How Do I Know If My Puppy’s Behavior is Normal?

puppy chewing owner's bootGetting a puppy is a fun new and exciting, but sometimes it can be hard to expect with his behaviors. If this is your first dog, you might not know what behaviors are normal and which aren’t. If you’re a recent puppy-parent, keep reading for everything you need to know about how to know if your puppy’s behavior is normal.

Most Common Behavior Problems

Dogs are wired to have certain instincts, but keeping those instincts in check is crucial for the pet to behave well with a family. Here are some common behaviors that might need some management.

Chewing

Dogs explore the world through taste and smell, so chewing is a natural behavior for them. When your puppy is chewing, it is examining its surroundings. Chewing can also be a soothing activity during the puppy’s teething phase. Chewing can become a problem if the dog starts doing it out of boredom or attention-seeking. Providing your dog with chew toys will let him know that chewing is ok, but only on the toy.

Digging

Dogs instinctually dig for several reasons. Primarily, dogs have used digging to get rid of branches and leaves when looking for a place to sleep. You may have seen your dog “dig” around his bed or blankets to make a comfy spot to snooze. Digging becomes abnormal if it is obsessive or due to anxiety or boredom. Exercising your dog more can help release some of that digging energy. If you have space, consider a small sandbox or plot of the yard to dedicate as a dogs-only digging site where you can bury treats or toys for him to find.

Barking

One of the biggest complaints of new pet owners is that barking can become disruptive and annoying, especially at night. Barking is normal for dogs, but if it becomes excessive or happens late at night, you’ll want to figure out what your dog is trying to tell you. He could be barking out of anxiety from the night noises or is merely bored. Try speaking in a soothing voice to let him know there’s no reason to be worried. If he is barking from excitement, he may need more exercise. Crate training may also help.

Biting

Biting is common in dog play, especially for puppies. But if you find that your dog is biting past the puppy stage or is biting out of aggression or fear, he might benefit from obedience training. Early socialization with people and other dogs can sometimes prevent this type of behavior.

Is My Puppy’s Behavior Normal?

Your puppy has likely shown some of the behaviors above, but the good news is that it’s probably normal. Like a small child, puppies are full of curiosity. They can’t properly communicate what they need, so they use barking, nipping, or chewing. So how do you know if the behavior is crossing a line? If the action isn’t hurting anyone or is only mildly annoying, it’s probably normal. What is abnormal is when those behaviors become disruptive or destructive.

Contact Argos Dog Training

Does your puppy have some bad behavior that’s interrupting your family’s life? If you’re unsure if your puppy’s behavior is normal or needs correcting, our expert dog trainers are here to assist. At Argos Dog Training, we offer group classes and private training sessions that can help you get your puppy trained and well-behaved in no time. View our list of dog training classes in Boston, and give us a call today at 617-302-7467 to get started!