Puppies are the cutest beings ever and can make even the hardest person melt! But there are some behaviours that these adorable little puppers can exhibit which need to be looked out for. They can range from curiosity to aggression. Understanding puppy behaviour enables you to handle the situation better and use the right kind of training techniques to put your concerns at ease. Here are the top 7 dog behaviours you should be looking out for when you have a puppy at home.
Read Puppy Behaviour by their Body Language
Canine body language is not only a fascinating topic to study, but it’s also key to understanding how puppies communicate with each other and their pet parents. It can be used to identify moods and emotions, or even provide clues as to whether or not they are feeling well. This article will help teach you how to read puppy body language in order to get a better understanding of them!
What do their eyes say?
Most pet owners confuse droopy eyes for sadness or boredom but it actually means the contrary. When your little pup gives you the droopy eye, they are only trying to say that they are happy in your company and are enjoying the petting session quite a bit. It’s their own cute way of saying they are feeling pleasure when you are petting them. However, if you find that they have constant droopy lower eyelids. redness and inflammation and excessive tearing - these might indicate that they have an eye infection, in which case, they should be taken to the vet for an examination.
At times, if your pup is averting his gaze or avoiding eye contact, it might mean that they are submitting to something or going through stress. Pups whose eyes are alert and wide open or staring hard at something might mean that they are up for the challenge and are trying to assert dominance.
What do their ears say?
Puppies have a variety of ear movements that show different emotions. When they are relaxed, their ears are often upright and slightly to the side. However, when they are excited, their ears go forward and back at the same time. When the ears move slightly forward but remain raised or erect, they may be alert or attentive. When the ears are flat, the dog may be feeling scared, uncertain or aggressive. But when the ears droop down and back against the head it can indicate a tired or sad pup.
Reading their mouth movements
If your pup is active and their mouth is partially open with their tongue wagging about outside, it indicates that they are playful, relaxed and happy. You might sometimes find your puppy grinning with their lips pulled apart and this might be a submissive grin; a tactic dogs use to shut off aggression from another individual, either human or canine. You might find them doing this when the pup is trying to interact with a new canine or human. It’s quite the opposite when you see them pulling their lips upward to show their canines, which clearly means that they are showing aggression and dominance over the other creature.
Puppy behaviour according to their posture
The posture of a dog speaks volumes about their state of mind or their behavioural pattern. If your pup is out and about with his body erect and his head high, it shows that they are confident and not threatened by their surroundings. You may also find them showing their dominance by pushing other pups by bumping or leaning. If your pup is feeling threatened or insecure, they are most likely to cover down their body and their head with their ears flat and their tails tucked. You may also find them rolling over and exposing their belly when they are around you, which says that they trust you and are comfortable in their space.
Fur, an indicator of puppy body language
Quite similar to humans, a dog’s fur can indicate what is happening in their heads. You may observe that a dog that is either threatened, aggressive or on high alert will have their fur stand out , especially along the spine. This is also known as piloerection, where the fur fluffs up all the way to the tail indicating that the pup is excited, or extremely curious about something.
The most tell-tale signs are shown through a pup’s tail. You may have noticed your pup’s tail portion and the back of their body moving or wiggling with excitement when you come home or when you greet them. This wiggling shows that they are extremely excited to see you and thrilled to be in your company. However, a wagging tail doesn’t necessarily mean that the pup is happy and friendly all the time, but can mean different things that has to be considered with the rest of the body language too. If you notice them wagging their tails slowly in anticipation, this may mean they are expecting something or contemplating some move whereas a tail that is high upwards and wagging may mean they are getting aggressive or getting a signal of impending danger.
Puppy Behaviour Stages
The teething process in puppies start when they are around three weels old. This also means that they can get more aggressive by gnawing and chewing anything they come across. This behaviour usually reduces once their adult teeth develop between ages 3-6 months. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, you should definitely get them a teething toy or a healthy chewing treat (this will also keep their teeth free from plaque and tartar and their breath fresh) which will ensure all their aggression is challenged towards the treat hence reducing random chewing of objects here and there.
A good time to expose them to broader boundaries is around the age of 4-6 weeks. This age is when they exhibit an adventurous streak and when they want to wander off and explore new places on their own. This is a great time to take them to a park or the closest pet resort where they get a chance to socialize and meet other dogs, humans and children.
This is when you may face challenges when your pup is growing and showing independence and assertion. You may expect episodes where they disobey your command and runs off to explore newer territories. You may also have to reiterate ground rules inside the house to remind them of what they are supposed to obey. By the end of 6-8 months, they are more at ease with the role they play in the household. This is when they get comfortable and settled and you can pretty much understand your dog’s behaviour and their moods.
The ideal age for training is during 4-5 weeks when they are extremely enthusiastic and curious. They are more likely to obey your commands during training and are also eager to please you. You can use training treats for puppies that are made of natural ingredients and make the whole session more fun and interesting.
Sexual and Physical Maturity
Puberty is usually triggered around the age of 7 to 10 months. The time may vary depending on the breed and size of the dog. Sexual maturity can lead to physical and behavioural changes in almost all dogs. You might notice that they constantly hump or mount and often need to be reprimanded to stop. You might also want to keep their whereabouts in check as they are extremely fertile which can lead to unwanted breeding. Also, remember that neuter or spaying your dog too early may have long term effects on their health.
Puppy Behaviour should be checked and tweaked according to situations. You should also be aware of use puppy training treats during the different stages of canine development. Learning to understand your pup’s signs of behaviour will ensure that you share a strong bond at an early stage. Just like babies, puppies are emotional bundles of joy and its up to us pet owners to satisfy their emotional needs to help them grow in a happy and positive environment.