Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

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Do dogs get cranky when tired

Got a cranky dog?

Might be that he’s a little too tired…

When I first got my Mini Poodle Baloo as a puppy he was soooo annoying at times! Like he just couldn’t sit still or focus on anything. And every so often he just seemed to have forgotten all his manners.

Boy, that was frustrating!

Well, it took me some time to realize that his cranky, annoying behavior most likely came from him being overtired. He just didn’t know how to relax or how to deal with so much stimulation. It’s not like I walked and trained him non-stop. But even having friends over can be huge stimulation for a dog.

So, anyway, in this article I’ll teach you everything I learned about overtired, cranky dogs.

Why Is My Dog Cranky?

You probably know those nights where you stay up a little too late, or don’t get enough sleep. Or maybe you feel like you’ve worked yourself to the bone and suddenly you can’t stop snapping at everyone.

It’s normal to get cranky sometimes! But what about dogs—can they get cranky too?

Although a dog will show that he’s grumpy differently than a human will, the fact is that dogs do get cranky sometimes!

So what exactly is it that makes them feel like this?

Overtired or Overstimulated

Just like humans, sometimes when dogs get a little too tired, they might start acting out. Dogs need a lot of sleep, about 12 to 14 hours every day.

Puppies need even more than that! It’s important to make sure your dog gets enough sleep, especially if he’s still very young.  If he doesn’t, he’ll start getting cranky, and he might even run into some health problems.

So, aside from getting cranky, what does an overtired puppy do? Well, here are 10 overtired puppy signs and what to do about it. If your puppy is showing a bunch of these signs, then he’s probably grumpy because he’s overtired.


Your dog might need a lot of sleep, sure. And being overstimulated can definitely cause him to act out and get cranky. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need any stimulation at all!

It’s all about striking a balance. Dogs need the right amount of stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. And if your dog isn’t getting enough and is feeling bored, he’ll start taking his feelings of boredom out on you! He might even paw at you or bite your sleeves to get your attention.

So, how do you tell if your dog is overtired or just bored?

Well, unfortunately a lot of the symptoms of both boredom and overstimulation are similar, so it can be hard to tell just from your dog’s behavior alone.

Fortunately, if you consider what your dog’s day has been like, you can usually figure it out. If your dog’s had a pretty lazy day full of napping and lying around, then he’s probably bored!

For more information, check out these 7 symptoms of dog boredom (and help!).

Boredom can cause a lot of behavioral issues...
Boredom can cause a lot of behavioral issues…

Attention Seeking

Sometimes, the only reason a dog acts out is because he wants your attention and doesn’t feel like he’s getting enough of it!

Dogs can be a lot like human kids. If you’ve seen a kid who’s feeling like his parents are ignoring him, then you know how quickly that can escalate into a tantrum! Dogs, no matter how old they are, will often do the same thing.

If your dog is cranky because he’s attention seeking, don’t give in right away. You don’t want to teach your dog that this behavior is how he gets what he wants. Instead, you should wait for him to settle down before you reward him with your affection!

Cranky dogs sometimes just want you attention very badly
Cranky dogs sometimes just want you attention very badly

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Too Tired?

So, now that you know why your dog might be feeling cranky, how do you tell if he’s too tired? Here are a few signs it’s time for your dog to wind down for bed.

Barking or Crying

If your dog is a little overtired, then he might resort to barking or crying to let you know. Dogs communicate mostly through body language, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get verbal sometimes too!

If your dog is barking or crying more than is usual, you might want to consider other factors. What has your day looked like? Were you super busy, or was the house too noisy for him to nap? If that’s the case, then his barking and crying might be his way of telling you, “I’m way too tired!”

Barking and being vocal is a major sign that your dog might be overtired
Barking and being vocal is a major sign that your dog might be overtired


Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, and it’s not usually for aggression! Dogs, especially young puppies, use their mouths to explore the world. Biting can also be a big part of playtime! If your puppy is still young, then he might be biting because he’s teething and is trying to relieve the discomfort.

But biting can also be a sign that your dog is overtired and is starting to act out. It’s a lot like kids tugging on their parents’ clothes when they get too tired and start behaving badly.

Forgetting His Manners

You’ve spent a lot of time with your dog training him and working on making him a polite member of doggy society. He can heel, sit, lie down, and is generally very well-behaved.

