Normal Puppy Behavior

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It's important to recognize what is normal in the development of a puppy so that we can find out if there's anything problematic as they grow up. Find out about normal puppy behavior with help from founder and CEO of 911 VETS in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Pet Behavior
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Steve Weinberg, your 911 vet, and today we're going to talk about normal behavior in puppies. It's important to recognize what is normal in the development of a puppy so that we can find out if there's anything problematic as they grow up. Normal puppy behavior and development occurs over the first twelve to sixteen weeks of the puppy's life and the majority of their behaviors, good or bad, can be developed during that time. In the first two weeks, basically all puppies do are nurse and sleep pretty much. They can't see or hear so if they have an exaggerated response to pain, very loud squealings and things like that to notify the mother that something is wrong. After about two to three weeks, they will start to sense more of their environment and start to learn a bit about avoiding things with some avoidance behavior pain. They are still pretty unstable, so that's something that they are going to learn. Right around three weeks, most people agree that this is the most important time for a puppy when they start to socialize. They will start to interact with their litter mates, they will learn jaw pressure which is very important to know that when somebody else is feeling the pain, the other litter mate, then they will stop playing and they will be able to gauge what they should do with that as far as normal mouth behavior. Normally they will use their mouth on just about everything. They will walk around and guard their possessions and learn that kind of thing. Also they will start to eliminate pretty much anywhere at this point once they get out of the whelping box, so we have to do a lot of clean up but that's about the time you can start to shape their house training. Right around six weeks you might see some normal sexual behavior with puppies, where they will do a little mounting, dominance kind of activities with their litter mates, that's completely normal. Right around seven to eight weeks, they will start to pick on other pups together in a group. They will learn this kind of social behavior where in certain braids such as terriers, you may actually have some considerable damage occurring so it's important to supervise these kind of things during the socialization period. Right around twelve weeks or so they will form a lot of social bonds with their litter mates and the adults and kids in the household. That's a good time to socialize with the kids and make sure they understand how to handle a puppy carefully and not cause any problems. At that time, it's possible that a neighbor kid could be poking at the puppy and from just that point alone you can cause some aggressive behavior in a dog or fearful behavior for kids. So throughout their life it's important to supervise and create adequate socialization for them to keep a happy healthy life. Thanks for watching.


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