Having a new puppy means training them to interact with others. A well-trained puppy will be a joy to play with, but one that isn't so well-trained may lash out as they get older. The best period for training and acclimatizing a puppy is within the second to tenth weeks of their life, when they're old enough to learn about the world around them. Just like people, puppies have their own personalities. When you're first getting to know your puppy, it may be a good idea to come to grips with these behaviors so that you can determine the temperament of your puppy. Their character will let you know if they'll get along well with others and how easy is it to train them. Here, we examine seven of the most important behaviors you should be aware of in your puppy.
1. Problem-Solving Ability
A puppy's ability to think critically is one that an owner shouldn't overlook. A puppy's curiosity is the trait that they use to solve problems. To figure out whether your puppy has an innate problem-solving ability, you should tie a towel and dangle it from a convenient perch. Make the towel twitch and move a bit and observe how the puppy responds to this movement. If they attack the towel, then that demonstrates confidence and curiosity. However, if they run and hide, the puppy is shy and doesn't want to be involved in a conflict. This behavior can help you to realize the best approach to training this type of puppy. A more timid puppy may need the comfort of a calming pet bed to help them cope with the world around them.
2. Response to Noises
Noises can be scary, even for us humans. Puppies usually display super-sensitive hearing and are even more affected by loud noises. Setting up a simple test with a short, sharp noise can help you determine how your puppy would respond to these situations in the future. Curious dogs are likely to investigate the noise, especially if they can't see its source. Timid puppies, on the other hand, are more likely to flee from the noise. The noise shouldn't be something too overbearing to scare them, either. Something as simple as striking a metal pot with a spoon may be enough. This test serves as a test for deafness as well. If the puppy doesn't respond to the noise, they may be displaying typical signs of acute hearing loss.
3. Handling Sensitivity
If a puppy is opposed to being picked up and petted, it doesn't bode well for their training. Some puppies despise being picked up from the ground and prefer having their paws planted firmly where they can move about independently. A straightforward test is to take the puppy's front foot's webbing and press lightly on it, then increase the pressure until you get a response. Typically, you won't press hard enough to hurt the puppy before pulling their front paw away from you. Those that get uncomfortable with less pressure show an aversion to being handled.
As behavior in and of itself, trainability is how easily your puppy can take instructions and carry out objectives. If you're trying to figure out how obedient your dog is naturally, a simple test using a ball can help you. Crouching next to the puppy and throwing the ball one or two meters in front of them, and watching their interest will tell you what you need to know. If the puppy is interested in the ball, they're likely to enjoy interacting with humans a lot. If the puppy loses interest in you and the ball quickly, it's expected that you'd have to work much harder to train into obedience.
The dominance trait helps to determine whether a puppy has the temperament to be a guard dog or a fierce companion. Testing dominance shouldn't try to push the puppy to be subservient. To perform this test, simply hold the puppy on his or her back for no less than thirty seconds. Dominant puppies will squirm and push, and the most dominant will try to bite to make you let go. Passive puppies and those with a more submissive behavior will look away from you and lay on their back until you're done with the test.
How happy is your puppy to be on their own? Some puppies can deal with the world around them very quickly and adapt to situations. Other puppies tend to get very fearful when their humans aren't around. Testing independence is elementary. Leave the pup in an open space and walk away from them. They must see you walking away, so they don't think you simply disappeared. Dependent puppies are likely to chase after you and even bite and tug at you to get you to stop moving. An independent puppy has no such need and will watch you leave them behind. Some of the most independent pups will walk in the opposite direction.
Confident puppies are relaxed and don't let a situation get out of their control. The world might be loud and obnoxious all around them, but they're unbothered by these complexities. To figure out whether a puppy demonstrates confidence, we first need to introduce the pup to an area it's never been in before. Once the puppy is placed, lean down and clap your hands gently from some distance away. A confident puppy will come running, tail in the air, and may even nip at your hands and fingers. A shy puppy may not even approach you, with the shyest ones trying to get away from the noise, even though they don't know where they could hide.
The Importance of Behaviors
These behavioral models are what many places that breed puppies use to choose the best of the lot. If you already have a puppy, learning about their behaviors may give you some insight. If you know what your puppy excels at, you can formulate training programs that play on their best traits. However, these behaviors are a guide and shouldn't be taken as 100% true. They're only a generalization of a very complex behavioral model. They should be used to guide your decisions but shouldn't shape how you care about or love your puppy.