New Arrival: Behaviour for Beginners

New Arrival: Behaviour for Beginners

Puppy Behaviour Basics

You can also download the Behavioural Basics Chart.

Shaking or crying at night.

Is it normal?

Yes. Absolutely.

Why is he acting this way?

Your new puppy has just left the warmth and security of his mum and little brothers and sisters. So you can understand that he may be feeling a little lonely and scared now that he is alone in his own bed.

Try this suggestion:

  • Keep puppy's crate in your bedroom for the first few nights if he won't stop crying. You could also try leaving him with a warm hot water bottle or a ticking clock (to mimic the warmth and heart beat of his mum).

Barking, barking, barking. (And more barking.)

Is it normal?

Yes, though some breeds bark more than others.

Why is he acting this way

Barking really is normal puppy behaviour. He may be bored, happy, scared, hungry or he may simply want to get your attention.

Try these suggestions:

    While barking is normal, if you feel that your puppy is barking excessively, try to figure out the reasons behind his behavior before trying to train him not to bark.
  • If you believe he may simply be in need of stimulation, give him a puppy safe toy to keep him occupied and entertained.

Biting just about everything.

Is it normal?

Yes. Puppy biting is completely natural and one part of the growing up process.

Why is he acting this way?

There's a good chance he's just teething. At this stage, Puppies love to sink their teeth into just about anything.

Try these suggestions:

  • Start training your puppy early on to stop or minimize this behaviour, and you will have the most success. The best tip is to encourage desired behaviour, and reasonable discourage unacceptable behaviour.
  • Give him his own toys to deter him from chewing your possessions
  • Always replace your possessions from his mouth with his own toys, and praise him for chewing the right ones
  • Avoid 'tug-of-war' games

Jumping up.

Is it normal?

Yes.

Why is he acting this way?

He's probably excited and trying to be affectionate.

Try these suggestions:

  • First, teach your dog to sit; every time he jumps, give him the sit command to prevent him from jumping.
  • If he continues to jump, push him down and away and give him a 'Down' command or make a loud noise when he's about to jump followed by praise and petting if he doesn't jump.
  • You can also try this one: when you come home, give your dog a 'sit' command and reward him with a treat; soon enough, he'll be sitting pretty every time you walk through the front door - and best of all, he'll be less likely to jump up on your guests.

Going to the bathroom inside.

Is it normal?

Yes.

Why is he acting this way?

He's got a small bladder and bowel. And he doesn’t quite understand what is acceptable behaviour inside the house.

Try these suggestions:

  • Take your Puppy out as often as possible, and praise and reward him when he performs.
  • Though accidents can happen for young puppies, don't scold him if he makes a mistake in the house - unless you catch him in the act. Otherwise, try to train him to urinate and defecate on command. As he performs, add words you choose, such as 'be quick' or 'busy.' Your dog will then build up an association of the word with the action, and feel good.
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