Bella arrived on Friday evening and everyone was so excited, however, I will preface the next paragraph (or ten) by saying no judgement please and just need sage words and/or advice.
Were I to do this again (getting another dog, of any kind) I would not get one from so far away. A few things that have me miffed about the breeder first of all...is lack of communication. I had questions that were not answered and when they were I think they were done so in a snippy fashion. Although through e-mail things like this can be misunderstood. I had the dog flown to me across country. Was charged $45 bucks for the crate and $50 for a "health certificate". The dog did not come with second shots and the ones that were given were given by breeder. Puppy was "never to a vet" other than for the "health certificate". I was also told the dog weighed 5 lbs, and with the crate, the shipping weight would be aprox 20 lbs.
Well Bella gets here and everyone is happy. Sadly I note the $45 dollar crate was old and used. (rusty hardware, nicks, scuffed up.) The $50 bucks for the health certificate was merely a paper stating the dog was healthy enough to fly on a plane along with a signature from the vet. A quick trip to the scale with myself and dog quickly determined what I already knew without even weighing her...she was certainly not 5 lbs! She was more like 12! Supposedly she is 13 weeks, if that is even true. The first evening we also noted red eyes and discharge. Next morning they were less red but some green discharge. *sigh* Used common sense and have been wiping with saline...all is well now. What upsets me the most is I contacted the breeder with my concerns...even sent pics of the puppy at home...and no response. Email was sent out Saturday. We are now at Tuesday. I'm just hoping at this point that we actually get her "papers". Obviously despite all this...we are moving on. Money paid...water under the bridge.
Now we are trying to get through routines. The pup was living in a kennel, so came with absolutely no knowledge of house training and has probably never even been in a house. Bella also came from a different time zone. 3 hours doesn't seem like much, but it is. :) I also haven't seen my cats in days. LOL They have completely vacated the area for the exception of a couple mad dashes to the litter box and food bowl. :(
I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm frazzled. I'm stressed. I'm feeling the "buyers remorse". Its terrible but its true. I've read articles online and talked to many family and friends and they say it will get better. Everyone goes through it. I'm just far from feeling like "It will be okay!" I can say that today has been better than the last 4...but then the "accidents" start occurring again. haha I just feel like one step forward and then another one back.
Despite my own Post-Puppum-Depression....dog is/seems healthy. Family is happy. I need to move on, just having trouble.
Can anyone sympathize? Have you been here yourself? :/
I know where I went wrong. My "strike while the iron is hot" attitude toward getting this dog was pretty much being impulsive. And we all have had experience with doing things on impulse. It is not something I will do again. Bella is actually great in her crate. My schedule dictates an early bedtime. I get her situated and last call is 8 pm. She is in her crate at that time and out in the morning by 5:30 or 6. No messes...no whining. Really no issues with crate at all. I believe my OCD personality :) is getting the better of me here. Ultimately the messes in the house and breaking of my own personal routine (trying to fit a dog into my life) is what has me on edge. I guess the only cure for both of these things is time. In time she will be housebroken and in time she will be part of the family and things will flow...its just hard for me to see it right now.
It is a big deal to have a puppy in the house. The first year really interferes with the rest of your life. They can be so much fun, though; everything is a new delight for them and it's wonderful to watch their personality unfold as they mature.
Teach the whole family to cut bottoms of snack bacgs and keep garbage locked up. Babyproof the house. Watch your guests.
If the crate is too big, I cut out a plywood partition and screwed it to a wooden cross-bar that went through the window bars. I moved it back as puppy grew.
Very glad your puppy is healthy! Puppyhood is very difficult but rewarding so start reading all you can about having a new puppy. She is a baby in a strange place and doesn't yet know the language so be as kind and patient as possible. Remember at her age any accidents in the house are your mistake not hers, she is still learning. She will only be a puppy for a little while so enjoy it and sign her up for classes as soon as she is old enough. I think most of us have made similar mistakes but the important thing is to accept responsibility.
I'm not sure that accidents are the owners fault...but I know they are not the dogs fault too. They are no ones fault really. I can have Bella out for 20 minutes...she will even pee. Bring her back in, and 5 minutes later she's going on the floor. :) I did everything the way I should, but the accidents still occur.
Yes. Same here. I'm still fine tuning the communication between me and Sky (19 wks). When in doubt, take him out, is my motto. Lots of "two steps forward, one step back" in the housebreaking department, but we're getting there. You're wise to realize that in time, things will flow more smoothly. Puppies are great teachers of patience, consistency...and forgiveness. ;) Hang in there, one day at a time.
If I remember correctly I paid $16-$18 for the health certificate for flying. I won't ship my pups so people have to fly in to pick them up so I can't help with the rest. I think she made some $ on you and I'm sure others to. Did you read any reviews or references on her? Talk to her? She should want to have her pups in a good home and ask questions of you too. You didn't get the AKC certificate yet? What about a contract?
I did get references. A friend and past "customer" as well as her vet. I did talk to her and she was very thorough...asked many questions of me and allowed me the same. She sent a "Puppy Pack" which included a very nice booklet that she put together regarding general care and training, as well as a record of shots, and wormer given. She also included feeding amounts/schedules and a label she cut from a food bag, so that I could purchase a comparable food. There was no contract. Her health guarantee is for hereditary problems only. (anything genetic, she replaces the dog, but no refund) The dog was shipped and she states she is sending the papers through the mail. The filing is at my cost. She states aprox $30 to register the dog. It was very apparent that she made some money off of me. I'm not surprised. I'm sure she wants to make some money for her trouble. Just think a used crate was rude...especially for 45 bucks.
I wasn't going to register Sky with AKC but they offered a free vet visit with registration, and our local top-notch vet was the provider, so I went for it. I think it was $25, and the vet usually charges $50 for the first visit, so it was worth it.
Almost all health guarantees are for genetic problems only. That is standard. Also, it's normal for the puppy buyer to pay the registration fee. The breeder registers the litter, but the owner registers the actual puppy.
A new crate usually costs considerably more than $45. I think we spent closer to $70 for Jack's, and a bit less for Maddie's; ours are wire crates though and not suitable for flying.
I can understand your frustration on some points, but honestly several of the issues you have raised are just pretty standard.
A puppy is a huge adjustment and it's normal to feel overwhelmed by it all. I got Ein last summer as an adult. She came from a lovely breeder whom she had lived with her whole life and was perfectly well behaved and trained---and yet! I was still really frazzled the first few weeks I had her! I remember after I'd had her in the house for about 20 minutes and thinking to myself, "Heh heh ok, just kidding, I don't want a dog anymore". And I totally understand about the cats---I cried for about 3 days because I thought my cats' lives were ruined. But the cats got over it, and are now fine with Ein, and Ein is the doggy love of my life. I couldn't imagine my life without her.
Just stick to a housebreaking routine. Keep her tethered to you while you're in the house so she can't sneak off to pee somewhere. All change in activities will require a potty break. Read the FAQ on housebreaking.
Buying a first-time puppy from a long-distance breeder is not how I would have done things, but it sounds like it could have been a lot worse. I would cut your losses and focus on bonding with your new girl. Has she been to your vet yet? I'd get her checked out ASAP if you haven't already.