10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

overtired puppy symptoms

Is your puppy zooming around like crazy and seemingly never gets tired? Well, the opposite might actually be the case: your puppy is probably overtired! These 10 overtired puppy symptoms can help you find out if your puppy actually needs a rest.

It’s confusing, right?

Your fur baby seems to be bursting with energy. That he might actually need a rest is probably not your first thought.

However, it’s very important to understand overtired puppy symptoms. Not only is it annoying to have a dog that can’t calm down. It can actually also be dangerous for him and the people around him.

This might not be super obvious while he’s small. But when your puppy becomes an adult dog, things can get much worse! That’s why it’s best to address this early on.

In this article, I’ve put together 10 overtired puppy symptoms, so you can understand your puppy better. Plus, I’ll also show you how you can stop the unwanted puppy behavior, so you’ll be able to enjoy those puppy times to the fullest!

Can puppies be overtired?

Let’s start with a very important question: can puppies be overtired?

Looking at zooming puppies, you would instinctively say: no, puppies never get tired!

To many people’s surprise, the opposite is the case: Puppies have a whole lot of energy… for about 15 minutes (depending on their age). Then, they need to rest for a long long time!

Like kids, puppies don’t like resting all that much, though.

Have you ever seen a toddler trying their hardest to avoid going to bed? He seems full of energy. However, you know that he should actually be really tired.

Well, puppies are baby dogs. And in this, they’re pretty similar to children.

overtired puppies look excited, not sleepy
An overtired puppy looks more or less like that: no sign of sleepiness…

Why it’s important for your puppy to rest

Now, you might think: Okay, but what’s the problem? If my puppy gets overtired, then he can just sleep, right?

Well, not exactly.

Overtired puppies often get into a state of uncontrolled over excitement. It’s not only annoying when your dog is hyper all the time, it can actually also be dangerous for his health.

Here are 3 points that make it particularly important that your puppy learns to rest: their youth, their health, and biting issues.

Learning to calm down

Dogs learn things best when they’re young.

Since you don’t want a dog that’s zooming around 24/7, it’s best to start teaching your puppy to calm down as soon as possible.

While an over excited puppy is still fairly easy to handle, and maybe even cute, a 60 lb fully grown dog won’t be that much fun anymore!

The best way to do that is to set up a clear schedule. Dogs have a much easier time calming down if they know what to expect on a daily basis. This free puppy schedule planner will help you set up a clear daily routine and track your puppy’s success.

Get your free puppy schedule planner

Health issues

Enough sleep is not only important for your own mental health, but also for your dog’s mental and physical health.

Humans and dogs process things when they sleep. This helps us both learn and pick up new things. A lack of sleep can also weaken your dog’s immune system. Plus, a dog that doesn’t sleep enough is more prone to suffer from joint or back issues because their body doesn’t have enough time to regenerate.

Speaking of the vet: Have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!

Overtired puppy biting

The most common annoying overtired puppy habit is overtired puppy biting.

And it’s very important that you address it as quickly as possible!

Puppy biting might only be a little annoying or even cute. But when your puppy becomes an adult dog, biting is a real problem.

So, stop it right when it occurs, and you’ll be fine! I’ll tell you what to do about it in a minute.

Training a dog is the easiest while he’s still a puppy. There are several ways to go about that. But the most cost-effective is definitely to get an online course.

I’ve spent hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars on dog training classes and private dog trainers. In most cases, that’s not necessary at all, though. You can get the exact same information in an online course.

My all time favorite course is Braintraining4dogs. It’s based on positive reinforcement and focuses on improving your dog’s intelligence so that he can basically solve his own problems.

Field Dogs 300 x 600

This is the course I honestly wish I had when I first got my dog Baloo. It contains everything you need to know about training the dog of your dreams! Make sure to check out Dogpackr’s review of the course to see if this is something that could help you and your dog too.

Btw, another common issue with puppies is excited or submissive peeing. If your puppy has that problem too, check out these 13 tips how to stop excited or submissive dog peeing.

How much sleep does a puppy need?

Dogs sleep a lot! And puppies sleep even more.

Puppies sleep 18 to 20 hours per day on average. That doesn’t necessarily mean deep sleep. For part of the time, they’re just relaxing. But 20+ hours of sleeping, relaxing and doing nothing are completely normal for puppies.

