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If your puppy is zooming around your house, you’re likely wondering how to calm an overexcited puppy.
When my Mini Poodle Baloo was a puppy, I’ve probably asked myself this question on a daily basis. And that was because overexcitement was kind of his default behavior!
He had an insane amount of energy and literally never seemed to calm down.
Well, after hundreds of hours of research and lots of trial and error, I’ve found a few ways that will help you calm an overexcited puppy down. But even more importantly, I’ll show you how you can best prevent your pup even getting into that state.
As always, we first need to understand where this overexcitement is coming from, though.
Reasons Your Puppy Gets Overexcited
An overexcited puppy can be a challenging thing to deal with. When your puppy gets too excited, he might find it hard to listen to you. He may not even be aware of what he’s doing at any given moment!
In order to calm your overexcited puppy down, you first need to understand what gets him into that state of overexcitement in the first place.
Here are a few things that might be getting your puppy just a little too ramped up!
If your dog is bored, that can cause a lot of behavioral problems.
Puppies are a lot like human children. That means that they have short attention spans and tend to get bored quickly.
If your puppy doesn’t have anything useful to direct all his energy towards, then he might start getting into trouble. A bored puppy that gets overexcited is just trying to find ways to get rid of all his energy. And to do that, he might start getting into things that you don’t want him to!
He’s Overstimulated or Overtired
Puppies need a lot of sleep! If your puppy is sleeping a lot throughout the day then you might be wondering, “Can a puppy sleep too much?”
But consider the fact that puppies need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day.
Puppies that are still quite young are doing a whole lot of growing. Their brains and bodies are developing and getting bigger. And doing all of that growing takes a lot of energy!
And sleep is when a lot of that growing happens. So it’s really important for his health to make sure he’s getting his 18-20 hours of sleep!
If your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep, then he might start acting out. It’s like an overtired toddler throwing a tantrum.
Not sure if your puppy is overtired? Here are 10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it.
Having a clear daily routine can help a lot to make sure you’re puppy gets the right amount of stimulation. Make sure to download my free puppy schedule planner to get started.
He’s Frustrated About Something
Unfortunately, your dog can’t use language the same way we can to tell you that’s he’s frustrated about something. Instead, he might start acting out.
If you’ve ever been super frustrated about something, then you’ve probably experienced a little burst of energy. That’s because when we become frustrated or angry, our brain starts producing certain hormones that stimulate us.
The same is true for your puppy! If something isn’t going his way, then the hormones that his brain produces might make him a little overexcited.
It’s important to be aware of your dog’s triggers. If your dog is acting out in the same situations, then that means you may need to work on some positive reinforcement dog training. This will help desensitize him to these situations and help him remain calm.
How to Calm an Overexcited Puppy
So now that you can identify the reasons why your puppy is overexcited, it’s time to get into all the ways you can help him.
Even though he’s a dog and you’re a human, you’re still an important role model in your puppy’s life. You puppy looks up to you for everything he needs!
Add to that the fact that puppies and dogs are extremely intuitive then it makes sense why being calm is so important.
If you’re interacting with your overexcited puppy in a way that’s loud and energetic, that’s only going to encourage his overexcited behavior even more.
Instead, make sure to stay calm. Speak in a low, soft voice and move slowly if you need to walk around. The less you stimulate your puppy’s energy, the calmer he’ll start to become himself.
Definitely never chase an overexcited puppy around, that will just make it worse!
Hold Him Still
It might seem weird, but dogs that are too excited don’t necessarily understand their own bodies anymore. One of the reasons why an overexcited dog can stay so energetic for so long is that they lose awareness of their bodies!
You can help your dog bring his awareness back to himself by holding him still. The best way to do this is to hold him in a sitting position from behind. Put one hand on his chest and hold his collar gently from the back with your other hand. Or hold him by the shoulders.
This position will help prevent your dog from being able to reach and bite your fingers.
You shouldn’t have to hold him for very long. After a minute or two at most, you should find that your puppy starts to settle down.
