Pedigree

New Arrival: Behavior for Beginners

What a feeling it is to bring your puppy home. There's joy. Excitement. And … the unexpected. That's why we've developed this Behavior Basics chart - to help you recognize and respond to your new puppy.

Here's a Behavior for Beginners chart you can refer to in those challenging first few weeks with your puppy.

So you've brought your puppy home. Though these are exciting times, you and your pup may be feeling a little anxious. That's okay - it will take time for both of you to adjust to each other. In the meantime, if you're feeling unsure about how your puppy is acting, check out this printable Behavior Basics chart. It has some quick positive reinforcement tips to have on hand, when he's getting a little out of hand.

Puppy Behavior Basics

Shaking or crying at night.

Is it normal?
Yes.

Why is he acting this way?
He could be scared to be alone.

Try these suggestions

  • Keep puppy's crate in your bedroom for the first few nights if he won't stop crying.
  • Barking, barking, barking. (And more barking.)

    Is it normal?
    Yes, though some breeds bark more than others.

    Why is he acting this way?
    He may be bored, happy or scared.

    Try these suggestions

  • Try to listen to him to figure out the reasons behind his behavior before trying to train him not to bark.
  • In the meantime, give him a stimulating toy to keep him occupied if he's bored
  • Biting just about everything.

    Is it normal?
    Yes.

    Why is he acting this way?
    There's a good chance he's just teething.

    Try these suggestions

  • Give him his own toys to deter him from chewing your possessions.
  • Always replace your possessions from his mouth with his own toys, and praise him for chewing the right ones
  • Avoid 'tug-of-war' games
  • Jumping up.

    Is it normal?
    Yes.

    Why is he acting this way?
    He's probably excited and trying to be affectionate.

    Try these suggestions

  • First, teach your dog to sit; every time he jumps, give him the sit command to prevent him from jumping.
  • If he continues to jump, push him down and away and give him a 'Down' command or make a loud noise when he's about to jump followed by praise and petting if he doesn't jump
  • You can also try this one: when you come home, give your dog a 'sit' command and reward him with a treat; soon enough, he'll be sitting pretty every time you walk through the front door - and best of all, he'll be less likely to jump up on your guests.
  • Going to the bathroom inside.

    Is it normal?
    Yes.

    Why is he acting this way?
    He's got a small bladder and bowel.

    Try these suggestions

  • Take your puppy out as often as possible, and praise and reward him when he performs.
  • Though accidents can happen for young puppies, don't scold him if he makes a mistake in the house - unless you catch him in the act. Otherwise, try to train him to urinate and defecate on command. As he performs, add words you choose, such as 'be quick' or 'busy.' Your dog will then build up an association of the word with the action, and feel good.
  • © 2014 Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.