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Common Puppy Behaviors

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So you have a new puppy! Congratulations! You have a best friend for life! That being said, you probably have a few questions about your new housemate. Some puppy behaviors can confuse new dog owners. However, even though some of these behaviors may be strange, most of what your puppy is dealing with is perfectly normal. Take the guessing out of what is going through your pups head. Here is a list of common puppy behaviors.

Excess Sleeping

Many puppies have two speeds: full crazy and deep sleep. Are you worried that your puppy is napping more than they should? If you have taken your pet to the vet and gotten a clean bill of health, you shouldn’t worry about your tired pup. Just like babies, growing puppies need a lot of time to rest their brains and bodies. In fact, it is not uncommon for puppies to sleep fifteen to eighteen hours a day. So let your puppy sleep. Because who enjoys being woken up from a nap.

Energy Bursts

On the other side of the spectrum, you may notice that your puppy has random bursts of energy. You may notice they zip around in circles or through the whole house over and over again. This running can be accompanied by some barking, jumping, nipping, and rolling. Don’t worry about where all of this craziness came from. This behavior is part of the developmental phase. Young puppies get tired and overstimulated easily, so this behavior is how their immature nervous systems deal with the overload. Running around with some barking is a good way for them to work off steam and unwind. If there is excessive nipping, barking, and jumping, then you need to step in.


Nipping is a common complaint with puppies. Typically, puppies play by nipping. Without other canines around, your puppy may nip at you. If your puppy bites you, there is no need to react violently. If fact, grabbing a puppy may make them think you are playing roughly as well, making them more likely to be rough in the future. Puppies play this way until one the game gets too rough and one yelps to quit playing. If your pup is too wound up by a game and bites you, yell sharply and withdraw from them. Ignore them for about 20 seconds or so. If the nipping stops and they behave, give them a treat. It is always better to reward proper behavior than try to quash bad behavior.


Sometimes puppies get so caught up in playtime that they don’t realize they have to go until it’s too late. You and your puppy may be playing and your pup may suddenly stop and take a potty break without any of the typical warning signs. This is part of the learning process where your puppy learns to make the connection between having to go to the bathroom and the importance of signaling that to you. The best way to avoid mid game accidents is to take frequent breaks during the game. It is not unreasonable to go outside every 20 minutes or so during the potty-training period.

Separation Anxiety

Almost all puppies whine, cry or bark when they are left alone, even for short periods. This behavior is an inborn safety mechanism that keeps them safe in the wild. Puppies can be very clingy and anxious when you first bring them home. This is because dogs are pack animals and know the importance of staying in a group. . Allowing a “velcro-puppy” can lead to separation anxiety. It is important to balance love and attention and alone-time. However, if your puppy becomes completely hysterical when separated from you and it doesn’t improve, then that may be a sign of separation anxiety as well.

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