Dog Behaviors: Reasons Why My Puppy Is Acting Weird

Oct 3, 2023 | Dog Behavior

Have you ever wondered why your adorable puppy sometimes acts a little strange? Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ll explore some common reasons why our puppies exhibit weird behaviors and whether or not we should be concerned about sudden changes. Plus, we’ll share practical tips on how to help our furry friends navigate through these peculiar moments. So let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries behind our puppy’s odd antics together!

Puppy Acting Weird Key Takeaways

Orange Paw Bullet Point Fear periods, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and teething can all contribute to weird behaviors in puppies.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Stress and anxiety, including separation anxiety, can trigger behavioral changes in puppies.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Understanding breed-specific behaviors can help us better understand why puppies may act strangely.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Boredom and lack of mental stimulation can lead to behavioral changes such as excessive chewing, digging, or barking.

Should I Be Concerned If Behaviors Suddenly Change With My Dog?

If your dog’s behavior suddenly change, it’s important to be aware and take appropriate action. Paying attention to your dog’s body language and overall well-being is essential. If you notice any abnormal behavior or if your dog seems unwell, it could be an indication of a medical issue. In such cases, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian who can assess your dog’s symptoms and provide appropriate care. Creating a safe place for your dog where they feel secure can also help alleviate stress and reduce odd behaviors.

Common Reasons My Puppy Is Acting Weird

At times, every pet parent sees some odd behavior displayed by their pup, and usually it’s nothing too concerning. But sometimes those quirks are not completely unrelated to an issue in your dog’s life. While we can’t diagnose your puppy’s ailment from afar, we can share some of the most common reasons your puppy may be acting weird:


Puppy Fear Periods

Puppies may suddenly become afraid of things they weren’t scared of before, such as the vacuum. One possible explanation for these behavioral changes could be puppy fear periods. These fear periods are a normal part of canine development and occur at different stages in their early lives. They can manifest as sudden fears or anxieties towards everyday objects or situations. It’s important to remember that these behaviors are temporary and will usually resolve on their own with time and patience. However, if your puppy’s behaviors persist or worsen, it’s always wise to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues, such as separation anxiety or boredom, that may be contributing to their unusual actions.

Scared dog with a very sad face


Puppies’ hormone levels can cause them to experience intense emotions, such as humping or marking furniture. These hormonal changes can lead to some weird and unusual behaviors in our furry friends. As puppies grow into adult dogs, their hormones fluctuate, just like in humans. This can cause them to act anxious or restless at times. It’s important for us to understand that these behaviors are a result of their changing hormones and not a reflection of their character. Providing mental stimulation is key in helping them navigate through this phase. Cognitive dysfunction may also contribute to strange behavior, so providing appropriate outlets for their energy and keeping them engaged is essential. By recognizing the impact of hormones on dog behavior, we can ensure that we take care of our anxious dogs with love and understanding during this stage of their lives.


Your Pup Has Stress Or Anxiety

If your pup’s stress or anxiety is not properly addressed, it can lead to various unwanted behaviors. It’s important to understand that dogs, like humans, can experience stress and anxiety. Separation anxiety is a common trigger for behavioral changes in puppies. When left alone, they may exhibit excessive barking, destructive chewing, or inappropriate digging. However, there are other reasons why your puppy might be acting weird. One possible cause is boredom. Dogs need both physical and mental activity to stay happy and engaged. Without enough stimulation, they may become restless and display unusual behaviors. Another reason could be underlying medical conditions that are causing discomfort or pain. If you notice any sudden changes in your pup’s behavior, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues and address their stress or anxiety appropriately.


They’re Exhausted

You should make sure your pup gets enough sleep, or they might start exhibiting strange behaviors like running in circles and chewing on furniture. This is especially important for seniors or older dogs who may require more rest due to age. Lack of sleep can also contribute to a sudden change in appetite, which could be a sign of underlying health conditions. If your dog has recently gone through a traumatic experience or has been behaving unusually for an extended period, it’s time to consult with a veterinarian, as these strange behaviors could indicate serious health problems. Establishing a consistent daily routine and addressing potential causes such as stress or anxiety can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate solutions for your furry friend’s well-being.

Cute puppy laying in crate

Dog Breed Specific Behavior

Understanding the unique characteristics of different dog breeds can help us comprehend their specific behaviors. As we navigate the sometimes perplexing world of puppy behavior, it’s important to remember that what may seem weird to us is often just a natural expression for our furry friends. Behavior changes in puppies can be attributed to various factors such as separation anxiety, boredom, lack of physical and mental activity, or even underlying health issues like hip dysplasia or spine problems. For instance, if your puppy is acting weird by constantly stealing and guarding objects like socks or pants, it could be due to their innate instinct to collect game, as seen in breeds like Cockapoos. Similarly, Border Collies may exhibit strange behaviors, such as chasing cars or trying to herd children, because they have a strong herding instinct ingrained in them. By understanding these breed-specific behaviors, we can better support our dogs and provide them with the appropriate outlets for their natural instincts.


