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Is your puppy experiencing the witching hour?
Some also call it the zoomies. But regardless of what you call it, you sure as heck know how annoying it can be.
Baloo seemed to have the witching months when he was still a puppy! He literally wasn’t able to sit still for even a second.
You can imagine how annoying and tiring that can be if it goes on for months.
In this article, I’ll share the 5 tips to deal with puppy witching hour that I wish I knew when I first got Baloo.
What Is Puppy Witching Hour?
If you’re the proud owner of a little puppy, then you know exactly how much work those little guys can be! Between training, playtime, and the amount of exploring and learning your puppy wants to do, it can feel overwhelming at the best of times.
And then you have the puppy witching hour. If you and your puppy have ever experienced a witching hour, then the term itself probably strikes fear into your heart!
But what exactly is a puppy witching hour, and how can you tell if your puppy is having one? Let’s get into it.
Your Puppy Is Going Crazy in the Early Morning or Evening
If your puppy is experiencing a witching hour, then he is probably going crazy at certain parts of the day. Most puppies tend to have their witching hours either early in the morning or late at night.
If your puppy has regular witching hours, then it’s important to keep track of them. Note down when his witching hours are happening, and how he’s behaving. This will help you implement your preventative measures to keep your puppy from going crazy before the witching hour starts.
Check out these related articles:
- 9 hyperactive dog symptoms and how to help your dog calm down
- Why is my puppy so hyper? 4 tips for a calm puppy
- Why is my dog so hyper at night?
Also make sure to download my free puppy schedule planner. This will help you keep track of your puppy’s behavior and find a routine that fits both of your needs.
Also Known as the Zoomies
You may have seen the terms “zoomies” and “puppy witching hour” used interchangeably. They mean essentially the same thing.
Both are a period of time during which your puppy or even an adult dog loses control of himself. He’ll get super hyper and crazy, and stop being able to listen to you.
So what causes puppy zoomies? Many things can trigger the zoomies, including boredom, feeling uncomfortable, and being a little overtired. Again, you should monitor your dog to help determine his triggers for the zoomies!
Biting and Tantrums on End
Human babies aren’t the only ones who experience tantrums. If your puppy doesn’t feel like he’s getting his way, then he might start throwing a tantrum.
He’ll be especially prone to throwing tantrums and biting you if he’s having a witching hour. This, of course, can be super frustrating for you, since you’re the one dealing with your puppy’s sharp little chompers!
For more information on tantrums, here’s how to deal with puppy tantrums—7 tips to stop them.
Usually Caused by Overstimulation
While witching hours can be a result of not being stimulated enough, most of the time the opposite is true.
While all dogs can become overstimulated, it’s especially easy for it to happen to puppies. Your puppy is still learning how everything works, and it’s all so new to him! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all.
When your puppy gets overstimulated, he’s likely to lose control of himself. He doesn’t know how to settle himself down, and so he starts acting crazy.
Boredom Can Be Another Cause
Puppy witching hours are usually triggered by too much stimulation. But a lot of the time, boredom can also trigger your dog’s zoomies.
It’s important to make sure that you are giving him a healthy amount of stimulation during the day. This will help keep him calm and happy.
Again, the puppy schedule planner will help you find a good routine for both of you.
5 Tips to Deal with Puppy Witching Hour
Now that you can identify what exactly a puppy witching hour is and what causes it, we can get into the 5 best ways to deal with your puppy’s witching hour.
1. Establish a Solid Daily Routine
One of the best things you can do to help any dog’s behavioral issues is to set up a good routine. For puppies especially, having a set routine helps them get to know their new lives better.
It also ensures that you’re finding the time in the day to make sure your little guy is getting everything he needs.
It can take some trial and error to find the right routine for you and your puppy. But don’t worry too much about whether or not your routine looks like someone else’s. Just find what works for you, don’t be afraid to try new things, and stick with it!
2. Make Sure He Gets Enough Sleep
Puppies need a whole lot of sleep. Their brains and bodies are growing at a fast rate at this stage of their lives. Sleep is your puppy’s chance to do a lot of that growing.
On average, your puppy should sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day.
Some puppies are very good at recognizing when they need to nap and will pass out on their own. Other puppies have a harder time.
3. Provide the Right Amount of Stimulation
Since zoomies and witching hours are frequently caused by either under or overstimulation, it’s important to make sure your puppy is getting the right amount.
Unfortunately, there’s no set number of minutes of hours you should be exercising your puppy. Generally, it depends on your puppy’s age, breed, and overall health. Younger puppies should get less exercise and should avoid particularly vigorous activity until their growth plates have sealed.
Test out different amounts of exercise to see what works best for your puppy. And don’t forget to exercise his brain too! Here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home that you should check out.
4. Hold Him Still
When puppies get the zoomies or enter their witching hour, they tend to lose control of themselves.
They stop being aware of what’s going on around them, which is why they have a hard time listening!
You can help bring your puppy’s awareness back to the present by holding him still. Keep him in a seated position and hold him from behind. Use one hand to gently hold his collar from the back and place your other hand on his chest to prevent him from biting you. Or hold him by the shoulders.
You shouldn’t have to hold him like this for long. Just a minute or two should be long enough for your puppy to settle down.
5. Give Him a Time Out in the Crate
Your puppy’s crate is a great place for him to go to relax if he’s getting too worked up. If your puppy’s witching hour is too much for you to handle, then a time out in his crate might be in order.
If you’re going to use your puppy’s crate for this purpose, then it’s really important that you crate train him properly. For some help with your crate training process, here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.
How Long Does the Witching Hour Last in Puppies?
The term witching hour can be a little misleading. You might think that it means that your puppy will only have the zoomies for about an hour.
It might seem like your puppy’s zoomies are never going to end. But the length of time your puppy experiences his witching hour will vary greatly depending on several factors.
The main factor is whether or not you can step in to help your puppy’s witching hour stop. If you’re able to hold him still for a while or put him in the crate for a time out, that will help his witching hour end much more quickly.
Eventually, your puppy will tucker himself out enough on his own. But it’s much better for both of you if you’re able to intervene!
When Do Puppies Outgrow the Witching Hour?
If only you could mark a day on your calendar and know that that’s the day your puppy’s witching hours will end!
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure when your puppy will outgrow his zoomies. In fact, some dogs never do! As your puppy gets older, it’s likely that he’ll have fewer and fewer witching hours. But mostly it comes down to you.
If you want your puppy’s witching hours to finally come to an end, then you need to be the one to put in the work! Use preventative measures like making sure that your puppy is getting enough stimulation during the day.
Tracking when your puppy’s witching hours happen will also help you understand his triggers and prevent them from happening in the first place.
If you and your puppy have ever experienced a witching hour together, then you know how difficult they can be to manage. But with the right tools, you can find ways to deal with puppy witching hours.
The most important thing to remember is that prevention is the best way to deal with them! Give your puppy the right amount of stimulation during the day, help your puppy ensure he’s getting enough sleep to prevent him from getting overtired and set up a good daily routine.
As long as you put in the work, you’ll find that your puppy has fewer witching hours. And, when they do come up, you’ll be ready for them.