A Puppy’s Psychology

Puppies have personalities. While there are characteristics that often appear in cer- tain breeds, your puppy will have a personality all his/her own. To train your puppy correctly, you have to understand their psychology. 

Puppy Needs 

Your puppy has certain needs and they depend on you to fulfill these needs. Domesticated animals are not capable of gaining all they need, without your help. Yes, if there is a creek with water and small animals, it is possible your dog is going to drink the water and kill the animals to eat—if you leave them to starve outside. You have decided to own a puppy because you are prepared to offer your new pet what they need.

Your puppy’s main needs are water, food, and shelter. It sounds familiar, right? You need water, food, and shelter to survive. Already, you have an understanding of your pet because they need what you need.

Puppies tend to chew on anything they can for several reasons, including food. It is generally thought that if there is food in sight, your puppy is going to eat it, re- gardless of whether they are full or not. It is one of the reasons, you are asked to schedule feedings for your puppy to avoid any issues with how much your dog eats and when.

Water should always be available to avoid dehydration in your dog. Clean water is better versus letting your dog use a creek that could be filled with bacteria.

As for shelter, your puppy needs a warm place to live in cold winter months and a shaded area to go when it is hot and humid. 

For safety, if you are going to leave your dog outside, then you need to have high fencing, installed correctly to ensure your puppy cannot jump the fence and become hurt. 

Puppy Desires 

The basic needs of your puppy will make him/her happy, but not exuberant to see you. Anyone can put out food, water, and provide proper shelter. As you were in babyhood and even now, you needed and desired love and affection. Your dog requires love and affection too, to make them completely happy.

A good tone of voice, petting, hugs, and happiness in your own display of behavior will make your puppy overjoyed to see you. You owe it to your puppy to provide the best possible living environment because you elected to buy your puppy. You took on the responsibility of being your puppy’s best friend. 

There are certain behaviors your puppy is going to display as a way to get what he/she wants. If your puppy wants to impress you and gain admiration, they are going to bring you something that you treasure. It may be a blanket, stuffed animal, shoe or other object. It is something your puppy recognizes as yours and precious to you. This is good behavior, but sometimes things get damaged, so you want your puppy to recognize what they can and cannot bring you. Just like you want your puppy to understand where they can and cannot go to the bathroom. 

Puppies who feel fear will bark, their hackles will rise, and they will try to appear larger than they are. 

Puppies who feel they are being chastised or punished will tuck their tails be- tween their legs and lay their ears flat, giving you this adorable look of sadness. 

A happy puppy will have a wagging tail. However, the tail can also mean other things like fear. Your puppy may drop his tail and wag it stiffly as a sign of anxiousness. A stiff tail can also mean aggression, where the motions are exaggerated. 

Your puppy will have an expressive face, even if you have trouble reading it. Lips that are tightly drawn back, and followed by a growl means your puppy is in an aggressive mood or protective mood. If it is a protective mood, your puppy is going to stand very close while they direct their ire at a source in front. 

Puppies that bark, yip, or talk are usually in play mode or looking for affection. 

For example, if you are not petting your puppy, but he/she is sitting and behaving, they may start to bark, talk, or yip to get your attention. In play, your puppy will bow his head, put his paws out, and jump. 

It is a good idea to observe your puppy’s behavior in order to understand what he/she needs or wants. 

Behavior of Bathroom Needs 

Your puppy will also have behavior directly related to their bathroom needs. Depending on what you train your puppy, they may adapt their own requests to go to the bathroom. A puppy might put a paw on the door, asking to go outside. An- other puppy might bark excitedly at the door, until it is open and they can rush out to do their business. You are able to train the behavior you want to see, when your puppy needs to go to the bathroom. 

First, though, you need to figure out what their behavior is to indicate their bathroom needs versus a desire to go on a walk or play outside. Each dog is dif- ferent, but most understand within a day that the door is the way to get out and go to the bathroom. 

Standing by the door, jumping by it, knocking on it, or otherwise trying to get your attention may be an indication of potty needs. 

It is up to you to consider the time, when your puppy last ate or drank, and the last time they did their business. Knowing these factors, helps you determine if your puppy wants to go to the bathroom or just wants to play with you or outside. Never punish your puppy for their natural needs. 

Your puppy also has a “dance” he/she will do to alert you that they need to go to the bathroom. This behavior starts with sniffing around the ground or floor. The sniffing will increase in intensity when they find a place that is satisfactory to them. Often your puppy will walk around in a few circles before, they assume the posi- tion. Once they find a happy spot, your puppy will go to the bathroom.