They’re Teething

Now that your puppy is teething, their discomfort and pain can lead to odd behaviors like chewing on objects other than toys and drooling excessively. It’s important to understand that these behaviors are normal during this stage of their development. Teething can cause your puppy’s gums to become sore and itchy, which may result in them seeking relief by chewing on various items. Excessive drooling is common as their mouths produce more saliva during teething. Additionally, teething can make your puppy feel uncomfortable and restless, leading to behavioral changes such as increased energy levels or becoming more easily irritated. Providing them with appropriate chew toys is essential to alleviate their discomfort and prevent destructive chewing behavior. Patience and understanding are key during this phase of your puppy’s life!

Playful cute dog teething

They’re Seeking Attention

If your pet is seeking attention, they may engage in behaviors such as jumping on you or barking excessively. These odd behaviors can make us dog owners worry and wonder why our furry friend is acting weird. But, it’s important to remember that seeking attention is common in puppies and dogs alike. Just like humans, pets need social interaction and stimulation to thrive. When they don’t get enough attention, they might act out to get noticed. As responsible pet parents, we must address their needs by providing them with regular exercise, mental stimulation, and quality time together. By understanding and fulfilling their attention-seeking tendencies, we can prevent behavioral problems and strengthen the bond with our beloved pets.


They’re Bored

When puppies are bored, they may exhibit unusual behaviors as a way to entertain themselves. It’s important to remember that these actions are their attempt at finding stimulation and should not be seen as intentional misbehavior. If your puppy is acting weird, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough mental or physical activity. Boredom can lead to behavioral changes such as excessive chewing, digging, or even barking. Providing your puppy with plenty of opportunities for playtime and exercise can help alleviate their boredom. Additionally, interactive toys and puzzles can keep their minds engaged. It’s also worth noting that some puppies may experience separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, which can contribute to their acting out.



Make sure you give your pup plenty of water and provide them with a cool and shaded area to rest in during hot weather. Overheating can be a serious concern for dogs, especially during summer. When a dog is overheated, they may exhibit signs such as panting excessively, appearing lethargic, drinking more water than usual, or experiencing diarrhea. Some breeds are more prone to heat exhaustion than others, so it’s important to know which ones may require extra care in hot weather. It’s also crucial to be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, such as your dog shaking, heavy panting, vomiting, and collapsing. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, seek veterinary care immediately. Remember that prevention is key to avoiding these issues and ensuring your furry friend stays healthy and comfortable in warm temperatures.

Panting puppy on the beach with beach toys

Illness Or Allergies

You may notice your pup exhibiting symptoms such as sneezing, itching, having watery eyes, or contracting an ear infection if they are experiencing illness or allergies. It’s important to pay attention to these signs as they could indicate a need for veterinary attention. Illnesses and allergies can affect a puppy’s behavior in various ways. They might become more lethargic due to feeling unwell, which can lead to behavioral changes like increased grumpiness or aggression. Plus, illnesses and allergies can cause discomfort and pain in different parts of their body, such as hip issues or spine issues. This discomfort can further contribute to changes in behavior.

Yawning brown French Bulldog dog with mouth white open and tongue and teeth

What Can I Do To Help My Dog?

When it comes to helping our dogs, there are several key points we need to keep in mind:


Provide Them With A Routine

Establishing a consistent routine for your puppy can help alleviate any unusual behaviors they may be exhibiting. When our puppies start acting weird, it’s important to understand the reasons behind their behavior. Providing them with a daily routine is one way to address these issues. Puppies, like humans, thrive on structure and predictability. Having a set schedule for feeding, exercise, playtime, and rest can give them a sense of security and stability. A routine also ensures that they receive adequate physical and mental activity throughout the day, which helps prevent boredom and behavioral changes. By sticking to a regular schedule, we can create an environment that promotes their overall well-being and reduces any stress or anxiety they may be experiencing.


Make Sure They Get Plenty Of Exercise

To keep your pup happy and stress-free, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise through regular walks and interactive games. It’s important to understand that dog behaviors can sometimes seem weird or out of the ordinary for various reasons. One common reason for these behavioral changes is boredom. Like humans, dogs need physical and mental activity to stay engaged and content. Without enough exercise, they may start acting strangely as a way to release pent-up energy. Another possible cause for odd behavior could be separation anxiety. If your puppy becomes anxious when left alone, they may exhibit unusual behaviors such as excessive barking or destructive chewing. By ensuring your furry friend gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, you can help prevent these strange behaviors and foster a happy and healthy relationship with your pup.

Seven week old golden retriever puppy outdoors on a sunny day

Make Sure They Get Plenty Of Sleep

Ensure your pup has a comfortable bed, blanket, and crate so they can get plenty of sleep and wake up refreshed. As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to provide dogs with a cozy space where they can rest peacefully. When our puppies start acting weird or displaying unusual behaviors, lack of sleep could be one of the reasons behind it. Just like humans, dogs need sufficient sleep to maintain their overall health and well-being. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, restlessness, and even physical ailments in puppies. By creating a soothing environment for them to sleep in, we can help regulate their sleeping patterns and ensure they get the rest they need.

