Raising a puppy is a challenging but rewarding journey.

These high-energetic creatures are free-spirited, lively, and love to play, but they can also be mischievous and require patience and training.

They might bite your hand, jump on you out of nowhere, defecate on the floor, and somehow sleep for hours.

Yet the love they offer is unparalleled by anything you might experience.

A crucial factor when fostering and nurturing a young pup is understanding their behaviors.

This includes an informed awareness of what is normal or uncommon as per their developmental age.

For example, while it may be normal for a dog to sleep 7-8 hours of sleep, the same amount for a puppy might be considered quite bad and even indicate an underlying medical condition.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about normal puppy behaviors.

Ranging from social, feeding, sleeping, elimination, and vocal to even chewing and biting, we got you covered.

So, join us on this beautiful ride where we discover learning more about our canine friends and taking better care of them along the way!

Normal Puppy Behaviors: Social 

Much like humans, puppies love interacting with their loved ones and the world around them.

While the extent may vary from breed to breed, most puppies are generally regarded as outgoing and sociable.

In fact, early exposure to multiple people, places, and animals plays an integral part in a healthy and secure adulthood.

normal puppy behavior playful

Playful Behavior

Playful behavior in puppies starts off as early as three weeks of age. It commences through pawing, biting, and barking at their littermates.

It helps them learn communication, cooperation, and boundaries.

At the same time, it also enables them to grow into their physical abilities and develop skills such as coordination, balance, and muscle strength.

If your puppy is older than that and doesn’t seem to interact with the world around them, it may be a sign of an underlying medical concern.

We recommend taking them to the veterinarian and getting them examined for potential issues.

Remember: the earlier the diagnosis, the more effective the treatment will likely be.


Have you ever visited a friend whose dog started barking excessively and wouldn’t stop?

While your friend may have brushed the issue off, it may be a sign of underlying anxiety caused due to lack of social exposure during puppyhood.

A puppy starts forming associations with people and objects as early as 3-14 weeks of age.

This is why it’s important that you provide them with an environment where they can interact with new people, places, animals, and objects.

This will enable them to feel less threatened in unfamiliar surroundings and minimize the development of issues such as excessive barking, fear, and anxiety, aggression, etc.

ALSO READ: The Puppy Socialization Checklist

normal puppy behavior feeding

Feeding Behaviors

Nutrition and appetite are crucial factors contributing to a puppy’s growth and development.

Adequate food intake will ensure your adorable furry friend has sufficient resources to partake in physically and mentally stimulating activities throughout the day.

Feeding Schedules

Puppies have high energy requirements and require frequent meals to encourage and sustain their physical and psychological well-being.

The younger a puppy is, the more frequently it’ll have to consume food.

For example, pups up to 12 weeks may require small portions of meals four or five times a day to feel well-fed and nourished.

This frequency may decline as your adorable canine companion gets older.

You may reduce it gradually, going from 3 servings to twice a day as they approach 6 months of age.

Food Amount

Generally, feeding your furry friend about 20 grams for each 1kg they weigh is recommended.

For example, if your dog weighs 5 kg, you’ll need to feed them around 100 grams of quality dog food daily. This is because 5 multiplied by 20 results in a total of 100.

This amount may also vary depending on your pet’s breed and activity level.

For example, a puppy with a more active lifestyle may burn out energy easily and require more food consumption.

It may also be because exercise may fasten metabolism due to physical activity, necessitating more meal intake throughout the day.

Common Feeding Problems and Solutions

Like human babies, puppies may also suffer from eating problems and solutions.

As pet parents, we are responsible for ensuring our furry friend eats adequately according to his size and activity level.



Overeating Provide smaller meals but increase their frequency throughout the day.
Undereating Change the type of food / provide options that your pup enjoys.
Pickiness Identify what your pet enjoys (may require patience and experimentation).
Eating too Quickly Get a slow feeder bowl and divide the food into multiple smaller portions.

Being a puppy owner is about understanding your little furry friend’s needs and bonding with their uniqueness and individuality.

Providing the right nutrition means allowing your pet to live longer and healthier right there with you!

normal puppy behavior sleeping

Sleeping Puppy Behaviors

Have you ever felt tired and irritable owing to lack of sleep?

You may feel fatigued, undergo intense mood changes, or react unreasonably, even to the smallest things. The same rule applies to our furry friends.

While humans may require 7-8 hours of sleep, dogs require way more for optimum physical and psychological functioning.

The amount of sleep they need may vary, depending on their age, breed, and activity level.

Age and Activity Level

Generally, the normal sleeping range for adult dogs is 12 to 14 hours.

Still, differences may occur amongst dogs of the same breed but with less activity level.

For example, contrary to what you might expect, a Golden Retriever who is more active and goes out for daily walks and play sessions may sleep less than its less active counterpart.

Physical stimulation can keep our pet’s brain awake for longer hours, resulting in less relative sleep.

On the other hand, puppies need extra hours of sleep for their growth and development.

Generally, they need 18-20 hours of sleep per day for optimum maturation.

This is why you must provide them with a comfortable and quiet place so they can feel well-rested and recharged for the day ahead.

Sleep Cycle

We have already established that puppies need much more sleep than adults for optimum functioning.

Another difference worth noting is the differences in sleep cycle between the two. This refers to the duration that both may slumber for.

