7 reasons your puppy is acting like a monster

Cute black and white puppy looking up at the camera
  1. She’s hungry. Assuming your puppy is feeling well and has an appetite, she’ll want 3–4 meals per day, maybe with some snacks in between. A hungry puppy will bite and mouth and can be difficult to dissuade. If your pup is acting this way, see if it coincides with her usual mealtimes.
  2. She’s tired. Puppies need a lot of sleep: up to 20 hours a day! A puppy who isn’t properly rested can seem like she has lots of energy. But what you’re seeing is an overtired puppy, who much like an overtired toddler, needs to rest.
  3. She may not feel well. Between deworming and your puppy's vaccination schedule, even a healthy puppy may have moments of discomfort that can lead to more mouthing, biting, or jumping behavior than usual. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and refusal to eat can be signs of a medical emergency – contact your veterinarian right away if you see any of these changes in your puppy.
  4. She needs appropriate activities. If your puppy isn’t getting enough mental stimulation, she might start acting wild. Think about puppy-proofing a room or area of your house and adding toys, chews, and anything else that will keep her occupied for a bit. You can play with her too.
  5. She has to potty. When you’re house-training your puppy, it can feel impossible to stay ahead of every time she needs to go outside. A puppy who is learning to potty outdoors may try various ways of getting your attention, including nipping or barking — or she may seem unsettled, distracted or agitated. When in doubt, take her out.
  6. It’s evening. Dogs are crepuscular, meaning they become active at twilight. Your puppy is likely to ramp up as you’re trying to ramp down. Plan on exercising, training, or playing with your puppy before feeding her evening meal. Then she can rest in her crate with a stuffed Kong.
  7. Your puppy might actually be a monster. This is worth considering. Did you go against every sane person’s advice and get a Malinois puppy? Border Collie? Chihuahua? Miniature Pinscher? Consistent training may help. An Australian Cattle Dog? Sorry: game over.