Behaviours to Look Out For In Your Puppy

By Shreya Tragad

Your puppy’s actions can tell a lot about how they are feeling, what they want, what’s bothering them or can even be a sign of underlying health conditions! It is important as a puppy parent to look out for certain puppy behaviours as we don’t want our furry little ones to go through any discomfort or pain!

Here are 10 puppy behaviours you should look out for in your puppy:


  1. Bad Breath

Dogs are not known to have fresh minty breath, but when their breath has noticeably changed, it may be a sign that your dog’s oral health may not be good. Changes in your dog’s breath can also be a sign of health issues related to his/her gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or livers. Urine-smelling breath is a sign of a kidney problem and sweet-smelling breath can be a sign that they have diabetes, it will be best to confirm with a veterinarian.

 dog mouth

  1. Barking or Howling 

Barking and howling are usually normal as this is a way of communication with other dogs or humans. This tends to be more common when a dog senses any type of danger, however, excessive howling can be a sign of boredom and that they need something to keep them busy and entertained. Do not ignore this puppy behaviour, as it can lead to a behavioural problem.

 dog barking

  1. Biting

Puppies have a habit of biting as it is a form of their communication, they commonly use their mouths to interact. Frequent biting is something to look out for as it can be a sign of fear and anxiety; notice any mood changes while he/she bites. If you are not able to get your dog out of this habit, then you can ask your vet to suggest a veterinary behaviourist to get your dog out of this habit before it becomes more problematic in the future.

 dog biting

  1. Circling

A common cause to why your puppy is constantly chasing their tails is an ear infection. There may be other reasons as well such as idiopathic vestibular syndrome, which is more common in older dogs, or even a brain tumour. This behaviour can also be a sign that they have a problem with their anal glands. Your vet will be able to narrow down the cause of this behaviour.

dog circling 

  1. Urination

If you have already trained your dog to pee outside, it can be surprising to all of a sudden see your dog pee inside your house, and this is a common puppy behaviour, but should not be ignored! If your dog is peeing frequently, even though they pee in the right location, this can be a serious sign of an underlying health condition related to their urinary tract, bladder, or kidney infection! If your dog is older, it can also be a sign of dementia.

 dog pee

  1. Digging 

Dogs love to dig, whether it may be because they are trying to make a cool spot for them to lie down, track animals, or even hide something! This puppy behaviour is quite common and normal, but if the digging starts to bother you, or starts damaging your valuable belongings, then consider working with a professional trainer to get rid of this habit.

 dog digging

  1. Eating Poop

There are many reasons why your dog may eat feces, and sometimes it is considered normal. Fear may cause your puppy to eat feces, or it can be that they’re just curious by the smell of certain scents in the feces and wonder what it may taste like. Eating poop can also be a sign that they have a nutritional deficiency, that’s why it’s important to choose the right dog food for your little one. Keep an eye out on their weight as well as it is an indicator of your pet’s overall health.

 dog eating poop

  1. Head Pressing

This is a serious behaviour to look out for, if you notice your puppy pressing their head against the wall or any hard object, it can be a sign of many serious problems such as toxic poisoning or brain disease. Let your vet know as soon as possible!

dog feeling sick 

  1. Panting

Dogs do not sweat the way humans do, which is why they pant, it allows them to release body heat from their mouths. This could be a sign that they are feeling hot and are trying to regulate their body temperature. However, painting can also be a sign that they are in pain. Make sure your puppy is properly hydrated during the hot weather or before any exercise to avoid dehydration. Always keep plenty of water bottles with you during your walk, Gentle Paw offers a spacious Fanny Pack to place all your essentials you need during your walk! Panting can also be a sign of other serious health conditions so it will be a good idea to confirm with your vet.

 dog panting

  1. Sitting on Your Feet or Between Your Legs – Leaning

This is usually a sign of anxiety or a feeling of nervousness, and they are trying to feel safer by staying close to their pawrent! Anxiety in dogs is shown in many ways, such as shaking, tail tucking, barking, injuring themselves, etc. Dogs are pack animals, and they often become fearful when left alone, which is why it is important to create a relaxing environment in the house when you leave them alone.

  dog sitting between legs

Every puppy has their own personality, and if you wonder “why is he doing that”, it’s best to confirm with your vet if it starts to become excessive or unusual. We hope we were able to provide you with some great information on some common puppy behaviours, as it is important to make sure our furry champions are healthy and comfortable!

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