For example, while puppies sleep relatively more, their average duration is comparatively less.

For example, the sleep cycle for puppies lasts about 15-20 minutes, whereas the one for adult dogs can last as long as 90-120 minutes.

So, there’s no need to worry if you have noticed your adorable pup waking much more than your dog at night. This is normal sleeping behavior for them.

Normal Puppy Behaviors: Elimination

Urinating and defecating are normal biological processes, but training your pup to do it correctly may be challenging.

They may leave accidents on the floor or pee on your furniture to mark territory.

You must encourage appropriate elimination behaviors early on during puppyhood to maintain a clean and healthy environment as your pet grows up.


Housebreaking refers to an animal’s process of defecation, which may be indoors or outdoors.

You may choose a method based on your puppy’s breed, size, and what it seems to adapt to best.

Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, so selecting the most convenient for you and your four-legged friend is best.

Remember: patience and consistency are key.

Toilet training may take as long as 4-6 months.

We recommend using positive reinforcement techniques during this time and encouraging appropriate elimination behaviors through treats so your furry friend learns earlier.

If you think your pup is facing any challenges, it is best to consult a professional.

They may do a general checkup, ask you questions, and then create a plan best suited to the health and wellness of your canine companion.

How to Get a Puppy to Stop Barking

Puppy Vocal Behaviors

Vocalization is an integral part of dog communication. It is how our canine companions express emotions such as excitement and happiness.

Barking in dogs is encouraged as it can be used as a tool to signal towards danger and warning signals, such as when they suspect an unfamiliar person in our household territories.

It represents their anxiety towards potential threats and can be regarded as a call to attention to address a prospective issue or concern.

Types of Barking

Understanding the types of barking may allow you to understand the underlying concerns behind why your pet may be acting vocal.

Barking Type


Alert Barking To alert owners about unusual or suspicious activity
Play Barking During play, to emphasize the excitement
Territorial Barking To protect against potential threats
Demand Barking To demand attention, food, or other things
Fearful / Anxious Barking To communicate distress and acquire reassurance
Aggressive Barking As a response to a perceived challenge

Now, it is important to remember that barking is a form of communication with their owners and peers. It is their mode of expression.

It is how they react to their internal states (that is, their emotions) and the external world around them.

Excessive Barking: Causes and Treatment 

The problem occurs when barking becomes excessive and disturbs the people and animals around them.

This is when it may begin to deviate from normal behavior and enter the folds of abnormal behavior.

For example, it may occur at night or throughout the day and continue for 30 minutes, etc.

If your pet has been barking excessively, it may be time to start investigating the causes and attempting to treat them accordingly.

For example, your pet may be barking due to fear or anxiety, boredom and lack of exercise, separation anxiety, underlying medical issues, and even attention-seeking tactics.

We recommend using positive reinforcement techniques and consulting a professional to assist you in identifying the cause and treating your furry friend through behavior modification, training exercises, environmental management, medication, etc.

Remember: patience and consistency can help your four-legged friend become a good boy in all its meanings!

black Labrador puppy

Normal Puppy Behaviors: Physical

Puppies are high-energy by nature. They’re young and wish to explore the world through their sensory and motor organs.

For example, they might bite your hand or jump around the furniture in your room, etc.

Chewing and Biting

Puppies have an instinctual need to chew or bite, forming a natural part of their growth and development.

For example, they may chew as a medium of exploration to check how an object feels or tastes. Or they may do it playfully, for example, nibbling on their owner’s fingers during playtime.

It is important to remember that this behavior may be enhanced during puppyhood owing to factors such as teething or getting easily bored and restless.

Providing good chew toys to relieve that inherent physical and mental energy is crucial.

Socialization may also enable your pup to feel less anxious and interact with the world around it healthily and moderately.

Jumping and Climbing

Puppies may jump or climb on their owners as an expression of excitement, a call for attention, or even playfulness.

While adorable initially, this behavior may pose a problem if it becomes excessive.

Therefore, teaching basic commands and using positive reinforcement techniques is integral to a puppy’s training.

Whether it is your adorable Golden Retriever biting your hand excessively or jumping on you out of nowhere, it is better to address it if it causes discomfort.

We recommend reward-based training, ignoring bad behavior, and becoming consistent in your approach.

This will enable your puppy to understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and help you form a harmonious and loving union.

ALSO READ: 25 Most Common Dog Behavior Issues: Habits and Problems That Are Not Normal

Normal Puppy Behaviors: Final Words

Our adorable little canine friends deserve all the love they can get.

As dutiful pet parents, we must ensure their upbringing is filled with positive reinforcement so they grow into healthy and secure adults.

We hope this article gave you greater insight into what is considered normal behavior for puppies.

Even if your puppy lags in an area, don’t worry.

Every pup is different, with a unique set of genetic makeup that might contribute to its growth and development.

Still, it is best that you consult a veterinary professional if the issue persists.

They may perform a medical examination and guide you based on a combination of expertise and test results.

In the end, patience and consistency are integral parts of puppy training.

Your furry friend will cherish the love you pour into it during puppyhood and return it with much loyalty and dedication as it grows!

READ NEXT: How Do You Pick a Calm Puppy

Chin has been working as a writer for more than a decade in various niches and now she's finally living the dream of writing something she's passionate about—dogs!