10 Behaviours to Look for in a New Puppy - Expert Advice
So you got a new puppy for Christmas or as a new year present and you can’t get enough of him/her! The cute nose, tiny adorable bark, the trotting back and forth, the sleepy behavior… it’s all just so addictively cute! I mean… who doesn't love puppies? They are cuddly, and full of love. New puppies bring joy, fun, and laughter to our lives. New puppies make us smile from their adorable little faces and wagging tails to their playful antics and unconditional love. This is why they have become such a popular pet in recent years. Not only do they provide companionship but they also help ease stress levels and give us a sense of purpose. But hey, you are a new pet mom/dad… and there are some things you have to totally lookout for as you start raising your cute bundle of joy. Yes, they are just like babies.
New puppies typically engage in activities such as exploring their environment, playing with toys, and learning basic commands and behaviors from their owners. They may also spend a lot of time sleeping and napping as they grow and develop. Additionally, puppies will need to be trained and socialized to help them become well-behaved and well-adjusted adult dogs. Here are a few behaviors experts lined up to get you started on what to look out for.
- Chewing: Puppies will naturally want to chew on things as they explore their environment and begin to teethe. Similar to how babies need certain items introduced to them as they teethe. Teething can be an exciting and challenging time for any puppy. As a puppy owner, it is important to understand what to do when your pup goes through this process. It's important to provide them with appropriate chew toys and to discourage them from chewing on household items.
- Jumping: Puppies may jump up on people as a way of expressing excitement or seeking attention. This behavior can be discouraged by teaching them the "off" command and rewarding them for sitting calmly.
- Digging: Some puppies have a strong instinct to dig, which can be channeled into digging in designated areas or with specific toys. They are more likely seeking entertainment, attention, comfort, escape, prey or protection. You could always make the digging zone attractive by burying safe items (such as toys) for them to discover, and when they dig in the digging zone, reward them with praise.
- Barking: Puppies may bark excessively out of excitement, fear, or boredom. Training and proper socialization can help prevent excessive barking. You might need to be patient for this one! Stay silent and don't give them eye contact. As much as possible, completely ignore them and stay still, until they stop.
- Nipping: Puppies may nip or bite as a form of play or as a way of exploring their environment. It's important to teach them bite inhibition and to discourage them from biting people or other animals.
- Elimination: Puppies need to be taken outside frequently to prevent accidents in the house. Consistency and patience are key in housebreaking a puppy. Remember, they are jumpy and excited about this whole new world around them, so it’s best to be keen to walk them often.
- Potty training: Potty training is an important aspect of puppy ownership. Consistency and patience are key when it comes to teaching your puppy where to go to the bathroom. Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.
- Separation anxiety: Some puppies may experience separation anxiety when left alone, which can manifest as destructive behavior, excessive barking or whining, or other forms of distress. This behavior can be addressed through training, socialization, and desensitization to being alone.
- Biting: Playful biting is a common behavior in puppies, but it's important to teach your puppy that biting humans is not acceptable. This can last typically 3-4 months, so the best thing to do would be to exercise your dog. Now, I don’t mean just a leisurely walk… I mean a structured game of fetch, tug, or other play to rid your pup of its energy.
- Socialization: It's important to expose your puppy to a variety of people, places, and experiences to help them develop into well-adjusted adult dogs.
It's important to remember that puppies are learning and growing, and that positive reinforcement training and consistency are key to addressing any unwanted behaviors. While this is true, keep in mind as well that certain behaviors are normal for their age and stage. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, most behavior issues can be resolved. Remember to always have a comfortable place for them to sleep. The best take would be to buy a woven dog bed basket to for them to take naps and relax in. You don't have to look so far, our shop has a couple to choose from!
Consult a professional trainer if you need help with training your puppy.