by michael woods
my puppy of 13 weeks as started to growl when playing by herself with her toys, on her own while laying down, and showing her little teeth sometimes.
Is this normal?
Growling while playing, especially with soft toys etc. is pretty normal for a puppy. She's mimicking what she would do when playing with her siblings.
This is just a stage in her development, and shows that she's feeling comfortable and 'at home', and becoming more self-confident.
However, it's never okay for a puppy to growl, snap or show her teeth at a human. Never.
If you find she's starting to do this, you need to correct her with a stern "NO" immediately. You may want to read my Puppy Biting page for tips and advice on dealing with any nipping or 'mouthing' that might develop.
Puppies go through phases and stages, just like human children do, they're constantly testing their boundaries, and need consistent, loving discipline and rules to follow.
Some pups are dominant by nature, and try to exert their 'authority' by trying to control their human family by growling, snapping etc. That is not to be allowed, and it's much easier to nip it in the bud when your puppy is small, than to deal with it later. Never allow your puppy to 'frighten you off' by snapping/growling when picked up, or having a toy taken away etc. If this ever happens correct her firmly, and continue with whatever you were doing. You are in charge!
My Puppy Behavior page also has tips and advice on dealing with common puppy behavior issues.
Best of luck!