This means that a puppy should only be active for 4 to 6 hours per day! This includes potty breaks, playtime, feeding time, walks etc. And: The younger your puppy is, the more sleep he needs.

However, not all dogs realize when it’s time for a nap. This is why it’s very important that you keep that in mind and force him to rest if necessary.

If you feel like your puppy should definitely get some more rest, make sure to check out my article on how to make your puppy sleep longer. If your puppy is around 10 weeks old, also check out my article on the question “can a 10-week-old puppy sleep through the night?

Puppies need a lot of sleep - about 18 to 20 hours per day to be exact
Puppies need a lot of sleep – about 18 to 20 hours per day to be exact

Do puppies get tired easily?

Yes and no.

The younger the puppy, the quicker he gets tired and the more he has to sleep.

At a certain age, puppies prefer action to sleeping, though.

So, they try to stay awake and tend to become hyperactive. This means that it’s often hard to tell if a puppy is tired or not.

In a few moments, I’ll show you 10 common overtired puppy symptoms. To stay on the safe side, I recommend sticking to the following rule of thumb on playtime.

How long should I play with my puppy?

As a rule of thumb, puppies should only walk for 5 minutes per month of age. The same applies to play time.

This means that a 3-month old puppy gets tired after 15 minutes of activity and should rest again.

However, puppies are like toddlers: very few feel the need to take a nap in the middle of playtime. They’re having a blast and are all hyped up. The last thing they’re thinking about is sleep!

Some puppies literally have to be forced to rest. This is where a crate comes in handy.

If you’re interested in being active with your puppy, make sure to read these 10 things you need to know before hiking with a puppy.

Giving your puppy too much attention can actually also make them overtired
Giving your puppy too much attention can actually also make them overtired

How long should I crate my puppy?

Once your puppy is crate trained, you can put him in in there for about 80% of his sleeping time.

However, it isn’t recommended to leave a puppy under 6 months in a crate for more than 3 or 4 hours. Most puppies can’t control their bladder for much longer, anyway.

Every 3 or 4 hours you can take him out, do some activities and then let him rest again. If he can calm himself down, you can also let him relax outside his crate.

If he’s like my Miniature Poodle Baloo used to be, then you’ll probably have to put him in his crate for 100% of the sleeping hours for the first few months. Baloo couldn’t calm down by himself. So being in the crate was the only way to help him relax. Once he’s calming down quickly in the crate, you can slowly try to have one sleeping session in a dog bed outside his crate.

With lots of patience, you’ll eventually be able to stop using the crate all together. At some point even hyper dogs like Baloo will learn to calm down even outside their crate.

Make sure to check out the 6 best crates for dogs to sleep in to find the right crate for your puppy.

Share it with your friends!

10 Overtired puppy symptoms

Aside from the obvious overtired puppy symptoms, like yawning and lying down, here are 10 signs and symptoms that show you when your puppy needs a rest.

If you have an adult dog and you’re not sure if he’s overtired, then check out my article about the 10 signs and symptoms your dog is overtired or exhausted.

1. Biting and nibbling

As I’ve mentioned before, overtired puppy biting is one of the most frequent and most annoying signs that your puppy is overdue for a rest.

Puppies tend to be quite rough when playing with their siblings. This is why it’s very important to teach a puppy very early on that biting is not okay!

I’ve got a complete article teaching you how to stop overtired puppy biting.

2. Zoomies

Baloo still has his zoomies regularly. And it happens mostly when I have to dry him (guess that just feels icky) or when he’s overtired.

Now, puppies can’t really control their energy level. So, once they’re overtired, zoomies are almost inevitable.

In case you don’t know what zoomies are, here you go:

3. Excessive thirst

When dogs are overtired, they’re stressed. And stressed dogs are very, very thirsty.

Whenever Baloo and I are visiting friends and family, he gets quite excited, which means stressed, too. He then drinks so much that he has to go potty after 1 or 2 hours.

I only got it after he peed inside a couple of times…

4. He forgets his manners

Similar to biting, an overtired puppy will likely forget all manners ever taught. Is your puppy unable to perform the simplest commands and jumping up on you like crazy? Then he’s most likely overly tired.

