Puppy: The Best Ways To Understand The Behavior Of A Puppy
How To Understand The Behavior Of A Puppy
How To Understand The Behavior Of A Puppy
As puppies learn to walk, play and adopt the behavior of other puppies, they also learn to talk. Although dogs do not use words, they tell us through body language and other expressive behaviors what they are thinking and feeling. Understanding your puppy’s body language will make it easier to communicate with him.
How to Interpret Your Puppy’s Body Language
Eyes. Squinted eyes and drooping eyelids indicate happiness or pleasure, especially during pleasurable activities such as petting a puppy. Wide-open eyes indicate alertness. If the dog looks away and avoids eye contact, this is a sign of submission or stress, while a stare is a challenge and a sign that your dog is asserting dominance. Pay special attention to the pupils. The pupils of aggressive puppies dilate when they are about to attack.
Ears. The ears of the puppy in a state of high alert stand erect and turned forward. Ears pressed to the back of the head are a sign of humility.
fall. A partially open mouth with a hanging tongue is a sign of a happy and relaxed puppy. Licking or clicking the tongue, as if licking, is a sign of appeasement. A puppy that grabs or bites another dog’s mouth or muzzle is trying to assert its dominance. These gestures are fairly easy to read, but the most obscure is the baring of the teeth. Lips pulled up to expose fangs are a sign of dominance and aggression, while lips pulled sideways in a friendly grin are a sign of submissiveness.
Pose. The way your puppy carries himself speaks volumes. Confident dogs and those who assert dominance walk proudly and stand straight. Other dominant displays are bumping, pushing, leaning over, and hanging over other dogs or people. Puppies that feel less secure will try to look smaller by flattening their ears, lowering their heads, and tucking their tails. Soothing raising of the paw and rolling onto its back, exposing the belly, are also signs of submission or that the dog is comfortable with you.
Wool. Even your puppy’s coat can tell you about his state of mind. If the dog is frightened or aggressive, he will bristle when on high alert (the hair along the spine will stand on end).
Tail. You might think that a wagging tail indicates happiness and friendliness. But, depending on other types of body language, tail wagging can also indicate a different mood, according to The Spruce Pets. If the dog is waggling its back or its whole body, this is really a sign that it is excited and glad to see you. However, a slower wag can express uncertainty and indecision, while a tail that is high and wagging quickly but with small amplitude signals fear or aggression.
How does a puppy’s behavior change as it gets older?
Certain types of puppy behavior also correspond to each stage of its development.
Teeth are cutting. When puppies are biting and chewing around at around three weeks of age, this is a sign that they are growing teeth. Cuteness claims that intense nibbling and chewing combined with increased aggression between about three and six months of age means the puppy is teething. It’s time to buy him a chew toy and hide his shoes and other valuables in an inaccessible place.
Socialization. At around four weeks old, puppies show courage and curiosity as they try to move further and further away from their mothers and siblings. This is a good time to socialize them by introducing them to new people, pets and fresh experiences.
Adolescence. At about 12 weeks old, your puppy will attempt to assert his dominance and push the limits, trying to define his place in your family. Now is the time to show firmness as well as confidence. By six months, your puppy should know his place in the family and get used to his role.
Puberty. With little variation between breeds, puppies usually reach sexual maturity at around six months of age. Females show physical symptoms similar to menstruation in women. According to the American Kennel Club, at this stage, male puppies may mark their territory, try to go further from home and land on everything along the way. Neutering a puppy is the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and reduce unwanted behaviors.
For any dog owner, the ability to recognize the meaning of certain puppy behaviors and the ability to read puppy body language are essential skills. These skills will not only help you bond with your puppy, but will also help you better deal with his emotional needs so he can eventually become an emotionally balanced dog.
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