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I feel guilty..

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Lulu93, Dec 7, 2018.


  1. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi!

    I have 5 dogs, 2 of which are 4 month puppies. I’ve been quite lucky as I’ve been on a career break since we got them. I’ve been doing some dog walking but I’m home a lot. I go back to full time work next month (they’ll have someone at home with them 3 days a week and a dog walker coming in for the other 2 days). My problem is that’s I feel so guilty. I feel like I’m not spending enough time with the puppies in particular, so I just want to know how much time people spend with theirs?

    Our puppies are kept in one room of the house when we aren’t in, or when we are doing jobs around the house. They have lots and lots of toys and a crate each to sleep in within that room. They also have each other to play with. Two of my older dogs aren’t keen on the puppies and we are trying to build up the time they all spend together gradually, which means letting the puppies run loose round the house. There are generally no problems with them running round the house and they’re happy when they’re out. One of my dog growls at them if they go near him and the other is nervous, but the puppies are slowly learning to not be all over them, with lots of praise and encouragement.

    I just feel so awful if I’ve had a long day out dog walking. I will come straight home and walk all the dogs and then, mostly, let them all be together in the house for a while, but then I put the puppies away because the older dogs need a bit of a break and the puppies need to rest as they can get over boisterous. I just feel guilty when I put the puppies away because on top of the others needing a break from them, I need a bit of time to have a shower/eat/relax without worrying about what they are doing, which means I do leave them for a couple of hours at a time. It makes me feel so awful because I feel like they spend a lot of time in that room. I spend time playing/training with them inside the room, round the house and in the garden pretty much every day, but some days I don’t get much of a chance to do that and it makes me feel awful (today has been one of those days!!).

    Am I terrible dog mum? I honestly feel like I don’t do enough and I feel guilty all the time.
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Well, you're not being a terrible Mum, as you appear to be doing your best for them.

    Why though, when you're so busy, did you get two pups?
     
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  3. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    The plan was to get just one as we lost ours and we were really struggling without her, she left a massive hole especially as she died completely unexpectedly (she was killed by another dog) but, and it took a while, we felt ready to get another. There were two puppies left and we ended up with both because we couldn’t leave one of them behind, and they’re really helping us and I think they’re happy with us.

    & it’s not like we are mentally busy 24/7, there is someone at home with them for a large portion of the day, everyday at the moment (I come home in between dog walks) and there will be someone at home with them 3/5 days when I go back to work and we have arranged for dog walkers to come in for the other 2 days, and obviously we are around at weekends. I just feel guilty when I put them away in their room as they already have to be in there when I’m out as I just don’t trust them to not wreck the house or irritate the other dogs just yet. I just can’t have them with me all the time as I need to keep an eye on them and it’s not practical when I’m trying to do housework/cook. I know they go in the room and they will either play or sleep and they only cry at the door if someone comes through the front door, other than that they’re generally quiet in there unless they’re playing, so I don’t think they’re miserable when they’re in there (I hope not anyway). I make sure I spend time with them, playing with and training them everyday, and they run round the house a few times for a couple of hours at a time everyday, but on days like today when I have been quite busy it’s not been for as long as I would like and it makes me feel dreadful.
     
  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I would worry more about the fact that they're spending more time together, bonding together - possibly to their detriment. Are you at all familiar with littermate syndrome?

    The time you spend training with them, is that together, or do you separate them and train them away from each other?
     
  5. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, I read up on littermate syndrome so I’ve been quite keen to avoid it. I do a bit of both, separately and together. So far they both seem fine when they’re apart. They will go quite happily on walks without the other, be shut different rooms, play without the other etc. They don’t like sleeping apart but I haven’t been particularly worried that as they’re fine apart in every other situation. Do you think that’s ok?
     
  6. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I feel guilty going to work all the time but then I have to pay the bills! You can only do your best what breed are your dogs ?
     
  7. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Why not put baby gates up to separate the dogs so they aren’t shut away as such but are still “in touch” with family/dogs/goings on?
     
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  8. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    I would have thought that it would be okay to have your puppies around when you 'housework/cook'. Surely the point is to integrate them into your life, not just get them out of their room when you are ready for them. How are they going to learn house manners? It seems a bit harsh IMHO, and I think that is why you feel guilty.
     
