We got our gorgeous canine companion over 5 months ago and whilst there have been countless highs to owning a Cavapoo puppy, there have also been a few lows. Getting a puppy involves huge lifestyle changes so it is not unusual to experience what some people term as the ‘puppy blues’.
What are the puppy blues? It is normal for new puppy owners to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of owning a new dog, and this is often referred to as the “puppy blues”. No matter how prepared you were for owning a puppy, the expectation vs reality can get you down.
We all experience that instant feeling of love when our little furry friends look imploringly at us with their wide innocent eyes, tilt their curly head to one side in unsaid agreement or climb on to our laps for a cossetted cuddle. After all, these are all the reasons that made us want to get a Cavapoo puppy in the first place.
However, even the most prepared owner can find themselves a few months into puppy ownership questioning if getting a dog was the right thing to do. If you suspect that you might have the puppy blues, then don’t panic! You’re definitely not alone, and it won’t last forever. Here we explain more.
New puppy stress syndrome
Most people prepare for the first few weeks of owning a puppy, so understand, appreciate and expect toileting accidents, sleepless nights and play biting. But quite often, 3-4 months later, and with little respite, the puppy regret may start to set in.
Afterall it is not always easy to juggle the needs of a small puppy with the stresses and strain of everyday life and training intentions can often slip.
A lack of sleep, feeling out of control when it comes to certain situations and anxiety around whether we are doing the right things, can all lead to resentment towards our new furry friends.
When does having a puppy get easier?
Quite often you will find that life with your puppy only starts to become enjoyable when you accept that the reality does not always live up to the expectation.
There are some really challenging aspects to owning a Cavapoo, but if you start your puppy training from the day your dog arrives then it won’t take long for new, positive, behaviors to set in. For example:
Toilet training – Most puppies can toilet train in a matter of months however it can take some dogs up to 6 months to be accident free. This depends on a lot of factors including where your puppy spent their first few weeks (i.e./indoors or out) as learnt behvior is hard to shake. For more information on how to toilet train your Cavapoo, read our informative blog.
Sleep training – Sleep is one of the major culprits for the puppy blues. If your puppy isn’t sleeping enough (around 14-16 hours a day) then it is likely to get frustrated. And if you are not sleeping then your tolerance levels are likely to wane. The age a pup can sleep through the night will vary, but with persistent training they should learn to self-settle and sleep through the night in the space of a few months. You just need to remain calm, tolerant, and consistent in your training.
Play biting – Biting is part of the course of owning a puppy. It is a natural instinct and is often used to release the pressure of puppy teething. And whilst it is impossible to train a dog not to bite overnight, you can teach it to decrease its bite pressure and ultimately redivert your puppy’s bite attention onto something else. Just try to remember that most dogs will be through the teething phase by 8 months of age. If you would like to know more about how to stop your Cavapoo from biting then check out our training guide.
Lead pulling – Loose lead walking feels like the holy grail of training yet seems impossible to achieve. Trust me, our puppy still prefers to walk on her back legs and can’t stand the thought of anyone being in front of her! But, with constant training, no distractions and plenty of rewards the benefits to walking without lead tension are worth the wait.
Learning to live happily with your Cavapoo
It is important not to get upset if your puppy hasn’t quite mastered each milestone yet. Every dog is different and unfortunately, puppies don’t work to specific timetables. Placing expectations on your puppy will just set you up all for failure.
Here are a few top tips to help you combat the puppy blues and bond with your dog:
- Use plenty of chews, toys and games as they not only help you connect with your puppy but can divert attention away from destructive behavior. They are also good to use as a reward to reinforce positive training techniques.
- Limit the amount of time you spend at home with your puppy – the last thing you want is a wired puppy crashing around your home. Instead take them to parks where they can stretch their legs, socialize with other dogs and enjoy longer bursts of play whilst giving you time to practice on their recall.
- The “puppy blues” are likely to come and go as your Cavapoo passes through different life phases but it is important to remember that it does get easier. By the time your dog hits maturity at 2 years of age you will realise what a fab job you have done and what a great companion you have.
Rehoming your dog
Whilst rehoming your dog should always only ever be considered as a final resort, if you are seriously struggling with the responsibilities of owning a puppy and it goes way beyond the puppy blues, then you should look at the rehoming options in your area.
Puppies require a lot of time, patience, and commitment and sometimes, the best option from a welfare point of view is to find an alternative suitable home where your puppy can flourish.
Welcoming a puppy into your life is a wonderful thing, but these little bundles of fur do have a tendency to turn your world upside down (if only for a few months). In order to combat the puppy blues, you should seek to put your energy and love into teaching your puppy how to cope with life inside and outside the home.
And remember, there is no harm in seeking support, especially in those first few months in order to prevent the puppy blues – afterall you have dog adolescence to come next!!