5 Red Flag Behaviours To Watch Out For In Your New Puppy

5 Red Flag Behaviours To Watch Out For In Your New Puppy

Getting a new puppy is an exciting and extremely lovable time. This bundle of joy has entered your life and now it’s up to you to teach it everything it needs to know to become a good dog. 

However, while you can prepare for your new puppy’s arrival with a series of books, toys, and techniques, some things can catch you by surprise.

Genes play a huge role in canine personality and when hereditary bad traits appear it’s best to know what’s understandable and what’s a behavioural “red flag”. 

Let’s outline some top warning signs that something might not be right with your pup.

Bad Behaviours To Watch Out For In Puppies

The main calling cards of a physically or psychologically unhealthy pupper are: 

  1. Hiding 
  2. Excessive mouthing 
  3. Defensive posture
  4. Reluctance to sit or stay
  5. Confinement fears

1. Hiding From New Experiences

Puppies are naturally inquisitive of new environments, people, animals, objects… anything. 

Avoidance of these elements could be a sign of fear, which can progress into aggressive behaviour in the future. 

Additionally, if your puppy reacts aggressively to new people or dogs - either by mouthing, lunging, or barking, then it may also be a sign of inherited aggression. 

2. Excessive mouthing 

Staying on that point about aggressive behaviour. If your pup mouths a lot during physical handling - that could be anything from picking them up or clipping their nails to vet appointments, it could indicate fear. 

However, it’s important to know the difference between mild mouthing and excessive posturing. If the gesture is linked with growling or their fur start to stand on end, then definitely consult your vet. 

3. Posturing 

As we said above, posture is super important when gauging the body language of your pup. They should be standing tall with their head in the air and their tail wagging or relaxed. 

If your furry friend’s tail is tucked under their body, their ears are flat, or they’re stooping down, they could be exhibiting more fear responses. Or struggling with pain somewhere. 

4. Reluctance to learn commands 

If when you start obedience training with your dog you’re noticing that they don’t want to or won’t sit or stay for a treat, they may be guarding some physical weakness or injury. 

5. Fears of Confinement 

Crate training is an excellent way to give your pup their own space in the house. It also works wonders as a safe space in more challenging times like when fireworks are going off. 

However, if your puppy barks a lot when you try to put them in the crate or when you leave them alone, it may be a sign of anxiety. 

While this stressful behaviour may be passed on through their genes, it’s more likely that they’ve been mistreated or kept in confinement from the place you bought them from. 

What to do about bad behaviour?

If you observe any of the above behaviours in your new pooch, it’s best to alert your vet immediately. 

Untrainable bad behaviour in pups is likely to exacerbate over time. So rather than shaking off their bad traits and becoming good dogs eventually, these personality issues can often lead to potentially dangerous situations.  

When your puppy is mentally and physically sound, it should be playful, inquisitive and, of course, a little mischievous. If you’re not getting that vibe, then something is up.

Show Your Pup Some Love

As we said at the beginning, getting a new pup should be an exciting and enjoyable time. And with the correct training, it can be exactly that. 

However, just as important as training, is knowing when your dog’s behaviour is not quite right.

If you notice these bad habits, the best thing to do is always contact your vet in the first instance. 

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