Disappointed with my dog

If I had known that …. if I could go back … it is disappointing … it is a lot of work … I miss the peace … I had not realized that … I didn’t know… I had a completely different view… it’s really a handful… you’re so stuck with it…

A whole series of statements that we regularly hear from people who have a puppy or young dog. Expectations are sometimes far from reality. How is that possible?


Just as it goes with expectations we project on ourselves (your figure must be a size 38, your skin must be smooth and flawless, your house must be able to live in VT), the media also plays a role in our expectations of dogs.

Dogs are cuddly, good, sweet, obedient and especially puppies are just sooooo cute! A dog in the house stands for coziness and wonderful walks in a sun-drenched park, where your dog plays wonderfully with fellow animals. And then sleep at home in his basket.

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The reality

In commercials, a cute puppy steals a roll of toilet paper. Well, it can happen. In reality, your pup has peed and pooped, pulled the roll of toilet paper through it, then shredded it and mixed your shoes and houseplants with it. And you don’t see it until you get home and look forward to a little walk and then plop down on the couch.

And then you spend an hour cleaning up puppy poop and pee, mixed with soil and shoes. That is not nice. Not really.

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Know what you get

One dog is not the other! If you’re looking forward to wonderful walks with your dog playing with other dogs, your expectations are more likely to be fulfilled with a golden retriever puppy than with a crossbreed shepherd.

No, unfortunately, it’s not just “how you raise them.” There are also genetic preferences! If you expect a nice playmate for your 12-year-old son, play soccer together, romp around… then an average Shih Tzu is not a good idea.

which breed suits us

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And what about the upbringing?

Like I said, parenting isn’t everything. But without training, all dogs just aren’t that much fun. And parenting is hard work in the beginning! The onset is not just the first 2 weeks, nor the first 2 months.

Basic education lasts approximately the first 2 YEARS. After that, you can switch to a ‘maintenance dose’ or with some breeds you have to switch to sports and work with your dog.

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It’s so much work

The expectations of the nice walks, cuddling, and playing usually don’t go so far that you already think about the times when you have to go for a walk when the weather is really bad and you are actually too busy to walk really long. But it has to.

Dogs especially love to cuddle if they’ve just rolled in a mud puddle. And you get that mud in your house too. Just like puke, pee, and poop. Not always, but if your dog has diarrhea or a bladder infection. Did you already think about that?

dog gives a lot of work

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Now, of course, if you decide today that you actually want a dog, and the dog will be there within a week, you haven’t really had the time to think it through.

Unfortunately, we have seen this picture more often than usual during the corona period. Yes, now we are at home a lot, let’s get a dog. Instead of first thinking carefully about which dog suits you, getting acquainted with different breeds and breeders, many a puppy buyer ended up at bread breeding. And they will not draw your attention to the disadvantages of having a dog!

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What if it fails?

Then of course you can think ‘well, I wasn’t smart… but we’re going for it!’ And then you will educate yourself, do your best to let your dog grow towards your expectations. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t.

If not, you may want to rehome your dog. There is nothing wrong with that, rehoming is better than having your dog living in a family that is almost only annoyed by the dog. And it may also be the case that this dog does not fit into this family.

give away dog

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Get rid of that dog!

Sometimes a dog is also thrown away without trying to make the best of it first. Because he barks, doesn’t potty train fast enough, doesn’t listen, or otherwise doesn’t live up to the expectations of a perfect dog.

This often goes through Marktplaats (sometimes even free to collect) or the dog ends up in a shelter. Sometimes a dog is dumped, this can be done in all kinds of ways. Putting them on the street, tying them up at a shelter, or taking them to the shelter as a ‘foundling’. And sometimes a dog that doesn’t live up to expectations comes to an end in a not-so-great way.

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How could this be prevented?

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, think about expectations and reality. Talk to people who have a young dog. Offer yourself as a dog sitter. Invest time in figuring out which dog is best for you. Talk to several owners and breeders about the type of dog you like. And if they say that breed isn’t right for you… then listen to it.


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