8-month Puppy Just Started Sucking His Stuff Animals

by Sylvia

Here's Sylvia's question:

My 8 month old Boston Terrier just started to suck on his stuffed animals as if he were nursing.

Is this normal behavior at this age?

Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling

First of all, your puppy looks adorable, and rest assured there is no cause for alarm.

Dogs can exhibit a host of quirky habits over their lifetime. The habit you've described is not
uncommon among dogs or even cats and has been encountered by many pet owners. Animal behaviorist don't have any real answers as to why some pets engage in this behavior.

Your dog is still a puppy and this habit may disappear as he matures. It may even be replaced by a different one. There is some speculation that this type of behavior could be an outcome
affecting puppies removed from their litter too early. It has also been a noted activity among
certain dog breeds and often lasts a lifetime.

Stuffed toys may not be the best type to suck on, but not necessarily harmful unless he is
swallowing parts of the material.

You may want to substitute chew toys or give him a puzzle toy containing treats. Puzzle toys containing treats require a pet's attention and it can take a while for them to reach the rewards. This may help him drop his sucking habit.

On the other hand if the sucking doesn't bother you and he is not ingesting anything harmful,
then you could just let it run its course. At this stage of his life, it may just be an activity he enjoys or finds comforting and I see no reason to stop it.

Not knowing your puppy, I can't really tell you why he is doing this, but perhaps some change occurred in your household that made him feel anxious? For example, was he suddenly left
alone for longer periods of time? This can cause separation anxiety which a pet may react to in
a variety of different ways.

Boston Terriers, in general, are known to thrive on human companionship and have sensitive natures making them more susceptible to stress when their owners are gone. That being said, I don't know any of the details of his daily routine, so loneliness may not be a factor.

You didn't say whether or not your Boston is neutered? For a small dog, he is at the right age
for this procedure which can bring about big changes in a pet's behavior. But as I said at the outset, this behavior is not uncommon and no cause for making any changes.

At this point, I would just let him enjoy what makes him happy.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
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