Overtired puppies often seem to forget any kind of manners you ever taught them
Overtired puppies often seem to forget any kind of manners you ever taught them

5. Excessive panting

Excessive panting is another stress sign. It can also mean that your puppy is overstimulated or excited for some other reason.

In any case it means he suffers from some kind of stress. A rest is a good idea, whatever the reason for the panting.

6. Excessive lip licking

The same goes for excessive lip licking.

Keep in mind that puppies can easily get overstimulated, get excited and be overtired at the same time.

This is why I recommend to force your puppy to rest whenever he’s excessively panting or lip licking.

Share it with your friends!

7. Following you everywhere

An overtired or over excited puppy is afraid to miss something. This is why he might be following you everywhere.

Some puppies do that all the time, though. So, it’s only a sign he’s overtired if he usually doesn’t do it.

8. Racing through your house

Similar to zoomies, overtired puppies usually race up and down your house as well.

In order to stay awake, when actually overtired, a puppy’s body produces a lot of adrenaline. This leads to excess energy, which he tries to get rid of by racing around.

However, this isn’t a healthy state for a puppy. It’s best not to let it get that far.

9. He’s becoming vocal

Is your puppy all of a sudden crying or barking at seemingly nothing? Then he’s probably overtired.

If you’ve got a little cry baby, make sure to also check out my article about why puppies are whining and crying.

10. Crazy eyes

Have you ever seen a dog or puppy that’s out of control?

That’s when they get the crazy eyes!

Whenever I see a little of the white showing in Baloo’s eyes, I know he’s overstimulated, over excited or overtired and the zoomies will kick in shortly.

Tips to stop overtired puppy behavior

How do you calm an overtired puppy?

An overtired puppy needs rest but is pumped up with adrenaline.

That’s not gonna work!

To make it work, adrenaline production has to be stopped first. Once all the excitement is gone, your puppy will feel that he’s actually tired and will fall asleep very easily.

There are a few ways to do this:

By far the fastest is to hold him by his shoulders until he’s calmed down.

The other very efficient way is to put him in his crate or in a room where there’s no distraction. Only when he can’t run around like crazy and when there’s nothing to do, he’ll be able to calm down and relax.

For more information on how to calm down an over excited (adult) dog, click here.

Make sure to teach your pup how to calm down
Make sure to teach your pup how to calm down

My overtired puppy won’t sleep

If your puppy just can’t calm down no matter what, I highly recommend using a crate!

This is the easiest and most efficient way to force a puppy to rest.

For the first few times, he’s probably not gonna like it. But if you train him properly, he’ll soon be happy to go to his sleeping cave.

Here’s a good guide to crate training:

And if he’s crying in the beginning, don’t give up. He’ll tire eventually. Once he has slept for a little while, you can reward him by taking him out for a snuggle session on the couch.

How to stop overtired puppy biting

Last but not least, here’s how to stop overtired puppy biting in particular: by ignoring your puppy, and by squeaking at him. Yes, really!

Ignore him

As soon as he starts biting, turn around and ignore him.

If he keeps nibbling at your leg, go into a different room and close the door. Wait for him to calm down. Then you can come back but still ignore him. Once he has fully calmed down, you can start to pet him in a very calm manner.

Repeat this a few times and your dog should get it pretty quickly.


Another tip I got from my puppy trainer that works very well with puppies is to squeak when your puppy bites you. It doesn’t matter whether it actually hurts. Just squeak, make an upset face and stop playing. 

Puppies squeak when the play is getting too rough. So, your puppy will understand that this was too much.

You can also try giving him a chewy as soon as he’s not going for your hands, sleeves etc. anymore. This can help your puppy or dog to get rid of some excess energy as well.

Here’s a good video overview of the things you can do to stop excited puppy biting:

Related topic: For dog training in general I highly recommend you get a program that walks you through step by step, such as Braintrainingfordogs. Certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli teaches you to train your dog to be the best dog he can by be using mental stimulation! Check out Dogpackr’s review to see if this is a fit for you!


Overall, puppies who act like crazy usually need a rest!

With these 10 overtired puppy symptoms you now know when it’s time for bed for your little fur baby.

And even more important, you now know how to deal with that annoying overtired puppy behavior. If you follow the tips listed above, I’m sure you’ll have a lovely puppy in no time!

Get your free puppy schedule planner

Recent Posts