Puppies are weird and wonderful. They’re brand new to the world and they spend a lot of their time just trying to figure things out.
As a new puppy parent, you might be wondering what’s normal – and what’s not. Here are six scary things puppies do…that are nothing to worry about.
1. Follow You Everywhere
Is your puppy your shadow? If your new pup won’t leave your side, don’t panic. Even though it might seem she’s got some kind of anxiety issue, she’s probably just looking to you as the “pack leader” to show her the ropes of life. As long as your dog doesn’t seem perpetually distressed or upset, it’s probably nothing to worry about. Once she gets a little older she’ll feel more comfortable exploring on her own.
2. Eat Too Much
Have you ever watched your puppy eat, and then eat some more, and then eat again, and then beg you for more food until you relent? Does watching your puppy eat vaguely remind you of a vacuum cleaner? Don’t stress. Puppies have huge appetites and they’re constantly going through growth spurts. Try to stick to your dog food’s recommended daily servings and be sure you buy a puppy formulation that’s got extra nutrients just for growing dogs.
3. Show “Aggressive” Behavior
Aggressive behavior in puppies isn’t the same as aggressive behavior in adult dogs. Puppies nip. They growl, they bark, and they “attack” during play. They’re still just figuring things out. As long as your puppy shows signs of remorse when you reprimand her and trends towards less aggressive behavior with positive reinforcement, it’s normal behavior. If the aggression gets stronger or more serious? Consult a canine behaviorist sooner rather than later to nip early issues in the bud.
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4. Freak Out When You Leave
Separation anxiety is the real deal. Many, many puppies suffer from pretty obvious separation anxiety at first, especially those who came from an environment with lots of other people or dogs around. If your puppy absolutely loses it when you leave for work, take precautionary measures. Crate training is essential, as is working with a dog walker to stop by at least once a day. You might consider leaving on the TV or even investing in a digital treat-dispenser to help stay connected while you’re away. The separation anxiety should subside over time.
5. Ignore Your Calls
Does your puppy ignore your calls and commands to the point you worry she might be deaf? There’s probably no need to be distressed: puppies take longer than you think to learn commands! Practice makes perfect, and positive reinforcement is the best way to get your dog to reliably return to your calls. If you notice your pup doesn’t start to respond more regularly or doesn’t even seem to be startled by loud noises, then it’s time to talk to your vet.
6. Sleep Excessively
Man, is your puppy ever tired. Worried she might be suffering from some kind of illness? Sleeping too much has to be a bad sign of something, right? And when she’s out, she’s out! Puppies can actually spend anywhere from 18-20 hours sleeping every day. They’re growing a lot, and don’t forget how much energy they expend running around and firing those brain synapses!