Those rolly-polly bodies and adorable faces, what’s not to like about puppies? If you have adopted a new puppy, it’s definitely an exciting time in your household. Puppies are full of curiosity and energy, and never seem lax on trying to figure out everything in their surroundings. These playful babies are certainly swoon-worthy, but sometimes behaviors arise that aren’t exactly adorable.
As your puppy develops and grows into an adolescent, there are some behaviors to watch out for during their training and socialization. Your team at Brodie Animal Hospital is here to explain.
6 Puppy Behaviors to Discourage
Puppies, as they develop, begin to exhibit behaviors that are instinctual or adapted to their socialization and environment. Without the right guidance they can develop destructive behaviors that become harmful as they grow older.
Watch out for the following puppy behaviors that should be redirected early on.
- Excessive mouthing – Mouthing is a normal behavior in young pups as they form their adult teeth. Puppies will sometimes nip and mouth as a form of play, which can result in an injury, especially if they think it’s allowed around kids. Give your puppy plenty of safe, durable chew toys and redirect them from mouthing you or others.
- Separation anxiety – Puppies need to learn that they are safe when you are not around. If each time you leave the room, they howl and cry, they may begin a lifelong problem of anxiety whenever you leave. We recommend crating your pup from an early age, getting them adjusted to an hour or two alone. Reinforce that positives by leaving their meal in the crate, a soft blanket, toys, and treats.
- Accidents or spraying – If you’ve been working with your pet over an extended period of time on housetraining, only to have them continue to pee inside, you have a problem. This means your training didn’t stick somehow, so it’s time for a refresher course. Speak to the team at Brodie for some tips. Most puppies need crate training, where they learn that their den is not a place to potty. Supervise your pet while you are housetraining them by keeping them next to you and taking them out often.
- Aggressive behavior – At first, a small dog trying to behave like a bully may be comical, but as they get older this behavior can become dangerous. Discourage aggression in your puppy by avoiding play that mimics fighting or biting. If your pet is bullying another animal or is growling or snapping at you or others, they may be fearful and require additional socialization skills. Aggression may also indicate pain, so a thorough examination of your puppy should be the first approach. We can also consult with you on your pet’s aggression and how to train them for confidence and good behavior.
- Excessive barking – Barking is most dogs’ way of communicating what they need from you. It could be food, a warning about a stranger or an animal, play barking, or because they need attention. If a puppy learns that they get their needs met immediately following a bark, they may learn to do this for everything. Ignore barking by redirecting the puppy to something that distracts them from the object. Give your puppy plenty of exercise and attention to avoid boredom or lack of enrichment.
- Resource guarding – Dogs instinctively want to protect coveted items, but this instinct can turn into aggression and anxiety if not discouraged early on. Pups may want to guard food, a favorite toy, their bed, and even you or another family member. Failure to correct this behavior can turn into a bite or other form of aggression as they grow into an adult.
If any of these behaviors cannot be solved through training and socialization, we recommend that you speak to your veterinarian or consult a professional dog trainer for the right solution.
Questions About Puppy Behaviors?
There is nothing more wonderful than watching your new puppy grow into a well behaved, sweet adult dog. Your approach to teaching your dog the rules play a big part of your pet’s behaviors later in life. If you need some help dealing with new puppy training, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can’t wait to meet your new little one!