Why Do Puppies...? Explanation of Puppy Behaviors
Quick warning: I am not a professional. Just a guy who has raised a lot of puppies over the years. Based on that experience, the tips and tricks I offer have served me well. They may not work for every dog, but for the most part I've found that patience and consistency are the magic words. Your puppy won't learn new behaviors overnight, nor will they learn them if they're confused by only being punished or praised some of the time.
That being said, let's move on to those puppy behaviors.
Teaching Puppies Not to Bite
Teaching a puppy not to bite is tricky, largely because in order to teach them that biting you isn't good behavior, you have to get bitten. If your pup hasn't been around other dogs, it's up to you to give the right signals so that they first learn not to bite too hard, then not to bite you at all.
Puppies signal that they've been bitten too hard by yelping. Now, some of us aren't capable of duplicating that sound, so a good "No biting!" or something of the sort will do when your puppy bites you. More importantly, stop playing with them immediately. If your puppy licks or nuzzles you, they're apologizing, and you should praise them. Continue this until the hard biting stops, then move on to moderate biting and so on until the problem is resolved.
Puppies bite for a number of reasons, and it's usually not in any way an act of aggression. Puppies interact with the world by way of their mouth, and biting comes with the package. It's how they learn and play, and unpleasant as it can be it is going to happen. The critical factor in puppy biting isn't the act of biting itself but bite inhibition, in other words learning how hard it's okay to bite.
Teaching your puppy bite inhibition can be a bit of a task, particularly if you only have one. Puppies learn bite inhibition by playing with other puppies, developing an understanding of what qualifies as "too hard" when their playmates yelp. If your puppy hasn't spent enough time with other dogs, congratulations. You're going to have to stand in for the other puppy.
Besides just play and exploring, puppies will also want to chew when their teeth are bothering them. Just like a teething child, having a good, sturdy rubber toy will go a long way toward helping with this one. If the puppy should start to bite or chew on you, simply tell them no and give them an appropriate toy. Generally, this will work pretty quickly.
Puppies also bite when they're overly excited or want attention. This particular issue comes back to the bite inhibition thing. Once your puppy learns that biting you is unacceptable, the odds of them getting excited enough to accidentally nip you are significantly reduced.
Why do puppies hiccup?
Adorable though it may be, many people wonder about why puppies are so prone to getting the hiccups. Most frequently, they tend to get hiccups after waking up, after eating or drinking, and when they're particularly excited. This is entirely normal for puppies, so don't worry too much so long as the bouts of hiccupping don't last more than an hour. If the hiccupping does last extended periods or is seriously chronic, then it may be time to call the vet to be on the safe side.
The contraction of the diaphragm that causes hiccups is generally thought to just be another part of growing for puppies (and people, for that matter.) They are a side-effect of the growth, expansion, and maturation of the dog's respiratory system, and for the most part they stop entirely by the time the puppy is a year old.
How many of these behaviors have your dogs exhibited?
Why do puppies eat poop?
This is a pleasant one, isn't it? There's a lot of reasons the puppies will eat poop, ranging from worms and/or parasites to just plain boredom. Fortunately, the issue is usually easily addressed, so long as you nip it before it develops into a habit.
Sometimes, dogs eat poop out of hunger. This can be as simple as an issue of underfeeding or as serious as the puppy having worms or a parasite. If your puppy has plenty of food that they like, then it's time to get a check-up and make sure the issue isn't more serious.
Additionally, puppies are known to eat poop out of boredom. This one, also, is easily resolved by making sure that they have toys and attention to keep them from more unpleasant activities. The important thing here is to make sure that your puppy doesn't feel neglected and has more wholesome means of entertainment available.
Why Do Puppies Lick?
Okay, so puppies lick a lot. In part, this goes back to the fact that puppies explore the world in large part with their mouths. Beyond that, seasoned dog owners tend to assert that puppies and dogs lick so much as a sign of affection, loyalty, and trust. It also may stem from the fact that puppies lick their mother around the mouth in order to get fed, so it is possible that licking is a way of seeking attention and comfort. If your puppy licks you more often when strangers are around, it may well be your dogs way of reminding you that they love you more than anyone else, and are therefore deserving of the attention that you're paying elsewhere.
Why Do Puppies Cry?
"Why does my puppy whine so much?" is a pretty common question, especially related to bedtime. It's entirely logical that a puppy would whine, cry, or howl when you leave them alone, and bed time is no different. Even when your puppy is in the same room, if they can't see you and you aren't interacting with the, they'll miss you. The most common solutions to this are to put on some background noise that isn't too disruptive in order to distract and calm the puppy. Give it some time, and they will get used to it.
Puppies will also whine for food, or when they have to go to the bathroom. Frankly, if I have to explain what to do in those situations, you should never, ever have a pet, or a child for that matter.
Puppies spend a lot of time doing a lot of things we may not understand. Hopefully, I've provided at least a little bit of insight into some of these behaviors.
If there's anything else you'd like to see explained, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll see what I can do. I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always feel free to track me down on Facebook, or visit my home page for more semi-interesting information and extremely interesting pictures of my puppy.
© 2013 JG11Bravo