A Veterinarian’s 3 Favorite Puppy Personalities

Puppies never fail to brighten up my day — here are 3 of my favorite kinds

Five German shepherd puppies in a wooden basket.
Photo: Judi Neumeyer via Unsplash

Puppies are amazing. They are designed to melt your heart at first sight. From their tiny button noses, to the way their eyes light up when they play. Everything about them is made to make you want to take them home immediately. There’s a reason that so many people adopt puppies every year, and why puppies never last in a shelter long before somebody snatches them up.

Playing with puppies is hands down one of the best parts of my job. Seeing a new puppy on the schedule is like seeing a bright spot on a cloudy day, and it’s always a happy experience. Just like with people, every puppy has its own unique personality. Half of the adventure of interacting with puppies is getting to see this personality and watch it develop over time.

Throughout my time as a veterinarian, some of these personalities stand out more than others. Here they are in no particular order, my favorite three puppy personalities.

1. ‘Everything is a toy’

A pug puppy tugging on a colorful bag handle.
Photo: Darinka Kievskaya via Unsplash

This puppy treats everything as a toy, from my fingers, to the vaccine syringe, to the bell of my stethoscope. It is all worth playing with or, at the very least, trying to play with. As I read through this pet’s chart, I usually feel a furry paw resting on my arm. I look up to find a matching furry face looking at me as if to say, “I play with this?”

These cuties can be a handful, they never want to hold still because holding still deprives them of what they most desire — to see if they can push the scale off of the table with just one paw, or if it will take two. I love these little furballs; they are some of the most fun patients to interact with. We could easily spend hours playing with these pups, but alas, duty calls!

2. ‘If it fits in my mouth I can probably eat it’

A Labrador retriever carrying a paper towel roll in their mouth in a living room.
Photo: Taylor Deas-Melesh via Unsplash

This puppy, usually a labrador retriever or a hound, desires to eat everything and anything in sight. I position the little thing to listen to her heart, only to hear an eardrum wrenching noise as she grinds her little teeth against the stethoscope. I gently redirect them only to have the pup try her luck at my fingers.

Next comes the vaccine when she eats her fill of treats to distract from the small needle poke. Then, still hungry, she gets a dose of flavored dewormer. But no, the dewormer and treats are insufficient for our little friend, she’ll try to take the syringe too. Gnawing at the end and trying to wrest it from my grip. All the while I can see the silent question forming in her little eyes as they land on my pen, “I eat dis?”

3. ‘Sleepy the Dwarf has got nothing on me!’

A short-haired brown puppy sleeping soundly on a small rug.
Photo: Torsten Dettlaff via Pexels

This puppy has been tuckered out to the max! His new owners may have scheduled this appointment during his favorite nap time, or maybe the lull of the car ride gently rocked him to sleep. Either way, he is ready to sleep and will entertain no further discussion on the topic.

We gently place him on the scale like a tiny loaf of bread, and he quickly yawns and dozes off. The clinic bores him. The new people aren’t exciting enough to rouse him from his slumber. So, he does what he knows best and snoozes through the whole visit. While I talk to the owners about his visit, the technician brings him around the clinic to show everybody how cute he is. Everyone takes their turn holding him, and he is more than happy to oblige. Each new set of arms affords him a whole new sleeping experience!


As I’m sure you can tell, I love puppies. They are one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, and they make every day brighter. There is nothing better than seeing a puppy on the schedule. The bonus is that I get to watch them grow.

As time goes on, I get to see their personalities develop, then transition to treating them as adults. People often don’t realize, but us veterinarians become attached to their pets too. While we know that you will always be their number one, we enjoy being a part of their lives from start to finish.

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