What to Expect and Not Expect from Your Puppy

Puppies are adorable and cuddly. They are popular pets, at least until their owners discover that puppies are also challenging and a lot of hard work. Like babies, puppies need to learn how to behave and interact with the world around them. Unfortunately, some natural puppy behaviours are misunderstood by pet owners as naughtiness. The truth is, there’s just a difference in communication that needs to be overcome. Here’s what to expect (and not expect) from your puppy.

Puppies aren’t people

They don’t speak our language, they don’t play the way we expect them to, and they don’t understand when we get angry about chewing or toileting incidents. Puppies are baby dogs. They spend the first part of their life learning how to be a dog from their parents and siblings. Then they go to live with humans and try to interact like they did with the other dogs, but that behaviour is not appreciated.

You have to understand that a puppy who bites, gets excited, and has toileting accidents isn’t being naughty. It just hasn’t learned what’s expected from it yet. Since puppies greet each other with rough play and jumping, your puppy has to learn that greeting a human requires a different approach. It’s up to you to show your puppy what is expected of him, and you have to do this in a way that your dog can understand.

Pack leader importance

When you adopt a puppy or dog, you take on the role of pack leader. If you don’t, your pet won’t know what is expected of him. Understand that you’ll be teaching behaviours that a human expects--your puppy only understands what a dog expects, at least at first.

Be patient with your puppy. Their brains are still growing along with their bodies and they can only hold so much new information each day. Don’t use physical aggression or yelling as a punishment because your puppy won’t understand why he’s being hit or yelled at. This can lead to worse behaviours and insecurity as he grows.

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Tags Basic obedience Dog safety

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