New dog owners shouldn’t worry too much about puppy quirks

New dog owners shouldn't worry too much about puppy quirks (Image 1)

Puppies can be a handful. They're often fearless, eat
anything in sight and need constant supervision. So to a new dog owner, there
are some quirks that can be surprising.

Heather Young and her Papillon-Poodle mix are inseparable.
But as a first-time puppy owner, she wanted to know if some of Biscuit's quirks
are normal.

“When I leave the apartment, sometimes he gets a little bit
anxious and he may go around and start nibbling on the baseboards and kind of
chipping away at the corners,” Young explained, adding that Biscuit also loves
to eat toilet paper.

Dr. Heather Moeser, with Downtown Mobile Vet, said both quirks
are not normal

“They're used to having that social companionship around
them,” Moeser said. “When that owner then leaves, relative to their day, it can
be very stressful.”

The stress can even lead to full-blown separation anxiety,
Moeser said.

Another trait that Young was curious about is whether it is
normal that her puppy will approach other, larger dogs.

“He's somewhat fearless when he meets new puppies and other
larger dogs too,” she said. “He'll approach them and want to interact with

Moeser explained this is normal because puppies haven't yet
learned to listen to their parents.

Also a first-time puppy owner, Sydney Norton didn't know
what she was getting into when she bought her two Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix pups
months ago.

“Just the amount of attention they need, especially when I
got them [when] they were 4 weeks old,” Norton said.

She soon realized Winston and Kingsley had fleas and protruding
bellies — and that concerned her.

“I was just scared that I didn't know what I was going to
do,” she said.

Moeser said the pups had worms, which meant monthly

Health issues aside, Norton said Kingsley hasn't learned to
listen to her yet and refuses to wear a collar. She said he even tried to bite
Sydney when she put on the collar.

Moeser suggested putting the collar on and giving the pup a
treat to reinforce the idea that good behavior will always be rewarded. But
when it comes down to it, she said, “there needs to be a little bit of tough

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