New puppy is sad. Is that normal?

We just bought this morning a 4,5 month old maltese puppy. At first when we brought to our home is was rather scared and wouldn’t let us touch it.

A few hours later the puppy doesn’t look that scared and won’t go away when we try to touch it, but it looks rather sad and likes to hide under the coffee table in the living room.

It was very active when we saw him at the breeder’s house. Is this normal?

You just separated the puppy from its mom and siblings for the first time, correct?

Allow the poor thing some time to adjust. Yes, being mildly upset at huge life changes is normal.

Completely normal.

He’s suddenly all alone in a new house filled with God-like giants who control everything. Let him be, and let him come to you. He’ll be fine.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

Perfectly normal. In a day or three you will be wishing you had that well behaved puppy back. Just assume he will chew up and or pee on at least one or things with monetary or sentimental value. It is what puppies do. Oh yes, lack of pictures is a serious breech of board etiquette.

It’s in a new, unfamiliar environment and probably feels lonely and scared. What I would do would be to sit down on the floor with it and hold it on my lap (if it would let me). A bowl of warm milk could possibly help, too.
When it feels a little more comforted, try to distract it by playing a bit.

I guess it was a long day for him and he’s tired :slight_smile:

His name is Femto (from the SI unit prefix).

He looks fine in that photo. For a puppy the transition time should be brief. As soon as he’s comfortable and used to the routine he’ll be plenty happy all the time you are with him. He may tell you he was sad and miserable anytime you were away, but dogs lie, he was actually sleeping the whole time.

A few years back my older daughter got a mini-Aussie from a private breeder and brought him over to show off. Poor guy had never been away from his first family and was obviously scared, so I figured I’d provide some non-threatening company by sitting in my recliner across the room.

The result.

To this day, whenever he comes over he tries to scramble into my lap — despite the fact that he doesn’t come anywhere close to fitting. But it seems to have given him comfort when he needed it, so who am I to complain?

Happened with Bentley. He went under a shelf in the kitchen and sat in the corner. It took him a day before he was running around and bonding. Now, 8 months later, he’s beside me with his head on my lap as I post this.

It’s fairly normal for a puppy to act that way. You just rocked his world pretty hard. He’ll be a normal puppy real soon and you’ll be posting about what he’s chewed up that you didn’t want to lose.

A new environment can send a dog, not just a puppy, into a funk.

I had a dog and then moved to a new apartment. For about 6 weeks he wasn’t himself. I’ve talked to others that have had the same experience with their dogs.

So yes, the puppy is probably depressed but he will pull out of it as the environment becomes familiar to him. Feel bad for the little guy, do everything you can to comfort him and he will bond to you. There is nothing abnormal going on.

I took a foster dog to her new home on New Year’s Day. I took her to her new family and stayed with them for about an hour while she relaxed and got to know them a bit. She was warming up to them, so I told them to take her for a walk with their other dog, and I’d slip away. She saw my car leaving and went wild trying to chase me. They got her back into the house and she was barking and wouldn’t come near them, being snappy (but not biting or coming close to biting) when they tried to pet her.

When I called them to check on things a half hour after I left, they were fairly freaking out, and I think they would’ve liked me to pick her up. I told them she’d had three homes and was the victim of a very serious dog attack in the last month. They just needed to let her alone and let her get used to them. By the end of the night she’d calmed down and climbed into bed with the parents, and by the next morning they were saying what a great, well-behaved dog she was.

Just give your new baby time. This is a whole new life and he doesn’t know how it works yet.


Congratulations on your new pup! Try not to worry. Like everyone says, he’ll be fine after a period of adjustment.

This photo is so cute it wins the internet.

Thanks a lot. I just started reading it and you spoiled the ending.

Yes, our puppy was the same when she first was brought back home - she cried a lot (particularly at night) and shivered all the time. I also remember that, for the first few weeks, whenever anyone would sit on the floor cross-legged, she’d immediately come and nestle in the middle of one’s legs. I guess the warmth and relative confinement reminded her of “home” and/or “mom” ? That was fine with us though - that way she got used to us petting her and started trusting us more.

Anyway, rambling and getting a bit teary eyed (dog’s dead now. I miss that crazy bitch). Don’t worry about it, it’s fine. Your dog will soon get used to its new environment. And if it acts up (ours would just destroy furniture legs in the kitchen where it was left at night, scratched the doors to hell and back and had a lot of, errr, gastro-urinary “accidents”), well, don’t be too hard on it. It’s a just babby, freaking out and not knowing any better.

Yep, not a problem. I had a cat once that after being separated from his 5 sisters would search the house looking for them.

I know I’m going to get crap from crating enthusiasts, but I highly suggest NOT crating until the little guy’s sure he’s not going to be separated from you. MrTao insisted on crating our pup right off the bat when we got him, since he’d been crated at night with his siblings his whole life.

Well, there’s a huge difference between sleeping between brothers and sleeping in a room by yourself while your new people disappear from the room. /facepalm Poor guy; I tried real hard for a couple of weeks, since MrTao was certain that routine was what was needed, but couldn’t do it. Let him sleep in the room, never had a problem after that.

I suggest you make sure he’s near you, or at least can see and hear someone, for as long as you can, even at night. Crate in the bedroom, if crating’s the only option, but expect him to be scared a bit. And remember, pups can only hold pee for an hour at most for each month of their age, so plan to get up to let him out. In fact, if you can do it, set an alarm and get him on a routine until he figures out how to let you know he has to go. Or invest in some puppy pads and hope he figures it out. :slight_smile:

He’s too cute to be scared. :slight_smile:

Aaaaawwww. Cute little guy.

He’ll be fine once he adjusts to being away from Mom, siblings, and other familiar household members and on his own with strangers. :slight_smile:

At least your moving wasn’t as eventful as