrealistic expectations of how puppies should act. In movies and commercials, puppies are cute and cuddly. Even if they cause mischief, the shenanigans are funny. Things are not so fun in real life, however.
Reason Number 2: Inability to Speak
Yes, this is a tricky one. Just like toddlers, puppies have unique needs and know what they want. However, they cannot express themselves. The inability to express their desires results in moody behavior and lots of crying and whining.
Reason Number 3: Lack of Training
No one is born with the knowledge of how to behave. Children learn how to act from their parents and teachers. Puppies need to learn everything from their owners. This can be tricky, especially if the puppy is stubborn or lacks focus.
Reason Number 4: The Toilet Area or Lack Thereof
For most puppies, the entire house is a toilet area. While some puppies are cleaner and prefer doing their business in one spot, most will pee and poop wherever they can. This can be nerve-wracking, especially for puppy parents that are hygiene freaks.
Reason Number 5: Chewing, Chewing & More Chewing
Puppies love to chew – this is no secret. In fact, when a puppy chews something on TV, we find it funny or cute. However, things stop being funny if the chewed object is your new pair of shoes, designer sofa, or custom-made pillows.
Reason Number 6: The Crate Conundrum
To crate or not to crate – this is a huge dilemma in the dog parenting community. Even trainers and behaviorists find this to be a hot topic. Some believe it is a fantastic training tool and others consider it harsh and cruel.
Reason Number 7: Pulling All-Nighters
Sleepless nights are a common scenario when you are a puppy parent. Physical tiredness will have a long-term negative impact on your relationship. Owners need sleep just like puppies need it. However, puppies can sleep through the day while owners need to go to work.
Reason Number 8: Not Being Ready
Finally, not every person is cut out to be a puppy parent. Everyone has a different personality, and taking a new puppy is a huge commitment – in terms of time, money, and patience.
Is It Normal to Feel Overwhelmed with A Puppy?
Yes, feeling overwhelmed and losing your temper is normal, especially if you are a first-time puppy owner and have a different image of what puppy parenthood looks like.
In fact, having different expectations and then realizing there are tons of daily issues and challenges is the reason why many dog owners experience the so-called puppy blues (regretting the decision to get a puppy).
Being overwhelmed is tough and requires a lot of inner force and some management tips to be resolved. Luckily, such negative feelings are temporary. Once your puppy learns the basics and you get used to living together, things will get much easier.
What to Do when Your Puppy Is Driving You Crazy?
If you are a puppy parent, chances are you will find yourself feeling crazy because of your puppy at least once (but probably multiple times). The important thing is to channel the angry and crazy feelings accordingly and then work with your puppy to prevent them in the future.
Staying as calm as possible is important. A 2019 study, “Long-term stress levels are synchronized in dogs and their owners,” showed that “dogs mirror the stress levels of their owners.” The crazier you feel, the crazier your puppy will behave in more practical terms.
To avoid such a vicious cycle of unnecessary craziness, stress, and anger, you should practice some of the following helpful tips.
Tip Number 1: Make the Right Decision
By right decision, we mean reconsidering the idea of getting a puppy. Puppies are a huge responsibility – they are needy and challenging. Therefore, you need to ask yourself whether you are willing to parent a puppy. If the answer is yes, you need to research and determine which breed is best for you. Finding a particular puppy to be cute is not enough – the puppy’s personality needs to be compatible with your needs and lifestyle.
Tip Number 2: Align Your Expectations
Once you decide you are ready to take and raise a puppy, you need to set your expectations right. As mentioned, things look easier when observed from the sidelines. There will be messy situations in real life – pee puddles in the middle of the living room, chewed and destroyed shoes, and sleepless nights. If you accept these issues beforehand, you will not feel overwhelmed when they do happen. That, or are more willing to accept that things like this will occur with owning a puppy.
Tip Number 3: Set a Routine (and Stick to It)
Puppies, same as adult dogs, are creatures of habit. They like schedules and routines. Things will be much easier if you establish a proper schedule early on. Once a routine is set, you have to stick to it – changes will confuse your puppy, and chances are it will act out.
Tip Number 4: Set Boundaries (and Respect Them)
Consistency is one of the most important things when raising a puppy. You need to set rules and boundaries. However, you also need to make sure your puppy respects them all the time. If you allow chewing pillows and then the next day you are angry about it, you are sending mixed signals and making your puppy confused.
Tip Number 5: Rest when Necessary
Everyone needs to rest. Physical tiredness affects the mind too and makes one feel emotionally drained. If there is a time you feel extra tired, take time to rest. If your mind needs resting, find an activity that will recharge your batteries. To make sure you have time and space for rest, you can hire a dog sitter. Dog sitters are easy to find, and they can be extremely helpful.
Tip Number 6: Puppy-Proof the Dog Area
Your puppy will pee everywhere and chew everything – the sooner you accept this reality, the better. Instead of complaining when your puppy does something like this, designate one area of the house for the puppy. You should puppy proof it adequately but acknowledge that whatever happens inside the area is okay.
Tip Number 7: Consider Doggy Daycare
You can always enroll your puppy in a doggy daycare (after it receives all of its vaccines, of course). This will give you some time off and help with the puppy’s socialization which will, in turn, benefit your relationship. Luckily, today finding a good doggy daycare is easier than ever.
Tip Number 8: Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
There is nothing shameful about not being able to raise the puppy on your own. Remember the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, the same concept applies to puppies too. Canine trainers and behaviorists can do wonders and improve your relationship with the puppy.
Summing Up: Puppy Driving Me Crazy
There is not a single dog owner who has not lost their temper with his puppy. Some find this harder to admit than others, but being overwhelmed from time to time is perfectly normal.
While cute and extremely loveable, it is no secret that puppies can be a handful, especially during the first few months of their lives. The daily challenges make parenting a puppy a difficult task.
Luckily, things will get easier for both the puppy and the owner. And of course, if there are troubles along the road, do not hesitate to seek help from professionals – dog trainers and behaviorists.