But all of a sudden, it’s like you never trained him in the first place! If your dog is misbehaving, completely forgetting his manners, and refusing to listen to you, that’s a major signal that he’s a little overtired and it’s time for a nap.

This is another situation where dogs are really similar to human kids! Just like children, dogs might forget all the manners you’ve taught them if they’re too tired.

So how can you help him? Check out “How to deal with puppy tantrums” for some tips and tricks.

Has your pup all of a sudden forgotten all his manners? Then he might be overtired
Has your pup all of a sudden forgotten all his manners? Then he might be overtired


Ah, the zoomies!

Every dog parent, especially those with super hyper dogs, knows what it’s like to witness the zoomies. If your dog is all of a sudden bouncing off the walls and racing around the house, it might seem funny at first. But as most dog parents also know, it very quickly gets frustrating.

It might seem weird that this sudden, intense burst of energy is a sign of being overtired. It makes more sense for it to be because he’s under stimulated, doesn’t it?

While that can sometimes be the case, being overtired often causes dogs to lose control of themselves, which can result in the zoomies.

Super Needy

If your dog is attempting to glue himself to your hip when he’s not normally like that, then that could mean he needs some sleep.

Dogs don’t always know when or how to get the things they need. If your dog is feeling tired, he might resort to acting needier than usual as a way of telling you he needs you to put him to bed.

You can find out more about clingy dog behavior by reading “Why is my dog so clingy?”

If your dog is suddenly super needy, he might try to tell you that he needs a nap
If your dog is suddenly super needy, he might try to tell you that he needs a nap

How to Help a Cranky Dog Calm Down

If your dog is cranky from being overtired, then the number one thing you need to do is make sure he gets some sleep! Ignore any attention seeking or bad behavior, and bring your dog to a quiet part of the house where he can calm down and relax.

This is where having a crate is going to come in handy. Crates are good, quiet places where dogs can go to relax—which is exactly what your cranky dog needs! If you’re not sure where to start with crate training, here is how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.

Once you get your dog down for his nap, you might want to consider setting up a routine for him. Routines help dogs know what to expect and when, and will help prevent your dog from getting overtired in the first place.

Finally, while your dog is resting, make sure that your house is nice and quiet so he can actually get the sleep he needs. This is even more important with puppies, who need a lot more rest because they’re still growing—and might get extremely cranky when over tired!

Speaking of routine, that’s also one of the major factors that helped me get Baloo to calm down. If you’d love to get your fur ball to calm down as well, make sure to download my free guide for a calm dog straight away.

Why Is My Dog Grumpy All of a Sudden?

If it seems like your dog has suddenly flipped a switch, then there are a few reasons why that may be.

One is that he’s overtired, of course, and that it’s finally catching up to him. Another reason may be that he’s hurt. If your dog is showing other signs of pain, you may want to bring him to the vet to get checked.

Can Dogs Get Aggressive When Tired?

Aggressive might be a strong word to describe what’s happening, but dogs certainly can display bad behavior when they’re tired.

If your puppy is showing anything like these 6 signs of an aggressive puppy, then you might have a bit of a problem dog on your hands. But don’t worry, there are ways you can help your puppy by checking out the tips and tricks in that article!

Do Puppies Get Cranky When Teething?


Just like human babies, teething for a puppy is a painful and uncomfortable experience that doesn’t go away easily. Being that uncomfortable all the time would make anyone cranky!

If your puppy’s teething is making him cranky or hyper, then just know that this stage in his life isn’t going to last forever. Give him lots of safe things for him to chew on to relieve the pain and discomfort, and make sure that he’s getting enough sleep to prevent becoming overtired.

Overtired dogs often get cranky but there can also be other reasons for his behavior
Overtired dogs often get cranky but there can also be other reasons for his behavior


Dogs are such wonderful companions, but just like us they have their bad days too. It’s normal for dogs to get cranky once in a while. Usually, it just means that something in their day or their overall lifestyle needs to change.

The best way to help a cranky dog is by making sure he’s getting enough sleep in general. Let him sleep in a quiet part of the house where he can’t be bothered.

You should also consider implementing a new routine for him to make sure he gets enough sleep in the first place! This will prevent your dog from becoming overtired and grumpy, leaving you with the polite, well-mannered pup you know and love!

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