A puppy can start to misbehave for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to work out why your little canine friend, specifically, has taken to peeing indoors or chewing on the sofa cushions… And to help you out with a monumental task like this, we’ve listed the top reasons for slightly aggressive, unwanted behavior below. Make sure you properly apply them to your situation before jumping into action.
They May Need to See the Vet
Of course, if this is a very sudden change in your dog’s behaviour, or you’ve never seen behaviour like this from them before, it could be a sign they’re not feeling well. So really, the first thing to do here is take them to the vet, if you’re totally unsure of why they could otherwise be acting a little naughty. It’s always good to eliminate potential health issues as soon as possible, for both your dog’s health and your peace of mind!
Make a vet appointment and tell them all about how your dog has suddenly changed; make sure you take note of how they’re eating and sleeping at the same time, and whether or not they can go to the toilet normally. It’ll help a vet to form a diagnosis, if there’s one to be made.
Sometimes, your puppy will act out simply because they’re a bit bored, and want something to do to either have fun or get your attention. And when you notice a puppy acting out in ways they’ve never done before, it’s a good idea to provide them with a few more toys and/or a bit more attention to see if it changes anything.
After all, there’s a lot you can do to help cheer your dog up and give them something to focus on. From making cardboard and/or paper treat cases of your own, to investing in the best puzzle dog toys for hiding treats in for your puppy to sniff and dig out, they can be entertained for hours without any extra input from you. You might just need to take them out for one more walk per day, especially if they’re a big breed!
However, during this process, make sure you reward them for behaviours you want to see from them, rather than just give them attention to stop them from peeing in the wrong place or chewing on something they shouldn’t. Your dog needs to learn how to channel their energy in an appropriate way, and we all know it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks!
They’re Feeling a Little Anxious
Dogs can get anxiety related problems too, just like humans can, and this behaviour can be very evident in a dog that’s either less than a year old or suddenly have to spend a lot of time on their own. Puppies don’t have much life experience, so it seems natural that they can become anxious when you’re not around or they hear loud noises and/or meet strangers.
However, the latter possibility is a harder case to deal with. Maybe you took a bit of time off of work to bring them home and settle them in, and now you have to get back to your job and leave them be? This could be encouraging a fear of abandonment that’s hard to avoid – you need to work to earn money to take care of your pet, but this can make your pet become even harder to take care of.
And that means you might need to heap a little more time and attention on your pup, just to allay their fears right now, and help them to settle in the long term. You can give them plenty of cuddles and physical touch, but you could also try massaging them, or giving them an item of clothing that’s soft and smells like you when you’re away. However, if the anxiety gets too serious, be sure to talk to a vet about alternative methods for calming your dog.
What to Remember
All in all, your puppy could be misbehaving for a variety of reasons, but make sure they’re not medical before you decide to do anything! You’ll need to be sure your pet is comfortable and healthy before putting more toys and/or treats down for them, and if they’re always a little bit anxious when you go out to work, make sure you remind them just how much you love them when you come home.