3 Common Puppy Behaviors and What They Mean


You’ve got a new puppy, which probably means you’ve also got quite a few questions about your furry housemate. Some of your pup’s behaviors can be mystifying. Like, why is the puppy sleeping so much? Why does she nip me every time I try to pet her? The following list will help you decode some of your new puppy’s perplexing behaviors.

1. Deep Sleeping

You might notice that your puppy has two speeds: either full-tilt or deep sleep. Sometimes, the deep sleep is so deep, and goes on for so long that it’s a bit unsettling. Is a constantly napping puppy okay?

If you’ve taken your pup to the vet and gotten a clean bill of health, you shouldn’t worry about your champion day-sleeper. Growing pups need a great deal of time to rest their brains and bodies—well over fifteen to eighteen hours per day—so your pup’s drive to nap is a perfectly normal part of development. Let your sleeping pup lie, preferably in her crate, and enjoy the solitude while you can.

2. Energy Bursts

Many pet parents are caught off guard the first time their puppy gets a burst of energy and zips from room to room like a wild animal. This silly behavior is known as a “FRAP” or frenetic random activity period, and it is an adorable and very normal part of puppyhood.

FRAPs typically happen in the late afternoon, and usually include a combination of crazed running, drive-by nipping, rolling, and leaping. There’s no need to intervene in your pup’s FRAP unless she’s causing damage or is in danger of hurting herself. If your puppy’s FRAPs are particularly intense, consider redirecting her before she starts running with a bone or toy in her mouth.

3. Nipping During Petting

Puppies love to be petted, but there’s a misunderstood period that often occurs during the teething phase, typically around sixteen and eighteen weeks of age, when many pups opt to nip their humans any time they reach out for a pet or snuggle. This type of reaction can be physically and emotionally painful, because the nippy reaction hurts, plus it seems like the pup no longer enjoys your touch.

Barring any undiagnosed medical or behavioral problems, this is a normal developmental hiccup that’s fleeting if you approach it the right way. Your pup might be too revved up after a vigorous game to enjoy petting and might respond by nipping you, so instead of pushing for physical contact, take a break and redirect her to an appropriate chewing outlet.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid and CPR

We offer:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

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