What Is Normal Puppy Behavior?

What is normal puppy behavior and what isn’t?

Hi There!

I hope this “Puppy Tip” finds you having a fantastic week!
I just got back from a walk with my youngest little pup. We walked along the county road that runs up the valley here. You know, I’m always amazed when we get back from a walk. The pups are ready for a nap immediately after we get home. Walking a puppy on a leash is the very finest way to tire the puppy out, get some quality training in, create a great working relationship in which we are the leaders, and we get some exercise at the same time! Totally a win/win deal! I LOVE THAT! 😉

In this Puppy Tip…let’s cover an important question that most new puppy owners have.
What is normal puppy behavior and what isn’t?
Many new puppy owners either don’t know, or don’t remember, what normal behavior for a young puppy really is. The problem is often with the owners’ expectations of what a puppy should know and do. Puppies don’t know any right from wrong, until we teach them our rules.

Some normal puppy behaviors are:

Chewing and mouthing.
They will chew on anything and everything that is with in reach of their mouth. It is very important that you “puppy proof” your home!

Being very active and curious.
Puppies are like young children, they are full of energy and curiosity.

Short attention span.
Puppies generally get distracted quite easily.

Play tactics.
Like pouncing, batting, pawing, sneaking, rearing up on hind legs.

Jumping up on people.
Puppies want to get up to your face, that’s one reason why they jump up on people.

Barking, whining.
Also…talking during play, vocalizing in different ways.

Has to go out to the toilet a lot.
Young puppies have to “go”; every 60 minutes, after eating, after drinking, after napping, after playing. Yes, it is quite normal for puppies to “go” a lot!

Sleeps a lot.
Puppies grow so fast that they really do need to sleep a lot.

Rolling over and rolling in smelly, icky items.
Both normal behaviors, some puppies will and some won’t.

Stealing clothing items and shredding them.
Stealing clothing is totally normal for puppies. Socks are great, the smellier the better and underwear is even better yet!

Follows you around.
Puppies love to be near you. This is very normal.

Some abnormal behaviors include:

Biting and snapping.
Growling in an aggressive way.
Holding eye contact.
Being overly shy or fearful.
Aggressive or intimidating mannerisms.
Not able to concentrate or focus attention.
Overly possessive of anything.
Excessive barking, whining or crying.

What kinds of things can you expect from your new puppy?
Expect your puppy to do everything wrong at first! He will chew, cry, whine, make messes, get into things, nip, mouth, bite, snoop, run and hide. He may be shy or he may be super rambunctious. Getting into trouble and being naughty is a normal part of puppy-hood. A young puppy can’t be expected to behave perfectly. He will need training from YOU to know what is acceptable and what isn’t.


I’ve been getting a few people contacting me who are interested in getting a full training system. I have to say, if you are ready for an entire training system for you and your puppy, check out the Hands Off Dog Training Formula. I HIGHLY recommend Chet Womach’s system. It’s one of the few training systems I’ve used with my puppies. Chet has come up with a system that fits very well with my book; Your Puppy’s First Year, and my own ideas on reward based training. (And he keeps giving specials and bonuses away, even after you’ve had the program for awhile…he really gives a lot of value!)


Well…I wish you a wonderful week with your puppy.
Keep up the training and the leash walks!

Take care,
Sue Lee