4 Behaviors to Look Out for in Your New Puppy
Bringing a new puppy home is exciting. From buying everything you think they will need, to making sure your home is a safe environment is a great experience. New and experienced dog owners can get sidetracked by their emotions with a new fur baby and miss the signs of potential behavior issues should be addressed sooner rather than later. The following are four behaviors to be aware of with your puppy that will help lessen issues as they grow.
Let's get straight to the point with this one. Chewing is something that all puppies do - A LOT. Although chewing is a basic need for puppies, they are not aware of why they need to do it. Chewing has benefits during a puppies growth stages. It not only strengthens their jaws, but also minimizes tartar and plaque buildup on their teeth, helps reduce stress, and helps soothe teething pain.
As a new dog parent, you have to understand that you can't stop a puppy from chewing, it's impossible. You have to teach them what is acceptable to chew and what is not - and it involves a lot of patience.
Puppies, just like children grow tired of playing with the same toy(s) all the time. Keeping a fresh selection of toys available helps with the short attention span and toy boredom. Additionally, puppies (really dogs in general) are drawn to items with their owners scent. This is one of the reasons why one shoe is frequently seen without its match in a home with a new puppy.
Using firm commands (avoid yelling or shouting) with your puppy and removing the item they are chewing on will help them learn what is acceptable and what is not. It is a good idea to have one of their chew toys nearby to help distract them from what they aren't supposed to be chewing on, and give them is acceptable to chew on.
Contrary to popular belief, potty training a puppy can be fairly easy. While your puppy is in the potty training phase, there are a few things to be mindful of with potty training and behavior problems.
Puppies have the tendency to urinate inside the house due to anxiety, timidness, and even stress. Loud noises such as thunder or even being anxious around new people or other animals can cause your pooch to pee indoors. It's important that you recognize these issues and calmly handle the situation. Yelling or shouting at your puppy will not resolve these issues and can cause potty training to take more time.
Whether you are crate training your puppy or teaching them to go outside, dedicating time to supervising and potty training your puppy can shorten his/her learning time.
A puppy is going to guard their food, toys, treats, etc. It is a natural behavior. However, letting it occur without addressing it can lead to bigger issues in the future.
Teaching your puppy to let go of what they are playing with or holding using a simple command such as 'Leave It' is important. Learning this as a puppy will make it easier for you to stop them from trying to chase animals on walks and will help prevent them from chewing items they aren't supposed to be chewing.
Utilizing training commands to stop your dog from becoming possessive will help curb their aggression as they grow. Similar to chewing and potty training, be patient and consistent. After all, they are still learning as they grow.
If you new puppy starts acting erratic or hysterical when you leave the home or aren't in their line of sight, they may be suffering from canine separation anxiety. It is difficult to tell the difference if your puppy has separation anxiety or just get a little nervous when they can't see you.
It is perfectly normal for a puppy to whine or cry when left alone for a short period of time. After all, if they were alone in the wild, they would do the same thing. There is no short, quick answer to determining if your puppy truly has separation anxiety. As they grow and become more mature, and self-confident, this behavior should start to go away.
If you notice the anxiety, or nervousness continues (or gets worse) as they get older, proper training techniques and toys can help with the issue.
It's worth noting that you don't have to tackle the training alone. Signing up for training classes when your puppy can be around other dogs helps reduce short- and long-term behavior problems. Being patient and consistent parent of a new puppy will help your fur baby learn their new world and will strengthen the bond between the two of you.