Dealing with a new puppy brings lots of hyper energy into the home. It’s a lot to get used to. Puppies are adorable but also bundles of energy. If you’ve ever wondered why puppies seem to have so much energy and what you can do about it, stay tuned. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind a puppy’s hyperactivity and offer practical tips for managing and calming those lively little balls of fur and cuteness.
I remember when I brought my last adorable puppy home. Her puppy energy was a lot to adjust to! It made me question my sanity for a few days and why I thought getting a puppy would be a good idea. However, the faster we found our routine together the smoother things got.
Fast forward and I am so glad I got to raise her as a puppy. It’s a special bond we have that I don’t have with my other dog I got at an older age. Hang in there with the process! It’s worth it.
It’s never a good idea to give your puppy the run of your house. Always contain them either in a playpen, crate or on a leash. This helps them to grow up with structure. It also has a myriad of other benefits like not unleashing puppy mayhem onto your other adult pets like dogs or cats. Check out my other blog on how to introduce a puppy to an old cat.
Containing your puppy with structure also prevents your home from being destroyed, chewed up and urinated on. It works really well to keep you sane during this process.
1. Natural Energy Levels – Puppies are naturally energetic and youthful. Their energy is part of their natural development, just like human children. As the months go by, your puppy will mellow out more and more. However, with a new puppy you want to keep them engaged with periods of rest. This helps calm down a hyper puppy. If you’re wondering how to calm a hyper puppy at night, I have written another blog on this subject. If you are wondering, “why does my puppy go crazy at night,” it is because there is not enough engagement, training and scheduled naps. This is also called the puppy witching hour which means they get a surge of energy when you least desire it, at bedtime. If you are wondering how to calm down a hyper puppy at night, keep reading. These tips will help.
2. Curiosity and Playfulness Puppies are curious by nature, and this curiosity leads to their hyperactive puppy behavior. Their playful antics are their way of exploring the world and learning about their environment. Play is an essential aspect of a puppy’s development, helping them build physical and social skills. So, when your puppy seems hyper during playtime, remember that it’s a sign of their active learning process.
3. Puppy Training and Structure A lack of training and structure can lead to puppy hyperactivity. It’s important to start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home. Do not wait to train your puppy! Puppy training helps to provide structure, leadership and keep you sane. In addition, it helps you bond because you will be using their food to train them. Without training and structure, a puppy grows into an adult dog that is unruly and out of control. Just like human children, puppies need structure and a daily schedule that they can count on. This will help with puppy witching hour and how to calm down a hyper puppy at night as well. This is because more training and naps during the day will calm your hyperactive puppy.
Here is a sample daily schedule for a new puppy. As you can see it includes puppy crate training which we can think of as “puppy nap time,” just like we give human children. In addition, an overstimulated puppy can become hyperactive and often they will begin to grow up neurotically with behavioral issues.
Give your puppy plenty of nap breaks during the day. A young puppy will also get tired extremely fast. Remember that puppies need about 18- 20 hours of sleep a day. If we reverse engineer this, it means that you have 4 hours of interactive time with your puppy per day. You will divide that 4 hours into many chunks throughout the day.
You can also take the puppy’s daily food and divide it into equal parts that you will use for training each day. Remember that puppies are always hungry after a long nap (just like a child), and it’s good to feed them when you take them out of the crate after you give them a potty break. Remember, that young puppies need to eat more often than older puppies and dogs.
Little puppies need a potty break after they eat bigger meals because things move through them fast. Very young puppies may also need potty breaks more often than bigger dogs (sometimes every hour). Always take them to the same spot on a leash to potty.
Morning: Potty break, feed & train, short walk, potty break, big nap in crate.
Afternoon: Potty break, feed & train, enrichment/play, potty break, big nap in crate.
Evening: Potty break, feed & train, enrichment/play, short walk/potty break, big nap in crate.
Late evening: Potty break, enrichment, potty break, bedtime.
Now that we understand why puppies are so hyper, let’s explore what you can do to manage and calm their exuberance. This will also help with the puppy witching hour, which is why a puppy goes crazy at night.
1. Regular Exercise Puppies need an outlet for their energy. Regular exercise is crucial for burning off excess energy. Take your puppy for walks, engage in play sessions, and provide opportunities for them to run and explore. Tailor the exercise to their age, breed, and individual needs. If you have a 2 month old puppy, they can only handle very short walks. You can also just practice walking them on a leash around the house, front yard or in your driveway. Ten minutes of walking may wear out a 2 month old puppy. Older puppies can handle longer walks.
2. Mental Stimulation In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital. When their brains are engaged, they tend to be more content, tired and relaxed. Why are puppies so hyper? Often, it’s because they do not have enough enrichment. Just letting your puppy play by itself or with other dogs is not what I am talking about. Addressing why are puppies so hyper with proper puppy enrichment is the key here. It includes: food puzzles, interactive toys, and training sessions which challenge their minds and help reduce hyperactivity. Puppy chews like bully sticks also provide stimulation and get them tired.
3. Proper Training and Socialization Training and socialization are key to teaching your puppy good behavior. With my last puppy we did some training every time I had her out from her crate. She basically grew up with me home schooling her. It helped shape her into an excellent dog with solid basic obedience. Positive reinforcement methods are what you will use for puppy training. Socializing your puppy with other dogs and people helps them become well-adjusted and less excitable. However, be extremely careful about letting your puppy play or interact with adult dogs, especially if they are stranger dogs. Many adult dogs dislike puppies and will snap at them. Dog owners do not realize this and tell you their dog is friendly, when really they are not friendly with puppies.
4. Consistent Routine Puppies thrive on routines. A consistent daily schedule for meals, potty breaks, and playtime provides them with a sense of security. Predictable routines also help prevent overstimulation, as puppies know when to expect periods of rest. In addressing why puppies are so hyper, consistency of routine may be the main factor to look at.
5. Crate Training Crate training can be a valuable tool for managing hyperactivity. Just like human children, puppies need naps to process everything they’ve learned. A crate offers a safe and comfortable space for them to rest and recharge. When properly introduced, the crate becomes a haven that helps prevent overstimulation.
6. Playpen A puppy playpen is also a great tool to help confine the puppy and give you a break. Say you have taken them out for a potty break, fed them and did a short walk. Afterwards, you can also put them in the playpen with their toys and let them burn off some energy that way. Remember that managing a hyperactive puppy requires patience and understanding. They are not trying to be a handful; they’re simply going through a phase of life where they’re full of curiosity and energy. With the right approach and a bit of time, you can help them become well-behaved, well-adjusted adult dogs. The right structure becomes your friend in this process because it gives you breaks while your puppy naps. If you help your puppy be more engaged with they’re out with you through training and games, they will sleep harder in the crate. This will make your puppy crate training process go much smoother.
Hopefully we answered the question, why are puppies so hyper? In conclusion, while puppies are inherently hyperactive due to their natural energy levels and playfulness, you can take steps to manage their exuberance. By providing regular exercise, mental stimulation, training, consistency, and crate training for naps, you can help your puppy grow into a well-behaved and happy companion.
Puppy hyperactivity will pass in time and teach you a lot about how to provide structure to your dog. Continue to provide your puppy that structure as they grow into an adult dog as well. It’s very good for you and for their canine mental and physical health.
If you are looking for professional puppy training in Portland check out my other blog on the benefits of a puppy board and train.
Check out my other blog on “Puppy Witching Hour,” for more tips.