Tired little puppy Australian Shepherd Aussie sleeping sweetly by an alarm covered with a blanket

Manage Their Behavior

It’s natural for puppies to act weird at times, but there can be various reasons behind these behaviors. One important aspect in managing their behavior is providing them with enough physical and mental activity. Puppies have a lot of energy and need outlets to release it. Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, so it’s crucial to engage them in interactive play and provide stimulating toys.Separation anxiety can also cause behavioral changes in puppies. Gradual desensitization and positive reinforcement techniques can help alleviate this anxiety and prevent unwanted behaviors.


Listen To Them And Pay Close Attention

Pay close attention to your puppy’s body language and vocalizations as they can be valuable cues for understanding their needs and emotions. As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to listen and pay close attention to our furry friends. If your puppy is acting weird, there could be several reasons behind this behavior. One possibility is that they may need more physical or mental activity to stimulate their minds and keep them engaged. Another reason could be behavioral changes due to growth or development stages. By observing and listening to their behaviors, we can better understand what they’re trying to communicate and provide the necessary support and care they need.


Understand The Personal Quirks Of Your Pet

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the unique characteristics of your pet to better understand their individual quirks. When it comes to dog behaviors, sometimes our puppies can act a little weird. But don’t worry, there are usually reasons behind their strange actions. Understanding the personal quirks of your pet is key in deciphering their behavior. First, keep in mind that pet behavior can be influenced by various factors. Providing enough physical and mental activity for your furry friend can help alleviate these issues and prevent behavioral changes. Additionally, certain health conditions can also affect how your dog behaves. If you notice any unusual behavior accompanied by signs of discomfort or pain, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. Lastly, remember that dogs need their beauty sleep too! Just like humans, they have different sleep patterns and may exhibit odd sleeping habits at times. By understanding these personal quirks, you’ll be better equipped to support your pup’s overall well-being and happiness.


Have Plenty Of The Right Chew Toys For Puppies

Make sure you have plenty of the right chew toys for your pup. Just like adult dogs, puppies need physical and mental activity to prevent boredom and behavioral changes. When a puppy is acting weird or showing signs of separation anxiety, providing them with appropriate chew toys can help alleviate these issues. Chew toys provide a fun outlet for their natural chewing instinct and offer mental stimulation and a way to release excess energy. You can keep your puppy engaged and entertained by giving your puppy different types of chews, such as edible chews, Kongs, and fillable chew toys. Remember that puppies have specific needs when it comes to their oral health and teething process, so choose chew toys that are safe and suitable for their age and size.


Seek Professional Vet Or Behavioral Help

Consider reaching out to a professional vet or dog trainer for assistance with your pup’s strange behavior. It’s important to remember that unusual actions can be indicators of underlying health issues or possible reasons that could be causing your dog’s strange behavior. A vet can perform a thorough physical exam and may even recommend taking a blood sample to rule out any medical conditions, such as vestibular disease. Additionally, they can provide guidance on potential neurological problems that might be contributing to your dog’s strange actions. On the other hand, seeking help from an experienced positive reinforcement dog trainer can offer valuable insights into understanding and modifying your pup’s behavior through effective training techniques. Remember, seeking professional help is crucial in ensuring the well-being of your furry friend.

Puppy Acting Weird Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Typically Take For A Puppy’s Weird Behavior To Go Away On Its Own?

Typically, weird puppy behavior can go away on its own within a few weeks. But, monitoring the behavior and consulting a vet if it persists or becomes concerning is important.


Can Certain Medications Or Health Conditions Cause Unusual Behavior In Puppies?

Certain medications or health conditions can indeed cause unusual behavior in puppies. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine if your puppy’s weird behavior is related to any underlying medical issues that may require treatment.


Are There Any Specific Breeds Of Dogs That Are More Prone To Strange Behaviors?

Yes, certain dog breeds may be more prone to strange behaviors. Factors such as genetics, temperament, and upbringing can contribute to these behaviors. Researching and understanding a breed’s tendencies before getting a puppy is important.


How Can I Determine If My Puppy’s Weird Behavior Is A Sign Of A More Serious Underlying Issue?

We can determine if our puppy’s weird behavior is a sign of a more serious underlying issue by observing any changes in their eating habits, energy levels, or physical appearance. Consulting a veterinarian is always recommended.


Is It Normal For A Puppy To Have Sudden Changes In Behavior As They Go Through Different Stages Of Development?

Yes, it is normal for puppies to have sudden changes in behavior as they go through different stages of development. It’s important to closely observe their actions and consult a veterinarian if any concerns arise.

The Tail End

When our puppies start acting weird, there are usually common reasons behind it. It’s important not to panic and try to understand their behavior’s root cause. Whether it’s teething, fear, or simply seeking attention, patience, and consistency in training can make a big difference. But, if behaviors suddenly change drastically or persist for a long time, it might be wise to consult a veterinarian. Remember, understanding and supporting our furry friends is key to fostering a strong bond with them.

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