Whole Dog Journal's Blog February 27, 2012

Nobody Likes Puppies

Posted at 04:07PM - Comments: (16)

Everyone who knows me well knows my running gag about puppies. When I see an adorable roly poly irresistible puppy, I say scathingly, “Oh, a puppy. I hate puppies. Who likes puppies? Nobody.”

Of course, by the time my final line is delivered, I’m mauling the puppy affectionately. I actually love puppies. Who wouldn’t? The breath, the paws, the widdle noses?

But neither do I want one. Maybe ever. And a recent puppy-sitting stint, for all of two or three hours, stiffened my resolve. I promised my fellow shelter-volunteer and friend that I would care for her foster-pup, a four-month-old brother to the older, adolescent pup I’m fostering, while she ran some errands the other day -- and I was exhausted by the time she came back. The foster pups are Cattle Dog-mixes, and the little one was super energetic and barky (the one I’m fostering is much more shy and withdrawn, i.e., quiet!). He barked at Tito, the growly Chihuahua; he barked at a Blue Jay, squawking outside; he barked at the microwave’s “finished” tone; he barked at Otto, who was as unamused as me. I kept offering him toys to chew – in order to fill that barky little mouth, but then the toy would roll under the couch and he’d bark at that.

He also wanted to chew everything in sight. My office is dog-friendly – but not puppy-proofed. I’ve got power cords, important mail, cardboard boxes full of products . . . just oodles of things I don’t want chewed, all over my office. The adult dogs are happy with chews and dog toys; puppies have to put their mouths on everything.

And then there is the potty-training anxiety. Does he have to go? Why did he just get up? Let’s go outside, everyone, even though we all just got settled down again. Let’s go outside and bark at the birds and not potty, because it turns out we’re in need of relief of boredom, not needing relief from a full bladder. How do you get anything done?

Puppies have their place, and of course, they grow into dogs and I love them. But I’m very happy with my adult dogs – and even the wild adolescents. My puppy days are well behind me.

How about you? Is your next dog going to be a puppy?

Comments (16)

Puppies certainly are a lot of work but adopting an adult dog with unknown history and behavioral issues can also be a challenge (and both can be rewarding!). Gee, I've had both I can't really say whetger my next dog will be an adult or a puppy--I guess I'll have to wait and see which finds me.

Posted by: PJKutscher | February 29, 2012 12:49 PM    Report this comment

I am on my 3rd puppy and yes, they can be challenging. I think that is in part why I love each new experience, complete with it's own new bundle of challenges. They are all rescues, and I think that helps. They seem to appreciate being in a real home with new buddies. I have to thank my second rescue every day for helping me with the newest one, boy she is full of it! He took her under his wing and tries to keep her busy when I need him to. It's like he understands I need him to babysit for me, and he's happy to do it. He gets a lot of praise for doing so, and acts like he is so proud of his job. Btw, this is my only mutt with pit bull terrier in him. My latest has been exhausting at times, but the rewards are starting to come, her training is going pretty darn good. Teaching her to ring the bell to go out was quick and very rewarding. No more wondering, faster potty training. I was lucky enough to have a friend who found a stray pup under her car and decided to keep it. Also, a friend of mine found out his 14 year old purebred lab has terminal cancer. I took him to a Petco adoption and he found another lab mix that has turned out to be the smartest easy going pup, just like his big brother. It's keeping him up and running a little more too, he has taken in this pup like he had been waiting for her. So with all these new little pups we have big play dates on a farm with a pond where the big dogs are teaching the pups new tricks like swimming and fetching (this wears them out too!). I can't thank my grown up dogs enough for how much they help in the teaching of new pups, even if only by example. A puppy may not be for everyone, but I personally love all of them with all of their challenges!

Posted by: ONEIDA A | February 29, 2012 10:07 AM    Report this comment

I raised a shelter puppy last year, hard work if you care and if you dare:)

As a shelter volunteer I get a little discouraged when I see another litter of puppies...sigh...of course they are button nose cute but please ...Don't Litter!

Posted by: WENDY H | February 28, 2012 1:55 PM    Report this comment

Give me the Senior that just wants to lay out the couch and live out their days being spoiled. I have two dogs that we adopted as teenagers and I wouldn't trade them for the world but the next time around it will be the old that no one else will adopt for me. I want the chance to show some old dog that has never had the good life that the entire human race is not awful. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Heidi R | February 28, 2012 11:47 AM    Report this comment

Our puppy is 5 months old, and we got Eris at 9 weeks. Eris, yes, the Greek goddess of chaos. She's definitely a commitment: stop-n-start twice daily walks, potty training in Minnesota's winter, booster shot visits, crate training, researching just the right foods, toys, reading up on techniques from the Monks (New Skete), puppy kindergarten classes...much to do. But with three kids, 16, 13, and 11, and with my husband and I working from home alternate days, she is not too much work. We need her energy, innocence and snuggles, and her needs have seemed to help us rise above our own concerns. Not sure about next time, hopefully next time will be a decade or more away.