  9. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Also, are the other dogs spending time shut in a room? If you can't have them all out together unsupervised at the moment, it seems only fair to rotate them.
     
  10. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    I'm not sure why you bought two puppies when your day was already full 'working' and walking and caring for three dogs. Adding two (especially siblings) to the mixture has given you 10 x the extra work and i suspect that this is what you are feeling now. Is it just you on your own? You seem to be the only one walking and training the pups so I'm not surprised you are stressed.

    I don't have an answer. I work and have 6 dogs and as I have said before in order to make this work, their care takes up pretty much every other waking moment of my day in one way or another. Which I happen to love.

    I would work on getting your dogs integrated or at least give your older dogs time away so the puppies can learn about the freedom of the house too. I do know that when we have a puppy in the house my work increases so I would expect that for the next year. I think if you get a working routine going that fulfils all the dogs needs things should settle a bit. But it is exhausting I agree.....

    J
     
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  11. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    It might be helpful if you could let us have a few more details... Your post makes you sound as if you are a professional dog walker. If you are self employed, could you have lunch at home or just pop in every now and then? If I have got that wrong, sorry, it's just that you say 'a long day dog-walking'. Was your career break for maternity leave - ie is there a human baby too? Or were you ill? Just wondering what else you have to cope with...you do sound very stressed.
     
  12. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    I wasn’t working at all when we picked them up in September, I have only just recently started dog walking and that’s why I now feel guilty.
    There are a few of us living at home and we were all supposed to chip in but I do the lions share (99%) of it and that’s why I’m stressed. I could do with some more help than I get but it’s yet to happen. I’ve had the puppies out most of today so far, and they’ve just gone for a nap as they’re shattered. The weekends are when I feel less guilty as I get to spend lots of time with them and have them all together, so they spend very minimal time in their room over the weekend. We just can’t let them run round the house freely when we aren’t there as I think they would irritate my other dogs after a while, i am are trying to instil boundaries in them when it comes to the other dogs and that would go out of the window if I’m not there to enforce them. I feel a bit better today as in retrospect they don’t spend a horrible amount of time away really. I generally have them out with me, or I’m in there with them when I’m home. I say they get my attention or are out around the house for a large portion of the day everyday. I think I just felt horrible yesterday in particular as I was out dog walking (I came home in between walks) for a long day and I didn’t have as much time as I would normally have with them. They did go out for 2 walks yesterday and spent a while running round the house (I would say a few hours spread out over the day) and then some 1:1 time with me. I don’t think they’re bored as they don’t display signs of destructive behaviour. Things don’t get torn to shreds, they don’t scratch, whine or bark to come out of their room when they are in there, so I think overall their quite happy but my guilt makes me feel like I don’t do enough! I just think I needed a bit of reassurance.
     
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  13. Lulu93

    Lulu93 PetForums Newbie

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    It’s not that’s it’s not ok to have them running around when I’m doing the housework/cooking, but with five dogs running around when you’re trying to clean and cook it makes it quite hard work. The older dogs lay in bed whilst I am doing these things, so they have learnt to stay out of the way, but if the puppies are out at the same time, they’re all running around everywhere which, I’m sure you can appreciate, will make jobs a bit harder. I’m currently working at getting them to go to their bed on command and stay there but it takes time.
    We had a dog trainer round and we were advised to keep them away whilst doing household chores if that is what we expect from older dogs. I normally make sure the puppies are tired out before I start housework/cooking, these two jobs come at the bottom of my list!
     
  14. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    Then I would draw up a rota and get some help from those who are supposed to be chipping in!

    I am sure you are doing all you can. I think you have given yourself quite a big task. I didn't mean the run of the house when you aren't there but to work on their behaviour with the older dogs so that you don't feel guilty for segregating them so much. I have gates all over my house to ensure young dogs stay calm or stay safe when i am not there but when I am home all six muck in together. It would help your 'guilt' if you reached this stage with the youngsters. And whilst I agree that you can separate pups when you are doing household chores it actually doesn't teach them how to play nicely when you are busy if the only time they are with you they get your undivided attention!

    I'm sure you'll pull through ....just rattle the cage of everyone else in the house and get some help!

    J
     
  15. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    Hmm, 'chipping in' does sound like there were no hard and fast rules as to who did what! Perhaps you could give up some of the other household chores? That might make people be more ready to help!
     
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