Puppy bunny hopping is not a rare sight—most animals, including dogs, bunny hop. ‘Bunny hopping’ is a term used by dog parents to describe the movement of their pet springing up like a bunny. The term is a literal translation of the action.
Puppy bunny hopping does not pose severe health threats. It can be due to several reasons. There is no need to panic right away and cause alarming situations. Make sure you observe and understand if your puppy has suddenly developed this habit and why.
The dog bunches its hind legs, lifts its front legs, and hops forward, similar to a bunny. Bunny hopping by a puppy can seem very adorable. But is there a reason behind it? Is it concerning? These kinds of questions may arise if you suddenly notice this habit in your puppy.
Is Your Puppy Bunny Hopping?
This article will give the answers to all your puppy bunny hopping-related questions. Find out as you read through this article.
Puppy Bunny Hopping
Puppies bunny hop often. Puppies can hop anywhere till 4 months to even a year. Some puppies outgrow their bunny hopping phase, but some continue to hop even as a dog. The big question is why? And the simplest answer to this is that puppies are still developing.
Their brains, biology, and muscles are still new to them. It may be out of curiosity, and it may be the lack of muscle, a form of imitation, or some health concerns. We’ll get into the health concerns in the latter part of the article.
If your house has stairs and you notice your puppy bunny hopping, it can be just a way of learning to get down or up from the stairs. Puppies are still learning every day, and a tall height of stairs can be a challenge for them. Everything is new to a puppy.
A tall structure, flight of stairs, and any new environment can be difficult for them to adapt immediately. This may naturally strike them to bunny hop onto the stairs. It is absolutely normal, and there is no root cause behind this habit in this context.
Puppy Hopping Like a Bunny
Puppies can also bunny hop as a form of imitation. They pick up habits rather quickly. Suppose you have a pet bunny in your home; your puppy can learn from it and start hopping. This is an adorable sight and seen in many puppies. It is a form of bonding and communication with the other pets.
It is easy to get a puppy excited. Just like children, puppies are keen to learn new things. Be it playing with a toy, disciplining it, introducing a new treat, taking a walk, or simply playing with it, puppies love it. Their curious, developing brains enjoy things that are new to them. This can spike their energy levels, making them waddle their tails, run, or hop. It is just an expression of being in an excited state.
Bunny hopping can also be a cute trick for your puppy to learn. However, most puppies pick up this trick on their own. There is no condition or explanation for it, in most cases. It just happens. Whether to encourage this behavior or not is a personal preference of the owner.
If your puppy is hopping like a bunny, don’t be alarmed. This phase will mostly pass away on its own. Once your puppy enters adulthood, it will most likely stop hopping like a bunny in a few days or weeks.
Dogs, in general, are smart animals. They can be disciplined to have certain habits. Disciplining a dog is not easy. It requires time and patience. If you give time to your dog or puppy, it will appreciate your effort. Although bunny hopping in puppies does not pose any threats as such, you can discipline them to stop hopping. While playing with the puppies, give rewards and treats to let them know which behavior you are encouraging. If they start hopping, stop them right away and discipline them. It may not happen in one go. But the dog will surely understand that hopping is not right.
Why Does My Dog Hop Like a Bunny?
Canines are natural hunters. They have hunting instincts that give them the sheer energy to spring up in open yards or tall grass. This is specifically true for bigger dogs, and they have more energy to hop.
If you notice that your dog hops when you give treats or when you return from work, it can just be a case of excitement. The happiness and excitement of the energetic dogs can lead them to jump and hop. This is extremely normal, and there is nothing much to worry about it.
As mentioned before, dogs are filled with energy and curiosity. When running in an open yard, it can jump up and imitate a bunny hopping. This is simply due to excitement. Excitement can make a dog do all sorts of activities. This is a simple way of expressing their content and satisfaction with their owner.
Sometimes, your pet can have underlying health issues that may be causing them to hop. Let us try to understand what could be the health concerns and how to fix them.
If your pet is bunny hopping in an unusual manner, as if it is in pain, you might want to look at it. The first thing to do is examine for any open wounds on the legs. See if the puppy has any cuts or injuries that are not allowing them to use their front legs.
After locating the wounds, treat them with care.
If you do not find any open wounds or bruises, it is best advised to seek medical help. Contact your nearest veterinarian to know the root cause. You can take a scan and check for any hip dysplasia symptoms.
- Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is most prevalent in older dogs. The dog may show symptoms like bunny hopping, restlessness, unable to lie down, etc.
Hip dysplasia is a severe condition in dogs that can cause them to resort to bunny hopping. This condition can trigger fear in dogs to climb up or down the stairs. The pain will signal them to avoid simple tasks such as normal sprinting and walking.