Posted by: Theresa M | February 28, 2012 11:42 AM    Report this comment

I can understand all points of the posts listed here. After several attempts to rescue an older dog thru 2 different rescue organizations and being turned down by them due to my work schedule of 8 hours a day outside the house (almost all the fostering folks worked in their homes or were at home all day). I did the unthinkable and got a puppy, a purebred Shih Tzu and it has been the best thing I ever did. I will say it's the first and last time I'll have a puppy, but the bonding, training, respectful exchange, activities has been worth it. He just turned 1 year on 2/21 and I got him at 9 weeks old. My Mom never allowed me to have any pets as a kid, since we visited family who all had farms with the various animals. She thought that would suffice. And actually, now that I'm on my own, and will turn 50 this year, I feel settled and grounded and established in my life's journey's to devote to a canine puppy. It's a ton of work and takes lots of committment; especially if you want your pup to get the best foundation...just like one would want for their human children. But it has been my pleasure to give my little guy (Weston) the best start in life; and he'll soon start therapy work and is one of the most popular beings in my neighborhood.

Posted by: Angela F | February 28, 2012 11:22 AM    Report this comment

I'm so with you on this! I tell people that I like puppies but I LOVE dogs. Our last addition was a 6 month old golden girl. Just enough puppy to be fun and old enough to be able to finish up some missing potty training in a hurry. As I watch her face mature into an adult dog (she'll be 2 in another month) I fall in love a little more every day. Her big brother is an almost 4 year old golden, who we adopted at 14 months. I love sleeping through the night.....

Posted by: Amy S | February 28, 2012 11:04 AM    Report this comment

I am a dog trainer and still love puppies. I must admit though that when I adopt a puppy it is very exciting until two weeks into the project during which I as wonder what in the world I was thinking adopting a pup.
Most of my dogs have entered my life as young puppies so I get tricked into it again and again. Apparently is doesn't result in a steep learning curve.
But here's the reward for the effort and time it took to raise an awesome dog. Last Spring I had to say goodbye to my 14 year old dog whom I adopted as an 8 week old puppy. I have seen every life stage of him, I knew him inside out. We could read each others mind. This Summer a new pup will pitter patter through the house, making me pull my hair out for a period of time until I can look back at his pictures wondering if I ever realized how cute he actually was.

Posted by: Wolfy | February 28, 2012 10:50 AM    Report this comment

Sarcasm I love it. Puppies are alot of work as should be most pets. They require attention just like children. Puppy love should last a lifetime. However having said that I'd like to propose that for every puppy we purchase or adopt it feeds the supply & demand chain. Next time think, before you react to that cute bundle of poop, chewed shoes and sleepless nights, about the number of adult and especially senior dogs awiating a home at the local shelter. I personally look into a face of grey, cataracts, warts and all and fall deeply in love. It's the homeless seniors who are so well trained and ready to please that make the best of pets. You've never known love until you've loved an old dog.

Posted by: Grey Muzzle | February 28, 2012 10:37 AM    Report this comment

We had a dog for a long time, then were without one for a long time too. We now have a puppy and we love it! Even if it seems to take forever to grow up, the puppy stage lasts a blink in time and is precious - warts and all, so to say. Enjoying the ride.

Posted by: Paula Z | February 28, 2012 10:11 AM    Report this comment

Ditto here on the "Puppy? No, thanks!" feelings -- occasional puppy-sitting for a fellow foster is enough to cure me any puppy lust :-D

And I hope this won't be considered advertising, but ... For anyone who IS getting a puppy, there's one resource I can't recommend highly enough -- Leslie McDevitt's brand-new "Control Unleashed: Puppy" book. It takes many of the components of the original "Control Unleashed" program and translates them into perfect-for-puppies form. I'm convinced that raising a "CU" puppy can help prevent a multitude of problems down the road.

Posted by: DancesWithWords | February 28, 2012 9:52 AM    Report this comment

Puppies like children are wonderful if you have lots of time, money and patience. After two children, and four puppies (over the past 25 years) we are out of money and left with time and patience.

Posted by: Lisa D | February 28, 2012 9:43 AM    Report this comment

I love puppies. My first two dogs came from the shelter and were six months old and five months old (10 years apart). But I am getting older, have less energy and less patience. I think next time I will rescue an older dog.

Posted by: ANN S | February 28, 2012 9:33 AM    Report this comment

Yup, I'm totally with you on puppies. Give me the adults and adolescents any day!

Posted by: Jennifer A | February 28, 2012 9:27 AM    Report this comment

Oh heavens no! No puppies wanted here. I'm with you-they are cute and adorable and I love to snuggle them at other peoples' houses. But at home, it's adult dogs only please!

Posted by: YIKMDLF | February 28, 2012 9:21 AM    Report this comment

I am getting a puppy in a few weeks. This will be my first since I was little. Both of my current dogs came to me during/after their show career, at a year old and 7 years old. Just leading up to the pup's arrival has been a learning experience! I discovered that in my collection of hundreds of dog books, not a single one had anything to do with puppies or basic training. My male loves his plush toys and takes great care of them (the older bitch couldn't care less about toys), so I had to start learning about all of the rubber toys, activity balls, and everything else out there that isn't quite so destructible. I'm dreading the potty training and chewing. I think it will all be worth it, though, to have a pup that I raised and was able to train from the beginning. The puppy breath and kisses will help a bit, too ;)

Posted by: Carstel | February 27, 2012 6:37 PM    Report this comment

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