They’re snuggly. They’re adorable. They’re impossibly tiny, little, fluff balls, and they’re invading your home, yet there’s nothing like the joy, love, and excitement a new puppy can bring to your family. into your household.
Along with that love and joy comes a ton of responsibility, so knowing what to expect can make your transition, and theirs, a bit smoother. Here are five common puppy behaviors to be on the lookout for.
Nipping and Chewing
There’s no way around it, puppies are prone to sinking their teeth into things- it’s one of the ways they explore their world. That doesn’t make it any less aggravating, or painful, when they nip at your fingers, or any less annoying when they chew your favorite shoes to shreds, but remember that although it may seem personal, it’s not. They’re learning and it’s your job to teach them how to behave.
When your puppy nips at you, quickly and firmly stop them, so they know it’s wrong. When they chew on inappropriate objects, try to correct and redirect by offering a toy or bone for them to gnaw on instead.
Teething and Losing Teeth
Speaking of teeth, did you know that puppies lose their baby teeth, just like children? It seems obvious, but some people don’t even know that’s a thing until their first puppy is deep in the throes of teething.
Losing teeth and growing new ones can be uncomfortable for your puppy, so you may see them more aggressively chewing, along with other signs such as red, inflamed or bleeding gums, drooling, bad breath, or increased fussiness and irritability. You can help them by offering teething toys or softening food, if needed. And don’t worry, the teething phase goes by quickly.
Potty Training and Housebreaking
One of the most challenging tasks for dogs and their human parents alike can be potty training or housebreaking. Dealing with accidents around the house can be stressful for both you and your puppy, but it can be hard for young dogs to understand how to notify you when they need to go outside or how to go on a potty pad to relieve themselves.
One key component to proper housebreaking is positive reinforcement. Every time your puppy successfully goes potty outside, it’s important to reward them with a treat. This helps them associate going potty outside with a positive response, so next time they’ll be motivated to continue practicing this good behavior.
Now let’s talk about one of our all-time favorite puppy quirks: the zoomies! If you haven’t had a puppy before, this may sound ridiculous to you, but hear us out.
Ever seen the Indy 500? You know how the cars race around the track at impossibly high speeds? Okay, so picture that, except replace the track with your home, and the cars with your puppy. These are the zoomies!
Out of the blue, puppies will get a burst of energy and careen around the room, the yard, or the house at breakneck speed. What to do about this puppy behavior? If your puppy is on a predictable zoomies schedule (many of them regularly get the urge at the same time of day or night), maybe move anything breakable out of the way. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the adorable and hilarious show!
Sometimes, the zoomies will use up so much energy that you might find your puppy passed out on the floor shortly afterwards. That’s not the only time puppies sleep though. Puppies, especially young ones, need ample time and space to sleep, both during the day and at night.
It can be easy for us, their humans, to get so carried away playing with them, taking them for walks, and showing off their cuteness, that we forget to give them a break. It’s important to have a calm, quiet, comfortable place available for your puppy to take a snooze whenever they need. They’re working hard to grow and learn, and naps are an important way for them to recharge.
Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for the whole family. We wish you and your new fur baby luck, laughter, and love as you learn each other’s behaviors and work to become one happy, united family!
If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:
5 Ways Getting A Puppy Changes Your Life
Dog Training Tips: The Secret To Canine Cooperation