Dogs are odd. You know this, and we know this. But if you really want to see some odd behaviors, watch a puppy for a day or two. There are all kinds of funny things puppies do without even realizing it.
Some of these behaviors can be maddening, some hilarious, but they’re all head-scratching.
- Out-of-water paddling
When you put a dog in the water, she will automatically start paddling her legs to swim. It’s something they all do, and it’s easy to see why — they’re trying not to drown! Take your dog out of the water and the paddling will stop — something that also makes sense.
This isn’t what happens if you have a puppy though. For reasons that don’t completely make sense, puppies keep right on paddling for a while after you take them out of the water. Why? Are they afraid the water will return? Do they think it’s still there because they’re wet?
- Eating their body weight in food
If you’ve ever wondered how in the world your puppy could eat so much in one feeding — or eat so many meals every day — you’re not alone. Puppies eat… and eat… and eat.
And it’s due to a pretty simple, obvious reason: because they are growing. Their little bodies burn through calories ridiculously fast to help them get bigger faster. And all of that crazy, hyper puppy energy probably doesn’t help either.
- Passing out
If there’s one thing puppies are good at, it’s sleeping. They sleep all the time! But there’s something even weirder that many puppies do: pass out into a deep sleep without warning. One second they are playing ferociously, the next they are snoring. What gives?
This one is actually pretty simple, too. Especially if you’ve ever been around human babies or tots. Essentially there are two things going on here. One, it takes a lot of energy to grow, and the best way to conserve energy is to sleep a lot. Two, puppies simply don’t have full control or understanding over their bodies yet. They can be incredibly tired and not realize it — literally up to the minute that they pass out.
- Born to be wild
How is it possible that puppies can both be so tired that they pass out without warning and so hyper that they can skitter across your living room floor without breaking for hours? …Actually, wait, those two things totally make sense together. Puppies are like Tasmanian devils hyped up on sugar!
- Gnawing… on everything
Your expensive new shoes have holes in them. The arms of your favorite comfy chair have seen better days. And while you were freaking out that your pup chewed through a wooden sculpture, you looked over and noticed what was left of your smartphone in his mouth. Aarrgh!
In adult dogs, excessive chewing is a big problem that you need to address. But don’t hold puppies to the same standards. They chew on everything for a pretty good reason: teething.
Now that doesn’t mean that you should just let them destroy your house. Use your energy and body language to claim objects that are off limits. If you’re not around, keep them confined to a specific area, with nothing expensive or dangerous to chew on — this is where investing in puppy teething toys pays off. And if there’s anything you really want to preserve, make sure it’s out of their reach.
- Exploring everything
One minute your puppy is having a fight with a blanket and getting himself all tangled up. The next minute he’s in your underwear drawer ripping new holes for you. (You’re welcome!) And a few minutes later you hear your car alarm going off because he’s somehow gotten the keys off of the hook on the wall—five feet up!—and started chewing on them.
Puppies’ innate desire to learn everything may lead to some frustration and even embarrassment if they, say, bring those chewed up underwear out when you’re having a party. But breathe deep, remember that it’s only a phase.
And take pictures. You may want to pull your hair out now, but it won’t be long before you’re reminiscing about these crazy puppy behaviors.
What’s the oddest thing your puppy or dog has ever done? Tell us in the comments!