What I also found helpful with Baloo is to give him a soft shoulder massage once he’s calmed down a little. That will relax him even more.
Ignore the Hyper Behavior
The truth is a lot of the time, puppies who are hyper and overexcited are encouraged by their owners’ behavior.
At a certain point, your puppy stops distinguishing between positive attention and negative attention. All he wants is any kind of attention!
That means when you tell your dog “No,” you’re still giving him what he wants.
The best way to counteract that is to just ignore your puppy completely. Yes, it’s a challenging thing to do. But it’s also the best way for your puppy to learn that this isn’t the right way to get what he wants.
That also goes for during the time you’re holding him still. Just hold him, don’t talk to him or give him any other kind of attention.
Put Him in the Crate for a Nap
If you’ve crate trained your puppy, then this is one of those instances where you’re going to be super grateful you did.
Your puppy’s crate is the perfect place for him to go and settle down. If your puppy is having trouble recognizing that he’s overexcited or overtired, then putting him in his crate will help him calm down again.
If you’d like to crate train your dog, but you’re not sure where to start, here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.
Give Him Something to Chew or Lick
Dogs love to chew and lick things. That’s because when they do this, it makes their brains produce a hormone called serotonin.
In both dogs and humans, serotonin increases feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. So, if your dog is getting overexcited, letting him chew or lick something will increase this feel-good and calming hormone.
Chewing or licking also gives your puppy something to do aside from running around and terrorizing your house. That makes it a great distraction!
How to Prevent Your Puppy’s Overexcitement
There are ways to help your overexcited puppy calm down. But the best way is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place.
Make Sure He Gets the Right Amount of Exercise
A tired dog is a happy dog, but an overtired dog can be a real pain!
It’s important to make sure that your puppy is getting an amount of exercise that’s healthy for him.
With this, bear in mind that all dogs are different. Different breeds will have different physical activity needs. And even individual dogs within the same breed can vary greatly in terms of what they need for exercise!
But one thing is pretty universal for dogs: puppies shouldn’t get too much exercise early on. As a rule of thumb, puppies should only walk for about 5 minutes per month of age, up to 3 times a day. Play and training sessions should be even shorter since it’s pretty tiring for puppies to focus.
If your puppy is very energetic, you might be tempted to exercise him much more. But that usually has the opposite effect because he’ll soon be overtired.
So, stick to that rule of thumb until he’s at least 1 year old.
Set Up a Clear Schedule
Knowing what to expect and when to expect it can do wonders for your puppy’s behavior. If you don’t already have a schedule in place, then it’s time to implement one!
It may take some trial and error finding the right schedule for you and your puppy. But with time and some experimenting, you’ll find what works for the two of you.
Make sure to download my free puppy schedule planner to find a schedule that fits your own and your puppy’s needs.
Make Sure He Gets Enough Sleep
How much does a puppy sleep? Well, as stated earlier, a lot!
Puppies need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep every day to keep them happy and healthy. You can help him get that sleep by crate training him so he has somewhere undisturbed to go for his naps.
If your puppy is having trouble settling himself down for his naps, then you’ll want to check out these tips to help a puppy calm down for bed.
Crate Train Him Properly
If you want your dog’s crate to be a useful tool, then you need to make sure to crate train him the right way.
When used properly, crates are a great source of comfort and calmness for a dog. This goes double for super-exciting situations like having visitors in your home! But if it’s not done right, your puppy may feel anxious and scared in his crate.
You can incorporate crate training as part of your puppy’s new daily schedule. Here’s an example of a good crate training schedule for a puppy.
Puppies are so sweet and cute—until they’re running around your house not listening because they’re overexcited.
An overexcited puppy can be a real challenge. But don’t worry—there are ways that you can help him calm down like ignoring the behavior and giving him something to do with his mouth.
But the best treatment for an overexcited puppy is prevention! So implement a good schedule now, spend the time it takes to crate train him properly, and make sure he’s getting a balance of the right amount of rest and exercise. You and your puppy will appreciate how much these changes can help!
Don’t forget to download my free puppy schedule planner to get started with a good daily routine.