New dog owners shouldn't worry too much about puppy quirks - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Is Your Pet Normal?

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

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Heather Young's Papillon-Poodle mix, Biscuit, eats toilet paper and chews baseboards. Heather Young's Papillon-Poodle mix, Biscuit, eats toilet paper and chews baseboards.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

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 them."

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 de-wormings.

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 love."

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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