Understanding Puppy Behaviour

A puppy playing with a rope toy

Puppies are quirky characters with interesting and unique personalities. They zoom from one room to another, chase their tails for no reason, hiccup randomly and fall asleep with no warning. While these behaviours can put a smile on your face, you may be wondering why puppies act the way that they do. Read on to learn more about puppy behaviour and to understand why your puppy engages in some cute and curious activities.  

Common puppy behaviour  

For almost all common puppy behaviours, the root cause traces back to their ancestry and their behaviours in the wild. Because of this, a lot of the behaviours you see in your puppy are completely normal and natural and work to help in their growth and development. Here is a list of some common puppy behaviours and answers to your questions as to why puppies behave the way that they do. 


Chasing comes from a puppy’s natural instinct that goes back to their ancestry. Puppies are descendants of dogs and wolves, which are animals that instinctively chase prey in the wild. When your puppy chases things like their toys, fallen leaves blowing in the wind and even their own tail, they are practicing their hunting habits.  

Chewing everything in sight  

Watching your puppy chew on everything in sight can be frustrating. However, chewing is a natural instinct. Animals in the wild have to chew to break down food and puppies have a tendency to chew to relieve the discomfort of teething.  

Your puppy may also love to eat plants and paper, which comes from the instinct to eat roots, bark and grass. Puppies replicate this behaviour, but it is up to you to redirect their attention to healthier things to eat and chew on.  

Rolling in the grass  

Rolling around in the grass can easily be one of your puppy’s favourite ways to spend the day, but it actually serves a purpose. This is a way for your puppy to clean and dry his fur. Individual blades of grass can work like a comb and help dislodge dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas.  

Circling before getting comfy  

While this behaviour is more common in older dogs than it is in puppies, the reason behind circling before laying down is to nest and bed down, as an animal would in the wild. Whether it’s your puppy’s bed, your carpet or a forest floor – it’s all the same to a puppy when they’re trying to get some rest.   

Getting the hiccups  

Puppies hiccup for the same reason humans do – their diaphragm spasms. This action is just a simple fact of life, and is super cute to witness! Typically, puppies are more prone to hiccups than adult dogs because of their higher energy and excitement levels. Your puppy is more likely to eat and drink too fast or to get bursts of energy, which can impact their breathing and lead to hiccups.   

Bunny runs   

Puppy rush, zoomies, frapping, bunny runs. Whatever name you choose to call it, it refers to one thing – lightning fast runs around your home or yard. These sudden bursts of energy are a way for your puppy to dissipate their energy and aggression. This behaviour is pretty cute to witness, and perfectly harmless for your dog. However, if you find your puppy is zooming around quite a bit, it may be time to incorporate more exercise and interaction with your pup.  

Falling asleep quickly 

Puppies have no idea when to slow down, but at the same time, they need plenty of rest. While your puppy may have short bursts of energy, they also need about 15-20 hours of sleep per day. This can mean falling asleep while eating, or with a toy in their mouth – sleep just sneaks up on them! 

Enjoy puppyhood 

We hope this article helped you gain insight about puppy behaviour. Remember to nurture your puppy, and teach them ropes with gentleness and love. Doing so will help your puppy turn into an amazing dog and companion. Enjoy experiencing puppyhood with your furry pal – it goes by very quickly.  

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