This condition causes a faulty hip joint. The root cause of this condition is mostly heredity. If a dog has hip dysplasia, it will cause the hip to tear abnormally, eventually leading to arthritis. This will cause inflammation in the joint area.
Some dogs may have zero symptoms. When there are no symptoms, it usually means the dog is not in pain, and it need not be treated. However, if your dog is showing symptoms or acting unusual, proper treatment is necessary.
It can be treated with medications, and over time your dog will feel better. If the symptoms still persist, it may lead to surgery.
- Patellar Luxation
Patellar Luxation is a medical condition that occurs in dogs when their knee cap is disoriented. This condition is also called the floating kneecap condition. Since the kneecap is not properly situation, it can be uncomfortable for the dog, and this can cause bunny hopping.
Patellar Luxation usually shows symptoms as early as 4 – 6 months. It can make your dog less active. There are two options to treat this condition. The first case is manually moving the kneecap back into its original position. This is not guaranteed to permanently fix the case as the kneecap may shift out. The second case is surgery. Surgically aligning the kneecap of your dog will give permanent results. It will also allow your dog to be comfortable using its legs and run freely.
Although this condition is hard to identify, looking out for your dog is the best option.
- Neurological disorder
Dogs having neurological disorders may not be able to move their legs with ease. This can make them use hopping as a form of movement.
Most neurological disorders are genetically inherent. Genetic issues as such are very hard to cure. But proper physical therapy can help the dogs to feel better. A good diet and vitamins can also improve the prevailing conditions.
Always consult your veterinary doctor to get the diagnosis so that your dog can consume foods that can be beneficial for its health. Never self-diagnose hereditary conditions and feed over-the-counter medications. These can pose threats to your dog’s health.
If you have successfully located and examined any physical wound on your pet, first clean up the wound with saline water. Then apply a povidone-iodine solution to the wound and cover it up with sterile gauze. Bandage the legs at all costs. Your puppy will most likely try to lick it or clean the medication on it, so it is important to wrap the infected area.
With this, provide a balanced diet to your puppy. Give it a protein-rich diet during the injury phase so that it can recover quickly. Along with a balanced diet, always provide the dog with nutritional treats and vitamins for the healthy development of bones and muscles.
As mentioned earlier, try avoiding self-diagnoses unless necessary; always seek professional medical help if any abnormality is detected. Look out for symptoms or hints that your pet is giving you.
8-Week Old Puppy Bunny Hopping
If your 8-week old puppy is bunny hopping while eating well, sleeping well, and playing well, you should not be too concerned. Puppy bunny hopping should not worry you if you don’t notice any abnormalities. Every puppy will not resort to bunny hopping, but it is not an uncommon sight in most puppies.
Bunny hopping is just the pups being excited and filled with energy. As a young dog, puppies are more excited, alert, and curious. If it sees a bright, bouncy object or an open yard, the puppies love to jump, hop and play around, which is perfectly normal.
4-Month Old Puppy Bunny Hopping
Most puppies will outgrow their bunny hopping phase. As much as you are being worried now, you might miss this phase once it is gone. The sight of a puppy bunny hopping is just adorable and can light any pet lover’s mood.
Bunny hopping can be a result of underlying health issues. Identifying if your puppy is hopping with joy or out of pain is very important. Sometimes as a pet parent, you may be able to notice some shifts in your puppies’ behavior. In that case, always act quickly—look up ways to make your puppy feel better by trying simple home remedies. You can change their diet, introduce them to new toys or take them for a walk in a new environment.
To see if there is any abnormality in your puppy, try tracking its eating habits, playtime, vitamin intake, and activities. See if it suddenly started hopping or developed this habit gradually. Look into the pet’s heredity and see if the parent of your puppy had the same condition.
If you don’t notice any abnormality in your puppy, you may be right. However, self-diagnosis is not always accurate. There can be underlying health conditions of which you are not aware. And this might be playing a major role in your puppies’ hopping behavior. In this situation, the best and only solution is going to your trusted vet. Your vet can help you diagnose your puppy’s underlying health condition. With the right diagnosis and medication, you can help save your puppy’s life and let them live a comfortable life.
Bunny hopping is a common trait prevalent in puppies. Most puppies go through this phase and also outgrow it. Puppies from 8-weeks, 4 months to a year old can develop this habit. It can also go into adulthood.
Dogs are naturally born hoppers. It loves to jump, sprint, and engage in active forms of exercise. Occasionally, your pet may go through illness, and that is okay. Just be present for them to take care of their health for long-term contentedness.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.
Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs absolutely love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.
Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!