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Puppy Witching Hour: Help For Hyperactive Puppies

Raising a puppy properly is journey that will lead you to owning an awesome adult dog. However, it can be pretty stressful at first, especially when you bring a young puppy home. There’s a phenomenon that some puppy owners deal with called the puppy witching hour.  The puppy witching hour is when puppies get a sudden surge of energy, usually at night time. It can be intense to manage or at the very least, bad timing for you in winding down your night.

puppy witching hour

In this guide, I’ll explore puppy witching hour, its causes, and practical strategies to ensure a peaceful night for both you and your puppy.


What is Puppy Witching Hour?

If you have ever asked yourself, “Why is my puppy crazy at night?,” you may be dealing with puppy witching hour. The term “puppy witching hour” refers to those unpredictable moments when you’re suddenly dealing with hyperactive puppy biting, and intense bursts of energy. Puppy witching hour is a little more intense than normal puppy play. In addition, some puppies will appear to get a surge of energy that appears as puppy aggression. These episodes usually occur in the late evening or afternoon, leaving puppy parents bewildered and exhausted. But, rest assured, the puppy witching hour is entirely natural and often linked to the developmental stages of a growing pup.


Why Does My Puppy Go Crazy at Night?

If you have wondered, “Why does my puppy get hyper before bed?,” keep reading.  The puppy witching hour can be challenging, but with structure and training, it’s manageable. Keep in mind that your puppy’s behavior will improve as they grow and mature. In the meantime, be patient and consistent with your puppy’s daily routine.

Understanding the underlying reasons behind the puppy witching hour is the first step in managing it. There are several factors that contribute to this frenzy:

  1. Lack of Structure: Puppies thrive on routine and structure. If your pup’s day lacks a defined schedule, they might become restless and burst into hyperactivity in the evening. Like children, puppies need a sense of predictability to feel secure and relaxed. Lack of structure includes lack of crate time (aka structured naps). So make sure you are crate training your puppy and letting them decompress in there. puppy witching hour
  2. Excess Energy: Puppies have boundless energy reserves, and if they haven’t had enough physical and mental stimulation during the day, that energy will manifest itself in the form of late-night zoomies.
  3. Sleep Deprivation: Surprisingly, puppies need a lot of sleep, up to 18-20 hours a day. If they haven’t had enough nap time during the day, they can become overtired, overstimulated and cranky, leading to the puppy witching hour.
  4. Overstimulation: Environmental factors can also play a significant role. New people, new surroundings, or even changes in the weather can overstimulate your puppy, causing them to act out in the evening.


Now that we understand the factors contributing to the puppy witching hour, let’s dive into practical strategies to manage and minimize these wild nighttime antics.

Your Puppy’s Daily Schedule

One of the most effective ways to combat the puppy witching hour is by introducing structure and routine into your puppy’s day. Like a human child, puppies thrive on predictability and consistency. Here’s how you can achieve that:

  1. Establish a Schedule: Create a daily schedule that includes regular feeding times, potty breaks, playtime, and nap times. Stick to this schedule as closely as possible to help your puppy learn what to expect throughout the day.
  2. Crate Training: Crate training is a valuable tool. Puppies feel safe and secure in their crates, making it an ideal place for them to rest and nap. Ensure your pup has a comfortable crate with their favorite toys, and encourage them to take naps in it during the day. Here is a good article on how to crate train your puppy
  3. Obedience Training for Meals: Incorporate obedience training into your pup’s mealtime routine. Use simple commands like “sit” or “stay” before putting down their food. This not only enforces discipline but also stimulates their minds, helping to tire them out. I started training my puppy with “place command” when she was 3 months old. I made her work for her daily meals.

Is Your Puppy Hyper and Biting at Night?  

Puppies often exhibit hyperactive puppy biting during the puppy witching hour. This is entirely normal, as it’s a way for them to teeth, explore the world and release pent-up energy. However, it’s essential to manage these behaviors:puppy witching hour

  1. Provide Chew Toys: Offer a variety of chew toys and interactive toys to keep your puppy engaged. This can help satisfy hyperactive puppy biting and teething instinct and redirect their energy. Bully sticks were a lifesaver for me when my dog was a puppy.
  2. Interactive Play: Engage in interactive play with your puppy during the day. Games like fetch and tug-of-war provide mental and physical stimulation, reducing the likelihood of hyperactivity at night.
  3. Training and Commands: Consistent training is crucial. Teach your puppy basic commands like “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” “drop it.” These commands can help you redirect their behavior during the puppy witching hour and encourage impulse control.

Puppy Witching Hour Help: When to Seek out a Professional Dog Trainer 

If you are really struggling with calming down your hyperactive puppy at night, seek some professional dog training help. Sometimes dog trainers are able to see things owners are not and provide valuable consultation.

Remember that the puppy witching hour can be a developmental stage that will pass quickly, or it can be due to a lack of engagement, structure and nap time. Puppies are fun but a lot of work. It’s important to have the time and space in your life for them because you want to raise them properly. There is no need to wait to train your puppy. Start right away from the very moment you bring them home. Remember rules and structure are good for all dogs to ensure they do not develop behavioral issues over time.

If you are looking for a puppy trainer in Portland, Oregon check out my blog on The Benefits of a Puppy Board and Train. You can also check out my other blog, “Why Are Puppies So Hyper and How to Calm Them Down.”  

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